The REAL West Coast

G’day mates, I finally went to Australia!!!

I stayed for a month to visit John, Mum and Joanna. I’ve met Mum and Joanna before, but this was going to be a much different experience because, duh, I’ve never been to Australia!

I’m gonna start with the food because yes I eat a lot and traveling, like I always say, is one of the best reasons to eat your heart out. From the glossy pink finger buns to the addicting meat pies, not gaining 10 pounds would have been illegal in my genetic makeup. Yeah, I gained some weight but I don’t really care. That’s life! BUT I did eat everything that John has always told me about. Crumpets, hot cross buns, fish and chips on the beach, Malt-Os, Turkish delights, Arnott’s, brekkie bowls (YES), KFC chicken nuggets (whaaat?) and more!! Not to mention the comforting food of Mum. Mmmmm. Why is mother’s cooking always so much better? Anyways, holy delicious.

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Hot Cross Buns and Turkish Delights

My most memorable dish though was hands-down, definitely the carrot and beetroot salad that John’s neighbor, Elaine, made for me. It was dressed in a tangy whole mustard, maple syrup elixir that was just to die for. She said you need to, “shake it to bits!” Oh Eliane. Let me tell you she is the cutest, most thoughtful, garden-loving woman I’ve ever met. Elaine’s lived next to them for years, and has watched John grow into the wonderful man that he is. We hadn’t met until this time, but the moment we hugged it felt like we’ve known each other forever. Her loving energy doesn’t stop with people though, it extends further to her garden, which is absolutely everything. She took me on a tour of her garden where she shared memories of past foliage, new vegetables/plants/herbs/flowers, and showed me this incredible archive of her garden that she’s created over decades. It’s like she can make the plants sing! When I garden I try to channel her vibes. She’s just so delightful.

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Elaine’s Garden

My oh my the places you can go! We went to the Taronga Zoo, Hyde Park, Australian Museum, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Cronulla beach, Sydney Aquarium, Parramatta Riverboat, and more. Talk about stunningly breathtaking views. The best view was by far Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. The white-washed, choppy waves crashing up against the harbour rocks, the scent of seaweed and salt whisp through the air, the gigantic cruise ships docking the eager passengers; I could go on. Of course I cried when I saw it all for the first time! The structures around the water, the Rocks area especially, is incredible. So much history just bleeding through the walls, filing the cracks of the weathered cobblestone. Not to mention the aboriginals and the land–remarkably interesting. I really took it in while I was there, and so did John. In fact, he hadn’t been to a few of the places that we went so it was awesome that we got to experience things and places for the first time together in his hometown.

 

Living with Mum and Joanna for the month was so nothing short of relaxing and homely. I felt like family. Plus, we pretty much are now. At first I was nervous because I didn’t want to mess up any routines or be a bother, but that quickly got shut down. Walking up the ramp into the house I felt at home. It was such a natural, rejuvenating feeling; better than what I expected. Seeing their home in person was much more fulfilling than John’s FaceTime videos. It all just felt right. Windows open, the cockatoos and magpies having conversations in the sky and trees, fragrant frangipanis illuminating the air. It’s the rarest environment I’ve ever been in. I mean seeing the magpies eating mince meat out of our hands, and hearing their beaks snap shut like it’s two rocks banged against each other–it’s a crazy 5 pm eating session. Stepping outside anywhere in Australia is like walking through a zoo (in a good way). There were so many animals that I’d never seen nor heard before, and that was like inconceivably fantastic. Australia is like stepping into a new world.

Soo my FAVORITE animal is a koala bear. You bet I was stoked when we went to the Taronga Zoo because I was like hell yes, I’m finally going to see a koala in its native land eating eucalyptus just chilling. I was so so excited! Unfortunately, in New South Wales, the state in which Sydney is located in, doesn’t allow people to touch or hold them…that was a devastating moment for me, but was even more ridiculous is that you had to buy “Koala Excursion” tickets just to get close to them. They’re kept behind an enclosure so you have to purchase a ticket in order to take pictures with them. They sell out in minutes I was told. Basically, I got to see koalas from afar. So I totally climbed the fence to get the best view of these cuddly cute tree babies. Even though I was crying inside it was still nirvana.

One of my secret missions while I was there was to get to know my (soon-to-be) sister Joanna better. I’ve met her once when she came to Texas for John’s college team nationals in 2014, and we hit it off immediately. But this time would be different only because I was in her element now. So though my time there, though I knew these things, I saw that she’s a hard working, beautiful, independent, and talented young woman that loves video games, reading, and Dory (her cute ass car). I was impressed by her in every aspect, but her library–I mean what a diverse and up-my-alley collection, goodness it was dope! We are totally the same person when it comes to our literary interests. Not just that, but we definitely have the same pallet for food! She eats fresh–tons of fruits and vegetables. Every. Single. Day. Her salads are better than anything you’d ever purchase in a market. For real, don’t even try. I tell you, getting to know her in her world was more than cool, it was incomprehensible.

Of course, Mum. Jeez, what can I not say about her without wanting to drop everything, and fly to Australia just for a beer in the backyard with the magpies. She’s so strong, forthright and caring. Her presence is warm and inviting. So inviting that she picks up random conversations with strangers that turn into them hugging when they’re done like they’ve known each other for years. I love hearing her opinions–so frank and legit because she’s had the life experience and brains to back it up. For example, it was Super Bowl Monday. It’s Australia people so we’re a day ahead. So we recorded the game to watch it later because we were out in the city during the day. Well, some biatch is running down the main part of the harbour yelling, “THE EAGLES WON THE SUPER BOWL!!” Like she’s screaming it, repeating it incessantly. I couldn’t believe my ears. I turn to look at the girl, and I get instantly upset because if you’re a sport-loving American like me (and unfortunately her) you’re going to want to watch it! So Mum walks up to her with some [insert massive profanity] words, and I just died! I loved every second of it! She definitely gave that female quite a pill to swallow. HAHA. Needless to say, I’ve never met anyone like her. She’s such a great, amazing mum.

Australia is like the REAL west coast. The bees knees for sea and life. Maybe in 10 or 15 years, me and John will move to Australia and have some little baby dingos running around. 😉 That’s my plan anyway.


 

EDITS:   I noticed I made a huge location error while speaking about my koala experience. I wrote that Sydney is in Queensland–this is so inaccurate. Sydney is located in New South Wales NOT Queensland. My bad completely. However, the reason why Queensland was mentioned is because in Queensland you can hold koalas. So, that would be the ideal destination for me. Sorry for the error; to those who actually read this.

 

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