Saturday, June 25, 2011


Welp, we're leaving in a few days.

We have today and tomorrow left in Australia. Then it's time to go home.

I feel like I should have a lot of really profound things to say. Frankly, I have tons of packing to do, last minute errands to run, and basically not enough time for any of it.

I don't want to leave one bit. But I cannot wait to come home.

It's insane to realize how long we've been gone. Between Skype and Facebook I feel like I never even left.

Am I allowed to blog about Australia after we leave?? I still have tons to say about it. I will almost definitely have time to waste at home.

I think the best part about going home will be realizing what I've learned while on exchange. At this point, it seems like something has changed but I can't quite put my finger on what exactly that something is.

Ok, time to finish exploring Australia.

Friday, June 17, 2011


The goodbyes have begun. So have the tears.

It's not goodbye, it's not goodbye, it's not goodbye.

I still have to cry.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Without Fail

Just so you know, everyday of the week, the Retro House wakes up at 1p.m.


1p.m. is prime time for breakfast, morning coffee, and a chat around the kitchen table.

Tomorrow I have an exam at 9a.m.

This is an accident waiting to happen.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A whole year later.

Well, today was the big one year anniversary!!
[When do we stop being considered Newlyweds??]

We did lots of exciting things and got up way too early. [Now, the plan is to hop into bed with a few episodes of The IT crowd. [You should definitely check out that series. Hilarious.]]

But first, a re-cap.

We spent tons of time in the city! We went to a mall that we have never seen, [Chris even liked it.], went to the Docklands, [I’m pretty sure I got sunburned there], wandered around the city some more, had dinner, and then went to St. Kilda beach to visit the penguins. [Uh huh, I said penguins.] We're going to try and spend every June 12th on a beach. [Even if it's the crummy beach of the man made lake near our house.]
A tree I befriended at the Docklands.
When we got home one of our housemates wrote this on our chalkboard. It's in French so we had him translate it. I cried. Don't worry, the picture is meant to be the author of the poem, not Chris.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I've been meaning to mention that everyday, out our bedroom window, I get to stare at the most beautiful orange tree.
That's right, I said orange tree. [When we first got here, I thought it was a lemon tree. When the fruit didn't change colour, I decided it was a lime tree. After cracking a 'lime' open and seeing it's orange insides, I came to the conclusion that these babies were oranges. About a day later the skins started to turn orange, too.]

I'll remind you one more time that right now, on June 11th, it's Winter. And my orange tree has just reached it's prime. No big deal.

This bad boy resides in our backyard, too.

Speaking of oranges, I'm starting to get pretty sick of Fanta. [You know, the orange flavoured soda.] Pretty soon I'll be able to basque in some glory that is Dr. Pepper. Or maybe I'll just enjoy a nice Orangina.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Winter into Summer

Have you ever wondered what Winter in Australia looks like?

A little bit like this...

I would be pretty jealous if I weren't here.
Ok, that's probably not true, considering it's Summer at home.
[And, despite the beautiful flowers coming into bloom, it's dang cold!]

Today marks the end of our second to last week of Uni.
That means after next week we're completely done! [Until August.]

Chris and I both have an assignment due on Monday that we'll slave over tomorrow.
On Sunday we are taking a break from school work to celebrate our one year anniversary.
It's completely amazing [and crazy!] that an entire year has already passed by!

Hope you folks in America are enjoying your Summer!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I just received a graded assignment via the internet.

I opened up my grade to reveal a D.

For a good five minutes I had a panic attack and mentally prepared myself for a low grade in the course. [Obviously it's one of my two classes that transfer directly to a class at BSU.]

But, after I pulled myself back together, I realized that a D in Australia is not a D in America. It's a D for Distinction, equivalent to a B.

All that positive feedback makes a lot more sense.

Phew, I feel better now.

Back to homework. [So I can avoid getting a P for Pass, the real equivalent to an American D.]

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Honey Chicken

It's been about.... forever, huh?

Today is June 8th, we're leaving on June 28th. That means we have 20 whole days left in the city of Melbourne. Well, in all of Australia actually.

This week is full of final papers and next week is full of final exams. Everyone is busy and a little stressed. The worst part is that when school is over, we'll have one more week in Australia.

Only one more week!!!!

I'm more than excited to go home to family, friends, a job, and summer. But, I'm beyond bummed to have to leave this amazing place.

Everyday, after we've stressed about assignments until our brains explode, we think about all the things we have yet to do and the things we have to do just one more time.

Today, we went to the supermarket. [Because we needed to get stuff for Chicken Parmas.]

Something that we do about once out of every 10 times we go to the supermarket is get take away Chinese.

This place
has the most amazing Honey Chicken you will ever eat.

Just look at it.
Ok, so it might not look that appetizing, but it's delicious. So delicious that we fork out $9.

[On a side note, the lady that works at Eastern Dragon is obsessed with us. She speaks horrible English, thinks we're from California, and wants to give us the recipe for her chicken so we can sell it in America.]

Anyway, today is probably the last time we'll ever eat that Honey Chicken.
We're coming up on the last time we'll do a lot of things while we're here.
So, so bittersweet.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We went to Hobart, Tasmania!!!

In the U.S. when people go south for winter it's a good idea. [Ya know, it's warmer and all.] In Australia going south is a terrible idea. [It's a bajillion degrees colder, that whole Southern Hemisphere=opposite thing.]

So it was a little dumb, but we headed to Tassie anyways.
[Besides, we only stayed for two nights. Anyone can handle the cold for two nights, right?]

We stayed at a hostel called The Pickled Frog. It was definitely awesome. If you want to sleep in Tasmania for cheap, go here.

On our first day in Tasmania, like usual, we wandered around the town. [That's right, I said town. There are definitely no cities in Tasmania. Hobart is close, but unfortunately no banana.] There is a really pretty waterfront that runs along the town. The harbour is home to tons of ships, including the one from Whale Wars. The river also leads to Antarctica. That kind of blows my mind. [And explains why it's so cold.] During our wandering we came across an ad for a $10 harbour cruise. Amazing? Yes. Ok, so the cruise was actually on a water taxi, but it was still awesome and ended up being for just Chris and I.

Our water taxi.

The cruise took us to three different places around the harbour [It also serves as a ferry boat]. We got to hear tons of info about Hobart, the ships docked there, and the river itself [the second deepest in the Southern Hemisphere to Rio de Janiero]. Also, there was a main tour guide and another person that was a trainee. That meant we got to hear facts from both of them [and they were kind of fun to shoot the breeze with].
A little bit of home. [Minus the water.]

The next day we woke up bright and early to take a bus to Mt. Wellington. I'm not actually sure why Mt. Wellington is so awesome. At first I thought it had to be because of the elevation, then I realized that streets in Idaho are at a higher elevation than it. Apparently the rocks that make up the mountain are really hard, like really hard, because of how they were formed [when Pangea split there was some lava and yada yada], but aside from that, I got nothin'. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it a lot, I just don't know why everyone is so obsessed with it.
Let me get back to the point, we went to Mt. Wellington. When we woke up the weather was beautiful [especially compared to the cold and cloudy day before] so we were hopeful that the views would be amazing. The day before we were told that there was going to be snow on top, so we bundled up as best we could and headed to the top.
Our view.
The weather was great on the bottom, but not so great from the top.
We saw lots of clouds.

It was definitely cold and definitely windy.
It was blowing between 100 and 120km per hr.
That's fast.
There was also sleet coming our way at the same speed.

That's what happens when you try to shield yourself from the elements with the hood of a sweatshirt.

For a split second the clouds cleared and we were able to see these views.
[On the best of days you can see half of Tasmania from the top of Mt. Wellington.]

Halfway down we pulled over at this viewpoint.
It was purty.

After Mt. Wellington we still had about half the day to spend in the city. Thankfully, it was a gorgeous day that felt like it belonged in the middle of October.

I think I'm going to miss Tasmania a lot. It has been one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, and I was only there for two days. I'm pretty sure everyone in the world should go there. And really, how exotic does Tasmania sound?!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


When we first got to Australia, one of the first things we did was head to the souvenir shops. [Are we good tourists or what?]
All over the place the have these rad coin banks that are decorated like paper notes. [$5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.]
Because they are so rad [and because we like coin banks], we had to buy one.
Australian $10 notes are pretty and blue, so we chose a bank with the $10 bill on it and brought it home.

Since basically the moment this thing was in our hands, Chris declared it his and decided to fill it with only gold coins. [He's pretty strict about the only gold coins rule.] Gold coins are worth either $1 or $2, so money adds up pretty quickly.
Now that we are poor and heading to Tasmania in a few days, we decided to open up the magic jar and count the money. [The bank only has a slot to put coins in, not for getting them out. That means we had to ruin the jar in order to get the money out. But that's ok, we can get a new one with our riches.]
So, we just finished counting the money. Guess how much there was??

That's right, $82 in coins. [Let me also add that the jar was only filled up less than an inch from the bottom.]
Ah, what a beautiful feeling.
Now we will be able to eat in Tasmania instead of just spending money on our hotel.
If nothing else, I think we've learned that coin banks are awesome. [And that we love teeny tiny $2 coins.] Thanks Australia.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Okay, I got to this one a little bit late. It still counts though, right?

Another month has passed. There are only 55 days until we go home [yikes]. The good news is, after today, there are still two more months to look back on.

Everyone knows what happens mid-semester, so this month was a little less than full of amazing adventures, but there were a few.
Here's to the best 55 days ever...

Philip Island
So cooperative.
Nico's Birthday!
Double Decker Gym.

We asked for water and got these.
Good thing we like lattes.
We celebrate Easter.

I'm in that picture.

Chris made me do this.

Until next time....