Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Thursday June 7th: Phillip Island

     I'm so bad at this these days. I have to be doing something else to encourage myself to blog. At this point my laptop is propped up on my lap (oh, I guess that's why they call them that huh?) on the passenger seat (which is on the left side of the car in this country. O.o) of Josh's car as we head to his home town of Shepparton and more specifically Mooroopna. I mentioned these places beforehand at the end of the Grampains post and I'm excited to take more pictures and do some more Geocaching (one of my new favourite things in the world and worthy of another post).but in the mean time, let me tell you about Phillip Island.

      I yo-yoed about going to Phillip Island for weeks, i wasn't sure if there would be enough to see and do but I'm glad I went. It is an expensive little island outside of Melbourne that is famous for its Penguins. Phillip Island  has a large residency of Fairy Penguins which is the smallest species of penguin and the kind we saw at the beach in my first week here. There is some discussion as to why they  are now called "Little Penguins" I've been told that there was some uproar about the gay community and the world "fairy" having homosexual connotations. This implies either that penguin enthusiasts are upset at the prospect of little penguins being gay, or that homosexuals should be concerned about being thought of as too penguin like. Either way, which, if it is either, it's the homophobic pro penguin squad, it's stupid and I don't really think this is the case but it seems to be a widely accepted story among Aussie Uni students.

     Trouble with these penguins are they have be turned into a tourist attraction and you have to pay something like $22 to see them and you can take no pictures - it scares them, that makes sense but they were so cute and I want to share these moments with you! You go out to the dunes about an hour before sunset, sit on a set of bleachers for quite some time as it gets dark and you wait for "The Penguin Parade" when hundreds of penguins pop out of the sea and run across the beach to get back to their burrows for the night. There are lights on the beach to give tourists a better look but if you didn' t have your glasses on or have little luck with dim lighting you were likely going to want your money back. We saw something like 600 little blue birds and shivered our way through an hour of watching them scaper across the beach and rocks. Once the majrty passed by we walked back up through the dunes on a boardwalk that wove through the burrows. It was a confinous mess of penguins squawking and singing and calling. It was like being in a Canadian swamp in spring but instead of frogs and crickets you're surrounded by thousands of adorable little flightless birds with bellies so full of fish someone them can't hold their weight upright. It really is a little magical. I'll try to find some pictures online when I get some internet back (Betsy doesn't have wifi). 

      Otherwise we spent the day driving around the island finding cool places to take walks and climb things and have d&m's. Didn't take a crazy amount of pictures and didn't take a single one with me in it but I swear I was there. Some highlights:

I don't know why these cows are a thing, someone wants to breed cows and teddy bears I guess.

Aussie surfer gang signs.

We drove 40 min both ways to see this dock at high and low tide. I love water as much as the next person (maybe more), but geeze that was the longest trip for a 5 min bathroom break ever. 

There's no place like...

Monday, 18 June 2012

Mail Time: Matt Carson Edition

      I feel like I'm running out of things to say about getting mail. I love it so much and I'm getting more personal mail now then I likely will ever again and I love it so much (did I say that already?). I  sometimes feel like blogging about it is my way of expressing how much it means to me, but at the same time that I can't express really how much it means to me when I'm really trying to express that to one person (did I say 'express' and 'how much it means to me' enough in that sentence?). So I fear I'm not going to be able to exude to you the reader or to the author of anything I receive just how happy it makes me.

      Last week I got my (non Gordo inspired ;) ) letter from a Mr. Matt Carson. Actually, it was really my first letter too. I've gotten cards (or the post and greeting variety) and packages (of the mail variety, you filthy minded scoundrel)  but this is the first letter - pen on paper (recycled paper!) page after page of loving words and smile inspiring ... words (is there a synonym to 'words'?). It was wonderful, sits next to my bed on top of my well wishes and happy thoughts book and I can't wait to see give Matt in person all the hugs I've tried to give this little bundle of paper.

      Which I will do. In 17 days. Shiza.

     There's no place like...

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Tumblr Explains Everything

If TORONTO STRIFE is for Aussies to see what T.O is like.

THIS is for Canucks to understand my life at Monash... okay, maybe not all my life but student life.

There's no place like...

May 25th-29th - The Grampians: A Complete and Utter Adventure

     While looking at the camping stuff in Josh's car Amanda walks by:

Amanda: Wow, you have a lot of camping stuff there.

Josh and I: Sure do.
Amanda: Yeah, you could go camping like, tomorrow if you wanted to.
Josh and I: Yeah.... yeah we could...
     And then we went.

     A note we left in the common room at 8 am that read:

"Moose and J-Mac have run away together- the hall isn't big enough for the both of us."

     And we didn't know when we were coming back, we didn't know where we were staying. We had Lemon Lime Bitters and 4 boxes of cookies. And we drove in the rain. Listening to various kick ass road trip songs.

     Until we drove past a gourge-

Ooo, that looks cool.

Me: Yeah, I wonder what it is?
Josh: Wanna go find it and find out?
Me: F*ck yeah.

     And then we did.

     Trying to find out way back to the highway we went past this and I made Josh do a Uturn to go back so I could take pictures.

     YAY! Quinte Area wins at something against Australia! We have the bigger fruit based tourist attraction!

     Then we saw a sign that said "Scenic Look Out 5km >"

     So we went there.

     Windy as hell.

Behind Josh is where we'd come from.

That is where we are going.

     After going for a walk and taking cute tree climbing pictures (see facebook) we got back into the car as fast as we could to escape the wind. It however didn't want us to leave and expressed this by pulling my hair into the door.

     We found kangaroo's in Halls Gap on the way to the campsite (kanga's and campsites are in the video) and headed out to MacKenzie Falls (also in the video, but here are some pictures):

     Gorgeous. No we did not stay on the path, what would be in the fun in that?

     Sunset was at about 6pm so we headed back the campsite to have dinner by the campfire. Remember that wood in the video? (If not remember this for said video wood) Not dry. Not dry at all. Could not for the life of me get it lit. So green and so damp. I tried for an hour as Josh made dinner. When it became clear there was no way we were going to get a fire and that the one torch (flashlight) we had was not going to cut it we decided to go inside the tent, hunker down into our many blankets and have dinner and Bowler's Run by the light of our iPods. :) We talked for hours into the darkness of the night but since it was so dark and cold out there was no point stay up past 9pm anyway.

      Day 2 was lots of hiking, high places and lookouts. Lots of jumping safey barriours and crawling out where ever we were told not to. Don't worry Mom, anyone watching always knew to send my body back to Canada.

     That night we stayed at Josh's friend Vanessa's house in Stawell (pronounced Stall with a long 'a' if you ask an Aussie). A really sweet girl her life is being ruined by a lazy manager at the local McDonalds. She dropped out of school to move into the middle of no where with this guy to flip a house. They've had it for quite some time and have done ever little. If she doesn't get out of this fast she never will and is such a shame.

     They insisted we go to see The Giant Koala and I still hadn't cuddled one yet, so it's of course we went, and of course I cuddled it.

     Then came what is always hte hardest thing to log about - the most amazing part. I've been trying to describe the feeling of what places like Mount Hollow do to me - I've ranted about it several times over skype and Matt even tried to screen grab it as a video, I wish we knew of a way were you could do that because I get into this strange mood when I talk about it and don't really know how to express myself. All I can say is that its one of my favourite feelings. Its got to be a kind of zen, I bet you can get it from meditation. A moment where it is just me, no thoughts, no judgements, no questions just a purity and clarity of moment where I know that there is nothing else but me. My worth does not rely on other, on objects on experience. My worth and who I am is contained in my body and no where else. I feel more focused and in my own self then any other moment - I felt this way when I was on top of the mountain in the outback. Something about climbing mountains does this to me I think. Common factors were that both time i started the jounry with someone but got to the top on my own, and the sun was up (or in the first cast was setting). I could see for kilometers and there was little in my way. Who knows maybe it was the higher altitue and I was getting less oxygen but all I know is that now I feel the need to seek it out. Check out the pictures.

      I wasn't ready to go home, but we'd done most of the stuff that we could in the area so Josh suggested we go to Shepaerton/MooRoopna where he grew up so we could drop off the camping gear. He called his parents and told them we would be there in a few hours (which I was shocked about, my mom would freak if I dropped in like that) and we drop cross country blasting The Glitch Mob going far to fast and having a dangerous blast.
I took no pictures in Shep, but some where taken of me and once I get them it will be in a very interesting update.

      The current plan is to go back to Shepp before I go because there were some cool things I missed out on doing there (anyone whos been there will know I'm talking basically only about Kidstown) and there will be another update about that trip when it happens.

Oh and here's the aforementioned video:

20 Days to Go

There's no place like...

Monday, 11 June 2012

June 4th - Melbourne Aquarium

     Katherine and I went to the Melbourne Aquarium last week and had a blast. She and I met on the One Fish Two Fish trip(though the actually moment we met is still under contention). She's from Montreal and it is her existence why more people call me Moose now then Kathryn as she is another Canadian Kathryn/erine and we couldn't have two running around.
     She was in Melbourne for a couple days and suggested we go to the Aquarium for which I was stoked. I had had a chance to go earlier in my trip but the day before going I lost my phone and had to budget money for its replacement. Regardless, I'm glad I got to go with Katherine, we had a great day.
     We unfortunely got stuck in between two school groups, so here is what I've done. I've made two videos - one with my commentary and adorable 6 years old excitement...

...but with that comes the the not so adorable 6 year old excitment of 45 sceaming children. To prevent that I made a second video with all the sound cut out and relaxing music overtop, so you can enjoy the fishes and their majesty without the little ones. Your choice. 

     Afterwards we headed up to Degrave Street for Crepes. We split a savory cheese and mushroom and a sweet rasperry white chocolate and coconut. Delicious.

      Then we took the free tram around the CBD, which was nice to get to sit down and chat because it was rainy, we didn't get to see much of the city fogged up windows or the rain covered glass but the second tram we got on had annoucments over the PA describing where we were. (I really did not get to explore Melbourne as much as I would have if I had lived in the city. I'm really excited to move closer to downtown T.O. so that I can make sure I don't let that happen again). Finally before heading to the train station to send Katherine back to the airport we went for cupcakes. So cute (hopefully Katherine will put pictures on FB soon so I can prove to you that I was there too).

     A very good rainy day in the city. I'm planning on heading out to Sydney (hopefully) in a couple weeks so I hope I get to spend another fun day with Katherine there.
There's no place like...

UPDATE: Yay! She did! Its not that great of a face I'm making but whatever! We'll deal!

Saturday, 9 June 2012


     Australian's don't know how to watch a movie with their mouths shut. This is why I blog when we watch things.
     Also, I have a face that holds the answers apparently. Answers to? Everything. I just have this face that makes me seem like I know stuff. I always look like I work at whatever store I'm in and every person who lives in Deakin and has English as a second language accosts me with inquiries about the most random stuff. Someone asked me recently - as I leaving the bathroom - how much did I think a tattoo would cost.
     Currently I've got a headache, I'm trying to be social but I just can't be bothered watching the 10th episode of Big Bag Theory (as much as I do like it) while a room full of people chirp at me about things I don't care about.
     The countdown to how much longer I have here is now being counted in days. 25. Holy crap. Regardless of how annoyed I am at this moment 25 days left in this country still terrifies me and I don't wish it to be true.
      There's no place like...

Friday, 8 June 2012

Why I'm Falling Behind

Blogging is hard when you don't have any homework to do. When I don't have anything to distract myself from by blogging, I am less likely to want to or feel the pressure to do it. I'm still alive and well. The countdown to departure is now happening in DAYS rather then months and that really frightens me but until later this week when I should be studying will I find the need to blog about it. :P

Videos sure to come soon.

There's no place like...