My Home Down Under

Some of you back home might be wondering how I lived in this city during my time here, what the places I frequented looked like, how my house was arranged, where I went to church! Let me give you an idea!! I can’t take credit for all these pictures, luckily people were nice enough to let me use some of theirs!

I will begin with my house! I chose to live in a yellow Queesnlander house that was located off the main road right next to the cliffs at Kangaroo Point! The house had two floors, three bathrooms, two kitchens, two living rooms, one washer, and a line to dry our clothes on.

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For church I went to two different places! One was St. Joseph’s which was literally three houses down from mine! It was small and had a primary school attached to it. The church had a latin mass community and many many little kids!

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The other church was the Cathedral of St Stephen’s. I have already written about this church but I’ll still add some photos here!

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As I’ve already mentioned, my house is right next to the cliffs at Kangaroo Point. This is where our weekly BBQs took place. It is a wonderful walking trail and very nice view of the city.

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The walk from my house to uni passes a lot of very pretty views! There’s the Mater Hill Children’s Hospital that is being built, a very scenic bell tower, and flowered walkway leading to the goodwill bridge that takes me across the river directly to campus.

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The campus that this bridge leads to is Gardens Point, which is the one I have more pictures of. But I spent more time at the Kelvin Grove Campus, especially in the library!

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^The Perfect place to study at Gardens Point

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These Huge Trees can be found all over the Botanic Gardens that are connected to Gardens Point

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The view from the library at Kelvin Grove where I normally Study

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^Only the coolest for students at a University of Technology. The screen in the background  is completely interactive

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^Not completely sure why the black area is in this but here is the auditorium at Gardens Point

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^Art work all over the garden

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^Gardens Point

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^Spent Many Afternoons in one of these Cubicles Studying

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The Library at Kelvin Grove. Can you tell that this is the Creative Industries Campus?

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^Just another breathtaking view of the Botanic Gardens, such a perfect place to study!

Besides the campuses I spent a lot of my time in Brisbane in the SouthBank Area and in the City Center. There were many shops, restaurants, and the SouthBank Beach. It was also in Southbank where many of my friends lived and we spent some evenings cooking together. I also spent a good amount of time in West End in the local restaurants and shops. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of West End. But here are the rest in a very random order!

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^SouthBank Beach

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^SouthBank

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^Cloudland, a very nice bar in Fortitude Valley! I wish I had a picture from the indsde

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^The River walk by the Botanic Gardens

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^SouthBank Beach

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^Another View of the Boardwalk at Botanic Gardens; loved running here!!

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^This restaurant has the most amazing waffles and chocolates

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^SouthBank Shops

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^Cute Restaurants at SouthBank

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^SouthBank  during the festival

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^Monday Bowling nights

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^Storybrooke Bridge

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^T-Licious! My Favorite Tea Shop

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^The Pancake Manor! Seriously Delicious Pancakes

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^SouthBank during the festival

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^Cooking at Urbanest near SouthBank

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The City at night

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^SouthBank  Beach

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^The Wheel at SouthBank

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^SouthBank  Beach

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^neat little sitting area near the Goodwill Bridge

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^Different View of the shops at SouthBank

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^The Color Light Show that happened during the festival at SouthBank

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The shops in the City Center! They were already getting ready for Christmas!

For those of you who don’t know exactly where Brisbane is on a map this should give you an idea

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Brisbane is the middle pink arrow on the right hand side near the emu. Fun Fact! Why are the Kangaroo and Emu the two animals on the Australian National Coat of Arms?

Because they can’t walk backwards!

Over the four months I have found that Brisbane has become as much of a home to me as my other homes. And while living in a city, even if Brisbane is a small city, might be a little too much for me I will miss the time I have spent here so much and hope to some day see it again!

All Things Good…

And with this post comes the end of my journeys in Australia. I have been so blessed to spend a brief four months down here and I have made the most of my time! As my last four days begin to wind down I have begun the process of packing and saying my farewells. The past month has been a whirlwind of studying and celebrating all the good times we have had here. The week after I returned from Sydney I unfortunately came down with a pretty terrible cold that kept my inside for a few days. Naturally I couldn’t pass up celebrating Halloween! The weekend after I returned, a student organization held a Halloween dance and we dressed up for the night!

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It was such a fun night!

The dance took place the weekend before Halloween which left the evening of Halloween free. It wasn’t decided until the morning of but we invited some people over and had pancakes and a BBQ!

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The stack was taller than my face!!

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^I learned how to make Austrian Pancakes from the best!

Some of the people I have met here have never carved a pumpkin! Unfortunately we were only able to buy one pumpkin, but we still had a great time carving it!

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^Unfortunately I also forgot to buy a candle! Luckily my phone has a wonderful flashlight that managed to work!

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^Naturally we had to make a drunk pumpkin!

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Having one of the best mothers in the world definitely entails celebrating the holidays right! And I am lucky enough to say that my mom is Awesome! she sent bags of very typical American Halloween candy which were prefect for the night! It was so much fun to get to talk about Halloween from our culture! I never realized how un celebrated it was in other countries!!

That week ended and the next week brought about days and days of studying. I was still not over my cold so I did not do much besides studying for my Accounting exam and sleeping! It was worth it though! Monday morning brought about my exam and I finished it with ease! And then began my vacation here. With all the wonderful weather we have had to opportunity to experience it would only be natural that the last few weeks here would be a weird mix of sun and rain storms! I’ve had such a wonderful time walking through the museums, watching a french film at the OpenAir Cinema, making Australian Style S’mores with friends, one last trip to Corrumbin, and having our last goodbyes.

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The Leopard street house had an international dinner with a Finish macaroni dish, German/Austrian salad, Australian Ginger Beer, and European “Alabama” Cake.  I made a hummingbird cake for dessert! The dinner was delicious afterwards the guys and I walked to the top of the cliffs to take some family pictures in the Alabama tshirts they just happened to have! 😛 Unfortunately One of the Housemates wasn’t able to make it!

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In Between the rain and sun we made a quick trip to the Glasshouse Mountains! The hike was short and the weather was hot a humid! The day was perfect!!

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^please ignore my horrible picture taking! 🙂

I also had some wonderful goodbye dinners this past week! Sushi one night, Pancakes the other! So hard to say goodbye! Yet such nice memories with such good food!

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And with that begins the hardest part of my trip. Finally Leaving! I will board my plane in less than four days to return home. Although I will miss all the wonderful people I met here and the places I have seen I am quite excited to return home to my family! In the four brief days I have left I will have two more goodbye events and a two day trip with my housemates and some others to Stradbroke Islane followed by one last dinner with my amazing housemates! I have come close to soo many people here! I hope to keep in touch with as many of them as I can and dream that one day I might be able to see them in Europe!

This has been such a rewarding trip and I would hope that anyone who has the chance to study abroad takes it! I’ll see you all stateside soon! I’m already missing you crazy QUTies!!Please keep in touch!

A Window in Sydney

Continuing along with my ten day adventure I’ll now get a chance to talk about my time in Sydney. After a three hour delay from Melbourne I finally landed in Sydney and was surprised by how smokey the weather outside was! The girls didn’t arrive from Brisbane until eleven pm and we immediately took a cab to our hostel and went straight to bed! The next day we had to be up and ready to go on a day tour of the Blue Mountains! We were afraid that the trip would be cancelled due to the fire! Luckily for us the fire was in a different part of the mountain range and we were able to go and see the Three Sisters! The Blue Mountains was also something I was very very excited to see in my time Down Under! We took a day long guided tour and saw so many interesting things! It was so nice, even when the smoke started covering everything!

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^The Girls’ Nationalities Left to Right: Indiana, Denmark, Slovenia, Norway

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^We had to take Cable Cars to get around in the mountains!

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^This is the Jurrasic Tree! It’s considered to be the kind of trees that one would find if dinosaurs were on the planet!

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^at some point during the day we walked in a FREEZING water fall, luckily the path was nice enough we could get away without wearing any shoes!

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^The cicadas were so loud here! You could barely hear anything else!

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^This was the really really steep cable track we had to ride to get back to the top!

 

 

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^This is our interpretive photo of the story about the Three Sisters!

 

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^We couldn’t very well see the sunset because of all the smoke!

That night we returned to the Hostel and after a quick dinner at subway decided we would see what Sydney had to offer at night! The bar next to our hostel was called “The Scary Canary” We swung by and were invited by some people to join an interntional pub crawl! Of course we couldn’t say no! What better way to see the city and meet other backpackers who might have some tips for what to do the next few days. The night was so fun! we met so many wonderful people and ended up going to so many interesting places!

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After the pub crawl we returned to the hostel and back to bed. The next morning we began our day with a walk down to the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House! We took so many family picutres!!

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Our looking at the bridge shot was an epic fail when some of us were distracted by the seaweed! 😛

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We then spent the rest of the day walking around the city and ended up having a lovely lunch followed by an afternoon of shopping! 🙂

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The evening I went to mass with the girls. The church was so beautiful!! and BIG!

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In the courtyard near the church there was a noodle festival so naturally we ate dinner there and then made our way to the Darling Harbor for the Fireworks!

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The next day began with checking the weather!

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Who knew that smoke was a type of weather!

We then made our way back to the Opera house for its forty year anniversary! Because of the anniversary we were able to have a free tour of the inside! It was so beautiful!

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We then made our way to Bondi Beach! It was so pretty there! IMG_1352

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^our delicious lunch

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^you might notice that the beach is in the other direction! what you can”t see is the very crowded outdoor gym conveniently located close to the shore! 😀

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^There was also a very cool cliff along the coast that we walked along for a while!

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After Bondi we returned to the city and went to the top of the Westfield Eye in the middle of the city! The view was beautiful!

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We made it just in time to see the sunset!

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After the Eye we went back to the hostel and began getting ready for dinner! Since it was our last night in Sydney we decided to go all out and went to a very nice restaurant in the Darling Harbor. I had the most delicious Lamb over ratatouille and mashed potatoes! It was so delicious! The day before we had met some very nice men who had taken a group picture for us in front of the Harbor Bridge. It was such a coincidence that the men were just finishing their meal as we got there. They were very friendly and impressed that we were taking advantage of our time studying abroad. They ended up paying for our drinks. It was such a sweet gesture. We had no way of thanking them since they had left about two hours before we found out but it was definitely something I will not forget!

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The next day we toured the Sydney Aquarium and saw some very interesting fish!

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^This is an Australian Catfish!

 

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^monster crawfish!

 

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^The rope was supposed to cause a wave but it didn’t work

 

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^not a wild mantee but definitely made me want to sing veggie tales!

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Apparently when on a ledge I prefer to attempt to jump! 😀

 

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We had another very declicous lunch followed by a relaxing afternoon spent in a garden waiting for our time to run out and our flight back to Brisbane. Sydney was so nice and the group of us were so perfect for each other! We really clicked from the beginning and didn’t have a single issue the whole weekend. I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with these girls! I will miss them so much!

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It was great to return to Brisbane though. This place has definitely become my second home!

 

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Planes, Rains, and The Great Ocean Road

I am so sorry! It has been a whole month since I was blessed with the best trip ever and I am just now getting a chance to write about it! I spent ten days travelling from Melbourne, across the Great Ocean Road, all around Sydney, through the bushfires to see the Blue Mountains, and back to my lovely home in Brisbane. I’ll begin with my time in Melbourne and then have another one for the exciting four days in Sydney!!

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My trip started with a flight from Brisbane to Sydney on Tigerairways with two wonderful friends, one from Holland, the other from Hungary. After a short delay (which happens quite often when you fly with the cheapest company) we arrived at the Melbourne Airport and took a bus to the city centre to meet up with one of the girl’s friends who we were staying with. We then went to a very “artsy” bar for dinner! Had a delicious slice of pizza and then went to bed! We had an early start the next morning! Unfortunately Packing for colder weather is hard when it is close to 90 degrees where you are and Melbourne turned out to be much colder than expected! Our first three days of the trip were spent in a wicked campervan touring the Great Ocean Road and Grampians National Park. Wicked is notorious for cheap, old cars that have been redecorated to be as obnoxious as possible! Our van was covered in pictures of Ron Burgandy from Anchorman!

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We started early on the first day, loaded up the van and took our first group photo. In addition to the friend we met in Melbourne, another girl from France joined us making our group a group of five.

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And with the beginning of our trip came rain and cold cold weather! The first day on the trip was around 50 degrees and continuously windy and rainy! But we didn’t let that stop us. About two hours out of Melbourne we made our first stop at a beach. Now being spoiled as we have been from the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast we expected to endless white sands, smooth waves, and lots of sun! This was the exact opposite of what we actually saw! The coast line here is very rocky, orange, and has endless amounts of cliffs! The vegetation is also very different. I’m no botanist so my description probably wouldn’t do it any justice so i’ll just add some pictures! 🙂

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Our trip continued, along with the rain,

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and we made a few more stops to some even more interesting places. We came to Apollo Bay and stopped at an estuary that led to the coast. The estuary had an acidity problem and so we weren’t allowed to swim or fish or anything, not that we wanted to with the temperature! But it made for very many pretty pictures. And the beach had plenty of entertaining places to climb on!

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^ This one is for you dad!! ^

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The Great Ocean Road is not only beaches and estuaries, there is also an endless supply of paths and waterfalls which we stopped at in between the rain! The trails to the waterfalls were so different from Lamington and other stops I’ve made! It was quite impressive to see the differences!

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This waterfall was very pretty, but I think the most exciting part was the few short minutes that the sun came out!!!

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The most amazing part of the day for me was our first stop at the Twelve Apostles! It was so so cold at this point but we were so amazed by the view that we stayed there for an hour! We didn’t get to the Apostles until sunset and were so so cold we definitely did whatever we could to prevent the wind from freezing us! Everyone was looking a little ruff!

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And with the end of our visit to the 12 Apostles we began our hunt for a camping spot. Our first night was spent in a “hidden” spot. It was really dark when we parked so we had a struggle getting the beds ready; two of them were hanging from the roof of the van! We finally got to sleep and in the morning we were so amazed by the amazing view we had ended up sleeping in! After a bit of a struggle getting the two girls out of their hanging beds we took a minute to take in the view and then were off for the next day of travelling on the road!

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Unfortunately I am having a very hard time remembering the order of places where we stopped on the second day but I do have a lot of pictures!

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^no we didn’t actually jump!

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^This stop had a line of trees that were FULL of these colorful birds! Some other people who were there had three or four sitting on their shoulders!

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^This was the Thunder Cave! It really Sounded like thunder!!

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^This is the Kangaroo we hit that lived!!! It was so similar to hitting a deer!

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^This line of Eucalyptus trees was filled with koalas! We finally heard what sound they make… It is very similar to the noise chewbacca makes!

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^The Arches

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^London Bridge

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^I forget what this shoreline was called but I think It had something to do with martyrs or shipwrecks! 🙂

The sun had come out a little more the second day and we were hopeful that we could see an even prettier view at the 12 Apostles so we went back! It was still as Breathtaking!

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This evening we were desperate to find an actual campsite with showers, power, and a kitchen. We found a very fifties style site and had a warm dinner and peaceful nights sleep!

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The third day on the road we went to Grampians National Park and had many great adventures!! Lots of cliffs, lakes, and steep drop offs!!!

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^Once again! Close! But still no jumping! 😛

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^The Lake we found!

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^Pop Up Picnic Table

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My favorite of the day! The Pinnacle! We were so high up!!!

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^A different View of The Pinnacle! I’m the little dot on the left hand side!!

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^The nature made balance beam!!

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The day ended and we returned to the city. It was such a great three days. We only had one and a half days left in Melbourne and we made the most of our days touring the city! Before I had decided I wanted to go to Australia I had seen a movie called “Centre Place”. It is a very cheesy,  low budget film which takes place in Australia. I loved the movie and became very interested in seeing Australia. I guess you could say that this movie is one of the reasons I decided to come to Australia! What I didn’t know though was the Centre Place was an actual Street in Melbourne!! As soon as I found out I know I had to see it! The movie involves a girl who works in a clothing store and a man who owns a soup shop! Naturally its a love story but it was still so exciting to see the place where the movie was filmed!

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We had to stop and eat lunch here! and were fortunate enough to sit near an acordian player!

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There was a lot of neat street art in Melbourne!

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The rest of the two days was spent touring the city. We saw the Queen Victoria’s Market, Olympic Stadium, Flinder’s Street Station, the Princess Theater, some Beautiful Churches and many other interesting places! Our last evening together we went to St. Kilda’s Beach for a nice sunset dinner and were fortunate enough to see the penguins return to their homes as soon as it was dark enough!

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^while near the stadium we walked into this screaming line of girls… turns out One Direction was having a concert there that night!

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And with that my trip came to an end. I left my group and flew from Melbourne straight to Sydney to meet up with the other group of four girls who I would be spending the next four days with touring the city!

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Spring Break, Aussie Style!

Best week yet! That is for sure! I was so lucky to get to spend 7 days traveling around Australia with a great group of people! We did so much and saw so many things! It was a wonderful experience and I will never forget a minute of it! Our group had fifteen people in it. Twelve of them all came from the same house. The three of us that didn’t were quickly adopted into the family! It was so much fun!!

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We’re missing two people in this picture from our group!

The week began with a two hour train and bus ride to the Gold Coast Airport! From there we flew to Cairns and landed around 8 pm. We got a ride to the hostel, put our stuff in our rooms and headed to the nightmarket to get something to eat for dinner! We were all pretty exhausted so we came back to the hostel early and went to bed. The next day was unplanned for us so we spent the day walking around Cairns, shopping, eating, and relaxing by the lagoon. Cairns doesn’t have an actual beach and even if they did the jellyfish would be too bad to swim with so they have a man made pool that could really pass for a beach! It was so nice to just swim and lay around to combat the heat of the day!

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That evening a couple of us made it to church and then we met up with everyone else for dinner and had another early night. On Sunday we were up and at it at 6:30 am to get to the marina to do a day tour of the great barrier reef! It was truly awe inspiring. I will never forget the reef! Everyone should definitely try to make it there someday! We snorkeled for about 5 hours at different locations throughout the reef. Some people went scuba diving and saw turtles, I just stuck with the snorkeling though. 😛 There were so many colorful fish! They were so cool!

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After the great barrier reef we went back to the hostel, had dinner, and went straight to bed. We had to be up again on Monday at 6:30 for a tour of the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. We rode in a huge van for about two hours and finally arrived at a Wildlife sanctuary. We got to see a lot of cool birds and lizards and kangaroos! They were really friendly!

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Image this one was so friendly!

Image This is a Cassowry! We were warned to not get too close to these!!

After the wildlife habitat we drove to the river and took a ride in some boats to find some crocodiles! We saw three, 1 year old crocodiles and the head of a 3 meter adult one! It was so much fun! The tour guide spoke so many languages and was very fun to talk to and ask questions. He really knew a lot!

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After the river we stopped at a picnic area and had lunch and some of the most interesting ice cream ever! I had Sweet Potato and Ginger ice cream! It was so good! Once we had finished lunch we hopped back in the van and went on a guided tour of the Daintree Rainforest. Our tour guide for the forest also really knew what he was talking about. He started the tour by showing us these ants that had green bellies. He pulled one off the tree and licked it. Naturally the rest of had to try it! I almost didn’t but I ended up doing it in the end! It tasted like lime but stung a little bit, like licking a battery! It was insane!! Our tour guide was impressed that everyone of us licked the ant. He said normally only one or two do and he has to spend forever trying to convince them to do that! You could really tell that our tour guide loved his job and had a lot of fun!

Later on the hike we found a Kookaburra’s nest. Unfortunately we also found a Goanna (monitor) eating the eggs out of it. Image

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The tour ended and we loaded up into the van again and drove to Cape Tribulation! It was a nice break to just relax on the beach after everything we had done!

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After the break we had to drop off some of the people who were in our group at a hostel in the forest. While we were there we took a bathroom break. Right outside the door we saw this monster! Image And three or four others like it! They were HUGE!!

We quickly left the spiders alone and started our three and a half hour drive back to Cairns, we got back around 8 and found some dinner. It was on that night that we took a Greyhound bus to Airlie Beach. The bus left at midnight and we arrived at Airlie around noon on Tuesday. At 1:30 on Tuesday we boarded our boat, the Condor,for a three day, two night sailing trip around the Whitsunday Islands.

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That was such a fun experience. Our boat had thirty two people on it, including the three crew members. We ended up knowing three of the people who were on our boat and quickly bonded with the other people.!

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The cabin where we slept was quite cramped and we ended up sleeping on the deck the second night! The sunrise was so beautiful!

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The first day we we sailed around and went to bed early, (most of us were exhausted from the bus ride). The second day began with a trip to Whitehaven Beach. That beach is the most beautiful beach I have ever been to! It is considered the third best beach on the planet and NASA uses the sand to make the lens of the Hubble Telescope! It was so wonderful!

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After Whitehaven we went snorkeling and to another beach to watch the sunset. It was so nice. The sun was really bright but it wasn’t too hot. Well, I thought it wasn’t too hot 🙂

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The last day on the boat was pretty short, one of the other passengers ended up cutting his leg so badly that the skipper said he needed stitches so we ended up going back to Airlie Beach early. It was still a nice day though. We spent the rest of it just exploring the town, eating, shopping, and relaxing by the lagoon! It was a lot of fun!

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It was a really cute little town with only one main road. The jellyfish are bad there too so they also have a lagoon! There were so many sailboats in the water the day we got back! It was aweosme!Image you can’t really see the boats in this picture unfortunately

That night there was a discounted dinner for all the people who were on our boat at one of the local restaurants. It was a great end to the trip!

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The next day our group of fifteen started splitting up. Some rented vans and began to drive home. Others hopped on a bus that stopped at random places on the way back. While a group of seven other people and I hung out around Airlie until 6 pm when we caught a bus that drove us straight home to Brisbane. The bus ride took 18 hours! Thankfully we got to stop periodically to stretch and use the restroom! And at one point, we found this giant Kangaroo that apparently was the mascot of some sort of official games or something important. It now watches over a service station, and winks periodically.

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It was such a good feeling to finally be back in Brisbane! I was so happy to have Sunday to go to church and recover from the craziness of the week!

Monday was Labor Day for Australia so no one had work and everything was closed. My housemate Al, who is Australian invited my other housemate Michael, his brother, my friend Jamie and me to go with him to Currumbim, a beach on the Gold Coast.

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We got there around noon and had fun just hanging out on the beach.

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At around two forty the wind picked up ridiculously and we were getting stung by the sand!

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After trying to hide and wait it out,

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we ended up packing up our stuff and heading to the local surf club to grab some lunch and hope that the wind would stop.

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I shared a really delicious lunch of Calamari, Barramundi (a really good Australian fish), and prawn with Michael!

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After lunch we went up to a lookout and tried to figure out what to do next since the wind wasn’t stopping. We found out that there was a national park in Burleigh Heads about a half hour away! We drove over and had fun walking along the path. We found vines that you could sit on and swing, the mystery machine, a rainbow house, and a beautiful lookout point. It was a perfect anecdote to the wind! And the Perfect way to end the most amazing break I have ever had yet!

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My Weekend in Jurassic Park

So I just realized I never posted this post but two weekends ago I went with a group of nine other exchange students to Lamington National Park for a three day, two night camping trip!

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It was amazing! We walked between 60 and 70 kilometers, so between 38 and 44 miles. It was beautiful! The first day we left the house in our lovely rented cars and headed to our first campsite.

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The trip there took a lot longer than expected so as soon as we had checked in an gotten our pass we were off on our first trail! We ended up on a trail that was closed due to a storm that had knocked over a lot of trees. That trail involved a lot of climbing but we found a huge drop look out place! It was so high up! It was crazy!! Image

We eventually found our way back to the open trail and ended the day with a barbecue and a quiet evening sitting around a fire and singing songs. It was so nice, even though it was FREEZING!!!

The Second day we drove to the second location in the same park and walked for 7 hours straight! It was warmer during the day thankfully and we probably saw about 20 waterfalls! There was also a tree top tour

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and a tree that you could climb to the top of! The tree was 30 meters high so it was 100 feet above the top of a mountain! It was so pretty from the top!

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It was also on this day that we took a trail that led us to so many waterfalls! They were each breathtaking in their own way! We tried to get group pictures with as many as we could! This one is my favorite!

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The Second night wasn’t as cold thankfully because we weren’t allowed to have fires at that campsite. The third day began bright and early and we did one last trail with even more waterfalls! The whole time we were there the theme music to Jurassic Park was stuck in my head and I was waiting for a dinosaur to jump out at us! unfortunately that didn’t happen but the trees were all to huge and tall! It was crazy!

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We didn’t see too much wildlife there, some birds, a few wild wallabies, and a snake. It was a fantastic experience and so close to the beach! Its crazy to realize how diverse the landscapes in Australia are! At one point during the drive we could see Surfer’s Paradise from the road. Naturally we had to stop and take pictures. We tried to spell out Lamington… It didn’t work out too well

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This is what I was thinking the whole time we were there! 😛

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Admit it, You just started singing the theme song didn’t you? 😀

Fried Chicken, Biscuits n’ Gravy, and Fruit Cobbler

Haha Don’t be fooled! I am still in Australia! It has just been a week full of cooking and home comforts!! After recovering from the wonderful dragon boat races and rugby matches I had a very chill week full of school work and trip planning! I went bowling on Monday, had a wonderful birthday dinner with a group of international students on Tuesday, spent all Wednesday working on an assignment for my film class, relaxed on Thursday and helped Max, one of my housemates, celebrate the beginning of his Birthday!

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Friday I worked on assignments all day and then went to one of my local friend’s house with a group of other international students to celebrate his birthday!!!  Saturday morning began with the SpringFlare Festival to help introduce spring in Australia!! How Crazy is that!?! It’s just turning spring here! And you can feel it in the weather!!!

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After the Festival I went to Chermside to help Steve make fried chicken

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and then we waited until 5 in the morning to watch the Alabama vs Texas A&M game and made biscuits and gravy for breakfast!

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It was such a good game! Luckily Steve’s father was nice enough to FaceTime the game for us after we discovered the website we were supposed to use wasn’t working! I then came back to my house with enough time for Latin Mass, went to the grocery store, and began baking! Tonight we are having an international dinner and I volunteered to bring fruit cobbler!

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I had also promised Max some Oreo dessert for his birthday so I made that too! Unfortunately Australia doesn’t have Cool Whip so I had to try to make it myself… I think it worked!

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I guess we’ll have to try it to find out! There are 12 days until I leave for Cairns and in that time I have one final exam, three assignments due, and a camping trip to Lamington National Park!! Wish Me Luck!!!