30 May 2010

Look what I found

I found these on mum's iPhone this morning. They put a huge smile on my face.

29 May 2010

Day 28

Alright, I've been MIA for a long time. Its because I got my heartbroken. Not by any guy, no of course not, but by my computer. Approximately two weeks ago, I got online in the morning to get my pictures ready for the blog. By the afternoon, I was ready to post them but decided to take a break from the computer. Later that day, I turned my laptop on but there was only a white screen. I tried again, again, again. Nothing. My heart broke.
I was devo, devastated, but heard dad's words saying, "Its nothing but a thing."
Anyway, they were beautiful. The best set I had taken on the entire trip. They were pictures of Uncle Peter's house in Koondrook. His house is on the Australian registry of landmark buildings like the house next to mine in Provo. There were pictures of Aunty Julia teaching me to cook Fijian curry, there were pictures of pub-goers, and fallen red gums into the Murray River. It was really my favorite place thus far.
From now on I will listen to mum when she says "don't erase the pictures from the camera."

On a happier note, I am going to a footy game today. Uncle Michael is taking me to the stadium to barrack for Port Adelaide: Port Power! This is going to be awesome. Their colors are black, white, and teal. That's excellent because those colors look great on me. I bet the players would look great on me, too. Just jokes. I'm researching AFL rules so I can have some idea of what's going on. Basically the rules are they run with the ball but bounce it once every 10 metres, they pass the ball by holding in one hand then punching it to the teammate, when they get 50 metres away from the goal, they kick it in. They cannot hit in the back or strangle around the neck, but pretty much everything else is a go. I'm sure I'll learn more today.

10 May 2010

Day 7

Today, I made dinner for everyone. Dinner has, lately, consisted of everything fit for king and queens. Aunty and Uncle have fed us well, and its about time I returned the favor, or favour rather. I decided sausage rolls should be on the menu.
Sausage rolls and Meat pies are the staple here. It is nothing more than hearty mince meat wrapped up, rolled up, or sheltered by mouth-watering puffy buttery pastry. This is just not something you find in any American grocery store, sadly. So I took on the task of learning how to make and serve sausage rolls. My inspiration came from my adventures here Down Under, but my education came from Master Chef, Australia's Top Chef. We've been watching this show almost every night. Let me pause here and say that all is not lost within the Myers' identity. Just when I thought I didn't really belong in this family being a "hippie and all" as they like to label, here is common ground when it comes to food and food networks. We love watching cooking television. No one ever gets tired of it, and I think we all love the food as much as the sounds of the spatulas on the metal bowls and the wooden spoons on the pans. Oh, it's delightful.
Anway, Master Chef made sausage rolls the other night, so I knew with their guidance I could not go wrong. It was simple enough: combine sausage mince (pork, not beef thank you very much), sauteed onions and garlic, shredded carrots, oregano and thyme. Work it with your hands then form it into logs and wrap in puff pastry. Brush with egg wash, cook at 120C (I don't know the Fahrenheit equivalent, look it up with your iPhone McGoogle hands) then enjoy. They're Good As, as the Aussies say.
That's all for now.

07 May 2010

Mum and I at a waterfall in the Blue Mountains

Jimmy our guide, what a guy. He called us his possums. Precious

Felicita, she made all thousand steps! I'm proud of her.

Day 2

We caught a bus to Bondi Beach, a $5 1 hour round trip. When we arrived to the coast, it was raining, so we warmed up in the Cozzi Cafe with fish and chips and rich hot chocolate. After about half an hour, we walked a good portion of the coast, about 3 hours. The most interesting thing I saw was a swimming pool right next to the ocean. Why? I'm sure there is a reason. I think the life savers (lifeguards) train there, maybe little babies swim there. I just think its funny that its right next to the ocean. Maybe its for people that are creeped out by seaweed in their feet. Either way, it was a beautiful sight to see.
We came home later in the evening. We were too tuckered out to walk the city, so I just worked on my hair for a couple hours. Dreads are the most high maintenance things I've ever had to deal with. I thought since I didn't own a brush or care to fix my hair beforehand, dreads were right up my alley. Wrong. If I don't tease them or wax them a little every day, they are a disaster. They are great though, and not just for looks. They brought a lot of people together in my living room, all working on my hair together. It was quite bonding. Anyway, Mum's not too keen on the locks, so I managed it by myself. For two hours.
I went to my first bar that night. The hostel hosts a a side bar for the young backpackers in Sydney. My last experience with a bar was not very successful. Seth and I wanted to see Dr. Dog play at Urban Lounge, a 21 and over bar in SLC, so I thought I would use my roommate's ID to get in. After interrogating me asking how to spell my last name and my zodiac sign, the bouncers decided I, in fact, was not't McKenna Lane and told me I had to leave. So, you can imagine the excitement I had at handing over my real ID to get into a real bar. I giggled a little in the exchange, which did not thrill the bouncer at all, but whatever. Side Bar seems to be the favorite around here. There was a great cover band and heaps of beer. However, all I wanted to do was get out and dance. For all those who think I'm crazy for going to a bar in Sydney all by myself, don't be alarmed. It was right around the corner from the hostel, so I had virtually 15 steps to walk- not bad. I got there a little early, around 9, so I had to wait for people to get a little more wasted before anyone started dancing. Finally, people were dancing. I met a couple guys from Chile that were the sweetest. Then their hostel roommates came, Lucy from Korea and Fanny from France. We had a good time dancing together and showing off our best moves. Sometime into the night, Ifelt someone pull on my hair. I turn around and this guy asks if my dreads are real. Of course they are. We ended up talking a while, he told me he had dreads for 10 years and gave me some tips. That's lucky. So I went back and forth between my dread friend and my dancing buddies. Eventually, dread friend asked if he could buy me a drink, and I said no I was fine. He kept asking, and I finally told him I don't drink or smoke, I just liked to dance. "Are you religious" he asked. "Yea, I'm Mormon, so I don't do any of that stuff." "What's Mormon, never heard of it." That was a short conversation.
Can you believe he never heard of a Mormon before? He was bewildered just as much as me to say the least. So then he asked if he could buy me a vodka instead of a beer. Noooooo, I'm fine thanks. "Let me buy you a f*** drink." He wasn't rude at all, just didn't know what to do with me. It was really amusing, actually. So I just kept dancing some more then left soon after with my new girlfriends Lucy and Fanny. I said goodbye to my good, Chilean boys who weren't gonna let anyone mess with me then bye to dread friend, who in his shock and horror didn't know what to do with me except grab my head and kiss me on the cheek. One of the funnest and funniest nights I've ever had.

Australia 1

The trip begins in Salt Lake. We flew from Salt Lake to LA to Brisbane to Sydney. Everything went off without a hitch except that our carry-ons were too large for the Qantas flight from LA to Oz, so we had to check our bags. This wasn't too much of a hassle because we were tired of lugging them around in the first place, and - let's be honest - I only packed shoes in my carry-on. If it got lost permanently, it was probably for the best.

Day 1
We arrived in Brisbane, skipped Monday and jumped right into Tuesday morning. All our baggage came on a different flight so we had to wait around for it. Finally, after two hours of waiting in the airport, we got onto the shuttle toward our hostel, Wake Up! It was a funky little place with a cafe, a movie room, a bar and nightclub, computers, and a laundromat. Mum booked us a private bunk room for 3 days. What a lady! The first day there, we fought jet lag by walking all over the town. We went for an hour-long walk from the hostel to the harbour. We saw the Opera House and the Bridge. It was spectacular. There are hardly words to describe things you've only seen in pictures and movies. When they come to life, you have to pause and really savor the moment. Then search for the next thing to fly off the pages of your dreams. That's why I can't wait for heaven. It's gonna be better than anything anyone has ever imagined, described, depicted or interpreted. Everything in this harbour was much more grand, big, and real than I could have imagined. After that, we came back down to earth by grabbing our first meat pies. This was the defining step, the initiation, the icing on the cake, it meant we were truly in Australia and here to stay for a little while at least. Meat pies, sausage rolls, cream buns, etc. are a trademark of Australia. You can find them everywhere for less than $4. They fill you right up. After a delightful evening in the city, we made it home and indulged in some much needed shut-eye.