Goodbye goon.

$12 for 5L of goon… sounds like a good idea right?

Gooon

WRONG.

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Gold Coast & Surfer’s Paradise Sober – robbed and beaten up

This is a very bittersweet blog post, as I have had a very bittersweet time over the week. 

Fri Feb 3rd – TGIF, It’s party time… duh. As I quickly throw a few things in my suitcase for my week away in the Gold Coast, I can’t wait to head out to the famous “Mersh” bar in Yarraville. I had heard so many great things about this place, so I was amped to go myself. Madison joined me which was awesome. It has been so nice to finally have a roommate with me. We went to Monmouth (australia day party house) before heading to the local bar. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are in Australia when we go to predrinks and out to the bar, as ALOT of the people are Canadian! We headed to the bar which was only a few suburbs from Newport. It reminded me alot like Ceeps/Barneys in London. It had a really nice outdoor patio, chill sitting areas with lots of tables and booths and a dance floor with a stage. Another thing that reminded me of Ceeps is it is only fun because you know the majority of people there. Since it is a local bar, the same people go weekly. In mine and Madison’s case we didn’t know many people so we used our goodlooks, charm and Canadian factor to meet people. When I headed to the bar to get a drink I was informed that the cheapest drink I could get with vodka in it was AUS $8.50. As a starving, broke, slightly tipsy student, I blurted out… “$8.50 for a vodka cran?… I’d rather be sober!” and then I stormed off. Not even 5 seconds later, the bartender called Madison and I back over and asked, “how does free sounds? I hate my job, and hate this place, it’s on the house.”… Sounded pretty good to me 🙂 The rest of the night was your typical night out on the town. A little bit of dancing, chatting and obviously food to end off the night. 

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Sat Feb 4th – Time to go to the Gold Coast! A dream of mine ever since I realized Australia existed! We caught a ride to the airport with Madison’s mom as she was flying home to Canada today as well. With 4 hours to kill in the airport, we planted ourselves on some chairs and made ourselves comfortable. We were flying Tiger Airways which is one of the cheapest discount budget airlines you can find. It wasn’t as bad as we thought, and since the plane was close to empty we had the luxury of more than one seat to ourselves! It was only a 2 hour flight so it went by super quick and we finally made it to the Gold Coast Airport. After a AUS $50 cab ride we finally arrived at Arthur’s apartment… which may I add is nicer than my house. I would not even consider this student housing in the least. It is GORGEOUS, it looks out onto the river and has the most amazing view. I have lucked out with the most amazing hosts this trip. Justin and Arthur have gone out of their way to make me feel at home, and both have offfered their beds to sleep in. What complete gems <3. 

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After settling in, and getting a tour of the campus, we didn’t waste anytime and started getting ready to go out for the evening. Arthur hosted a pre-drink before the bar and over 15 Canadian Bond law students attended. I definately felt like I was in Canada, as everyone was Canadian who I was introduced to. Weirdly enough, the majority of them either went to Western, or was from London, ON. The bar we went to was called Fiddler’s… something very irish name. Great night overall in Surfer’s Paradise!

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Sun Feb 5th – It’s BEACH TIME. The first beach we headed to was Broad Beach. It is probably one of the biggest beaches in the Gold Coast. We spent the afternoon lounging in the sun. What better way of getting rid of a hangover? 

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Mon Feb 6th – Beach Time 2.0. We started our day very early and planned to head to 2 other beached. Burleigh Head’s was first! Burleigh Heads was such a nice quiet beach. The weather was gorgeous! Next we headed to Surfer’s Paradise for the rest of the afternoon. 

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This is the beginning of the crisis that turned my Gold Coast trip upside down. Before we decided to lie on the beach and enjoy the sun, we ran into the water for not even two minute. When we approached our towels, I noticed my bag was missing. Frantically I searched the area, and the beach in hopes I could find it. It finally dawned on me my bag, and all my belongings had been robbed and gone forever. In my bag was 2 cameras, my phone, ipod, license, visa, debit, student card, and a few other sentimental things and articles of clothing. I won’t bore you will details, but we spent the remainder of our afternoon at the police stations and wandering around Surfer’s Paradise in hopes I could track the culprits down. Unfortunately, the bag was not found and I went home empty handed. This put a bad taste in my mouth about Surfer’s Paradise. Hopefully the previously booked Surf Lesson the next day would change my mind. 😦

Tues Feb 7th – Attempt number 2 at going to Surfer’s Paradise. After speaking to my parents last night, they ensured everything would be sorted out and they will replaced my belongings. I couldn’t believe how understanding they were of my situation. They knew I had be watched, and picked out as an easy target for a robbery. Everything was going to replaced eventually and all my cards will be sent to me when I arrive back in Melbourne. It was finally time for our surf lesson. With previous experience in dance and snowboarding I knew I would be a natural 🙂 We had an awesome surf instructor too. His name was Hamish, and he was your typical hot, tanned, toned Australian surfer dude. I am actually obsessed with surfing now. 

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I was actually able to stand up and ride some pretty sweet waves. At the end of the lesson I did feel that I had been beaten up by the waves. The waves and current was SOO strong that by the end I was exhausted. I woke up the next morning so sore also. This is definately the highlight of my Gold Coast trip so far. Surfer’s Paradise redeemed itself from this surf lesson. At night we went to watch Arthur play at the local bar called Hotel CBD. It reminded me of the spoke in a sense and it was really fun. 

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It was flooded with students from the University taking advantage of the cheap drinks and kareoke. 

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Arthur was great, and it was so nice to finally see him play!

Wed Feb 8th – Time for a day trip to Brisbane. Early in the morning Madison and I caught a 1 hour train to Brisbane. When we arrived we book a hostel for the night. It was called City Backpackers and had a rooftop pool, a movie cinema, free internet and a bar with the cheapest drinks in Brisbane. For a small price of $26 dollars a night, we enjoyed staying in a 14 person dorm style room, sleeping on the top bunk of the bunk beds. This was an experience to say the least. Some of the people who were in this hostel had be staying there for close to 4 weeks already, and had definately made themselves at home there. 

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After leaving a few of our belongings at the hostel, we made our way around Brisbane. We were 100% playing the day by ear and thanks to the handy dandy map we eventually found our way around. First stop was the Southbank Parklands. This was a really nice area on the water, with lots of shops, cafes and restaurants. 

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We grabbed lunched at one of the restaurants and then made our way to the Brisbane Botanical Gardens. 

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To be honest it wasn’t as magnificant as the Singapore Botanical Gardens but the area where you could walk by the lake and see the sail boats was really nice. 

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Next we headed up to Chinatown, but got monsooned on half way there. lucky enough, a nice lady called us inside her office and let us sit inside until the rain stopped. Everyone working there was so nice. They offered us coffee, water, and biscuits and were intrigued about us being Canadian. They even offered if we were back in Brisbane to give them a shout, and they could show us some really cool places to go. After the rain we continued on our journey and finally made it to Chinatown… which was nothing special, especially compared to Singapore’s Chinatown. On our way back to our hostel we ran into our other roomate Daniela and her dad. They were stopping by in Brisbane for the afternoon before they got to their hotel in the Gold Coast. What a coincedence that some of the only other people I knwo in Australia, we run into in Brisbane. We ended up making it back to the hostel relatively early, and called it a night around 10pm. Successful day in Brisbane I would say!

Thursday Feb 9th – Time to go back to the Gold Coast for our last day! We caught an early train home, and every since have been taken advantage of our free time. Relaxing while travelling is extremely have to come by, so with a full day of no plans we planted ourselves in Arthur’s beautiful apartment and lounged. It is sad to think that tonight is our last night here, but with flights so cheap within Australia, we may be able to make another trip up here on a weekend to improve our surfing skills. 

Overall, i’d say it has been a great trip to the Gold Coast. I was able to reunite with Arthur who I haden’t seen for over 10 months, I was able to learn to surf, and see all the beautiful beaches I have dreamed about for many years. Other than the losers who took my purse, I had a great time. I eventually will get the majority of my things back, and it will be like nothing happened. I guess a lesson was to learned here. Don’t trust anyone, don’t look like a tourist, and don’t be oblivious to the fact that these things can happen to you. I think I was more shocked about the fact that it has happened to me, and I was targeted than the fact all my belongings were gone. Imma knock a bitch if I ever find out who stole my stuff.

Well it’s time to pack my bag for our early 1015am plane back to Melbourne. I am going to be getting my new phone set up, hopefully pick up a new camera and then meet us with my long lost sister Sara. I will be going to a BBQ with a few of her friends, and then a DJ show in the evening. I am really excited to head back to Melbourne. It’s going to be amazing to get back home… yes I said it, Melbourne is really starting to feel like home to me. 

That’s all for now peeps! Much love =)

Something I found on stumbleupon

Stumbling is addicting. Whilst stumbling this evening I came across this really cool picture of Ayers Rock in Uluru. This is on my list of places I want to see while i’m in Australia. Thought it was really neat and hope i’m able to experience it and see it through my own two eyes in the future. 

Uluru

 

Starbucksaholic.

It’s official, I am not coming home. Australia is way to awesome, and I am just loving everything here. I am really starting to get settled in, and starting to LOVE it here. School doesn’t start for another 2 weeks so I have been keeping busy and travelling and planning the remainder of my time here. It has been awesome to just kick back, relax and enjoy the summer sun. 

Here’s what I have been up to the few days before I headed to the Gold Coast…

Tues Jan 31st – Today was a very productive day. I went into the city with Daniella and her dad to get our International Student Concession cards which can be used at various places for discounts. It sure does save you a bunch of money in the long run… and as a student on a budget I really need every penny I can get. Funny story, they don’t have pennies in Australia. First stop was to get passport pictures taken which were required to put on my concession application form. Then we headed to the Victoria University Flinder’s Street campus to pick up the letter proving I am actually and international student attending the Vic Uni. The international office gave us the wrong/misdated form so when we made it to the town hall, they had to send us back to the office to get the correct form. It was so hot outside, so we were not pleased we had to go back a second time. Finally when we got the right form, we were able to get our Myki- Metlink cards for public transport and our International student concession cards! Next stop… Starbucks of course. Nothing like a Latte after a stressful morning. In the evening, I had a few much needed skype dates with some people I miss dearly. Skype really is a lifesaver when you are away for so long.:)

Wed Feb 1st – Today was a “me” day. Everyonce and a while I really like to take some time and spend it completely on my own. Gives me some time to clear my mind. I decided to wake up quite early and hand out some resumes, grab a starbucks and go to the city. I love the city so much, and I think it will be somewhere that I spend alot of my time in Melbourne. It is so easy to get to, and it is such an amazing atmosphere. I decided I would go exploring around the waterfront since it was an absolutely gorgeous day. 

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Downtown Melbourne is an amazing place to go running by the water. There are lots of trails and paths that are perfect for those who like to be active. I decided to plant myself on a grassy hill and relax as I looked out onto the water.

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It was so peaceful and beautiful that I didn’t even notice how much time had past. I spent over an hour and a half just sitting enjoying my surroundings. I finally picked myself up and decided to follow one of the trails around the water. There were lots of rowers and boats that past by. I definately think this is somewhere that I will start running around when I get into a solid routine. This day could not of been better; amazing weather, some good “me” time and starbucks. I was in such a good mood for the rest of my day. 

Thurs Feb 2nd – It had been WAY to long that Sara and I had be separated, so we planned a cute morning date. We of course grabbed Starbucks at Flinder’s Station and then headed to the Melbourne Aquarium. I love doing the typical touristy things provided. I haden’t been to an aquarium since Myrtle Beach a couple years ago. The aquarium was great! First we saw “heaps” of penguins. They are so cute and fluffy. I want a pet penquin when I am older. 

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There were some other really strange species of marine life that I had never seen before. For example: long necked turtles, these paper thin silver fish, and the japanese crab. I also think I have a phobia of these creatures breaking through the glass and attacking me… so I never got too too close, and if I didn’t it wasn’t for long. 

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We also saw these really cute frogs. They reminded me of the frogs that you’d kiss to get to meet your “Prince Charming.” lol. 

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Next on our aquarium visit was the “Sharks Alive” exhibit. They are so cool. 

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You are able to go through this tunnel where everywhere you look you are surrounded by various sharks, and fish species. Overall the aquarium visit was great, and it can be checked off the Melbourne Bucket List!!!

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Afterwards, we had a few hours to kill before Sara had to head to work. Obviously shopping was a top priority for us so we made our way down to the Melbourne Central Station where the huge shopping centre was located. We grabbed some lunch and cruised the shops. I was able to restrain myself from buying anything, because these days I have to budget for all my side trips I am going on. Shopping is not a priority and a need… I need to keep reminding myself that. After Melbourne Central we went to the Victoria State Library! It is gorgeous inside and reminded me of Weldon. Oh how I miss that place ❤

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It was now time for Sara to head to work, and me to head home. What a great day in the city though. Sara is awesome. Plain and simple. Next on the agenda was to head to Willy’s beach with Johnny. It was such a hot day, so what better to do than lounge in the sun for a couple hours. The beach is only 2 stops away form Newport, so it is super convient to get to by train. I will be spending alot of time here over the next couple months. Bronzed goddess here I come =) I am going to wait until the end of my Gold Coast adventure to fill you in on what I have been doing. I like to keep you all in suspense 🙂

Missing everyone at home oh so so much. 

Much love to you all! xo