Friday, June 25, 2010

What we learned in Australia

--Kangaroos and koalas are even cuter than you think they will be in real life.
--Go with the flow; there doesn't always have to be a "plan." Sometimes the most fun comes from pure spontaneity.
--If the pirate ship is out of commission, go whale watching.
--Tim Tams are delicious by themselves, amazing with milk, and even better with hot chocolate.
--No matter what Aussies try to convince you, this continent is dangerous. If you aren't worried about sharks, spiders, snakes, crocodiles, or jellyfish...worry about near explosion when a car slams on its brakes in front of a truck loaded with a million gallons of gasoline.
--Vegemite is unnatural and disgusting.
--Whenever we try to do an Australian accent impersonation, it will always sound British to our Aussie friends.
--It is easy to turn almost everything Becky says into some sort of sexual innuendo.
--The American school system is better and makes more sense than the Australian one.
--Time is relative on public transportation.
--Not all sharks want to eat you.
--Spending 24/7 with the same person doesn't get old or annoying if you're careful to pick just the right person.
--Skype makes the world seem a lot smaller.
--It's fun to have silly obsessive crushes, even if they never amount to anything.
--Don't waste too much time being shy and closed off from new people, because when you finally start to know and love them, it will be time to leave them.
--Free entertainment is usually the best entertainment.
--Getting lost can be an adventure, so chill out and enjoy the scenery if you lose your way.
--Leave your door unlocked and your facebook unattended, and someone will probably create a bogus status without you knowing so everyone back home thinks you really did get caught walking around naked this morning.
--You're never too old for glowsticks, tiaras, or paint by numbers.
--I'm really lucky to have people who love me enough to travel halfway across the globe to pay me a visit. Which leads me to...
--If you're going to move halfway across the globe, move somewhere exciting and fun that people will want to visit.
--Ugg boots aren't shoes, they're slippers. And everyone should have a pair. (Boys included)
--Dance parties are just as fun in Australia as they are in America.
--When Becca is getting grumpy, feed her.
--Surfing is hard.
--Don't expect the perfect places on postcards to have perfect weather all the time. Rain happens. Put on a rainjacket and deal with it.
--Australia and America have very different ideas of what constitutes a hot dog.
--America needs to discover aioli sauce.
--We are granola!!!
--Things that initially scare you out of your mind usually leave you with the best memories.
--Cricket is a boring and pointless sport, but AFL is fun to watch. I still don't get rugby.
--As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as a mean Australian.
--Time always goes by too fast so live in the moment and focus on the "want to's" more than the "have to's"

All good things must come to an end

Well, that's all folks. Back to the U.S.A.

I'm currently writing in a state of jetlag-induced insomnia. My body tells me it's 8:00 p.m., but in actual Tulsa time it's 5:00 a.m. And I've been up for 2 hours already! Yikes. The good news: plenty of time to update you all on the last of our Australia adventures.

The AFL game was so much fun!!! Our friend Josh has a cousin who works for the Sydney Swans so she was nice enough to give us some free tickets. We got to the stadium and were so excited to discover that our tickers were in the CORPORATE BOX. We felt very important. We had our own box that was undercover (which came in handy when it started raining in the 2nd half), our own refrigerator, and the injured Sydney Swans sitting in the box right next to us! Josh's cousin even came to chat and brought us food! As if all that wasn't enough, it was an incredibly close and exciting game that ended in a Swans win! What more could 2 Americans ask for? Pictures with some players? Oh wait, got that.

Our music theater performances went really well! It was an exhausting experience, but in the end I think we both came up with great pieces. It will be a fun memory to take home with us. We finished our performances by mid-morning and spent the rest of the day enjoying the fact that we were done with music theater FOREVER! I went to the UBar with the rest of my group members to have a celebratory drink for being done. Then I came back for lunch and Becca and I continued the celebrating by making puppy chow and watching Finding Nemo (well, we watched part and napped through the rest). We've been wanting to watch for awhile since the movie takes place in none other than AUSTRALIA. When Nemo is finally found, he's in Sydney! Classic. That night we concluded our day of fun by going to see Sex and the City 2 with our friend Sarah. It was cute, but not as good as the first movie. Still a lovely ending to a fun day.

We spent the next 2 days trying to get into study mode. We weren't entirely successful, but successful enough to the point that we felt decent about the way our Australian Media final went on Thursday. Our reward for finishing with Aussie school after our one and only final? Patti Long came to town!!!

She was only here for 5 days but we packed in alot of fun. We went on a tour of the Hunter Valley for the madre's first full day in Australia. She even got to feed kangaroos and pet a koala at a wildlife park on our way to the wine country! Other highlights of her visit included: walking the harbor bridge, enjoying Pancakes on the Rocks and a Tim Tam slam for the first time, singing and dancing along at ABBA MANIA (exactly what it sounds like: cute cover band posing as ABBA and insisting that we stand up and join in...which we did, obviously), shopping at markets in the Rocks and Bondi Beach, enjoying Vivid Sydney festivities (this is a yearly festival that includes a free 45 minute theatrical show in the harbor and images being projected on famous monuments like St. Mary's Cathedral and the Opera House). Becca got to take part in most of the Long ladies fun. She also went to the IES farewell dinner to say goodbye to all our IES peeps. Congrats to Miss Lauten for getting 2nd place in the photo contest! She's such a pro. Becca came over for a sleepover on mom's last night. Our hotel was right in Circular Quay so it was the perfect location to be around all the Vivid Sydney fun. Thanks to Ricky and his Marriot points for making that possible!

After Patti-Long-the-one-and-only left, we had 7 days to cram in as much Sydney fun as possible before we left. We planned to go on a cruise on the tallship we've been seeing sailing around the harbor all semseter. But as luck would have it, when we went to buy our tickets we found out that the ship's last sail of the season had been 2 days earlier! Bummer. Luckily, we had a plan B: WHALE WATCHING! Whales are Becca's favorite animal in the whole wide world, you know. We spent 4 hours out in the ocean scouting humpback whales. We saw 3! we were grateful to have windjackets supplied by the boat so we could focus on watching whales and not how freezing we were in the path of the ocean wind.

We spent another day saying goodbye to all things Macquarie/DLC. Had a drink with some friends at the UBar to congratulate them on being done with finals, gave our favorite crossing guard friend a hug, had a pizza feast with Adina & Chelsea (2 Americans living at DLC who love food almost as much as we do) and went to the Ranch to have one last Berry Blast and take a picture with the infamous "Hump" sign.

An unexpected day of fun was when we took a free ferry from Circular Quay to Cockatoo Island, where there was a free art exhibit for Sydney's Biennale celebration. Cockatoo Island is an old industrial island filled with old cranes, warehouses, and factories. All the art was dispersed throughout the old structures. The island is cool enough on its own but put pieces of art in the old buildings and it's even better! We walked around the whole island and came across all kinds of art. Some weird (like the pitch black rooms with creepy movies playing), some were fun (like the big green balls that were suspended from the ceiling and filled an entire room), and some were super cool (like the glitter art!). After our art adventure, we spent the night writing a song for our Australian friends. We picked a popular song for each of our friends (ex: Backstreet Boys "Larger Than Life," Keisha "Tik Tok," Michael Jackson "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough") then rewrote the lyrics to correspond to inside jokes with that person. We put it all together in one big mash-up and it was our present to them so they won't forget us. We had fun giggling the night away and trying to stay quiet so no one would hear what we were doing.

Our last big activity was the Bondi to Coogee walk. This is a famous walk along the coast that we'd been wanting to do all semseter. It certainly lived up to our expectations and then some! Just the image of Australia we wanted to leave with. We enjoyed lunch at Moo Burger with Sam, a friend from Tulsa who lives in Coogee. We also said goodbye to two of our IES friends, Megan and Christina. I HATE goodbyes! We came back to DLC and got ready for our last night out on the town. It ended up just being the girls who went out to the city which was way fun. We danced the night away and said one last goodbye to the Sydney night life. (I'll say it again, I HATE goodbyes)

Our last day in Sydney had to be spent packing. Yuck. Where did all this stuff come from?! I'm surprised we made everything fit. We went out to dinner with some of our DLC friends that night. We were so flattered that 12 of them came to chow down on some pizza. It was fun to have everyone together one last time. Fun, and at the same time so so sad. In our plan to say no to jet lag, we decided to stay up alllllll night so we would crash on the plane (and by crash I mean crash into sleep, not literally into the ground). Activities included: taking down the photo heart (which was heart breaking, pun intended), watching episodes of Friends, cheering on Brazil in the 4:30 a.m. World Cup match, chatting with grandparents on skype, eating a late night snack of EasyMac, and reflecting onhow much we love this country and its people. We actually did it and stayed up all night! Who knew?!

Our final send-off couldn't have been better. Aussie friends started waking up around 8 a.m. We played some Uno, enjoyed one last DLC brekkie, then let everyone listen to our finished musical masterpiece. We all laughed through the whole song. After the last note played, we realized it was time to go. The tears started and didn't stop. Everyone helped us get our bags outside then we got our last hugs and goodbyes (did I mention how much I HATE goodbyes?) The icing on top: our precious friends made a tunnel of their outstrected arms for us to walk through as we staggered toward the train station overloaded with all our luggage. They stood and waved infront of DLC until we turned the corner and couldn't see them anymore. A fairy tale way to say goodbye! Of course the entire time, Becca and I are both bawling uncontrollably. By the time we made it to the train station, we were incapable of speech. Short words/phrases such as "best ever" "perfect" and "miss them" were all we could get out . We spent the hour long train ride thinking about how lucky we are to have had such an amazing experience and being thankful that we had each other to share it with.

A 14 hour flight, 9 hour LAX layover (after inhaling a delicious On the Border meal, we spent our entire layover sprawled out on the dirty floor at gate 45), and 3 hour flight later (with an L.A. Laker onboard!)...we were back in DFW. Waiting for us when we made it to baggage claim around midnight were the Lautens, Patti Long, Uncle Sam Long, Kendal, and Daniel. Not to mention a sour cream cheesecake for Becca and JD's cookies for Becky. Mmmmmm. There were lots of hugs then Becca headed off for a Whataburger feast and I devoured some Panera my lovely mother had picked up for me. Can you tell we were really looking forward to the food we had been missing out on for the past 5 months?!

And there you have it. Back to reality. It already feels like a dream as I'm sitting here in my kitchen; back into the normal routine. Did that all really happen? Answer: yes. This was a once in a lifetime experience that we will remember forever. Thanks so much for sharing this journey with us! We love you all!

Cheering on the Sydney Swans from our corporate box seats!

Becky's group "Team Awesome" after their music theater performance (our theme was the morning routine...hence the pajamas)

Becoming wine experts in Hunter Vally

Long women take on the Harbor Bridge

Patti makes a koala friend named Meg!

One of the buildings lit up for Vivid Sydney

Expert whale watchers

Whale sighting!!!

Here's a video of us at the end of our whale adventure!

We nicknamed him Hagrid because he looks like Hagrid in mini-form, don't you think?

Pizza anyone?

Goodbye Ranch...goodbye Berry Blasts...goodbye awkward "Hump" sign

One of our favorite exhibits at Cockatoo Island

The most impressive glitter art you've ever seen

Loving Cockatoo Island!

Some of the gorgeous scenery on our Bondi to Coogee walk

Becca in front of a cool tide pool on our walk

Becca, Sarah, Sam, and Becky ready for one last night on the town

Dinner with our sweet friends on our last night. Miss them already!

Bye Sydney! It's been fun! We'll be back someday!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's June Already?


It's Becky here to update you on the fabulous lives of Becky & Becca (or "B squared" as some Aussies like to call us). May flew by and it's hard to believe that we leave in a little over 2 weeks! We are really looking forward to seeing all you fun people and eating some good Mexican food (Chipotle in particular), but it's definitely going to be hard to leave all our new friends and this amazing city. We've been doing our best to pack as much fun as possible into our last Sydney days. What have we been doing exactly? Well...

May 16: Baking up a storm! We had planned to bake some cakeballs at our friends' apartment, but as luck would have it their apartment flooded the day we were set to bake! Luckily some of our other American friends took pity on us and let us use their kitchen. Making cake balls in Australia was quite an experience. Their chocolate melts weird...the oven is in celsius degrees...we struggled. Based off of our other cooking failures (quesadillas that were either burned or covered in butter, mac n cheese that took forever to make because the water wouldn't boil, "hot dogs" that weren't actually hot name a few) I have decided that it's just harder to cook in this country. Despite difficulties, we soldiered on and made our cake balls. The prettiness factor wasn't there, but they tasted DELICIOUS. And they were gone within 2 days. We introduced Australia to puppy chow a few days later, too. Oh the amazingness of puppy chow...and we can make it in our dorm since we have access to microwaves! Jackpot!

May 17: Movie night! For my first ever movie experience in Australia we went to see "Letters to Juliet" with some American friends. Fun fact about Australian movie theaters: they have assigned seating. Who would have thought? The movie was cute. One of those that is super predictable and cheesy but still charming. We all died laughing about the last line. The sparknotes version: Boy falls from balcony. Girl rushes to his side and says "Can you move?" Boys response: "Only my lips." They kiss. Credits roll. The cheesiness of it is STILL killing me.

May 22: We tried to go out for a fun night in the city. It rained. We ran in heels. It was not a success. We did play Bananagrams, though. And no night is a complete failure when Bananagrams is involved!

May 23: We were supposed to go to a rugby match with our study abroad group, but it was going to take us 3 hours of public transportation time to get to a game that would probably only last a little more than an hour. Plus it was raining, and our seats were in an uncovered "picnic area." There was a mutual decision that we should nix the rugby game and treat ourselves to a pizza feast instead. We each demolished our own pizza while watching New Moon. Success! These pizza nights have become a regularity when we don't like what's on the dinner menu. We had one last week on our last day of classes to celebrate. We sure do love food. Mmmmm.

May 28: I got an Australian driving lesson from Josh, one of my fav Australians. Don't worry, I only drove around campus and came across very few stoplights but I successfully drove on the LEFT (aka wrong) side of the street on the RIGHT (aka wrong) side of the car and didn't hit any curbs, people, or trees. And I did a right turn at an intersection (which is the equivalent of a left turn in the States) without freaking out! It was an incredibly entertaining/terrifying experience.

May 29: We have a list of things we want to do before we leave Sydney. On this list: find all the random art sculptures on our school's campus and take pictures with them. We ventured out on a rainy Saturday afternoon to accomplish this task. How many sculptures did we come across? 59!!!! Yes, f-i-f-t-y-n-i-n-e. It took us way longer than expected to find them all (and I think we STILL missed some) but we were quite pleased with ourselves and our art finding skills. Why Macquarie University has so much random art on campus is still unclear, but it does provide hours of entertainment!

May 30: Fun day at Luna Park and the Rocks! We took the train to Luna Park where Becca rode a ferris wheel for the first time EVER! At the top of the ferris wheel we had the most lovely view of the Harbor Bridge, Opera House, sailboats, and the city. It was just lovely. We enjoyed our ride (Becca is a natural ferris wheel pro) then walked across the Harbor Bridge to get to the Rocks. It was Becca's first time to walk across and my first time to be walking rather than running (the last time I crossed while a random monsoon decided to downpour gallons of water on me, Emma, and Sophie). While we were walking across, we both had a moment where we just had to pause and say "Wow. We live here." This city really is the most beautiful place. Once we made it to the Rocks, we wandered around taking pictures of some of our favorite places and did some shopping at the Rocks market. With all that walking we had to get some fresh squeezed lemonade to give ourselves a sugar boost to hold us over til dinner. The boost wore off, though, so we ended up sitting on a bench outside a pub with live music playing while we waited for the restaurants to open for dinner. We got to watch the sunset then wandered over to the cutest little Italian restaurant for some grub. We had always passed it and wanted to go in, so we decided tonight was the night! We both had a yummy pasta dish and treated ourselves to the most delicious piece of strawberry cheesecake at the restaurant next door before heading back to DLC. More "Sydney to do's" checked off our list!

June 4: A more successful night out in the city! We went out to celebrate our friend Sarah's 21st birthday. We played Twister, danced the night away to classics like "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and "Let's Hear It For The Boys" and had a great time with our DLC friends. The best part? The bar we were at was handing out FREE GLOWSTICKS AND LOLLIPOPS! We were very excited about this news. Next we headed off to say goodbye to our Aussie friend Sean who's leaving for a 5 month European backpacking adventure. It's so weird that the goodbyes are starting already! After giving Sean lots of hugs, we headed back to DLC and played in the dark with our glowsticks for the rest of the night. It's the simple things in life, ya know?

Other things we've been keeping busy with: Finishing our final paper for Intercultural Relations class, creating an original piece of art for our Contemporary Australian Arts final, practicing NON-STOP with our music theater groups for our 5 minute performance that is our final (video of that coming soon), sending hate vibes toward two of our really mean teachers, sending nicer vibes to our Australian teachers that we really like, eating lots of food, going to work out classes (fat burner with Liesl is our favorite), and other shenanigans.

What's next: our first AFL (Australian Football League) game tomorrow with Josh (He worked some magic and got us free tickets! Yes!), music theater performances on Monday, celebrating the end of music theater with puppy chow and Sex and the City 2 on Monday night, first (and only) final on Thursday afternoon, PATTI LONG ARRIVES ON THURSDAY MORNING!!!, fun with Patti Long in Sydney from June 10-15, then lots of fun and tearful goodbyes before we leave on June 21. Ahhhhh! I'm just so confused as to where the time has gone...?

We love you. We miss you. We can't wait to see you!

"Letters To Juliet" with Sarah, Brittany, and Jenny

Stuck in the rain on a not-so-successful night in the city

Treating ourselves to a delicious pizza feast when DLC food just doesn't cut it

ART! on Macquarie's campus. Confused? So are we. This is sculpture #8 that we found

There is no common theme between all the art on campus. It's just...there. Here's Becca modeling #51

Here it is folks: Becca on her first ferris wheel ride EVER!!!

Isn't our city beautiful?

On our walk across the Harbor Bridge

Sugar boost a la lemonade!

Sunset at the Rocks Market

Mmmmm cheesecake

Free Glowsticks!!!! (and also hours of entertainment)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Enjoying Sydney in May

It's been over 3 weeks since our last blog post! We know everyone has been DYING without us, so we are here to give you an update on our aussie lives.

Since our last post we have been very busy making the most of our time left. Currently, we have 43 days left in Sydney. CRAZY!

Recently we have...

-May 4th: Celebrated Star Wars Day- MAY the FORTH be with you...hahaha we had a marathon and watched 3 Star Wars movies, it was a fantastic, nerdy night.

-May 5th: CINCO DE MAYO!! We introduced the holiday to our Australian friends! We grabbed some margaritas at our go to easy mexican food restaurant, Mad Mex. This was the first time Cameron or Spida either had margaritas, and the quickly fell in love with them. The rest of the boys joined in the fun with either Coronas or tequila. I think they will make celebrating an annual tradition :)

-May 6th: Girls Night! Our dorm has a girl's night out in Chatswood at Chelsea bar and we enjoyed a drink out with the girls! We were back at 10:30 exhausted but had a lot of fun enjoying a "passionistic" drink :)

-May 8th: Sydney was having beautiful weather and so we ventured to the city to explore some markets! We started off at Paddy's Market which is a HUGE flea market type place. We then walked around the city and grabbed some Macca's (McDonalds) for a quick and healthy (ha) lunch. Becca experience her first Cupcakes on Pitt Street experience! We caught a train to historic area called The Rocks to explore another market. After that, we walked to Circular Quay to walk around the Opera House. We caught a ferry from one side of the harbour to the other to see Luna Park before heading back to our college. That night, we got all dressed up and made use of our public transport day passes by going back out to the city to help celebrate a friend's birthday. It was a fun night getting to enjoy great company.

-May 10th: May 14th was a PERFECT day. We got up and went to breakfast at our dorm to find out they had made hashbrowns which is a rare but glorious occasion. Becca checked the mail for her highly anticipated package including NEW MOON! The package had arrived and naturally freaked out with Becky about looking forward to watching the movie that night. Becky ended up having a package arrive on the exact same day which shockingly included New Moon as well!! How hilarious is that?! Both of us got packages with New Moon in it the same day?! We had been planning a dinner at Inferno, which is a pizza and pasta place that has an all-you-can-eat deal on Mondays. We had gathered a group together to eat the amazing pizza and pasta with us. The 6 of us ate until we literally couldn't eat anymore. We had created a tally system for how much we had ate and had all marked our amount on our arms through out the 2 hour meal. After stuffing our faces, we went back to our dorm to watch the "Servant Night" performances. Servant Night is a night at our dorm that was created to raise money for the annual ball at our dorm. Groups are formed and perform a routine they created before being auctioned off to people at our dorm. Groups of people pitch in money to buy the groups to be their servants for a day. Lots of money was made and we were definitely looking forward to seeing "Servant Day" on Thursday. We finally got to watch New Moon that night and had smiles on our faces the whole time. It was worth the wait.

May 13th: Servant Day!! So glad we were here to experience this day! The groups had to do all sort of hilarious things during the day but the highlights included guys dressing up as girls to go shopping at the mall, and guys having to jump into the pond at our school. That night, they were all dressed up in costumes that their "masters" picked out for them. The funniest looking were a group of guys who had dyed their bodies with blue dye to look like Avatars.

May 15th: We finally got our highly anticipated "Family Meal" at McDonald's. It included 2 Big Macs, 2 cheeseburgers, 4 small fries, a 6 pack chicken nugget, and 4 drinks. All for $20...which is a great deal here!! We ended up killing the meal in 10 minutes. Thats right, the whole thing in 10 minutes. Not sure if that's something to be proud of but it was on our to do list. We will definitely be working out tomorrow. We got to go watch an AFL (Australian Football League) game that one of our friends was playing in before relaxing and watching Sherlock Holmes.

We've been busy but the time in between all those events was spent sleeping, eating, studying, homework, working out, and watching movies.

We are looking forward to being able to bake tomorrow, and seeing a movie out with some friends on Monday! Somethings on our "to do" list (besides school stuff) is going on the ferris wheel at Luna Park, going on a Pirate Cruise, going to a Rugby game, and going to an AFL game! We have lots of schoolwork and fun in front of us and know these 43 days are going to pass so quickly!!

Shout out to the beautiful PATTI LONG who will be come our way so soon! Excited to see her!!

Hope all is well and look forward to hearing from you all :)

Cinco De Mayo Margaritas!

Aussie friends celebrating Cinco De Mayo...their new favorite holdiay

The 3 "Bec's" at our dorm on Girl's Night with our "Passionistics"

Beautiful day in the city after exploring the markets!

A rare moment! No one behind you in pictures at the Opera House!

Before going to The Argyle to celebrate a birthday!

Becky and Damo exhausted and showing their tallies after the eating contest

Our Avatar friends out on Servant Night

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reuniting with Sydney

Our first week back at school was...tough. It has been really good being back with friends though!

On Monday, we traveled to Coogee to pick up the rest of our dirty clothes and things we had left at Albert's and took him out to dinner as a thank you for being our storage center and place to sleep for a night. We went to Moo Burger where we had some delicious burgers, and get this, TIM TAM MILKSHAKES!! Perfection.

On Tuesday, we went with a few friends we hadn't seen in weeks to glow in the dark bowling in the city! It was a lot of fun and Becky got lots of strikes!

Thursday, was our Aussie friend Cameron's birthday so we went out to the Uni-bar (seriously, University owned bar!!) to help him celebrate. It was fun to be reunited with our DLC friends!

Friday was International Night at our dorm! We were supposed to dress up in a costume that represents our home. However, neither of us brought our cowboy boots, or anything really American (besides Nike shorts) when we thought about it. We had the brilliant idea of getting sombreros, fake mustaches, and wearing seniorita dresses and we would be Tex Mex! It was a phenomenal idea and we got lots of laughs. It was fun to see everyone dressed up and we enjoyed a 3 course meal at our dorm! There were funny games between the courses. One of them was Fear Factor and the people involved were in a contest to win a bottle of liquor. To win it though they had to eat a chicken foot, liver, a 21 day old fertilized egg (yes there had to actually eat a baby chicken ughhhh), and the final round was a jar of Vegemite! It was so horrifying and amusing to watch all at the same time. After the dinner, we were worn out after seeing such shenanigans, and watched a movie.

We have attempted to have a productive Saturday....unfortunately, things like rain really make us want naps rather than being productive.

Reality is sinking in though. We have lots of essays due soon and we are trying to get a head start on those.

We both got our first 2 grades back and are having to face the truth that Australians are harder graders and A's just aren't given. Seriously, the teachers give the grades back and say no one got A's despite the fact that some people did the assignment perfectly. In what world does that make sense? Anyways, we do our best and just accept that this won't be our best semester grade wise.

We had our first workshop for our Music Theatre class which was totally interesting! We now have a 2 hour workshop once a week with one hour focusing on vocals and one hour focusing on our dancing. This week we got to do improv and each one of you reading this knows that you missed out on that good time!!

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day which is a big holiday in Australia! ANZAC Day is about Australians and New Zealander's who have fought for their countries. We are planning on going to a parade in the city for that tomorrow! We look forward to it and also the fact that they cancel school for it meaning that this upcoming week is a 2 day week of school!!

Enjoying our Tim Tam Milkshake!!

Sean got a strike!!

Enjoying our bowling night!

Cameron's birthday festivities!

The Definition of Tex Mex

Part of the Fear Factor Challenge: Eating and entire jar of Vegemite! SICK!!

Hervey Bay & Fraser Island: The Land for Lots of Sleep

Our final blog post about our mid-semester break! It was a long break so it has lots of blog posts!

We awoke from our first night feeling very rested and to a tropical oasis! We looked out the window and were surrounded by green everywhere. We decided to explore the small town on the search for a grocery store so we could continue being economical travelers. We found a small grocery store and did our best to find foods that wouldn't be too much of a challenge for us to cook. We ended up getting spaghetti fixings, cereal, sandwich stuff, snacks, and what we thought were hot dogs. We decided to cook the "hot dogs" for lunch. Becky had the privilege of removing the film layer that wrapped the individual "hot dogs". We realized that these meat substances would not do well if we boiled them, so we busted out a skillet and did our best to work with the questionable meat. Because we are ninjas, we camouflaged the meat with bread and cheese so that our stomachs wouldn't be so mad at us.

After our delicious lunch, we decided to take a walk to the botanic gardens, which according to Becca's calculations weren't that far. They were farther than expected but only about a 45 minute walk. On the way there, we passed by a Woolworth's which we had to of course go into. We ended up getting some fruit because we didn't up getting any earlier that day due to the large amount of bugs and bruising on the fruit. Wooly's did have some delicious looking apples, pears, and bananas for us.

We then made our way to the Botanic Gardens which were There wasn't a lot of flowers, but more like a mini Ireland with green everywhere. Even the water was green! We decided to go ahead and begin our journey back before the rain came but unfortunately, we were too late. It began to sprinkle during the first few minutes of our walk back, and would go through waves of rain and pouring the whole walk back. Luckily, we had our rain coats which kept us quite dry. We got back to the hostel and decided to treat our stomachs to an actually good meal.

We decided that spaghetti would be perfect for dinner and waited what seemed like hours for the water to boil. The meal turned out delicious and we enjoyed every bite of it. After dinner, we went back to our room to make good use of the TV. We got to watch So You Think You Can Dance before passing out at 9 something.

We woke up bright and early ready for a long day at the beach! We packed some snacks and some sun screen and walked to the beach which was beautiful and remote. It was the perfect beach for Becca because there were no waves, the water was shallow and clear so she could see everything in it and didn't have to worry about drowning! We literally had the beach to ourselves the whole day until the creeper came along.

Suddenly, a 30-something year old man decided to come talk to us and we tried to be as short as possible so he would get the hint to go back to his friends. We were relieved when he left until he came back for a beer for Becca (Becky had already made it very obvious that she thinks it tastes like pee). He said, "Well if you won't come have a beer with me then I'll come have a beer with you!". Lovely. Becky immediately began packing up our things while Becca downed the beer as quickly as she could. We left bummed and decided to get ice creams to make up for the bad ending of the beach day. Becky's however, was horrible, so we ended up having to have Tim Tam slams to make up for that (rough, we know)!

We relaxed for a bit and then some of the guys who live at the hostel and work around the garden taught us how to play a new card game. Once we dominated the game, we decided it was time to start on dinner. Our (Well, Becky's, because she is the grilled cheese queen) cooking was going well until all of a sudden we heard something above our heads and screamed realizing it was a possum climbing up the side of the wall INSIDE the kitchen. The two other people in the room were equally amused. We ate our dinner watching the possum work his way around the beams of the ceiling until all of a sudden as he left through a hole, we heard a large crash. We didn't hear much more from the possum the rest of the night. We did however, make a dutch friend who sat down and had dinner with us. We were very entertained by his love of chick flicks despite his big muscles, and his impression of a crab that was trying to attack him at the beach.

He decided to take advantage of our DVD player with us, and we all watched Alfie together. It is always funny to watch movies with people from other countries. He liked to point out everything that Alfie was doing wrong, and if you haven't seen the movie, there is A LOT that Alfie does wrong. After the movie, it was once again an early night with fingers crossed for another beautiful beach day. This time, without a creeper.

We got lucky with the weather and rushed to the beach to enjoy the day. The forecast had been rain and to our surprise and enjoyment, there was none. We spent hours on the beach before going back to kick back with some Bananagrams before going to see the sunset. We walked to the pier for sunset but unfortunately, got cloud coverage and sprinkles instead. We started walking back to the hostel but got caught in a monsoon. Out of nowhere, it started to literally pour down rain and we had to run as fast as could back to the hostel. When we got back we were dripping wet and Becca's feet got stained by her brown leather shoes as a memory.

We had our reliable mac n cheese for dinner after drying off. We knew we had an early morning the next day, so we showered and laid in bed watching Billy Elliott before crashing at once again, 9-something.

The next day was a long but good one for sure. We had booked a day trip to Fraser Island, the worlds biggest sand island. We got picked up for our tour at 6 am and taken to a drop off where we would catch a ferry to the island. It looked like it was going to be a day filled with rain and that combined with how early it was made us quiet. However, once we got on the ferry, we saw a full rainbow which really woke us up. Neither of us had ever seen a full rainbow and both sides ended in the ocean. It was breathtaking.

We got to Fraser Island and got united with our group and on our way! Since the whole island consists of sand, it is necessary for all the vehicles to be 4 wheel drive. We got on a 4 wheel drive bus and were on our way on a road called the roller coaster to Lake McKenzie. Lake McKenzie was absolutely beautiful even with the sprinkles of rain. The water was beautiful colors and the water is so clean and fresh that they say you come out of it feeling like you have bathed.

From there, we headed to Central Station where we would have a hike in the rainforest. The tour guide told us she would meet us with the bus on the other side of the hike and warned us about how 4 out of the 5 deadliest snakes in Australia are in this rain forest. Perfect! She then proceeded to say that the 3rd person in line would most likely to be bit since the first person wakes the snake up, the second it hisses at and the third gets bit. Becky was third in line, but once again, being a ninja, hiked on. Our hike included seeing a fresh water creek, lots of green, and a 900 year old tree!

After our hike, we were on our way to Kingfisher Bay Resort where we would have a buffet lunch. Being the people we are, we enjoyed two plates of food before getting back on the bus to go drive on the 75 mile beach. This beach is known as a highway to the people of Fraser Island which we thought was so cool. While the beach was beautiful, it also consisted of huge waves, and lots of sharks. We drove along the coast and got to see plenty of dingos! We ended up seeing 9 total, and our tour guides record had been 5!!

We drove up to an area called the Pinnacles which included the Coloured Sands. We took some pictures with the cliffs that had tons of different colors sands in it before going to our favorite sight of the day, the Maheno Shipwreck! We got to the real ship wreck and were in awe. After being a legendary cruise boat, it was sold to the Japanese who removed the propellors from it before towing it back with them. Unfortunately, it got detached and without propellors, there was no way they could control it. It landed on the coast and has been there ever since. After taking lots of pictures, we headed to our last stop of the day which was the fresh waters of Eli Creek. Eli Creek is a creek that you can float down and will take you to meet the Pacific Ocean. While we didn't want to get soaking wet in the freezing water before our journey back, we did take the opportunity to take lots of cute pictures of a dingo who hung out around us!

Our bus ended up breaking down, but not to worry! Plenty of guys from our tour group stood around the mechanic under the bus as male supervision :). They ended up bringing another bus to us and when we finally got back to where I ferry left, we were very worn out from a busy day! Once again, the public transportation ferry didn't let us down and we got to sit outside and the clouds cleared and we got to see a beautiful sunset. Just when we didn't think things could get better, dolphins started jumping out of the water. A perfect ferry ride! The bus ride back to our hostel was long, and when we got there we were exhausted and ready for dinner and bed. However, lots of other people were ready for dinner too and we had a while to wait before we would be getting into the kitchen. We finally got to cook and used up the rest of our groceries by making buttered noodles and grilled cheese. It may not be healthy, but no food went to waste! As you would guess it, we showered and went to bed early.

Sunday was a very low key day. We got all packed up, checked out of the hostel, and just hung out in the hammocks reading until it was time to get a taxi to the airport. We laughed at how small the airport was. The owner of the hostel had said that the airport closes down between flights! Surprisingly, it wasn't the smallest airport we had been to during our traveling in the past few months. We got on the flight and were both happy to be heading back to our home in Sydney after two weeks of traveling!

DLC even had our favorite dessert for dinner that night!! Ice cream sundaes!! WOOO!!!

Becky with our "hot dogs"

The Botanic Gardens! We told you the water was even green!

Loving the beach!

Enjoyed having it all to ourselves!

The rainbow, with a hint of a double! Too bad we couldn't get the entire rainbow in one picture!

Lake McKenzie!

Becca being a tree hugger with the 900 year old tree!

Maheno Shipwreck

We believed a storm was coming in...

Thank goodness there were plenty of men to supervise!

Dingo!!!! How cute is she?!?!

Beautiful sunset on the ferry ride back

This is how we traveled for the majority of the day during our trip to Fraser Island. It was a little bumpy, to say the least.