Monday, September 19, 2011

Beaches, Beaches, and More Beaches!

The last two weekends have been full of amazing sunshine, relaxation, friends, and fun.  Two weekends ago I went up to Perth with a friend across the hall, Liz.  She lives right outside Perth and was going home and I decided to join.  The city is beautiful with warm sunshine, beautiful beaches, and lovely homes.  The first day that we went exploring we drove 3 hours south to Smith's Beach.  It took us awhile to find being that the turnoff was not marked, but the wait was totally worth it.  We just laid on the sand of this hidden beach for hours soaking up the sun and eating lollies, chocolates, and Doritos.  It was a perfect lazy day in the sun.  We then tried to grab a late lunch/ early dinner before heading back at Margaret's River (a cute little town), but the place wouldn't let us in without shoes so we decided to just get some meat pies and head back.

The next day Liz and I went to a beach in Perth and once again just relaxed and soaked up the sun for a few hours.  We then walked through the little beach town to a cute little beachy restaurant with yummy smoothies and delicious food.  After lunch we took a scenic route through the residential side of Perth where we stopped and viewed the beautiful BLUE river.  I thought it was amazing how clean there rivers were compared to the brown gross waters back home.  We went to a park to relax for a bit that was ten times the size of central park and was beautifully kept.  See, here in Australia the motto is, "Keep Australia Clean" and it is quite obvious because everywhere is just so well kept.  That night we went out with her family to a nice dinner at this German restaurant.  It wasn't the typical was actually a house that was made into a antique filled restaurant with delicious food.  It was owned by this gay couple, one cooked and the other one served and did the cashier.  The dinner for the evening was beef and vegetable soup, chicken schnitzel, salad, and potato salad.  It was all homemade and perfect.  We then had black forest ice cream with schnapps for dessert.  It was a delicious meal to top off the weekend.

The next day we were just bums and laid out at her house and then relaxed in the hammock listening to music and talking.  It was so nice to get to hang out with Liz and her family!  She was one great tour guide. :)  Coming back to Melbourne was not exciting being that all weekend they had wind, rain, and cold temperatures.  But, the sunshine must have followed up back because it wasn't bad last week at all.

This past weekend Val and I went on a two-day Great Ocean Road tour.  It was packed with site-seeing and adventures.  We started at Bell's Beach and then made our way around the ocean stopping at different photo stops.  The highway was modeled after the Pacific Highway in California, but I will say I think the Aussie version has more to offer.  Other than beaches we stopped at the 12 Apostles, London Bridge, Locke Ard Gorge, Hall's Gap and Apollo Bay...and that was all in day one!  Day two we went kangaroo spotting at a local football field (they like flat grassy areas), on a morning waterfall walk, aboriginal center, and last but not least a hike up the Grampians.  It was a tall mountain that our group of 11 hiked up.  All was going perfect until hiking turned into rock climbing...I don't rock climb one bit.  So, most of the girls stayed at the last look out point before the top because the view was amazing and we were not about to do intense rock climbing.  It was so fun though, our group got along really well.  Finally, we finished our day with a trip to a local winery for wine tasting.  The group for the two-day trip was basically 11 young international students minus two young Aussies, we all bonded so well it was so fun.  The whole weekend was AMAZING and absolutely breathtaking.

Today's high is 80 and its beautiful and sunny, so hopefully it will stick around for awhile!  I am going to Sydney this next week for Spring Holiday with Rachel and I am SUPER excited!  So, I will keep you all up to date soon.  I love and miss you all like crazy.  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My weekends are about to become more amazing than EVER before...

Hello friends and family!  I know its been a while, but I promise I am about to make up for it...

So, since I have last posted I have traveled to the city a few times and went shopping more than I should have.  The one time I went downtown with Valerie and the photography club was absolutely wise and the overall experience.  No, I have not become some photography guru...I simply was the tag-a-long!  We started out at the Queen Victoria Market, which is HUGE!!  Val and I actually went early to walk around and get lunch.  I also purchased a wonderful Collingwood jumper (sweatshirt) to support the team I decided to go for.  After walking around the market taking pictures, we went on to the Victoria Library, which was absolutely beautiful inside and out.  Following that we went to the graffiti alley way.  This was a random alley where people were able to express themselves and paint what ever they want.  Taking pictures of these "hidden" locations, or at least less known about to tourists as a must see, was amazing.

My birthday was a few days ago and getting 39 hours of Facebook "Happy Birthday!"s was great.  I read through every one of them and they all made me smile and remember how blessed I was with amazing friends and family both at home and here in Australia.  I bought a special dress for the occasion a few weeks in advance to get excited about celebrating and take my mind off of school...lets be honest I love to shop and it gave me an excuse for a new outfit.  We all hung out here for a while and they surprised me with a cake and all sang to me, which was such an awesome surprise.  We then all went to Eagle Bar and had fun dancing and celebrating me turning old.  I also got a package from my mom AND flowers and a balloon from her, I truly am blessed to have such a special mom. :)  The package had cards and presents from people back home.  In the package was also Scottie Bear, which I left back home at first but now I have Scott by my side and in my arms every night. 

My time here is about to heat up like the weather...I am SOOO excited!!  Next weekend I will traveling to Perth for a weekend of camping, beaches, and fun in the sun with an Aussie friend across the hall, Liz.  The next weekend, Val and I are going on a two day trip to the Great Ocean Road and seeing all of the amazing viewpoints it has to offer.  Then, Rachel and I will be traveling the following weekend and the week to follow to Sydney for Spring Holiday.  We just booked a plane ride over Sydney Harbor to see all of the sites and beauty of Sydney.  Then, we are going on a floor trip to a city about two hours away from Melbourne and to end October we will be going to Ballarat to celebrate Toohey's 21st! So...those are my weekends in a nut shell!

Between my exciting weekends there a few papers thrown happens to be one I am supposed to be working on right now, but I have always been the Queen of Procrastination.  So, with that I will go back to working/ starting that wonderful paper, but please feel free to Skype me, write me, or Facebook chat me at anytime...I am missing you all like crazy. :(  I love you all! Xxxx