After the Gold Rush

18 10 2011

I suck.

It has been SO long.

My only excuse is having a blast and loving my vacation.

So last time I posted I was on my way to Forest to meet Jeff’s family, having stopped at Niagara Falls.  I’ll now try to sum up the past month quickly, for your sake!

I already told you about getting to his parents’ house and meeting his mom right away.  She gave me a hug right off the bat after I extended my hand.  She shook it but then said I’m gonna give you a hug and pulled me in.  I’ll spare you the detailed breakdown of the weeks I spent in Ontario just because there were a lot of days elapsed.  Long story short is that everything went really well and his parents (seemed to) like me!  Jeff’s nephew also now owns my heart.

Apple picking with the little man

One thing I SHOULD tell you all about is Cedar Point Park!  Jeff, his mom, and I went there soon after arriving in Forest and spent two days.  The park is in Ohio, so I won’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it, I hadn’t either.  When Jeff told me about it he was singing the park’s praises, so I looked it up and found out that it’s been rated the best amusement park in the world for the past 13 years!

We spent the entire first day on roller coasters.  No filler rides or taking breaks in between!  Just roller coasters.  Amazing.
The second day Jeff’s mom didn’t come with us but Jeff and I went back and spent about half of the day in the water park attached and then went back and rode some of our favourite rides again.

A vital note is also my realization of just how addicted I am to garlic fingers.. ordering a pizza to our hotel room in New York and then again in Ohio without garlic fingers was so WEIRD and wrong.  Dear The rest of the world, get garlic fingers.  Sincerely, people who are doing it right.

My kryptonite

Some other highlights of my trip through Ontario included visiting friends in Toronto overnight and then more friends in London!  It was really great to see some old friends again and some friends that I didn’t expect to get to see again anytime relatively soon.  I was very happy!
P.s. this is the view (no zoom) from my friends’ balcony in Toronto!!

The only editing I did was adding a filter with Instagram!

On our way back from Toronto we stopped in London to see another friend of mine I used to proctor with.  When I said goodbye to him last April I didn’t think I was going to get to see him again and it made me pretty upset.  Thankfully I was able to see him again and I really hope it happens again!  This is the beautiful view from his apartment in London!  So pretty.

I wish I saw this every time I looked out my window

On the way back home we stopped overnight in Québec City so that we didn’t have to drive for 16 hours straight.  If you haven’t been to that city, GO.  It is SO pretty and the architecture is amazing.  We also expected to be the victims of cold shoulders and disgruntled Quebecois because we aren’t french, but everyone we talked to either spoke English well or didn’t care at all!  It was a really great pit stop and I suggest you spend some time there if you can!

Chateau Frontenac

Inside the Chateau, taken from… the 20th floor I think?

I’d like to live here for sure

Now, I’m back in Fredericton and after some plan changes so is Jeff!  No more goodbyes 🙂
Life is really good right now and I can’t stop smiling.  Everything’s going well and I feel like it’s a bit undeserved and I’m waiting for something to go wrong.. but here’s hoping that doesn’t happen!





Joining You

3 09 2011

I actually have an excuse as to why I haven’t updated in so long this time!

Jeff and I had to pack our lives up and move out of our apartment in Fredericton.  What complicated this whole process?  We had to be out of our subletted apartment on August 25th but I wasn’t allowed to move into my apartment for the next year until September 1st… whaddup homeless?!  So I called the landlord and got a bit of an extension and we were allowed to stay until the 27th or August but we were still in a bit of a pickle as to what to do with our stuff.

Jeff had always planned on packing his stuff up permanently to take home with him since he’s going away for those six months of training but we still had to put my stuff somewhere.. including a bed..
Thankfully my roommate Sunny has a most wonderful girlfriend Shannon who offered her apartment  for us to store our stuff including our bed in an extra bedroom.
Things have a way of working out sometimes don’t they!?

So HANYWAYS.  We packed our apartment up, took our belongings to Shannon’s house, slept in her spare room for the night, and then headed to Ontario Saturday morning.

Not bad packing considering we’re gone for three weeks!

Our original plan was to drive all the way to Niagara Falls on Saturday, 14+ hours of driving, stopping for some food and to switch drivers.  It turned out to be quite a trek though so we stopped in a city called Oriskany just outside of Utica, New York to sleep.  On the drive out I remembered talking to my cousin about stopping at her place while we were on the road because she hadn’t met Jeff yet, so we ended up making two overnight stops on the journey rather than driving the whole way in one go as we had planned.  That turned out to be a much better idea.  We were better rested, not cranky, not sore from sitting in the car, and well fed!

So after stopping in NY, and just before stopping in Burlington, we actually went to Niagara Falls!  It was so beautiful.  Lots of tourists obviously, and there are lots of tourist traps, but the falls themselves were awesome.  Jeff asked if I wanted to do the maid of the mist because he’s been on it before, and I told him I didn’t really care.  I thought it’d be nice, but wouldn’t be disappointed if we didn’t.. I decided that if it was more than 30 dollars I wouldn’t do it, but otherwise we would.  Turns out it only costs $16.50!  Ridiculous right?  So of course we did it.

Not bad for iPhone pictures eh?

Sexy Ponchos

Totally worth it.  The feeling and sound of being right in the middle of the falls is amazing.  It’s loud but quiet, it’s scary but calm… loved it.  If you’re in Niagara and debating whether or not to ride the Maid, then definitely give it a shot.  You’ll not regret it.  We also ate at the Rainforest Cafe in Niagara.  Pretty neat set up!  A little more geared towards kids, but it was more fun than subway!

Rainforest Cafe

Might be a bit dark… this is how it looks inside

**Sidenote, when we left Burlington to head to Forrest we stopped at Ikea too; I’d never been to one before!

First Time!

When we did finally get to Jeff’s parents’ house in Ontario, we spent two nights here before going back to the states again!  Lord have I had enough of the US of A.  It is the WORST.  So much obesity, stupidity, and SO much about God and Jesus from people who don’t even understand the religion and the history.  GUHHHHH.  If nothing else being there completely reaffirmed my devotion to atheism.

RIDICULOUS

On a lighter note, we went to Cedar Point Park in Ohio, rated the world’s best amusement park for the past 13 years!  I know!  I hadn’t even heard of it either!  How can it be the world’s best if no one knows it exists right?  After having spent two days there however, I can confirm that it IS the best.  I had an AMAZING time there.

We left Ohio, did a little shopping in the states, bought some beer at the duty free of course, and came back to Forrest.

Since being in Forrest for this small amount of time we’ve played it pretty low-key.  I met a lot of Jeff’s family, fell in love with his nephew (he’s 2), and caught up on our sleep.  We have some plans to see some of his old friends and some of my friends in London/Toronto in the coming couple of weeks.. but I’m excited for being able to take it easy for a little while; I haven’t had a vacation in a long time.





Gone Too Far

25 08 2011

I really thought I was going to get better at keeping you all updated.. many apologies.

Don’t tell anyone, but I usually write my blogs at work, but the past while I’ve been super busy basically refurbishing our entire lab. We had to sort through every chemical and decide whether or not we still needed or not and/or if it was expired. Then we scrubbed and swept and organized everything else. At first everyone was helping, but that last about a day. Then it was virtually all me. I’m SO tired of chemicals. I just finished organizing and alphabetizing our dry chemical cabinet and there are 320 some chemicals in there alone. Eff.
So no blog writing at work for me unfortunately.

My slight OCD might have had me secretly enjoying this

It’s been 9 days since I last posted and I MIGHT struggle to remember everything that happened since then. But one thing that comes to my mind pretty quickly is that it was my birthday! I turned 22 on Sunday and had a really great weekend celebrating it! Jeff and I decided to make the weekend a little more ‘us’ focused and slightly romantic since it was my birthday but also because it was Jeff’s last weekend in Fredericton. So Friday we just hung out at home, cleaned up a bit, watched some of our favourite shows, played some games etc. It was relaxed and very necessary after our long week of work.

Saturday we had an upbeat date and the two of us had some drinks and went out! What wasn’t so unfortunate at the time but what turned out to be unfortunate was the amount of alcohol that we decided to consume. We drank everything.
We each had a bottle of wine at home before we went out and split a 6 pack. Then when we got to the bar we had a great time dancing but also had about 5 more drinks of hard liquor at the bar. We met some friends there and went back to their place and they gave us another beer.
We drank too much. I knew we were drinking too much the whole time. Where was my discipline?

Consequently, Sunday was spent trying to heal. I was a wreck. I had to make myself sick in the morning in an attempt to feel better, my head was pounding… not fun at all. So my actual “birthday” was a bit of a write off but I had so much fun Saturday night that it really wasn’t an issue 🙂 Plus it was nice to just lay in bed with Jeff taking care of me.

Monday night a couple friends came to East Side’s for apps and drinks for a modest celebration. The apps were delicious as always and I got some really sweet gifts! If any of you gift givers are reading, I really appreciate your thought! I was smiling all night. However, please note that gifts are not and never will be expected! I’m not huge on birthday attention so if in the future you’re unsure about getting me a gift, you really don’t have to worry about it 🙂

A few other quick mentions of goings-on over the past week, Jeff and I spent one of the nicer afternoons after work at the park! We just brought some snacks, our books, and the iPod+speaker and read in the sun. We also MAY have played a sailor moon drinking game one night too. HILARIOUS. Leave a comment if you’d like me to explain the rules.

We had a skype date with Serena! She’s in Ireland.. err.. was in Ireland, she’s in England again now but she’s coming back to Freddy this weekend! I won’t be seeing her until the 15th though, which really is too bad but I’ll be in Ontario until then.

I also got a haircut!

I think that might be all… I hope you all had a good week!





Pull Me Under

16 08 2011

So I’m finally writing my post about Sydney.

Here we go.  Sorry for the delay.  I hope it’s as exciting as the build up made it seem!

I talked about meeting the Tanjas on my day trip to the Great Ocean Road and about how they asked me to go to Sydney with them here.

I got home from my trip and got onto my computer immediately.  I found a flight to Sydney but it was unfortunately not the same flight that the Tanjas were taking, mine was the day after theirs.  Not really a big deal, they just got to the hostel earlier than I did.  I booked my flight and was SO happy about it!  I had finally found friends and was going to get to travel with them.  I was smiling sincerely for what was probably the first time since I’d gotten to Australia.

Me and the T’s… also some random guy who jumped into the picture

I got there late so the Tanjas were already back in the hostel after their day.  I got my room key and went down to my room (the T’s were staying in a 2-person room the floor above me… I naturally went cheap and got a 10-person room).  I expected to be a bit uncomfortable in this 10 person room by myself, but the level of discomfort was out of control.  One of the guys was living in the hostel semi-permanently and was working in construction, so he was getting up at around 5 am and waking the rest of us up.  Two of the guys were Swedish I think, maybe Norwegian, I can’t remember.. but they didn’t speak much english and were always together and not very attractive.   They also liked to walk their unattractive selves around the room in just their underwear and it was not pleasant at all.  Another guy was Australian and always drunk, one of the guys was chinese and didn’t say a word when he was awake but he mostly just slept every day (some vacation eh?).  I don’t remember much about the other ones.

Enough about the hostel awkwardness.  I got my stuff under/onto my bed so that everyone else knew it was taken and went up to find the T’s.  We went out to wander the streets a little bit just to get our bearings for the next day.  We grabbed a very quick supper (I hadn’t eaten in a long time) and just went back to the hostel to sleep.

The next morning we agreed on a time to get up and had breakfast in the hostel.  We got ready ASAP so that we could take in as much of the city as possible.  We walked down to the waterfront and took some touristy pictures of the bridge and opera house from afar and walked around the harbour until we actually got to the opera house.

Street Art

Not very flattering.. but that’s the Sydney Harbour Bridge behind me

Opera House

Now like I say, I can’t remember the order of events AT ALL.  So I don’t know if it was actually next or not, but we went to the Zoo and I went to the Aquarium by myself (because they’d already seen it, or maybe had been to one in Melbourne or something and weren’t feeling it.. I don’t remember).  The Zoo was a lot bigger than I was expecting and had some really cool animals in it!  The aquarium on the other hand was slightly smaller, but not disappointing by any means!  It was new for me to be doing something like that on my own but it was kind of nice!  Not that I didn’t want the T’s there, it was just a new and refreshing experience to set my own pace doing the touristy stuff.  I’m sure Jess would appreciate what I’m saying and probably agree with me.

Big Gross Grasshoppers

Big Croc 😐

Just Chillin

Cassowary – The freakiest looking bird on the planet

I have some pictures from the aquarium too, but I kind of feel like if you’ve been to an aquarium you’ve been to them all hahahha.  Here’s a few anyway I guess:

Manatees! I like these guys

Sea Dragon

Dude

Sea Cucumber and Sea Apples

I was loving seeing Sydney and being a tourist with the T’s, but I have to be honest when I say that going back to that awkward hostel sort of loomed over me every single day.  It really was brutal.  Anyway.. another one of the days we went out to the beach!  Bondi Beach to be more specific, you may have heard of it, maybe you haven’t.  It’s a pretty famous Australian beach, lots of surfers, tourists, and native aussies.  The downside?  Because it’s so famous it’s become somewhat of a contest to be at the beach.  Everyone there belonged to one or more of the following categories:

  1. I do nothing but work out all day
  2. I’ve had a boob job
  3. I take steroids
  4. I have a fake tan
  5. I don’t really surf but I pretend to because it makes me look more cool/australian and it helps me pick up

Bondi Beach

So needless to say, the T’s and I more or less kept to ourselves and enjoyed the (somewhat shy) sun and waves.  Tanja K and I MAY have tried to enjoy the waves a bit too much though…
Not a bit of an exaggeration when I say this, I near drowned at Bondi Beach that day.
The waves were big, bigger than I’m used to on my little island.  Tanja and I didn’t realise just how big and dangerous the surf was until it was a bit too late.  We felt completely fine, and having a great time out in the water, when we casually decided to go back to the beach and lay down for a bit.
We turned around and that’s when things went wrong.
The backrush of water was overpowering, the undertows were much stronger than I could handle and, without sounding cocky, I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years so for me to feel overwhelmed in the water is not a good situation.  I was so worried about Tanja.
There were many times that I got hit with a wave and sucked underwater by an undertow and ended up with some much rushing, swirling water that I quite literally didn’t know which way was up, I couldn’t find the surface.  A couple of times I only knew where to go to breathe by hitting my face on the sand underwater.  It took everything in my not to panic and to remember how to get out of this.  Tanja had started crying, I grabbed her hand and told her to swim sideways and to try to stay on top of the waves.  We fought the water for awhile, and I was very close to screaming and throwing my hands in the air so we could hopefully be rescued, but we got lucky and our feet hit sand a few times.  Thank god Darwin we did because I wasn’t sure how much longer I could fight and help Tanja too.  We didn’t get to stand for long.. every time we hit sand we got smacked by another wave, so we have to sort of shove off the sand as hard as we could to launch ourselves as far forward as we could towards the beach.  Eventually we made it back.  Completely exhausted and terrified, we laid on the sand for awhile before going back over to the other Tanja.
The rest of the day went well!  We got over our near death experience and kept on trying to make the most of our adventure in Sydney.  At least I have a story to tell now right?

Me and Tanja.. unaware of what’s about to happen

Tanja M deciding she didn’t want to go… she was the smarter of the three of us

Tanja’s top MIGHT have been waved off.. should’ve probably taken a hint

Ummm… that might be all I have to say about Sydney.  I had a really good time minus dieing and the awful hostel mates!  I would probably recommend only staying in Sydney for 3, maybe 4 days.  I was there for five and we ran out of things to do pretty quickly.  I did go see Wicked with Tanja K while we were there though and it was really awesome.

Thanks so much for reading!  Next post is about my University of Melbourne orientation and the week I spent with the international students.  It was SO much fun and I met a lot of the friends I stay in contact with now during that week.

Aren’t you glad I didn’t die?





Yoü and I

16 08 2011

The visit with Courtney and Kyle last night was a great success!  Jeff and I had some supper then took a nap after work and waited for the two of them to come over.  They got to the apartment around 7:30 and the four of us went down to the Garrison to meet up with the group around 8:45.

I had originally thought it was going to be a triple date.. three couples, three You and I’s, but there were about 16 of us and it was great :). We all had some drink(s) and apps (or desserts).  It was first time ordering food at the Garrison and I was not let down that’s for sure.   Jeff and I split the Firecracker Havarti and some Sweet Potato Fries.  The Havarti was unbelievable; chunks of what seemed to be spicy (maybe jalapeno?) Havarti wrapped in a pastry sort of thing and served warm with a sweet chili ranch sauce.  Delicious.  The sweet potato fries were also delicious, how could they not be right?  They’re sweet potato fries.  But they were some of the best sweet potato fries I’ve had a in long time.

Last night was also my first time having a Hoegaarden beer!  It was really really good if any of you haven’t had it.  It’s a light beer, served with an orange slice, and has a really nice citrus taste with a bit of an unknown spice thrown in there too.  I recommend it!

I was going to combine this post with a post about my trip to Sydney like I said, but I decided to make them two separate posts just for the sake of being able to categorize them.  Thanks for reading!

OH!  And just because, here’s the new Gaga video!  I really like it, but I’m not sure I understand what’s going on/the ‘story’.  Regardless.. she’s sexy and it works for me!





Help!

15 08 2011

Last night I sprung an impromptu date on Jeff; I had been texting Tom through the evening and then he said that he was going to the movies with Callen to see “The Help”.  I told him I was jealous cause Jeff and I had talked about wanting to see it when we saw the trailer on Apple awhile back and then more when the previews for it came on before other movies.

Amazing Movie

So ANYWAY!  Tom and Callen said they were going to see it last night and I turned to Jeff at 9:35 and said “Wanna go to a movie?”.  The last showing started at 9:45.  Thank Darwin he made a quick decision to say yes because we were up from the couch and in the car in about 16.9 seconds.  I bought the tickets online while he drove to the theatre and we made it in time to get popcorn and see the previews!!  (We both love the previews, do you guys?)

If any of you aren’t sure if you want to see The Help or think you don’t want to at all, change your mind!  It was AMAZING.  Probably the best movie I’ve seen in years.  I loved it.  It was funny, sad, serious, laughable, cute, frustrating… everything.  I’m definitely buying it.  And watching it weekly.

Tonight my friends Kyle and Courtney are coming to Fredericton on their way to Florida (I think) for the night!  They’re also friends with Sunny so I think they’re staying in Sunny’s room while they’re here.  We’re all going out for drinks and apps tonight and I’m pretty excited!  Triple date with me and Jeff, Sunny and Shannon, and Kyle and Courtney?  I can see it being a lot of fun.





Sunscreen

14 08 2011

Hey look!  An update one day after the last!

Friday, my good friend Maja came over to the apartment to make pizza and watch a movie.  I was actually so happy to have a low-key evening especially with two wonderful people like Maja and Jeff.  We made this pizza:

Delicious Pizza

and after we ate it we watched The Blindside.  I was SO impressed with Sandra Bullock’s performance.  She played a southern christian football mom, but she had many facets to her personality and she pulled it all off so well!  She was intense, compassionate, hard, soft, funny, all at the same time.  It also had a great story and was based on real events!  I really suggest watching it if you haven’t already (I know I’m behind on this one).

Yesterday Jeff, Sunny, Shannon (Sunny’s gf) and I went to Magic Mountain for the day.  It was so so much fun.  Sunny and Shannon had coupons for a buy one get one free entry to the park so we spent the day going down water slides and getting some sun.  You have no idea how happy it made me to be able to get out into the sun again…

Magic Mountain

After Magic Mountain we stopped at the Taj Majal in Moncton for supper.  I think we had some of the best indian food I have ever eaten there.   I will say that the Malai Kofta from the Curry House is better than that from the Taj Majal, but otherwise… I think the TM wins!

Amazing. Indian. Food.

Jeff and I had many a discussion about the TATTOOS IN MONCTON!  The amount of DOUCHEBAGS with DOUCHEY tattoos at Magic Mountain was out of freakin control!
I should’ve taken pictures but I left my phone in the car when we were in the park.

Douche

Also, there  are two new slides there and they’re FUN.  They’re both short rides, but one’s a very fast, enclosed tube waterslide that is actually pretty scary, but ends with huge smiles.  The other is pretty much a straight down fall, again not a long slide, but the big deal is that you start the slide by standing on a trapdoor!  You get into a capsule thing and the attendant will either count you down or give you a ‘surprise’ and release the trapdoor and you literally fall onto the straight down slide underneath you.  Lots of fun.
Slight unfortunate sidenote?  Jeff and I may have gotten burnt a little bit.

Now I’m watching football.  I know.  My first full game of football but I’m trying very hard to get into it.  Jeff happens to be a big football fan because his family grew up watching everything sports and went to football games often.  So I’m trying to get into his interests a little more just so that we can be a LITTLE more like the same person.
I’m actually enjoying it so far.. but there’s a lot about the game and professional sports in general that gets on my nerves.. I’ll blog about that soon I promise, and your thoughts/comments are very welcome.
We watched the Dallas Cowboys beat the Denver Broncos and now we’re watching the Chicago Bears and the Buffalo Bills play… I MAY have read the wikipedia article on “American Football” in order to not be completely in the dark when watching.  Yep.  I’m a loser.

Hope you all had a really great weekend!  I hope I get to update again tomorrow.  Thanks for reading!