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sillyamerican

Category Archives: Wanderlust

No one else really wanted to do this, but I REALLY wanted to do this. Crocodiles are so terrifying, how could you not want to get as close as possible to a live one?

Hartley’s crocodile & wildlife farm was cool. You wouldn’t think there would be enough to do there to last a whole morning, but there was. Boat rides to see the crocs in the swamp, tours of the breeding farm, snake shows, koala feedings, etc. We went in the pouring rain and it was still pretty good. Crocs don’t mind the rain, I suppose.

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Just a quick post with a few pics from the gorgeous resort we stayed in at Port Douglas, the Thala Beach Lodge. It was about 15 minutes drive from town, and absolutely stunning – both the hotel itself, and the 150 acre property it sat on.

my mom spotted this mushroom with net growing from it, so cool

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By now, everyone here is familiar with my rainforest obsession, so imagine how excited I was to actually walk in one and see those big old trees in person.

Next to snorkeling, this was the highlight of my trip – we did a two hour walk through the Daintree Rainforest, starting off on a solid walkway near the tree line, and eventually taking a winding path deep into the forest, where it was very dark and did, in fact, rain/drizzle incessantly.

Nick tried to get on my mom's good side by wrapping her camera in his shirt to protect it from rain. She totally bought it...sucker.

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More great barrier reef pics? Well, okay.

Also – not too brag, but this was in the middle of the rainy season. And it rained pretty much every other moment, except for the day we went snorkeling – could that water BE any flatter? It was almost surreal.

Worth noting is the company we went with – Wavelength. Highly recommend them – they made it an amazing experience – super friendly and knowledgable, and only 30 people or so on the boat made it a bit more intimate. AND they photographed everything beautifully – that’s where I’m getting the underwater pics from, can’t take credit for those.

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Last weekend (two weekends ago? I don’t know, time flies when you have a drinking problem) I went with my parents and Nick to the Great Barrier Reef.

It was an amazing time, for several reasons:

1) It is always wonderful to see my parents, especially when they come visit me in Australia. Plus they are expert travelers. They are good planners – and I’m good at being told what to do and where to go, so it works out.

2) Port Douglas is a great little city (city is being generous), with fab restaurants and bars.

3) We stayed at the Thala Beach Lodge, which was stunning.

4) The Great Barrier Reef was everything I had hoped it would be. I’m terrified of snorkeling and I suspected that they doctor up all the reef pics to make it look insane – but no, it is that insane. And it turns out I’m like a pro snorkeler when I have a noodle. Behold:

More pics to come, WordPress messing with me and won’t let me show any more in this post.

SPOILER ALERT. There is one other very big reason I loved our time in Port Douglas, but I’m not going to tell just yet.

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Went to Copacabana last weekend. Living the life, you know?

Anyways, worst trip ever.

It was ugly and horrible:

The food was disgusting:

My friends are  fug:

Lara Fuller and I are NOT THE UNDEFEATED REIGNING WORLD CHAMPIONS OF THIS GAME:

Do you see what I did there? Do you?

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Went away to the country again last weekend – I know, it sounds like I live the life these days, doesn’t it? I totally do. Just rode up there in a limo and threw $100 dollar notes out the sunroof the whole time.

It’s a six hour drive to Crescent Head from Sydney which I didn’t mind because I got to eat McDonald’s and act like “I guess we’ll just have to get McDonald’s, there’s nothing else around.” (McDonald’s is like 1/3 of the reason I agree to any road trip.)

That  far outside of Sydney, there really IS nothing else around. I’m from a pretty small town, but it’s surrounded on all sides by OTHER small towns. Where we went last weekend – there was a town… and then nothing. It’s actually alarming.

Also, the food was alarming. I thought ordering pasta was a safe bet. Not so.

We stayed at the owner of Nick’s pub’s property, Ranch Relaxo. There was no one else there, so it was pretty amazing to have the place to ourselves. There was a beach walking distance away with NO ONE on it, which I love.

The house was Balinese style – open on all sides, really dim and cool inside.

The best part was all the different places available for one to nap. Seriously, day beds are where it’s at.

I spent 88% of the weekend here

Also, I saw a lot of wildlife (not leeches) which is my favorite thing.

By the end of the weekend we had seen:

4 kangaroos

1 red bellied black snake

1 White Lipped Australian Tree Frog

1 Goanna

We didn’t see a wombat. Starting to think that I will never see one which is devastating. True story, my eyes are welling up right now thinking about never petting one – I want to see one SO BAD.

I went to go to the bathroom one night and this is what I came upon:

So cute! And then he hopped into the toilet and swam away. It was the strangest thing. My eyes were about to pop out of my head. (Not Nick’s, he didn’t see on account of he got scared and ran into the other room like a little girl).

Turns out it’s a pretty standard thing – the frogs live in the pipes and sometimes in the cistern.  Even if you take them out and move them kilometers away they find their way back to the same toilet. It was very exciting to pee after that.

Also, the goanna:

You can’t really see it, so here are some google images so you understand just how horrifying this thing is.

please note the tongue

and the size

They are seriously like terrible dinosaurs.

And here’s the worst part: Sometimes they mistake you for a tree – and they CLIMB UP YOU.

oh, hayy

I mean, can you image? Look at it’s claws. Absolutely fucking not. I would spontaneously combust.

So yeah. That’s why my photo was a distance shot.

Anyways, no adventures this weekend. No animals in Rosebery. Lara Fuller coming over tonight. Going to cook a chicken and porcini mushroom risotto. Going to watch a movie and fall asleep on my couch, it’s all very glamorous.

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This past week we had Thursday off for Australia Day. In past years I’ve worked behind the bar, or had a barbecue – opted for anything really, rather than cram myself into a pub with a million sloppy drunk people.  I don’t have any objections to getting sloppy drunk in a bar (see: hobbies)  but I prefer my personal space while I do it.

So Fuller and Andy and I opted to get out of town for the night. We headed down to Berry on the South Coast of Sydney  because I read this article about the best little known beaches in New South Wales and became obsessed with going to 7 mile beach. Berry is this adorable little town with all old timey stuff, Ye Olde Cuckoo Clock Shoppe, etc. It’s very cute and you would probably kill yourself if you lived there.

We stayed above the pub at the Berry Hotel which was cheap and right in the centre of town. When we got there at 9pm on Friday night, everything looked pretty sleepy and quiet. We ate at the Hungry Duck – food was beautiful and the waitress was amazing (not JUST because she let us buy an extra bottle of wine to sneak into our purse for takeaway).  We went back to the hotel room and drank red wine out of teacups and played this card game Wizard until 2am which is like hearts but more fun. Or it WOULD have been more fun if Lara Fuller didn’t cheat so hard.

The next morning we wanted to go for a hike, and Fuller had found this one in Kangaroo Valley, about 40 mins away. She said it was medium – hard and promised rainforest and waterfalls. Which there were:

silly american

But there were also leeches.

We’re like an hour into this really strenous hike. Like seriously, sliding down hills on our bums, hanging onto tarzan vines, no trail. And we get to this pretty waterfall and I’m snapping away on my camera and I look down and see something on my leg and brush it off and IT STICKS. And Andy has to rip a leech off me while I scream.

Which I could have recovered from IF THERE WEREN’T FIVE MORE ON ME.

I basically had a panic attack and aborted our hike, and I didn’t stop freaking out until I finally went in the ocean. I am still thinking about if there may be one deep in my ear having babies.

Here is a convo between Lara and I on gchat today:

me:  oh my gah.trying to google image leeches to show what i mean in my blog bost. freaking out. think i have PTSD

Lara:  haha, leave out leech images – i think that may be best

me:  yeah i had to stop
but if you really want to fuck up your day
google image “leech”
Lara:  nah, totally not going to do that – pretty sure the imagery would make me very unhappy
i did have to google PTSD

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Right now it is Crave Food Festival in Sydney. Culture, diversity, cuisine,  blahblahblah NOODLE MARKETS!  (Who cares about anything else.)

They transform Hyde Park in the center of the city into a massive Asian noodle market. Thai, Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese and Middle Eastern restaurants from all over the city set up stalls and there are hundreds of tables set up all over the park – plus beer and wine tents and even cocktail waitresses. They really do it up beautifully with coloured lights shining through the park’s big old trees, Chinese lanterns strung up, live music and big blown up photographs from local artists hanging along the park’s main path.

I didn’t really take any photos though, except this ghetto one.

nightime market

After a while we wandered over to the Botanical Gardens, where I DID take some pictures. So much so that Nick walked ten steps ahead of me pretending he didn’t know the tourist.  Whaaaat I really like trees, can’t help myself.


Wandering around the park at 8pm with still a little bit of light – Summer almost here.

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Beautiful images from Scott London from Burning Man 2011. Bizarrely enough, I can picture my extended family here – visualising my Uncle Tommy running around dressed as a drumstick and my Aunt Muffie commanding a Mad Max-esque float.

If you like London’s pics, check out his photo essay on the Salton Sea. Interesting text, haunting images.

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