Posts Tagged ‘Sydney’

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Emma: Meat pies & Relay for Life

May 15, 2010

Happy Autumn! I realized the other day that in the year 2010, I will never experience the season of spring…weird! It’s getting cooler in Sydney and the beach days are coming to an end, but I am embracing the situation and continuing on with my Australian adventures.

This past week was pretty relaxed with heaps of uni work and hanging out around the village. I was battling with a paper all week and finally finished on Thursday. After I finished my paper, Betsy and I went and played in the park. Victoria Park just recently opened up a little playground, so we walked down there and played: went on the swings, giant spider web, flying fox, etc. and then played frisbee as well. We felt like such children, but it was a gorgeous day and just nice to be outside and celebrating the start of the weekend!

Friday night some of us headed out to Olympic Park for the Dragons vs Bulldogs Rugby League game. It was at ANZ Stadium, which is where the Opening Ceremonies, Track and Field, and other events took place during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. When we got inside we walked around a bit got meat pies (it’s the thing to do at sporting events) and got our seats. The game itself was awesome. I seriously love Rugby; it is so fast paced and fun to watch. It was neat to see how the crowd got into it as well. They were pretty rowdy with huge flags always waving and most them wore scarves of their team colors around their necks. New goal: find a maroon and gold scarf!

So the game is ending and we decide to leave a bit early to catch the train before the rush. We get on the train and the three of us are just chatting away… A while later it feels like we had been on the train forever so I get up to check the map and see how much longer we had. To my surprise we are not even in close proximity to where we were supposed to be. Long story short: we had missed our stop BY AN HOUR! So when we got to the next stop, we got off, asked the people there how to get back or what to do and they basically start to laugh. We were a $100.00 cab ride away from home!

At this point I am laughing, one friend is near tears, and the other is figuring out what to do. We then head to the other side of the tracks and wait for a train to get back home. It was after 11, but we had to sit and wait. There are some other people waiting: drunk, obxoxious, on some sort of drugs also waiting, and then the night gets even better. The police arrive and begin to question the situation. We tell the police we are not with the other people there so they leave us alone for a bit. After talking to the others, writing a ticket or two, doing a few strip searches etc. the police come back to us and ask what we are doing… We explain, they wish us well, and then the train arrives! An hour or so later we made it home safe and sound! Oh the many firsts we experienced that night, Rugby, getting lost, being questioned by the police. I’ll never forget the town of Asquith, Australia!

Saturday was the day I had been waiting for: RELAY FOR LIFE! I was so excited not only to be going to a Relay For Life, but just to see how it was different in other countries. The event was at the McKay Sports Grounds in Centennial Park. The Relay here was 24 hours. There were bake sales, sausage sizzles, bands, and performances all day. The energy was not as intense as Relay back home, but just being in the atmosphere was indescribable. Relay For Life really never fails to amaze me. It was a perfect day and made me appreciate my time over here a little bit more.

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Emma: Coozies

May 10, 2010

Last week’s exciting events started on Tuesday when Betsy and I headed out to the Olympic Park is to watch friends play water polo. Before coming here I never really watched water polo, but it has really grown on me!

When we arrived at Olympic Park, thoughts of all the people from all over the world that walked on the grounds started racing through my head. We saw that outside of the ANZ Stadium where the opening ceremonies and track and field were held and then we saw the inside of the Aquatic Center where the water polo game was taking place. Crazy to think that some of the best athletes in the world swam there! Unfortunately the boys lost their game, but it was still heaps of fun.

Wednesday night I went on a harbor cruise around Sydney and Darling Harbor with all of the Human Movement Majors (Kinesiology). It was circus themed and people got pretty into it. We went as circus animals, there were heaps of Mims, acrobats, clowns, ring masters, etc. So interesting to see everyone’s creative outfits. It was a lot of fun and nice to see some friends outside of class.

On Thursday we got lunch at Hoochie Mama’s with our water polo friends. Hoochie Mama’s is the café at the place I live and it is SO yummy. I eat there numerous times a week and we tell the owner frequently that he needs to open one in America. My goal by the time I leave is to try everything on the menu, and I am well on my way. That night Betsy and I took the train out to Olympic Park to watch some more water polo. They lost again but, but something very exciting did happen that night! I DROVE A CAR! On the other side of the road! It was awesome. First time driving in 3 months, so I was pretty bad at first, and it was hard to adjust to being on the other side of the car but I eventually got used to it after turning on the windshield wipers a few times instead of the blinkers, and scaring the people in the back seat a little too!

Friday Michelle, Betsy, and I ventured to leichhardt, which is just a suburb of Sydney and a short bus ride away. It has a large Italian population, which means absolutely amazing gelato. I got tiramisu, and I literally never wanted it to end. It had huge pieces of cake in it and the gelato was so creamy it was pretty much heaven in my mouth.

Saturday afternoon we went over to the uni cricket oval and hung out with the water polo team (I swear I am not obsessed. Their season is over now so they have heaps more time to hang out.) It was fun meeting everyone’s families, the coach and other players. That night we had the most delicious pizza ever for dinner and went out in Newtown once again and later to Darling Harbor. Successful weekend over all….gosh I never want this to end!

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Emma: Sydney Adventures

April 26, 2010

The time continues to fly by and I cannot believe I have already been back from Easter Break for two weeks now. Since Easter Break I have been busy with uni work and just exploring Sydney some more. It’s so nice that I now know my way around town, Sydney definitely makes me feel right at home.

Right after East Break, some of my friends that I had met while in New Zealand and Mike my friend from Minnesota came to visit. I was so excited to show them the amazing place we live. I also took them to Bondi Beach and did the Coastal Walk with them as well. The Coastal Walk will most likely be one of the last things I do before I come home because it’s gorgeous and will never get old.

That following weekend we went to the Sydney Aquarium which was well worth the money. We were able to see one of the largest crocodiles in the world, walk through a glass tunnel filled with heaps of sharks, manatees, sting rays, and also see the tiny creatures such as jellies, sea horses, eels, clown fish, etc. After our day at the aquarium, we headed to the Lindt Chocolate Bar. Yummm! All of the cakes, ice cream, and drinks were made with Lindt Chocolate.

The next day some friends and I went to Glebe Markets which we had gone to when we first arrived but wanted to check out again. The markets were a successful day for everyone with Betsy buying new outfits for her birthday which was last week Tuesday, and I got a skirt for FREE! There was a stain on the back of it and the women just let me have it because she said she wouldn’t be able to sell it.

On Sunday we did our weekly run to Paddy’s Markets, and then Betsy and I went to eat brunch at St. Johns College. We had met some friends there who invited us to come over and eat and once again I felt like I was eating at Hogwarts. The dining hall had long wooden tables, a head table where Dumbledore would sit and huge rounded windows amongst the beautiful architecture. I literally sat there waiting for the owls to fly in with mail… Not only was the dining hall gorgeous, but the cathedral attached as well!

This past Friday, we ventured out in fancy dresses to the area of Sydney known as The Rocks, had a fancy dinner (this was the first actual nice restaurant we had been to since coming here), and hung out that night in the many pubs around The Rocks including The Lowenbrau, The Argyle, and also the oldest pub in all of Sydney. It was a good change of pace hanging out with some people of the older generation.

It was ANZAC Day here in Sydney this weekend. ANZAC stands for Australian, New Zealand, Army Corps: in other words Veterans Day. All the soldiers were out in full force playing a betting game called 2up. And like I have said before, Australians love their public holidays.

And now for the best part: quite possibly one of my favorite nights in Sydney. On Saturday night we were invited to one of our friend’s (who plays water polo at Sydney Uni) 21st birthday party. It was at a great venue in Sydney that included food all night long, music, and speeches given by his family and friends! It was neat to experience such an extravagant event. That same night we got in VIP at a club in Darling Harbor.

As you can tell I am still living the dream and even as the weather gets a little cooler nothing can take the smile off my face.

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Emma: Taking it all in

March 14, 2010

I have now successfully completed my second week of classes and find myself wondering  where the time has gone. There is no possible way I have already been in Sydney for a month!?

I don’t have class on Mondays, so some friends and I trekked to Coogee Beach for a nice relaxing afternoon. We found some rocks to climb on and an amazing wading pool type thing and had fun jumping in the water, getting pounded by waves, and soaking up the sun. I could not think of a better way to spend my Mondays.

On Tuesday, I started my internship at the Brain and Mind Research Institute. I am working on a project involving youth mental health and sleep patterns. The internship should be relatively interesting once it gets rolling and the people I work with are a ton of fun. As of now, I am only working there 2 days a week so I am still able to have my 4-day weekend.

Every Tuesday a bunch of people head to a bar called Scruffy Murphy’s, so this week we decided to try it out. It’s an Irish Pub but reminded us so much of the bars back at home. On one floor there was a live band, and in the basement was a regular DJ (not like the DJ’s back home—all they play is techno dance music here.

This week we successfully planned our Easter Break trip. We will be flying into Surfer’s Paradise staying there a few days, taking a bus to Byron Bay, visiting Nimbin, and then ending up at our friend Simon’s holiday house.

I am sure you can tell by now I have been spending heaps of time at the beaches, but when you live so far from the ocean at home, I feel the need to take it all in. This weekend was filled with an extremely long walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee beach, visiting all of the beaches in between. There is path right along the ocean that takes you to all these places with different landmarks along the way. SO BEAUTIFUL. Everywhere I go I am still amazed at the fact I am living in such a gorgeous part of the world. We also went to a Surf Competition at Bondi Beach. It was so amazing to see something like this in real life.

My friends and I also kept with tradition this weekend and did our weekly run to the market for fresh food. We are also trying a new breakfast café each Saturday because there are so many cute little ones everywhere you look. We have also enjoyed finding parks to go and have picnics in. While we were walking to a new park last week, we ran into a store called British Sweets and Treats. When we went inside, they had heaps of candy from the UK and also the US. The only problem: a bag of reeses cost $55.00. You did read that correctly, $55.00 What a joke! And Hershey Kisses were not much better at $65.00 a bag.

I am flying out for New Zealand on Thursday and cannot even wait! Look for a blog coming about my New Zealand Adventures.

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Emma: busy week out & about

March 7, 2010

What a week it has been. I spontaneously booked a flight to New Zealand for March 18. One of my friends from MN is studying in Auckland so I am going to go visit him for 5 days. I am so excited and it really should be an adventure.

On Friday we walked to the Fish Market for lunch. There is basically a ton of seafood for sale, literally anything you could imagine. They will prepare any seafood for you, so one of my friends and I split this platter with a ton of different fish, shellfish, octopus, crab, and so much more. It was so delicious and the whole time we really had no idea what we were eating…

Saturday morning my friends and I woke up early to head to the farmers market. We got there, saw how overpriced everything was, and then decided to go to Paddy’s again because it is so much cheaper there. We also decided that we are going to try a new breakfast café every Saturday on our way to the markets. It’s pretty standard to be able to get an egg sandwich or toast and coffee or tea for $5.

That afternoon we ventured out to Bondi Beach and after taking a bus, 2 trains, and another bus we made it. There was a huge group of us and it was fun just to lay out, jump the waves, and soak up the sun. I am not kidding when I say I literally could do that every single day of my life! I was definitely born to live on the beach. There is actually a TV show similar to Baywatch only real life that is filmed on Bondi and also the surrounding beaches. We didn’t see any exciting rescues, but it’s still crazy to see the amount of lifeguards out on watch.

Saturday night we had our first college experience… We had met some guys in St. Johns College earlier in the week and they invited us over to hang out. When I we walked through the college all I could say was “True Life I live at Hogwarts.” Their courtyard is legit—straight out of a Harry Potter Movie. One of the guy’s rooms had all built in wooden shelves and rounded windows on one whole wall. The whole inside of the building was just so old and beautiful I could not believe my eyes.

View of Sydney from Darling Harbor

Today we ventured out to Darling Harbor, making a pit stop through China Town, and went to the Maritime Museum. It was interesting to learn about all the Nautical History of Australia. Darling Harbor is such a cool upbeat area with tons of modern restaurants and bars. There are also fountains everywhere and tons of people were just jumping in them and swimming. Nothing you would see at home, haha.

My new favorite thing of the week is Picnic candy bars. I have also been drinking a lot of chi tea, and I drink tea every morning and every night. Yummm…

Something else random here is that your allowed to take shopping carts from the stores and push them around the city. This means there are literally shopping carts left everywhere, but it is completely normal. HA!

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Emma: Lovely

February 26, 2010

Today marks the end of what has been the best vacation of my life haha… Uni starts tomorrow and even though the fun will continue I am sure things are going to begin to calm down a little. Surprise surprise I don’t have class on Mondays or Fridays so I am going to continue to live the dream with a four day weekend!

This past week my friends and I did some more sight seeing events around Sydney. On Wednesday we walked a good 8 miles round trip to The Botanical Gardens and Opera House. SO beautiful with so many exotic plants and trees. At one point in the park there were bats EVERYWHERE! Sooo disgusting and you all know about my fear of rodent type things so I was so creeped out. But hey the good thing is that they do not have squirrels here.

I finally felt like I was really in Sydney once I saw the Opera House. I have decided that by the time I leave here I will have eaten dinner at the restaurant there. I don’t care what it takes.

On our walk back we found a store called Cotton On, and I am not kidding when I say none of us could stop smiling the whole time we were there. It is like the Forever 21 of Australia so all the clothes were super cheap. It felt so good to finally see something I could actually afford.

The next day called for another afternoon at the beach! I went to Coogee with Joey and Bernie my friends from MN. This time was a little more relaxing and it was an absolutely gorgeous day! That night the director of SUV (Sydney University Village) had a Spanish Fiesta party. We got free pizza, Coronas, and sangria! After the party a bunch of us went to Kelly’s Irish Pub for Karaoke..interesting to say the least!

I am now fully stocked with fresh fruits and veggies. Yesterday we went to Paddy’s Markets and I got SOO many fruits and veggies for only $8 it was amazing but a little overwhelming at first. We are going to make this a weekly event to buy fresh food!

Yesterday we layed out at a friends pool and I had my first meat pie. Delicious, but hard to eat. We have been told we cannot leave the country until we are able to eat a meat pie without any utensils. The challenge is on.

My new food of the week is 100’s and 1000’s they are like sprinkles and you are supposed to put them on toast with lots of butter. I am actually going to go and try now. yummm

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Emma: G’day mate!

February 23, 2010

2 weeks later and I am still living the dream, smiling non-stop, and wondering what exciting adventure is about to happen next!

Right now it is O-Week on campus (Orientation Week) so there is a ton of free food and events going on. At Sydney University Village (the place I am living) we had a free BBQ on Sunday including sausages and burgers. After the BBQ we walked down to Victoria Park where the start of Mardi Gras Festival was taking place! The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras here in Sydney is the second largest Mardi Gras in the world! The festival was pretty interesting to say the least…drag queens, music and food everywhere. Fantastic! The parade is next week so if we venture down to that, I am sure there will be plenty of interesting stories….

Monday Feb 22 was a pretty lazy day, did some laundry which is outrageous..$4.50 a load just to wash and not dry. Sooo I hung my clothing all over my room to dry because I am doing all I can to save money. HA!

Last night we went on a pub crawl all around Newtown, which is the part of town that I live in so all the pubs were within walking distance. For a Monday night there were a good amount of people that went out. It was a good mix of people from OZ, the US (saying that 70% of the people who live where I do are Americans) and a few from Europe.

The next day called for what we thought would be a lazy day at the beach. Our friend Xan took us to Coogee Beach in the afternoon, on the way the way there we drove through Centennial park, saw the blue line that traced the route for the Sydney Olympic Marathon (obviously I thought this was cool) met up with one of his friends and headed to the beach. It was very windy day and a little cool (okay not as cold as home but still cool) so the waves were a little intense. We went in the water for ohh about 2 min got rocked. Lost both my contacts, was on the verge of drowning with my friend Lindsey (not really but still) and then our friend got stung by a jelly fish..sounds pretty relaxing hey!?

After the events of the beach we went back to Xan’s home (where I was blind for the about the next 6 hours because I was an idiot and didn’t take extra contacts to the beach with me). His mum invited the girls and I to stay for dinner. The dinner consisting of curry, bananas with coconut, cucumber salad, so many sauces and so so much more was absolutely delicious. It was nice to have a good home cooked meal! Xan’s family are the kindest and the most caring individuals ever. They are so funny and sometimes I wish people in the US could laugh and joke as much as people do here.

Today we are walking down to the Botanical Gardens, seeing the Opera House and doing all that good stuff!

I have also decided that I will be bringing home an entire suitcase of Tim Tams(amazing chocolate cookies). They are my life and I have already gone through 2 packs in a week! I was also taught that if you bite off alternate corners put it in tea or hot cocoa and suck like a straw until you taste the liquid and then put it the whole cookie in your mouth you will be in heaven. Mmmm

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