Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from the land down under!!

Well, it's Halloween here and it is definitely nothing like home. We've seen some directions around and know that some people are going to dress up, but really nothing like home.

A lot has been going on since my lost post...

Last Saturday, Kathryn and I went on a tour to the Adelaide Hills and it was so enjoyable!! We first went to Gorge Wildlife Park where we held a Koala, saw various others animals and played with Kangaroos!! We then went to Hahndorf which is a small old "German village" up in Adelaide Hills. We had lunch there (AMAZING dessert) and walked around all the neat shops. From there we went to a local chocolate factory and cheese factory. Both were amazing. The cheese was all goat cheese, but each was done differently. Kathryn and I sampled every single one, then each got 2 and had a great time snacking on them with crackers and some local South Australian wine. We then went to Mount Lofty which looks over the whole city/area. It was gorgeous even though it was a tad overcast. Needless to say we really enjoyed that adventure and it was great to get out of the city. Especially since I basically spend my whole time here. Kathryn at least goes out to the university for her research.

This past Wednesday we went to a movie because this theater has what they call "student rush" and it's a discounted ticket along with a free beer, wine or popcorn. We saw Julie & Julia and really enjoyed it!! It was a such a warm evening and so nice out that after the movie neither of us wanted to go home. We walked around and found this neat cafe that Kathryn had been to before and loved. It was like the first super warm night so everyone was out and about. This was all on Rundle Street which is on the other side of Rundle Mall (an all pedestrian, outdoor shopping area) from Hindley Street which we live on, and it so much nicer!! Think of Hindley Street as Destin or Myrtle Beach and Rundle Street as Charleston. Needless to say we love going down there and getting away from Hindley Street for the night. My boss says she refers to Bourbon Street in New Orleans as "Hindley Street on steroids". Which is very true! It's a toned down Bourbon Street. But anyway, we had crepes for a dinner (and I also had it for lunch the next day).

Thursday was exciting for me. Work was having a fundraising cocktail party and silent auction. I spent the day in North Adelaide at the place setting it all up and then stayed to greet the attendees and then later handle all the payments for the auction. I wasn't very excited about it at first because it was mainly all older people but it actually ended up being very fun and was for a good cause! There were dozens of Gold Medal Australian wines for auction, I had never heard of any of them and I might remember a few if I saw their names again.

Friday was a nice day and we headed to the beach. I know I am not known to wear sunscreen at home very much, but I definitely lathered up. The sneaky sun still managed to get me though and I got some random burns. The sun is SO strong here. There is literally a hole in the ozone layer over Australia. It has something to do with the wind currents from Antarctica. So burnt skin happens very easily. Despite burns and lathering up, I am still getting tan.

Today we went sea kayaking with dolphins! It was absolutely beautiful. We went down to Port Adelaide and where we were is now a dolphin preservation area. It all started when a dolphin was given lots of notice because it would race in the river along side the race horses running on the land. The dolphin, which became known as Billy, always came near to play when the horses were out. What's also cool is this dolphin also started doing the trick that dolphins do at Sea World and other parks where they ride the water standing up on their back fin. This is obviously nothing they would need to do in the wild and no one taught her, she did it all on her own so it's really interesting it even happened. And now there are a couple other dolphins that have been seen doing it too after learning from her. It's a river that leads into the sea, but the dolphins love being there because it is the main breeding ground for fishes. There was also a lot of neat water birds present for all the fishes. We lucked out and saw many dolphins and there were also two shipwrecks there that are apparently worth millions to archaeologists. We then went to the Mangroves that are very tropical trees that grow at water, and considering we are not in a tropical really is a freak of nature they are here. It was all so beautiful, we enjoyed it so much.

The tour group we went with also does sea kayaking out in the ocean near cliffs and in sea caves. That tour is full day and sea lions are part of the great views!! We're hoping we'll be able to do that, but we will see!

On next Thursday we will be leaving for Melbourne, and are both so excited to see another city!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


So, today was wonderfully warm at 77. Don't ask me what that is in Celsius, because I don't have a clue. My friend from the U.S. and I put on dresses and when we left our apartments to go to the grocery store, I noticed everyone was still dressing as if it was dead winter. Why do people do that? It's warm, wear warm weather clothes. So we were the happy-go-lucky americans walking down the street in our dresses and sandals, and we loved it.

I haven't really talked about the friend I made from the U.S. Her name is Kathryn and she went to College of Charleston and graduated in May in Marine Biology. She's here with AustraLearn as well but is doing research at the University (AKA Uni) here in Marine Biology. Her and I are really similar and get along great since we both are pretty weird and goofy with our quirks and funky little habits that others might find too strange to handle. Haha. Introducing ourselves as Katy and Kathryn both 22 and recent graduates of South Carolina schools I think causes some people to think we're making it up haha. We've been doubted a couple times on the truth of our stories. We showed one guy our IDs to prove it haha. We also always get the question "Are you guys from Canada?" and we both reply quickly "NO!" Not that there's anything wrong with being Canadian, we just aren't haha. What's even better is we both want to do the touristy things and explore the Adelaide area. We're in the process of planning a trip to Melbourne for the beginning of November and Kathryn has already looked up a TON of information on Melbourne with a long list of neat places and sights to visit for food and beer and anything else our hearts desire. I'm very lucky to travel to the other side of the world and find a girl living next door that's so much like me! I won't lie, we do draw attention to ourselves because we are outgoing and bubbly but it seems Australians haven't minded it. We make friends everywhere, including the line at the grocery store while Kathryn is trying to pay with traveler's checks which proves to be a long process!

This weekend was a really fun weekend. Neither of us work on Fridays so we decided we'd go to the beach. Well, while walking to the mailboxes for Kathryn to mail a postcard, we decided to stop for a beer at this pub right by us, mainly because we noticed the heaps (yup, aussie lingo) of aussie guys around it. Good thing we did, about 2 minutes into being there we befriended a couple guys from a town outside Melbourne here on their Footy Team Trip, which is what Footy teams do after the season is over...just go to another city and have fun! For those who don't know what Footy is, you might want to Google it because my explanation is probably not going to be very accurate. But it's a sport similar to rugby but it's "ozzie rules" and so there is random kicking involved along with different passes and three field goals...and just a lot of confusion and chaos if you ask me. These guys were lots of fun and then shortly another teammate came to the pub and soon our beach plans were forgotten. Whoops. After some time we met up with the rest of their team at this little bar in their hotel that had karaoke. Needless to say, that was very entertaining. After too much off-key singing, we headed out again and had a great night with them all. They were all extremely nice and so much fun. So the next day we woke up and it was yet another nice day. Well, we thought we'd go walking around, maybe grab a beer outside a pub and just enjoy the great weather. Which we did, but then we met another Footy Team Trip. Apparently they're all over Adelaide this weekend. These guys were from Melbourne and were another great group of really nice and fun guys. We even were given two extra jerseys they had made for their Footy Trip with their team name and logo and "Footy Trip Adelaide 2009" on it. Talk about a souvenir! Haha. We had a great night with them as well, guess we should learn some things about footy now.

Today I have just gotten some grocery shopping done along with cleaning up my place. Yes parents, it's actually pretty clean. I think it's because I don't have very much stuff here. I watched the the Netball World Series, which is another sport played here and I know England since that is who Australia was playing. Well, again, if you don't know what Netball is then you might want to Google it. But, from what I could tell it was similar to basketball except that you can't dribble or move with the ball and the basket doesn't have a backboard. The ball is moved down the court by an overhead pass basically. The ball kinda looked like a volleyball too. Also, the ring on the court where people shoot is really small and it seemed like you can't block someone from shooting. That would frustrate me. They also would slap the ball with their hands on defense to keep them from successfully passing it. I think that's what they were doing at least. The quarters were really short and it was weird not seeing a sport as aggressive as what I'm use to watching/playing. So there's another sport I've learned about that I had never even heard of before coming here!

Australia has been great so far. The people are friendly and genuinely want to know why we're here and how we like it. We're complimented on our accents daily (but I feel weird saying thank you, it's not like we chose our accent and we like theirs back! haha) and get made fun of a lot (which in aussie language means they like you, think back to kindergarten...).

And I have tried Veggiemite. Again, Google it if you don't know it, but it's this brown goopy stuff that is really salty and bitter but apparently has heaps of nutrients in it. It was pretty gross, but being cheap with lots of health benefits it apparently was an Australian staple in poorer times.

OH! And something really weird. Last night, the main street of Hindley (which is what I live on) was blocked off because there was a parade of zombies. I kid you not. Heaps of people were walking dressed like zombies, with fake blood and all. I will never understand that, it was too strange.

And yes parents, I know I'm here for my internship. Which I do enjoy, I really like the people I work with and they give me great ideas on where to go for touristy stuff. The work is sometimes fun, and sometimes not. There is a program that has to be made for the games so I'm hoping my boss is going to let me work on that once it's being designed. I already had a couple ideas for it that she really liked, soooo I'm hoping that will lead to me working on it. Really I could probably design the whole thing because it's fairly simple and I've done similar things before, but I'm sure I'd be doing it with someone else.

alright, mates...until further adventures, that is all for now!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Discovering things

Monday was a public holiday here, so no work and EVERYTHING was closed. Apparently it was the Queen's "birthday". I say "birthday" because it wasn't her real birthday, she has a different birthday for each state in Australia. How weird is that?

But anyways, it was nice to have the day off. Like I said in the post before, my friend and I went out the beach.

I then had off Tuesday because my boss was out a town. My friends had work and classes so it gave me a chance to explore some more on my own. I really wanted to get some exercise in and I had heard there was a river right by where I live. Well I went exploring and found it, and it was so nice! It was this park with walkways all around it. There were lots of people there and it was just a pleasant place to get outside, so I'm happy it's so close to my apartment!!

I have definitely gotten into the swing of living here but am really excited to go see other places. I signed up to do some things that that place I live has organized. One is to Barosa Valley which is the big wine country here. That should be really interesting.

That's all for now!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Settled in

I have been in Aussieland for a little over a week now. The beginning was such a vacation, spending time in Cairns and going scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef!! Then came down to Adelaide where it is pretttyyyy cold. It's starting to warm up, but I wish it would warm up faster!

The internship is going pretty well, just do a lot of desk work.

I have met people, one is a girl from College of Charleston so it's great to have another American girl my age wanting to travel and go places.

Adelaide is a neat city. It's pretty small, but it has a lot of a charm and there are some fun things to do. Today, we left the city and went out to the suburbs to the beach. It was too cold to sunbathe or anything like that, but it was nice to be out there and walk around.

We're hoping to plan to go to Melbourne, Kangaroo Island, and the Adeliade Hills (vineyards, national parks, animals)very soon!! All would be amazing. I just want to hold a Koala and play with a Kangaroo!!

That's all for now, I'll post more soon!