I just realized I hadn’t finished reblogging Matt’s account of our mini-holiday! There’s still one to come after this, but this one is the funniest so far I’d say.

Magazine Theory

“Dad really drummed it into me not to drive in the country at this time of day, but there are a few cars around and no roos in sight. Maybe it was just one of those things that parents say to scare you straight…”

Earlier That Day…

“Buddy, in all the time I’ve been here, this is the most I have ever felt like I’m in Australia,” Emma said, beaming. “All I need now is to see some kangaroos…” she continued.

I shuddered.

“You’ve seen plenty of kangaroos before.”

“I know, but not in the wild!”

“What about all the ones at Pinnaroo Cemetery? That was like the first thing we did when you arrived in Australia.”

“They don’t count.”

“Well, you’ve seen the road signs. They’re out there…”

Remember a few posts ago when I mentioned that driving is relaxing, to a point? Well by the end of Day 2…

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Fringe Benefits

Yeah, that’s right, I GOT BANGS!I keep meaning to announce this on my blog, and by now I’m sure most people already know.  I’m overwhelmed by the positive response to the change.  I still have yet to take a really great photo of the new do, but I will never stop trying!

The photo here is from this weekend.  It has been quite an eventful one at that.  Last night Matt and I had a double date with friends.  It was a wonderful meal and a really lovely setting.  It’s pretty rare that we make the short trek to Hillarys Boat Harbour, but it really made for a lovely evening.

In the morning we had gone to Lake Monger to take photos of the local (exotic) birds.  Matt always teases me for finding them so interesting.

We learned from a quick google search that black swans are native only to Western Australia.  I will admit I had no idea they existed until I got here.  The ones at the lake are not even slightly scared of people.  We were able to get right up close to them and sometimes they even approached us of their own accord.

I have always been a big fan of ducks, so it took Matt awhile to drag me away from not only my favorite birdies, but all their cool friends as well.  I think we spent about 20 minutes on one bank.

As we wandered, rainbow lorikeets dive-bombed our heads.  These are some of my favorite Perth birds.  So pretty and colorful, though here they are basically commonplace.  I love that they always frequent palm trees in pairs.  They remind me of the love birds from Hitchcock’s classic.

Matt always loves seeing the Ibis birds.  They are quite regal and quiet, unlike the chatty ‘keets.  Such interesting little guys.

To top off my lovely weekend I ran a 14k race this morning.  There were 20,100 participants, but I was lucky enough to share the experience with my amazing friend, Thuy.  We did our own thing for the actual running, but before and after we stuck together.  I’m already excited to sign up for a half-marathon in August.

The organization of the race was really great.  I loved the little markers at every k.  It was so encouraging.  I wanted to fist pump at 7k.  Unfortunately for me I ended up feeling what turned out to be nasty blisters around that time.

I love the race setting and how you can just ignore everything and focus on finishing.  With my recent ankle and knee injuries I hadn’t even trained, so I went in knowing it would hurt, but it was much easier than I’d imagined.  I can’t wait to do another race!

Kiss Me at Midnight

Well it’s January 2nd and the holidays are officially coming to a close.  While most of you, my faithful readers, were buried under feet of snow, Matt and I were boiling in the heat!For Christmas we got up and exchanged presents before going to Nonna’s house for lunch.  (Nonna is Matt’s Italian grandmother.)  I believe there were 25 of us packed in with only a few fans to cool us down.  Though we were a bit drowsy from the 103-degree heat, it was quite a pleasant afternoon.

One of my favorite presents from Matt was a “canned platypus.”  I’m always begging him to take me somewhere where I can hold a platypus, as I find them fascinating.  But he says it’s as though I’m asking to hold a fish; also they’re apparently poisonous.  So now I have a tiny stuffed platypus I can hold whenever I want!

I had to work until 8pm on New Years Eve, but after that Matt and I headed to Tahlia’s for a house party.  We ended up really having a lot of fun; it was great spending the night with friends.We weren’t able to stay very late because Matt’s aunt got married the next morning.  It was pretty killer getting up at 9 to get ready to drive 1/2 hour out to Cottesloe for the ceremony/reception.

The view from the reception room was really amazing.  We even saw some dolphins swimming by fairly close to shore.  Unfortunately all of my photos are a little dark since I wanted to avoid the flash in the middle of the proceedings.

I hope everyone’s holidays were as enjoyable as mine!  I’m looking forward to an exciting 2011.

Moons and Junes and Ferris Wheels

This is a tough post for me. I’ve basically been on hiatus while Matt and I didn’t have internet, and now that we’ve got it back, it’s hard to get motivated to share everything!  Plus I’ve been busier than ever this last few weeks.  Here’s the abridged version of what’s new with me…

About a month ago the Royal Show was in town.  It’s basically a traveling state fair.  It allowed me to catch up on what I missed back home in Minnesota at the end of August.  We ate donuts, rode rides and played a few carnival games; we pet some animals and for once I didn’t need to worry about allergens sticking to my clothes and infecting Rachel.  The main difference between the Minnesota state fair and the Royal Show were “showbags.” Showbags are sort of like party favors or grab bags.  They come in all different themes, but most are filled with candy.  I bought a Cherry Ripe showbag for Matt and a Freddo Frog bag for myself.  Cherry Ripe and Freddo Frog are small candy bars made by Cadbury.  We were only there for a few hours, but I definitely got my fair fill. Continue reading “Moons and Junes and Ferris Wheels”

To the rescue!

I feel like my new lack of internet means everything is old news by the time I get a chance to blog it.  Sigh.

The other day Matt and I went for a walk in Hyde Park.  It’s only a few blocks away and is also the place where we play outdoor soccer with Alex and his friends on Sundays.  It’s a pretty small area, but there’s a pond and lots of trees I’ve never seen before.  It is also bird central.  There are black swans, mallards and native Aussie birds I’ve been seeing a lot since I arrived.  I think the birds over here are the most interesting things I’ve encountered.  Besides the pigeons and ducks, everything else seems unique to Australia.  I even see parrots and other colorful birds in the trees on a fairly regular basis.

Not long into our walk, Matt noticed a lone little duckling running around in the bushes off to the side of the path.  We couldn’t see any other ducklings around, though there were plenty of female mallards sleeping on the side of the pond.  I went into the bushes and did everything I could to coax him back out toward the water while Matt googled what to do in this situation. Continue reading “To the rescue!”

New job, new digs

Unfortunately I don’t have much time, but it’s been something like 10 days since my last post, so here’s the reader’s digest version of what’s been going on…

Our friends, Wes and Libby left us their apartment for 6 weeks while they bike around Spain.  We don’t have wireless at their house, so I don’t get a chance to check the internet very often.  Luckily Matt’s iphone is there for a daily email/facebook check.  We’re really loving their place.  It’s down the street from work and pretty close to everything.  It’s great not having to use the car much.

I worked 10 straight days after starting at Dome. It was pretty wonderful having this weekend off after all of that.  I’m enjoying the work and the people, so that’s positive news.  Finally having an income doesn’t hurt either.  I’m getting pretty good at making coffee and I feel like I’ve adjusted quickly.  It helps that I already knew many of the employees before I started.

This Saturday our friend, Alex, had his 24th birthday party.  He decided to have everyone bring fruit and veg to make zoo animals.I made three different ones: a duck named Billy, a starfish named Matt and an Octopus named Curtis.  I was quite proud of my little creatures.Other than that, the only other news to report has to do with the start of spring basketball season.  Danny (Matt’s friend)’s girlfriend, Thuy, invited me to join a basketball team she was forming with some friends.  I was very reluctant, but she took my “maybe” as a “yes!”  We had a practice last night and our first game’s tonight.  One of the girl’s boyfriends came to coach us.  I think we improved a lot in a short amount of time, but I’ve never played before, so I’m still pretty nervous.  Also at 5’5″ I’m the tallest on the team. Yikes!

Under the Sea

Things suddenly got really busy in our lives, and I have not had the chance to post about recent adventures until now.  Two days ago I started working at Dôme (café).  Matt is a manager/supervisor there and the owner called last week to tell us I was hired.  I’ve worked 16 hours in two days and I’ll be there another 8 1/2 today.  But I’ll elaborate in another post…

Last Friday Matt had the day off, so we decided to drive out to Hillary’s near the ocean.  Hillary’s is a sort of boardwalk area with shops and restaurants and a small adventure park with water slides and mini golf.  It was beautifully sunny, so we sat outside and had a nice lunch.  It would have been a bit more pleasant had 15-20 seagulls not been hovering around waiting to strike.

After lunch we walked over to Aqwa, the aquarium of WA.  I was limping from a badly pulled muscle, so the minimal walking was very slow going.  The day before we’d done an intense stair climb called Jacob’s Ladder at King’s Park.  It’s a sort of winding staircase and is very popular for working out.  There were at least 20 other people there when we went.  We’d done the climb up and down 3 times.  I stretched before and after, but I guess my legs just weren’t prepared.

Aqwa let us in for the student price, which saved us about $16.  It seems that expensive aquariums are universal.  I enjoyed the whole tour.  I saw a lot of marine animals native to Australian waters.  We saw tiny crocs and sea horses and jellies.  There were some stairs, and Matt had to help me up and down them a bit with my leg (it seriously hurt).  The best part was a moving conveyor belt tour underneath and around a big tank.  As we stood there, it guided us around while sharks, turtles and stingrays swam overhead.  It was a pretty cool experience.

Outside they had a touch pool, so we got to pick up starfish and pet rays.  They were different from the ones at the Mall of America’s Underwater World. Rougher, not as squishy.  I love petting rays, I’m weird like that.  My only regret is that in the two animal places we’ve been, I still haven’t seen a platypus.  I want to hold one which Matt says is just crazy.