All of these weekends and experiences are all clumping together and I am going to try my best to recall the eventful things going on in my life.
I had a fabulous weekend in Wollongong thanks to my friend Katie Dominis. Katie is my other Aussie friend who did exchange at UC in Fall 2014. Katie and her mom were so kind to pick me up and drive me back to their place in Wollongong which is about an hour south of Sydney. On Friday night, we had a relaxing night of pizza and Netflix – which was much, much needed. On Saturday, we started our day off early by going to Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk, where we saw amazing views overlooking Wollongong. After that, Katie and I went for walk in the nearby rainforest and on the Wollongong beach where we enjoyed a nice coffee. Upon of my request, since I did not know that Outback Steakhouse was actually in Australia, we met up with Katie’s high school friends for dinner and drinks. After, an amazing meal of bloomin’ onions and American food – we finished off our night at a local bar that was across the street from the beach. Sunday was also an eventful day. We had brunch at one of Katie’s favorite restaurants that overlooked the ocean. We then, headed back to Sydney where we met up with Katie’s friends from college (which is the equivalent to an Australian frat) to go to this 70’s themed party at Bondi Junction. The party was fun and we had a great time, then Katie spent the night at my room. Little did I know, that this was the last time I was going to see her in Australia, since she was heading off the Europe for a few months (jealous). It was so nice to actually spend time in a home rather than my student accommodation, and to be around a family (made me miss mine). Katie’s friends were all very nice and it was really fun spending time with Aussies rather than exchange students. BIG S/O to Katie Dom again ilysm (:
I have also spent some time with my other Aussie friend Rosie. Unlike me, Rosie is actually a real person with a real full time job ): But, it is so nice whenever I get the chance to see her. We have met up a couple of times in Sydney and she was so nice to invite me to where her parents live in Cronulla (south of Sydney right before Wollongong). Rosie has taken me to her favorite brunch spots near her parent’s and her place in Paddington. We have also done some light shopping at the Bondi Junction mall and at a local market. I also got to snag a pic with Rosie at her graduation at uni (which at Sydney Uni, the ceremony is held the semester after they graduate). And another one of my Aussie friends is leaving me again – but luckily I haven’t said my goodbye’s to Rosie before she heads to California.
It has been great catching up with old friends about what has been going on in each other’s lives since their exchange at UC. Rosie and Katie have made me feel more at home in Australia and it has been nice sharing our exchange experiences with each other (now I know what you’ve been through). I cannot wait to see you two again….and who knows where we will be!
Now I have less than one month in Australia – where did that time go? I have been trying to balance working (because I am becoming so incredibly broke), school, and fitting in some things to do in Sydney. Luckily, I have a lot of exchange friends who are all in the same boat (aka Potluck crew).
Here is a shot of Laura and my new Canadian friends, and I who spent the day exploring the Rocks and climbed the Harbour Bridge (the $8 one, not the $300 one). We were able to get an amazing view of the sunset overlooking the whole harbour. I also made Laura come with me to the Irish bar, the Mercantile, at the Rocks – where I saw the biggest cockroach in my life on Laura’s chair.
I have also have had friends who are always down to go to the beach whether if it is Manly, Bondi, or Coogee I am taking full advantage of the Aussie beaches while I can.
Here is a shot of my friend Kelly and I having a photo-shoot at a neighboring beach near Manly.
This was the most recent event that has happened in my life. A few of us from my building decided to go see the infamous Figure 8 pools at Royal National Park. Since we are #blessed to have Aussie friends who have cars, we drove out to the pools on a Sunday afternoon. It was the nicest day of the week and we made the 3km hike out to the Figure 8 Pools. The pools were amazing, but we had a short time having a photo-shoot since the tide was very strong. (Caylynn and Troy got annihilated by the waves.)
We hiked around more of the area and really just began to embrace the nature that was around us. Man oh mighty, Australia you make me happier and happier each day.