Live in This City

3 09 2012

Howdy!

A lot has happened since I last updated about wanting a pet!

Most of you probably already know that I actually adopted two puppies from a refuge in Madawaska County in Edmundston! Their names are Iza and Jake, they’re German Shepherd puppies and are brother and sister. I love them.

I’ve had a lot of people say things like, “Two dogs! That’s a lot of work!” or even “Why did you get two!?”. Well my friends, I work at least 8 hours a day, Monday-Friday, and so I didn’t really want to leave a puppy home alone for that long; I’ve wanted to have two dogs for the LONGEST time; and they’re brother and sister! They were just begging to be adopted together. All things considered together, how could I NOT adopt two? On top of that, the amount of work it takes to train two puppies is definitely not twice as much as one. I would hardly even call it much harder than one puppy. You have to do the exact same things for each dog… you feed them at the same time, you take them outside to use the bathroom at the same time, you pick up their poops the same way (so what if there are two rather than one? What’s that take.. an extra 15 seconds?). The ONE thing I can imagine would count as “more work” is trying to discipline them both when they do something wrong. I.e. if Iza’s chewing on something she’s not supposed to, she gets scolded; then if Jake decides to chew something else, he gets scolded. So yes.. maybe there is ‘more training’ to do, BUT do not overlook the fact that they see the other one being scolded and so typically when one gets scolded for something, the other one learns from it too. They’re also best friends and love to play with each other and it’s adorable. WEOO Puppies!

In other news, I moved into a new house! I wanted out of the apartment I was in because it was way too loud and didn’t have a yard for the dogs. It was fine when they were small and young, but big dogs can’t stay in an apartment like that. They needed room to run around, not to mention me not wanting to clean up their poop and pee so frequently from off of the balcony. The apartment was loud because it was downtown, right beside a Greco Pizza, so we heard their bomb cars coming and going at all hours of the night to do their deliveries, as well as the transfer trucks coming in the wee hours of the morning to deliver the stock for them. PLUS the dumpster sized garbage trucks that would come to empty the garbages, and they’re LOUD. Jeff and I literally slept with ear plugs in. So the new house takes care of that problem! It’s further away from work, but it’s not loud anymore, it’s in a nice neighbourhood with lots of green things versus pavement.

A guy I graduated with also works at the mill with me and he’s moved into the house too so now I have a roommate and someone to talk to, so the whole…

Home alone, trying to find something to do

has been slightly improved! We still sort of do our own things, since he likes sports and gambling and I’m not particularly adept at either… but it’s still great to have a friend around.

We’re both actually going back to Fredericton this weekend! I’m driving the two of us and the dogs there Friday afternoon. Pumped for the split in gas cost! Win-win situations are the best.
He’s going to visit friends and… I think there’s something else he was planning on doing.. now I feel like a bad friend for not remembering.
I’m also going to visit friends, but the frosh week concert is that weekend too and it’s DRAGONETTE! I’m so fucking excited.

Martina of Dragonette

My wonderful friend Natalie said we (me and the dogs) can stay with her which is nice since another friend had planned on letting me stay but his landlord vetoed it because of the dogs.. blurg.

OH WELL! Everything’s working out nicely and life is hanging out on the positive side of the spectrum ūüôā
If only I got to see Jeff a little more often, then life would be pretty close to perfect. (He left Saturday morning for school to take his second degree).

I hope the update left you all feeling a little more filled in on my life and a little more intrigued in the idea of having two dogs around hahhaha
Thanks for reading!

Did anyone else notice the double whammy title to this post!? Talking about moving and living in Edmundston AND it’s a Dragonette song? I’m so clever. You don’t have to tell me.





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 Qu√©bec 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 ūüôā
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.





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 ūüėź

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?





Here Comes the Sun

22 06 2011

The second trip I went on was with the same company that did the Penguin Parade tour that I mentioned here.  This tour however was of the Great Ocean Road!

The Great Ocean Road

I approached this tour with a bit more wariness than I did the first as far as meeting friends go. ¬†I was glad to have met Coraline and Kelly last time, but wasn’t going into this tour expecting¬†to meet friends like I did before… this turned out to be a good idea since there weren’t any people on this tour that seemed keen to become friends either. ¬†There were a lot more¬†people on this tour, but still lots of couples or old people.

Our first stop was Bell’s Beach, a surf haven. ¬†I took a few pictures but there’s not much more I can say about it. ¬†It was beautiful though!

Bell’s Beach

Bell’s Beach

Bell’s Beach

I climbed onto the bus and sat down by myself, only to be joined shortly thereafter by a very large man.  Not that I was irritated or uncomfortable by the fact that he was large.. it was just that he was very hot.. and sweaty.. and took up a lot of my own space on those oh-so-small bus seats..
To make matters worse was the fact that our bus’ air conditioning broke down. ¬†It was 37 degrees that day (99 Fahrenheit for you Yankees). ¬† Needless to say there was a lot of sweat, discomfort, and irritable people. ¬†The bus driver made several calls to their dispatch for another bus but they basically said, unless we stay there and wait for hours the bus wasn’t going to be able to catch up to us. ¬†So the driver gave us the choice, we voted to either stay put and wait or to take a few quick stops along the way to jump in the ocean and cool off outside (because yes, the 37 degree weather outside was cooler than the bus). ¬†We opted to continue the tour and jump in the ocean.

I’m sure there are lots of things I could be recounting like the beautiful scenery, when the man beside me farted, contemplating my decision to come to Australia alone in the first place etc., but all I can really¬†remember after deciding to keep on truckin and bearing the heat, was making one of our stops to cool off, strolling through the trees a bit and finding a koala in a tree, which is where this picture happened:

Koala in the wild!

The important thing about this picture is that Tanja took it! ¬†Tanja and Tanja were the two girls that I met on this trip and became good friends with, yes they’re both named Tanja, and yes they’re both from Croatian. ¬†They’re from Winnipeg and we first started to chat when doing the usual “Hi, where are you from etc.” and we found out that we’re all from Canada!

And now I had two friends again.

We stopped at another little town to go to the beach to cool off for 15 minutes, when we were there the three of us were swimming and they mentioned their plans to go to Sydney the next day and asked me what I was doing.. and for the first time in my life I said “I have no plans” and meant it very literally. ¬†I went home that night and booked a ticket to Sydney!
More about Sydney later.
The trip continued and we saw all there is to see along the Great Ocean Road, check out the link above for a few more details on what those things are. ¬†I took a helicopter ride around the Twelve Apostles, saw London Bridge and the¬†Loch Ard Gorge (I’m not sure of the sequence) and I’m pretty sure we walked around a park… ¬†Anyway, here are a few pictures:

Twelve Apostles

More of the Twelve Apostles (not in the helicopter this time)

(I hope I’m right that this is) Loch Ard Gorge

Beach right along where the Twelve Apostles are

The Tanjas and I at London Bridge

So that was that, we went home at the end of the day exhausted, a little sunburnt, but this time with two more permanent friends who were going to continue being my friends when I went to Sydney.  I was a happy boy.





Chances

19 06 2011

Alright, let’s get back to that Australia trip eh?

So as I said (here: Miles Away) ¬†I booked two day trips for myself to try and get out and DO something. ¬†If I’m being completely honest, I have to admit to being nervous to go on these trips… I was actually worried about having forgotten how to make friends, since the friends I had at that moment I sort of had for years and hadn’t needed to make¬†new ones for a long time. ¬†That’s probably a little ridiculous to be worried about. ¬†A little bit more realistically was my worry that I wouldn’t get to the pick up location at the right time or even find it! ¬†Since I’d only been into the city once before (Declan took me out ‘exploring’ one day) I wasn’t really confident in my navigating abilities!

Well, I google mapped it, tried my¬†damnedest¬†to figure out the tram system to get me into the city and decided on a route. ¬†It turns out the tram system I worked out was NOT the best route I could have taken, but what do you expect from a Canadian in Australia going into the city for what might as well be his first time? ¬†Point is, I made it! ¬†I was in the right spot, right time, the tour company showed up, I asked the guide if it was the right tour and so it was, so he asked my name to check me off his list. ¬†A list that I wasn’t on.
After a slight freak out, mostly from worry about spending my mother’s money on a tour that was about to fizzle out, we realized that I was indeed in the right place at the right time, just a day early…

No worries though!  I had managed to figure out exactly where I had to go, how early I had to leave, and got to look around the city a bit more on my own again!  I was happy, just very tired since I had to get up really early to get there.

Next day I head down, get there in plenty of time, and hop on the van to go on my trip for the day. ¬†I don’t remember the times exactly, but this trip was a long one, from about 7 am till 12 pm. ¬†It was called the “Penguin Parade” and I was so happy to have a WHOLE day taken up by something more than sitting at home, or walking around Fitzroy (my neighbourhood). ¬†Once I was on the bus and we were off, I immediately took a disliking to the girl sitting at the front; she had apparently been on the van since about quarter to six in the morning that day because she was¬†visiting¬†friends who lived outside the city and they picked her up there. ¬†I decided I didn’t like her mostly because she was the kind of person who just wouldn’t stop talking, she yacked to the driver making dumb jokes and laughing at his dumb jokes etc.

I ended up being pretty upset at the turnout of¬†travelers¬†for this trip; there was the loud girl, a quiet asian girl (who spoke english), an asian couple (who didn’t say a word at all), another woman from… Zimbabwe I think? and there may have been another older couple. ¬†Sooooo I’m sure you can guess that I was expecting yet another day by myself, just touring while being lonely.
Here’s where the story takes a wonderful turn! ¬†Our first stop was ¬†at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens (if you clicked the tour link, you’ll see that it’s been changed a bit and the first stop is now a winery.. too bad I missed out on that one), and when we got out the driver said “I’ll be doing a bit of a tour for a bit before giving you time to look around on your own if you want to listen, you can just go explore right now if you want too. ¬†Either way, let’s just meet back here at xx:xx time.” ¬†I didn’t have a watch, cell phone (yet), or my iPod so I was at a loss for keeping track of the time, so I broke my loneliness-induced shyness bubble and actually asked the loud girl and the english speaking asian if I could walk around with them because I didn’t have any way to know what time it was. ¬†Of course they said ‘sure!’ and we were off. ¬†Moral of this little story? ¬†Don’t be too judgemental; the loud girl was actually hilarious and so sweet and kind, she was just being talkative and annoying with the driver because he was annoying and talkative and the only way to bear an hour and a half with him alone was to basically do the same thing. ¬†These two girls turned out to be great people and I quickly became able to call them friends.

Coraline, Me, Kelly

I’m not 100% sure I remember the order of destinations.. but I guess that doesn’t really¬†matter right? ¬†Anyway, our next stop was at a Koala reserve where we got to see lots of koalas, wallabies, kookaburras and the like in ‘the wild’.. even though it was protected.. whatever. ¬†Beautiful place! ¬†And we got to chat and get to know each other a bit more. ¬†Coraline made a bet with us that whoever spotted the first koala would get a drink bought for them when we stopped for lunch.

Koala reserve, and the girl from Zimbabwe(?)

Turns out Kelly spotted the first Koala and so earned herself a drink from Coraline but when we got to the little town where we were eating (can’t remember for the life of me what it was called) Kelly told us that she was pregnant! ¬†So after some congratulations and awestruck remarks when we found out how far along she was (since she was still so small) Coraline was still intending to buy a drink for someone and so got one for me! ¬†Oh the bonding. hahahah

Next stop was a chocolate factory right outside of “Phillip Island” (which is where the Penguins Parade¬†up to). ¬†This place was super cool but I’m assuming it was just like any other chocolate factory out there. ¬†There were lots of cool demonstrations and stuff and a One-Tonne hunk of chocolate!

Phillip Island

Literally a tonne of chocolate

After the chocolate factory was the actual Penguin Parade. ¬†We got there and explored around the island a bit, then when it started to get dark we all moved down to the beach to the sitting area where we were to watch the penguins come in. ¬†You weren’t allowed to have cameras so as to not bother the penguins or blind them with the flash, this viewing is supposed to be harmless and not affect the penguins at all so you weren’t even supposed to talk, hushed whispers were allowed. ¬†It was super peaceful to have the quiet and just watch the penguins pour onto the beach and call to each other without everyone around you going crazy. ¬†It was definitely worth seeing if you’re down under!

Phillip Island

Baby Fairy Penguin





Miles Away

15 06 2011

If any of you know how the Australian school semesters are set up, you might be wondering why I was going down on the 20th of January (for those who don’t know how the semesters are set up, the first semester didn’t start until the beginning of March, ending in June, so January was a touch early).

Well! ¬†I had my flights booked more than a month early simply because I had a credit with Air Canada that was about to expire so I had to make the most of it. ¬†This early departure ended up being quite a mixed blessing…

When I first got to Melbourne, I got picked up at the airport by the mother and son who lived in the house I was renting out of. ¬† I set up my living situation ¬†before I left by finding myself a house that was renting out rooms online with melbournehomestay.com (or something like that if that’s not the actual site..). ¬†ANYWAY. ¬†The mother and son picked me up, holding a sign that said “Brian”, that felt nice actually; after spending about 19 hours in an airplane, knowing that I was slowly distancing myself from all of my friends and family for the next 6 months had been a difficult concept to grasp and made the trip a little bittersweet.

Katherine and Declan (the mom and son) drove me to their (our) house from the airport in their box on wheels and what I saw on the way was NOT what I expected. ¬†I guess I thought Melbourne would be a bit more ‘big city’ like, or at least resemble something like Montreal. ¬†What I found out later was that it kind of is.. I just wasn’t in the ‘city’ yet…

Very close to where I lived: Fitzroy

The City

The house I was staying in was¬†had the potential to be nice! ¬†It was big, lots of space, balconies, some super nice furniture, 2.5 bathrooms… but Katherine was just not ready to rent out her home. ¬†There was a HUGE lack of food and my housemates and I (they rented the rooms in the house out to what was originally 3 other people ¬†but one moved out and the other got kicked out so it ended up just being two of us) would complain about being hungry all the time together. ¬†It was a pretty sore issue when our rent money was supposed to include food.

So I’m living in this relatively nice house, with great housemates and a mother and son who seemed pretty great at first, but they ended up being fairly annoying in the end but it’s all ok because I’m in Melbourne, Australia right?! ¬† The weather’s amazing, the neighbourhood is safe, this is going to be an experience! ¬†But all I can think about, is how I don’t know anyone. ¬†I have nothing to do. ¬†The weather is beautiful but I don’t know where the beach is, or where a park is, etc. ¬†Turns out there aren’t many beaches near Melbourne and the parks are full of ‘commission housed’ people (which are people who can’t afford housing so the government pays for small apartments for them). ¬†So I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do with myself. ¬†I have a (now ex) boyfriend telling me that I just need to go to a bar and meet friends, smoke a joint with some people… great advice eh!? ¬†It’s not, in case you were unsure.

What I was looking for… (I found this place later)

Now the story DOES take a bit of an upswing for a bit. ¬†In order to entertain myself a bit while I’m waiting for school to start and for Maja and Erika (two girls who take Chemical Engineering with me at UNB) to show up here in Melbourne too, I book two day trips to explore a little and hopefully have some interaction with people my age. ¬†Next post, recounts on how those trips went! ¬†Thanks for reading!