Sunday, January 29, 2012

Scrapbook: Melbourne, Australia

St. Kilda Beach Pier

St. Kilda Beach

Flinders Street Station

Parliament Gardens

Hotel Esplanade in the near suburb of St. Kilda

Bike shop @ Rose Market in the near suburb of Fitzroy

Lawn Bowling @ North Fitzroy Bowls (in Fitzroy)

Lawn Bowling Celebration Dance

Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne

Footbridge linking the CBD and the Southbank

Footbridge linking the CBD and the Southbank.
{The photo is taken from the restaurant Pony Fish Island that is on an open platform underneath the bridge}

St. Kilda Beach

Luna Park in St. Kilda

Famous St. Kilda cakes and desserts

Esplanade Market in St. Kilda

Parliament Gardens

Esplanade Hotel in St. Kilda

the Rose Street Market in Fitzroy 

Me w/ Greg Mann {a jewelry maker @ the Rose Street Market}
I bought my first Australia souvenir from him! {The big ring on my pointer finger} 

Near suburb - Fitzroy

Federation Square - Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria Australia

Public Toliet in the CBD

Melbourne Laneway - CBD

Near Suburb - Fitzroy

Federation Square

Pony Fish Island {Restaurant on the Yarra River}

Flinders Street Train Station
Departing Melbourne this afternoon to go WWOOF on a alpaca farm approximately 2.5 hours outside the city. Be in touch in one week.

Sincerely Yours,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Live. Love. Australia

snapping photos. laughing. hangin' w/Ali & David. summer. new Aussie friends. belly full. birthdays. lawn bowling. conversation. sunsets. awkward suntans. road trips. Australia day. trains. Heide. botanical gardens. 

live. love. Australia.

off to the great ocean road today



Monday, January 23, 2012

...And the Adventure Begins

On the Pier - St. Kilda Beach

My gracious host - Miss. Ali Hickerson.

We gathered with many to watch light give way to dark.

Sincerely yours from Australia,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guest Post: Top 5 Things to Do in Australia

Kinds Canyon. Australia.

As mentioned yesterday, I am heading to Australia tonight! To get into the traveling spirit, I feel very privileged to feature a travel writing piece from Mackenzie of Frock. Paper. Scissors. Enjoy!

Since Australia is such a vast country (6th largest in the world), it’s often hard to pick a favorite area or place to visit. From the Red Centre to the Blue Mountains, Australia has varying terrain  (and people!), all just as breathtaking and friendly as the next. The following are my favorite places to visit while in the Land Down Under.

1.     The frothy waters of the Whitsunday Islands 
About half way between Byron Bay and Cairns on the east coast, you’ll find a string of islands unlike anywhere in the world. From the small backpackers town of Airlie Beach, you board your sailboat from the Abel Point Marina.

Then be prepared to be in awe for the next three days.

Our boast was named the SV Whitehaven, but locals knew it as the SV Misbehavin. I met my “best mate” of my Aussie trip on this boat. His name was Elliot and he was the deckhand. The 14 people on our boat learned to sail, visited a barefoot bar, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef (I saw Dori and Nemo!), sea kayaked and saw numerous sea turtles, and ate delicious Australian fare. This is an absolute must-see experience if going to Australia.

2.      The Red Centre
Although hard to get to in comparison with other Australian must-sees, the Red Centre is the true Australia and a trip here wouldn’t be complete without seeing the marvelous rock formations, 70 thousand-year-old cave drawings, and Aboriginal culture first-hand.

Although Uluru is the star of the show, Kings Canyon was my favorite experience. A grueling hike to the top, especially the first bit nicknamed “heart attack hill”, leads to a plateau overlooking hundred of miles of red earth.

 Took a 14-day tour from Darwin in the Top End to Adelaide in South Australia through OZexperience. The guiding company has amazing leaders, who teach you all about the nerdy science stuff during the day, and show you a “full on, flat out” night at pubs, etc. I met my best friends on the tour from Ireland and Denmark, and even some local Aussies. If you want to spend a substantial amount of time anywhere in OZ, book with them.

3.      Melbourne Laneways
Melbourne is a city unlike any other. Americans make comparisons to it with that of San Francisco, but I have to disagree.  Although brimming with an exuberant art and café scene, there is really something for every season, and everyone. One minute you can be musing over fashion at an art gallery, and the next visiting Rod Laver tennis arena, then hit St. Kilda for a hippie beach vibe. I instantly fell in love with this city and you will too.

My favorite Melbourne (Mel-bun) feature is its small laneways, tucked back and hidden from the busy downtown streets perpendicular to them.  Easy to miss if you don’t know what you are looking for, walk down the cobblestone streets with cafés spilling out into them and you’ll know you’ve found it. Be sure to check out Flinders Street and Centre Place for the best coffee. And order a short flat white. They’ll know.

4.      Sydney’s Taronga Zoo
When you think Sydney, you don’t usually think wild animals, but you should. To get to the zoo, take a ferry from Circular Quay. Get perfect views of the Opera House on your left and a close up shot of the bridge while taking the breezy ferry to the Northeastern suburbs.

The zoo is not only packed with cuddly koalas, kangaroos, deadly snakes, and the like, the views of the Sydney harbor are divine. Visiting here was the best day I spent in Sydney. It’s also just a short trip to popular Manly beach when you are done with your zoo fix. Be sure to bring a student ID if you have one (you get $15 off zoo admission!)

5.      Byron Bay
Known for having the best and most “rippable” surfing waves in Australia, Byron was a small beach bum and hippie town in the 1960s. Because of it’s four beached each facing a different direction, no matter what the wind is doing, there’s always a beach to surf.

So, the hippies never left, and backpackers started coming, and today it’s a hub for beach life and cold brews. The nightlife starts around 7 pm and doesn’t stop until the sun comes up. Often times nights end with skinny dips in the ocean.

It’s not too difficult to escape the party scene though, as there are many hikes and action sports to keep you busy. We also saw a humpback whale breaching on our trek to the famous lighthouse.


No matter where you go in Australia, you will find friendly locals and beautiful scenery. It's a place all it's own, and visitors and locals like it that way.

Guest Blogger Bio:
Mackenzie is a freelance travel writer and blogger from Portland, Oregon. She sees the world through rose trimmed glasses, loves nothing more than to take her golden retriever on walks in the snow, and has no problem with wearing white past Labor DayLearn more about Mackenzie and her personal adventures on her blog Frock. Paper. Scissors.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Next Adventure!

It's that time again. I am packing my bags and leaving my beloved city behind.  I'm heading west across the Pacific to see new sights and learn more about this amazing world we live in. I leave on a early evening flight on Wednesday to visit my friend Ali in Melbourne for twenty-six days!

Don't worry... updates from down under to come. 

And be sure to visit Underlined and Bold tomorrow to get a sneak peak into what it's like to backpack around the sixth largest country (by total area) in the world. Guest blogger Mackenzie will be sharing her insights on her top five favorite experiences while visiting Australia.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bold in 2012.

The great goggle search ::: Sports Authority ::: January 2, 2012

On January 2nd I jumped feet first into my resolutions list. 

Yes, I am that girl who writes up a three page word document full of goals for the new year. It might be dorky, but last year I typed a detailed resolutions list for the first time since I was a pre-adolescent. I found the experience empowering, as it gave me a keen sense of purpose and focus that I had not anticipated. The success of my 2011 list, prompted me to spend last week joyfully filling up another word document. I titled it, "2012". 

This brings us back to January 2nd. 

As the second day of the year arrived, I was armed with my list ready to go. I was ready to act boldly. Try something new. Face a fear. Tackle a bear. So I went swimming! 

I joined a gym in August. Each week I've been using the elliptical, attending spin class, climbing the Stair Master, and looking through the glass windows of the pool area with longing. I know how to swim. But I've never swam laps for exercise using free style form. Afraid of embarrassing myself, I've avoided the pool despite my yearning to jump in.

I knew I was being silly, but I let the fear take over for months.

On January 2nd, I recruited Chris to help me get over my fear. We headed to Sports Authority, where I bought cute pink goggles and a blue swim cap to match my Speedo.

With a small financial investment in swim gear, and Chris waiting in the third lane; I finally jumped into the pool. The experience was exhilarating. I practiced breast stroke with ease, and began experimenting with free style. My free style wasn't the greatest, but the cool therapeutic nature of the water quickly blocked any feelings of embarrassment.

I felt free. 


Fear no longer choking the life out of actions.

And the possible judgement of others no longer consumed my thoughts.

Later, I flipped open my lab top. I placed a strike line through the words, "swim at least once at the gym". My first resolution of the year completed.

I grinned with pride.

I added another underneath it. 

"Swim often. @ least four times per month."

Cheers to facing fears and being bold in 2012!

What resolutions are you diving into right away this year? How do you plan to act boldly in 2012? I would love to know, so please leave comments below!!

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