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sillyamerican

Tag Archives: travel

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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Know how I know Nick and I are meant for eachother?

We’re equally as embarassing when we have a few:

Also, we have sick dance moves.

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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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I haven’t been writing, I know. Whatever. I don’t have anything cool to say.

I’m pretty sure it’s not a big deal because a freak snow storm disabled the power in the Northeastern US, thus cutting me off from my core readership (hi mom!).

Here are the top exciting things that happened over the last two weeks:

1) I went to Culburra on the  South Coast for a weekend away with Nick’s family which was amazing.

backyard

lara schmitt

pale

Drive through booze.

The population of Culburra is 3500 - to put this in perspective, the population of Hampden is 5100. Does that stop them from having a drive through liquor store in the center of town? I love Australia.

2) I developed an obsession with Prezi and made my first presentation for the Funk Up Your Head 2012 comp. I have a deep-rooted hatred for Power Point, and now I will quite happily never use it again. Actually, corporate imposter confessions, until this year when I had to make one for my boss I successfully avoided ever using it despite it being shoved down my throat at every juncture of my education.

3)  Discovered a bad ass marinade recipe that I love. Here you go, you’re welcome:

Asian Beef Skewers

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons sherry
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon barbecue sauce
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
skewers

4)  Found out Shiraz causes bronchitis. True science fact. My filthy cough is proof.

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A few last shots of our NZ trip.

From the car ride….

bungee, Nick wouldn't let us go

And the jet boats….

And the gondola…

so scared

The end.

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We did a little day trip out to Otago, to visit Chard Farm, producer of some of Nick’s recent favorite reds. The setting is gorgeous, all the vineyards spread along the edges of a huge canyon. We had to take a terrifying dirt road along the edge of a cliff to get to the farm, and I was basically clinging to the roof of the car like a cat begging Nick to slow down (he was going like 8k/hour).

It was worth the trip though. David, the cellar door manager, led us through a tasting of lots of delicious whites and Pinot Noirs (the 2009 Mata-Au Pinot Noirs and the 2009 Tiger Pinot Noir were our winners.)  Austin, the cellar man, gave us a tour behind the scenes, through the cellar and the winemaking process.

Great wine at Chard Farm, and good storytellers as well – would recommend a side trip there if visiting Queenstown.

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