Bright Lights

A lot has happened since my last post…another Term has finished at school (now almost two full terms!) and I have a few other Aussie adventures under my belt.  However for this post I want to focus on just one of those.

A little background:  Just over three years ago I met the reason why I have fallen in love with Australia so much…now to clarify I have always had a desire to visit Australia (it was a constant #1 on my list even as I got older and my travel wishes changed) but I was given an actual opportunity to visit after a chance meeting in March 2011.  I was in Vegas and met a couple of Aussie blokes…now as the saying goes (“what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”) I won’t go into detail but the end result was that I kept in contact and eventually made my way over to visit the land down under and was fortunate to see it less as a tourist and more as a true Aussie.

I actually visited a couple of times from July to August 2011 and eventually living here for a trial period in 2012…but my first trip out was the most memorable for so many reasons.  One of these reasons being the first little town I visited…the little alpine town of Bright, in the state of Victoria…

I instantly fell in love.  It was winter so it was cold (pfft..cold) but the sun was out and the town was cozy.  We stayed in a fantastically cool accommodation called The Odd Frog which gave us a beautiful view of the country side…in a split second I felt like I was home…not the Australia I had always thought of (beaches and surfing…).  This was true Victorian country and it was beautiful.

To celebrate an anniversary of sorts, SG and I booked in again three years to the date of our first visit.  We stayed in the same Studio and enjoyed exploring the town I fell in love with (and yes, it was cold…much colder than the last time we visited…minus three in the mornings!!)

Anyway…here are some pictures of that adventure!

Who knows…maybe three years from now we will be able to celebrate again…

Thanks for reading!

~ Hugs and Love ~

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Hello!!
Our backyard friends
Our backyard friends
View from our balcony
View from our balcony
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Itchy

 

If Everybody Had An Ocean

I love surfers.

I love everything about them and their culture and sport.  My trip to Western Australia brought me back to my teenage years when all I wanted was to live by the beach and be in the water everyday….who am I kidding…I still want that.

I have a thing for surfing.  Which is weird because I’m from Canada…not the coast where there is a potential for surfing, but from Ontario…the part of Canada no where close to an ocean, or even to waves remotely surf-able.  I think my love for it all came from my summers being spent at Sauble Beach….closest thing to an ocean Ontario would get.  I had pictures of surfers, beaches and the ocean on my walls of my bedroom at my cottage and imagined having little blonde surfer babies when I grew up.

It’s amazing how some hopes and dreams get bogged down as you get older and how it only takes one moment for all of those past dreams to come flooding back.

The first round of holidays here in Australia have just come and gone and during them I took a trip to Western Australia…in particular to Perth with a few day trips centred from there.  We took a trip down to Margaret River and as soon as arriving in the little town I knew I would love it.  We explored around a little bit and the eventually found our “resort”…which was actually a little surfers hostel just across the road from the beach.  As it turns out Margaret River was hosting a surfing competition for the week/weekend that we were there…unfortunately there was no surfing going on the day we arrived but we could still walk around the venue…and there were a few surfers out in the water.  I spent a good amount of time snapping pictures and just enjoying the peace that a beach and ocean give me.

After Margaret River (and a bout of Gastro that Simon had to endure) we drove back to the city and I explored while Simon recovered.  The next day we took a ferry to Rottnest Island and explored by bike and rented some snorkel gear.  We also signed up for a trip out on a boat to find some off island snorkelling areas.  When we got to the destination our guide mentioned that there was an Australian Sea Lion sighted and that we might have a chance to see him in the water…well my animal loving eyes found him straight away and off we went into the water to play and swim with him.  Seriously one of the most amazing moments of my life…I could have reached out and touched him, that’s how close I was.  Unbelievable.

After our adventure across the island it was back to Perth on the ferry and my turn for Gastro.  Awesome.  My last day on vacation in Western Australia was spent in our hotel room bed, not being able to move.  Oh well…Simon got to explore and he took some pictures to share with me.

All in all it was an amazing trip, regardless of all the vomiting, and I would highly recommend to anyone to take a trip to Western Oz.

~ Hugs and Love ~

 

Catching Up

Wow it’s been way too long and so much has happened!

I am currently on my first round of school holidays and have some time to sit down at my computer and share some of the adventures I have been on.  Way too many for one post so I will post a few times this week to space them out!

Rewind in time to over a month ago and that’s where I’ll begin.  It was Labour Day weekend here in Australia and I had a long weekend ahead so Simon and I planned a little road trip to a place I wanted to get to the first time around but never got there:  Philip Island.

We packed up and hit the road after work on Friday (March 7th) and drove down to the Island.  We pulled into the little town of Cowes around 10pm and headed to his family’s holiday house where we would be staying the weekend.  It had been a long day so we made it an early night to bed and planned for our exploration to take place the next morning.

I was up just before the sun and headed down to the beach for a little solitary explore and as soon as I stepped outside it felt like I was back home…that it was the middle of July and I was walking down to the beach at Sauble to chill out.  It was eerily familiar…I don’t think I have ever felt so much at home in an unknown town during all of my travels….that feeling will never leave me.

Saturday:  woke up, went for a walk, explored the island, went out to The Nobbies, got tickets to see the little Penguins later that night, ticket entrance to Churchill Island Farm, explored around there for sometime, also picked up tickets to a koala conservation and saw some sleepy Koalas…headed back to town, changed, went to a very cool art/food festival and had something to eat then headed back out to watch the Penguin Parade.  At the Penguin Parade you are not allowed to take any photographs and I was such a good girl so I sadly have no personal record (except in my brain) of what I saw, but let me tell you this…it was freakin’ super cute! These little foot high penguins come out of the ocean, on to the beach in little groups and wait for a few more, then a few more, until they feel confident enough to walk up from the shore to their little nesting grounds in the hills of the conservation area…was I silently running a commentary of their little conversations to each other while getting out of the water, getting washed back in to the water and during their climb??  uh…YA (also it may not have been so silent…)  Since I couldn’t take any pictures here is a little video about the Parade:  Penguin Parade

Sunday:  up early again, walk, trip into town for some shopping, trip to the beach close to us…saw some (100’s) of crabs come up from under the sand, had lunch, went to a surfing beach…tried to bodysurf in a bathing suit not made for body surfing…while catching a wave I got caught up in it and it grabbed (yes, the wave had hands and grabbed me) my feet and proceeded to pull them up backwards, over my back, then head, forcing me into an underwater backwards somersault manoeuvre …a boob may have popped out…I was finished with body-surfing.  Back to the house, dinner out and back to chill.

Monday: early wake up, walk, packed, clean the house, visited with family, headed off with one last stop to see Pelicans being fed.  Pretty cool and got to see a sting ray in the water afterwards as well!

It was a wonderful weekend away and the perfect start to what turned out to be one incredibly busy month ahead!!!

Next stop:  A special birthday dinner and a week with eighteen 14 year olds!

~ Hugs and Love ~

Fat Bottom Girls They’ll Be Riding Today

I’ve been exploring.

By bike.

Or “push bike” as they call it here.

I have been getting rides into work since I have started and I am not one to be reliant on others so I figured I best get used to riding and get familiar with where I need to go.  It has also been crazy hot here so getting a lift to work has been a blessing.

I set out yesterday to get a handle on the bike that was left for me.  Headed into town and stopped by the local bike shop to search for a lock and a basket.  YES…a basket.  I will be riding to work mainly and my school bag has been incredibly heavy this first week (and I can’t see it getting any better) so I thought I would need a little extra storage…plus…with it being this hot I will need to shower every morning when I get to work!

Anyway…I thought I would take you on a little tour of what my bike ride looked like today…I didn’t video my trip into work but I will do that this week and I will also do a little video of my new work surroundings as well!

It is 3:20pm here and 42 degrees Celsius…when the wind blows it just makes you hotter because the wind is also 42 degrees!!  I have honestly never felt heat like this.  I am grateful it is a very dry heat…and I am also very grateful for air-conditioning!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Hugs and love ~

Livin’ In A Land Down Under

G’day!!

Well I made it.  After 30 hours of travel time I arrived safely in my new town, new home and I am happy.  The first day and a half have been busy settling in and getting comfy and now the real work begins.  There is still work left at home to complete and tomorrow at this time I will be on my way to my first day at my new school!  I couldn’t be more excited to get the adventure started!

My flight over was quite uneventful.  I didn’t say more than 4 words to the guy who I sat beside for my Toronto to Vancouver flight and then from my Vancouver to Sydney leg I had the complete opposite…Ken…one of those people who really loves to hear themselves talk…you know, they ask you a question and before you can answer they start commenting?!  Ya.  So I “slept” the entire way…and let me tell you I needed it!  After about 3 hours on the 15 hour flight I feel asleep but only for 3 more hours…leaving about 9 hours of flight to try to get back to sleep.  I woke up again just before landing in Sydney feeling very rough but while waiting in line for customs I got my second wind and was feeling fine getting on my flight to Melbourne.  Simon picked me up at the airport and we made our way to Echuca.

We arrived in Echuca and stopped by the house that I will now be calling home and started to get familiar with my surroundings…Simon took me out for a nice welcome dinner and then it was off for my first sleep back in Australia!

My first full day was spent getting groceries, becoming more familiar with the house and enjoying the weather!  I met a few new people and am looking forward to meeting more!  Today is my second full day and I think it’s starting to sink in that I am in, full on, for one whole year!

Tomorrow is the start of the new school year here for me.  The first few days are without students and will be spent learning the ropes and meeting new people.  Very exciting!

You will find in this post my first ever attempt at vlogging!  I am learning and am hoping to do a once a week vlog including all the fun (or even mundane) things I get up to whilst here.  Be kind as I am learning…as I get more comfortable with the editing software I am hoping to make them a bit more interesting!

I will sign off for now and will promise at least a weekly update!  I am hoping to post Wednesdays and Sundays to keep everyone up to date on the goings on and my adventures!

Off for a run and to enjoy the cooler morning before the heat of the afternoon kicks in!

Hugs and love!

Can You Show Me What I Still Can’t See

Bolgmas Day 18!!!!!!!!!!!!

The meaning behind your Blog name.

I am currently in love.

Not with a person but with a place.

Australia.  It’s a love affair I’ve had for as long as I can remember and has only gotten stronger over the years.

I had the opportunity to live in Australia less than two years ago.  Not as a young holiday worker but as a mature, out of work, leave of absence adventurer…and my love grew deeper.

Saying goodbye to my life here, I took a chance over there for six months.  In order to be able to keep those who were interested in my adventures in the loop I decided to (try to) keep a blog.  The biggest mistake was that I didn’t bring my laptop and was stuck updating on a mobile device…which, while doable, was not very practical…so I was rubbish at it.  But when deciding on a domain/web page name Upsidedowncanuck seemed appropriate…I was a Canadian in the land “down under”… (for those not in the know…Canadians are often referred to as Canucks)

And now I embark on a bigger/longer journey…with my laptop, a new camera and some burgeoning video editing skills which will help make my new adventures much more exciting!

Hugs and Love