Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekend of Waterfalls and Camping

This weekend we got up on Saturday and got ready to go to Litchfield National Park. Blake drove Sofia, Carlee, and me out to the park, and we started our weekend by hiking up this little mountainy hill thing. It was very tiring, but once we reached our location it was worth it! We went to this set of waterfalls (Cascade Falls), and we swam and walked around in them. I happened to slip while walking in one of the falls, and I took a hard fall onto the rocks. My tailbone is quite sore now, and my head and elbow are banged up a little bit. When I fell, I took Blake's advice and went with the fall. This somehow ended up in my landing like aboard on the rocks. I had my whole body stiff with my arms stiff at my sides. Needless to say, Blake, Carlee, and Sofia all were laughing at me quite hard. Other than my fall, it was wonderful there! The water was nice and cool, and the waterfalls were so pretty and peaceful.

After we left that area, we went to a really pretty waterfall a little ways away. This one was called Wangi Falls and it was a lot bigger and also very pretty. We weren't allowed to swim in that one though because of the crocodiles and the really strong current from the falls. We walked out to the lookout point and just enjoyed the view before we walked back to have lunch. I sadly forgot my camera for this set of falls, so Carlee has the pictures we took here.

Once we were done eating, we went to Buley Rockholes and swam in those. These were very popular, and we definitely enjoyed them! The water was so refreshing, and the waterfalls gave you back massages as you sat in them. This was a nice area because the holes were deep enough to swim and play around. It was a wonderful way to end a very hot and sweaty day. The whole day we were hiking around, and we all got some sun. It was very pretty, and it helped me get used to such hot weather!

At night we all camped at our campsite. We had dinner and drinks around the fire, and we enjoyed one anothers company until it got dark. After that we headed to bed. It was warm at night, but not too hot to sleep. I just had a hard time sleeping with the noises and my tailbone hurting.

In the morning we woke up around 7 something, and we packed up camp. We headed to the Florence Falls, and we had a morning swim in the waterfalls! It was absolutely amazing. We spent a lot of time here, and it was hard to leave such a beautiful place. The falls were quite large, and the water was wonderful! We swam under the waterfalls, and then we climbed around on the rocks in the area. Once again I forgot my camera, so Carlee has the pictures for this place.

After that we went to Tolmer Falls, and walked to a lookout point to view those. You aren't allowed to swim there anymore because they are protecting a cave that bats live in. It was the highest waterfall we saw, and it was also gorgeous! The whole trip was amazing, and I am so happy we were able to go! I am very tired and sore after the weekend, but it was so worth it! I wish I lived close to a place like this in Michigan!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I am sad I missed all my family parties...but I am glad we did something exciting to fill the time!


My First Thanksgiving! (In Australia)

On Thursday, we had our own Thanksgiving dinner! We headed home after school, and Sofia and I got to work on cooking! I prepared my mom's stuffing recipe and grandmas apple pie recipe. They both turned out really well! I was happy to see that I did a good job! Sofia made some awesome garlic mashed potatoes and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Carlee brought green bean casserole, pumpkin roll, and sweet potatoes. We also had turkey, chicken and ham from Kaye and Roger. To top it all off we had a lot of champagne! Overall it was a very traditional type of Thanksgiving dinner, and it all turned out delicious! I felt like a little bit of  home was here in Australia with me. I did miss my usual festivities I go to, but what we did was still great! The teacher I have been teaching with came, and many other people joined us to help us celebrate. I was happy people enjoyed their time together, and it was nice to bring everyone together for one of our holidays.

Our dinner!

It is so hard to believe it is almost December! Time has flown by. I did not think Thanksgiving would come so fast! Only 33 days until I am home, and it is crazy to think I am basically half way done in Australia! I hope time slows down a little so it doesn't all rush by so quickly! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving though. Enjoy the holiday season!!


My host parents Kaye and Roger and me!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Don't Be Such a Grizzlebum

Grizzlebums are people who whine and are a pain in the bottom. Sofia and I just love Kaye's sayings, and she has some good ones. This a more G rated saying, so I chose to put this up!

The last few days have been good, and I have taught more in the classroom. I am really enjoying being in the classroom here. and the days go by soo fast! The school day is shorter, and they have a lot of special things that I do not have to be in charge of. It is a refreshing change to teach here, and I think I am really learning something about myself as a teacher.

It has been so hot out here the last few days. It hasn't rained the last few days, so it is just heating up. Today Sofia and I just walked from the bus stop and we were dying. I am almost positive with the humidity it was right around 100 degrees today, and the humidity just makes it a horrible heat. Let's hope it rains soon because that helps us with the heat for a bit.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for us which will be ahead of everyone in the States, so we will be having our Thanksgiving dinner while everyone is sleeping there. I am excited to try and recreate Thanksgiving dinner here. I hope we are successful!

Sam (our house dog) is so funny. When he is down by the mailbox we give him the mail, and he takes it up to the house for us! Once we are inside he lets go of it. Today we gave him a thin package to take to the house, and he took small steps up each stair and then lifted his head higher to allow the package to clear the stairs. Sofia and I were cracking up, and it was so cute! He is a great little dog!

Tonight Sofia, Kaye and I had a little girls night, and we went to a shop down by the beach. The shop was having a champagne night, so we were allowed to drink champagne while shopping. It was wonderful! We shopped around a little and had some drinks :) On the way home I saw this really cool cloud that I had to take a picture of, because I just thought it was beautiful! The sky here is always so amazing (except when it is cloudy when it rains/storms). I love it!!

Good News you can post comments now on my blog. I fixed my settings, so anyone can do it! Just write your name at the end so I know who wrote it!

Well I hope everyone has a great rest of the week, and enjoy your Thanksgiving. I will be missing those I love very much.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

"A dingo ate your baby..."

A dingo we saw!

We went to the wildlife park on Saturday, and it was so cool. We saw a lot of different animals, and the rain forest around the area was amazing :) It was nice to see a lot of the animals so close in the buildings, and while walking around we were able to see animals in the wild too. Sofia got pooped on by some birds, and I have to admit it was hilarious! At one point I got distracted by some birds and I walked towards them and then I spotted a wallaby right near me! From then on we saw a lot of wallabies hopping around in the wild.
 I was surprised to see all the animals that are in this area. The Wildlife park only has animals that are in Australia in that area, so we were able to see what is really around us! The snakes were not a happy sight for me to see, but otherwise the animals are pretty cool. The crocodile we saw was very large, and it is crazy to think those things are all around this area. I can see how they eat people so easily since they are so large.
I have been looking into what to do when Elissa and I are traveling, and I found a Harry Potter Exhibition in Sydney! I immediately bought tickets for us to go, and I am super excited. The exhibition has a ton of props that are in all of the movies, costumes, etc. You can do the sorting hat, see Harry's wand, pick mandrakes, play quidditch, and so much more! I think its very obvious I am very excited for this, but I cannot wait to see all the stuff they actually used in the movies! So Elissa and I will have fun with that :) She will be here in 3 and a half weeks!
Tonight we are having some champagne to celebrate a Sunday :) We will have our Sunday tea soon, and it is already smelling so good.

 I am realizing more and more that I am about to miss my favorite time of the year. I love seeing my family so much during the Holidays, and I am getting sad knowing I won't be there. We are having a Thanksgiving this Thursday, but it won't be the same without my family, Dave, and Dave's family. I will miss all of the family parties, but I am enjoying myself here. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and just know I wish I was there with you (if I could teleport easily back and forth). I will try to write this week, but not much really happens with me during the school week.

 The sunset from our porch :)


Friday, November 18, 2011

G'Day Mate

Sunday night we went out and watched the sunset with Blake and Bruce. It was gorgeous. We then headed back to the house and had our Sunday tea. It was once again delicious, and we had a lot of fun. I definitely eat too much on Sunday nights, so I need to start scaling back when I eat. Kaye and Roger are spoiling us with sweets!!! I will probably come back to the states with a few extra pounds, but hey the Tim Tams, Curlywurlys, Violet Crumbles, etc. are worth it!!!!
Earlier this week Kaye and Roger took us to their club they are part of, and they got us dinner. We sat on the deck outside and ate dinner as we watched the sunset. I got some delicious fish and chips, and Sofia had some very good spaghetti something. It was a perfect little dinner out with the family.
One of the days after school, Sofia and I decided to head to the mall just to browse. Well that did not turn into just browsing. We ended up getting one more pair of our favorite shorts from Cotton On. They were only 10 dollars, and they actually fit! Then we went to  our other favorite store, Valley Girl, and we looked around. The name is not so great but the clothes are cheap and cute! I ended up getting a dress I would never usually buy, but I fell in love with it and it was on sale. After that we went to KMart and found some cheap very cute sandals. I got a brown pair because I needed some brown sandals, and then I was done! That was the first  time I spoiled myself with clothes I wanted in a long time.
Another almost full set of different looking Harry Potter books!!

Later this week Obama came to Darwin! Sofia and I took off school to see him, and we ended up not even being able to see him. It did not work in our favor. It was very restricted and shut off to the public, but Sofia and I still enjoyed our day off and trying to see him! He was a big hit here, and the Australians loved him! I wish I could have seen him, but in spirit I am sure he knows I love him :)
Last night we had kanga bangers!!! (Kangaroo Sausages, see picture to right!!) I tried Kangaroo for the first time, and it was good. Kangaroo is apparently the healthiest meat you can have here, and it is red meat. It did taste good, but I felt bad eating a kangaroo so I am not sure if I will do it again. I also tried Vegemite yesterday, and I do not like it. It is soooo bitter and not good. I might keep trying it to see if I grow to like it, but I am not so sure. Sofia said it was better the second time, but it was not my thing. I am glad  I am trying the food that is common here though!!
Today is Friday, and we are just relaxing at home. We are getting ready to head to the Wildlife Park tomorrow. I am excited! It is in a rainforest area, and we will see a lot of wildlife :) Sofia, Carlee and I are going, and it should be fun and a good photo opportunity!
It was so hot today, I had to get home and just lie in the AC. I hope the states are enjoying the weather there! It is hot here, but I am not ready to leave this to head back to snow! Monsoon season is about to start up with possible hurricanes, so we will see how that goes! We are watching cricket right now and it is crazy! But very cool. We will have to get more into it. I also just watched Sepak Takraw with Kaye and Roger. That is crazy! It is a mix of volleyball and soccer. You have to get a ball over a net and you can only use your feet. Pretty cool!
 I am sorry I didn't write all week, but I will update about this weekend asap! Enjoy your weekends!!


This is what is on all of the cigarette boxes here. They are not attractive!
Drinking milk through a Tim Tam. It is delicious!!! Tim Tams are long chocolate cookies :)
Tiny Lizard on the table last night!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jumping Crocodiles!

Today we woke up and went to the Adelaide River to go on the Crocodile Cruise! The river boat captain told us where the best place to sit was, so we got the best seats on the whole boat! There were a lot of crocodiles around, and they said that for every crocodile you see above water you can assume that there are 5-8 more nearby that are underneath the water. That means that that river had A LOT of crocodiles around! They dangle meat from the upper deck of the boat, and then they lure the crocs RIGHT next to where we were sitting. The crocodiles then jump out of the water by using their tails, and they go after the food! It was really cool to see, and it was a perfect day outside :) The crocodiles are really big, and it quite scary when they pop up so close! I would not want to be anywhere near that water not in a vehicle. We saw some small crocodiles, but a few that we saw were pretty big!

Tonight is our Sunday tea!!! Enjoy the crocodile pics :)


Let's go to a Footie Match!

This weekend has been great so far! Last night Carlee, Sofia and I went out on the town! We took a bus and then went to a bar called The Tap. It was this great outdoor bar with trees and plants all around, and they had these huge fishbowl drinks. We all shared two of those drinks, and they both were so tasty! After that we walked around downtown, and then went to a vodka bar in the Ducks Nuts bar. There were a ton of different flavors of vodkas, but we didn't get any because we knew they would be too expensive! It was cool to see all the crazy flavors of vodka like sour gummy worms, orange skittles, strawberries and cream, musk (?), and many others. Once we were done checking that place out we went to an Irish pub called Kitty O Sheas, and finished our night there. Roger and Kaye came and picked us up after that and we headed home to sleep!

Today we went to the market in the morning, and we got some fresh food and smoothies. We then walked around and saw all the stands. They had some really cool stuff, and a lot of things were very tasty! I bought a really cool sandstone rock that it pink and white striped. I thought it was cool, but I know Sofia and Carlee weren't as interested! haha We tried some hot sauce that was made with the worlds hottest chili. It tasted really good, but it was so hot that my entire mouth burned for a long time, and I was coughing a lot. My tongue went numb for a little while afterwards, but in the end I really liked the sauces flavor!

After the market we hung out at home for a while, but then we went to an Aussie Rules Football Match. People call them footie matches, so that is where I got my title :) It was really cool to watch, and it was so fast paced! We had some beers while watching, and then we had a traditional game food, meat pies with tomato sauce (ketchup). They were good, so were the beers, and so was the game! The Tiwis beat the Wanderers by quite a bit, but it was still a good game. It is even better in person to watch! ( just for your information mom and dad)

Tomorrow we are heading to a river with Blake to go on a crocodile cruise. I am excited to see them up close! They say the crocs even jump out of the water, which will be dangerous and scary but oh well! It is an experience I have to have :) We then have our Sunday tea later in the day, which I am already looking forward to! I hope all is well in the states!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

A little Aussie Update

So we had our Sunday tea, which was quite the feast! It was delicious, and there was quite the variety. I loved the chicken, veggies, bread, potatoes, gravy, etc! We had some AMAZING mango cheesecake, and I will get that recipe because it was probably the best cheesecake I have ever had. We have that feast to look forward to every Sunday, so I am very excited! Carlee comes every week too, so we all get to enjoy it!
This week has gone by pretty quickly, and it has been good. Monday I was in the classroom by myself, and it went really well. I am finally getting used to the class, and I am more comfortable around them. On my way to school on Tuesday, I was walking to my school, and I turned my head and there was a HUGE lizard right next to me. I of course screamed and ran away, but then I realized I had to take a picture! I walked very slowly and got close to the guy, and I snapped a quick picture. He started to look angry, so I quickly left. I am glad I did because my teacher said they get grumpy and then will chase you! Apparently it is rare to see such a large frilled neck lizard, but of course I managed to almost run into one. Other than that school has been good, and I am having fun with them. Tomorrow is Friday so I get to drink in the teachers lounge with the other teachers after school! :) 
I was sick today, and I slept a long time. Luckily I feel better now, but I still have a headache and am sore. Kaye was super sweet and got me a feel better present! I got a new pair of shorts that I love! They are so comfy :) Hopefully I will be 100% tomorrow so I can have a good weekend, and those shorts did help cheer me up! 
I love the money here! I took some more pictures because all of the bills are so pretty. 
Sofia tried vegemite the other day, but I have not taken the plunge yet. I will need to do that soon though :) 

Tomorrow I teach my lesson on Thanksgiving! Next week I teach all about probability. I am on track to teaching the class, and I am excited. They are so laid back here it makes it less stressful, and I feel very welcome in the school.

Well this weekend we are planning on doing some exciting adventures...not exactly sure what yet, but you will hear about them soon enough! Sunday we are for sure going to a lake nearby, and then we have our feast! Looking forward to another weekend here :)