Tag Archives: Australia

it’s all downhill from here…

If you look at a globe and you find Toronto, Canada, it is pretty much on the top side of the sphere. If you then spin that bad boy around 180 degrees, and look on the bottom end of the sphere, you’ll find Sydney, Australia. It’s totally on the upside down part of the earth. That’s a scientific fact.

And it doesn’t stop there. Everything here is backwards. I swear. Yeah, in fact over here they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people.

Mmmm not really. But the water does spin in the opposite direction, everyone drives on the wrong sided of the road and winter is in June and July. What. the. WHAT!?

Yes. And if you drive a mere 5 hours south of Sydney to a place they call Thredbo, you will find snow. That’s another fact right there.

This past weekend, that is exactly what we did.

I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed. I know it can be very hit and miss with Australian snow, but we had favourable conditions. We hopped on a bus and got whisked away to Perisher Mountain for a weekend of skiing! I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t know that snow was a thing that existed in Australia until Sean told me shortly after we met. It just doesn’t make ANY sense to me. But there it was. Actually snow. And a fair bit of it… in June.

Weird.

I won’t dwell on this any longer, but I will show you pictures! It was such a lovely weekend. We had perfect conditions. 25cm of fresh powder on Saturday morning and blue skies (at the bottom of the mountain anyway.)

And I tell ya, there is nothing more weird than seeing a eculyptus tree covered in snow. Where are all the evergreens?

Sean tore up the hill on a snowboard and I got back to my roots with some good old skiing. Something I haven’t done in probably 12 or 13 years! It’s almost like riding a bike… except I didn’t have the same desire to conquer the black diamonds hills that my ten year old self did. Man, I used to be such a rock star. haha.

xxx

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broke into the old apartment…

This is where we used to live…

42 steps from the street.

So this is the old apartment. And for the record, I did not break into it. Come on… BNL references anyone? YES! (My next post is going to be pictures of ‘me in grade nine’… get it?) No? You DIDN’T used to stalk Ed Robertson? Well this is awkward…

Back to the apartment.

I don’t think I ever posted proper picture of it. I made sure to take some before we started packing up.

It was our first apartment together.

It was my first apartment period.

It was my first home that didn’t also house my parents.

It was the first home I ever paid money to live in.

It was a first. That’s for sure.

why did you paint the walls?

It was cozy. Not small.

It was compact. Not cramped.

It was New York-sized. Yes. How chic.

It was a studio. A bachelor. It was a badass place to dwell.

why did you keep the dish rack?

It had water ‘glimpses’… if you stood in the bedroom and viewed them through the mirrored wall, at an angle, and through the neighbour’s balcony.

It took about 30 minutes to clean from top to bottom.

It was centrally located.

It was perfect, with all its imperfections. I loved it.

this is where we used to live…

But we’ve moved. For many reasons. Maybe we do need a little more space. Maybe a wall here and there isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe a kitchen with a four element stove top and a full sized fridge isn’t so bad.

Maybe we don’t have any water glimpses… but we DO have a cockatoo that helps us make breakfast.

duncan

Scratch that, we have four.

the birdies!

They’re determined. And a wee bit cheeky.

They reach for crumpets and tomatoes on the windowsill. They jut out with beaks with such confidence and each time are surprised to discover a magical invisible force field hindering them from reaching the food. It is of course, the window. But that doesn’t deter them.

If at first you don’t succeed…

baaaaaaaaahahhahaha

We were greeted by only one, but he soon invited his posse. Anyway, we named him Duncan, he is the feistiest.

the duncs.

They are loud and they are bold. I love them already.

Recipes from the new kitchen to come once I sort my internet out… I may or may not be sitting in an outdoor mall in the rain taking advantage of free wi-fi in order to post this.

Ahaha. May or may not.

And I may or may not be going home to continue watching season one of The OC. Which may or may not belong to my boyfriend. Say. word.

I think we belong together.

Stay Jazzy.

xxx

(And stay warm. and dry. Will this rain ever stop?)

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putting the *mint* back in entertainmint

It was my last day in Melbourne. I had a lunch break of over an hour, which was just enough time for me to take a last stroll through the city. As I approached Elizabeth street, I thought to myself… ‘one last attempt at finding the spandex-clad man that I know and love.’ So I ventured a bit further up Elizabeth, having heard that he often breaks it down in the Bourke street mall.

Well, low and behold, as I approached the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth, I didn’t even need to see anything to know it was him, I could hear his boom box from half a block away… and as the tram pulled away, there he was. In all his tight and bright glory, the only other Canadian I knew of in the city… Spandy Andy.

spandy!

An absolute vision in neon spandex.

tight, bright and everything in between

What a legend, just strutting his stuff around the world, spreading nothing but smiles.

adorable

It took me a couple minutes to calm myself. I had literally been willing myself to bump into this man for two weeks… It was pure fate that I ended up catching his little street show on my very last day. I was pumped. And I had to approach him and say hello. I gave a wee shout out to Bikram Yoga Toronto and also my mom. He was very sweet… and awfully sweaty.

some canuck love right there.

I leave you with one of my fondest memories from the streets of Melbourne.

xxx

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Vegan Eats, Sunsets, Cradle Mountain and one Alpaca

In all honesty, I could probably write 2 or 3 more posts on this Tasmania adventure. However, I feel that people might liken it to a vacation slideshow, ya know? Like I tell you every detail of our vacation and you sit there reading my endless rambles, but really only wanting to look at a couple pictures here and there. Cause that’s all anyone really wants, right? The pictures? And not EVERY picture, (organized chronologically and explained in length by your truly…) No, you want a highly edited photo journal of just the highlights and best moments. Maybe with a point form note here or there. I understand. No offense taken.

I will spare you any further sneezing escapades and just get down to the good stuff. The good stuff being: Wombats.

But first… Melbourne!

Sean and I at half price cocktail hour!

Hostel bar...

Then on to dinner. Melbourne has the best selection of vegetarian food I’ve ever seen.

the vegie bar...

and the best Vegan food I have ever tasted. Eva.

all vegan, all awesome

So much deliciousness.

Next up: Jazz bar in an alley!

jazz... only it was contemporary... not really our scene.

The next day, the Spirit of Tasmania awaited us.

cabin and sunsets!

We had a great time getting used to our sea legs… and then I went mental on out of focus sunset shots. Cause the colours were pretty.

...

Once in Tasmania, first stop was Cradle Mountain. but before we got there… we found a random man with a lovely lama. Or was it an Alpaca?

Once at Cradle Mountain, we opted out of camping and into a delightful little cabin smack dab in the middle of the national park.

Waldheim Cabins

Wildlife everywhere!

how is this NOT adorable! Love.

Shweeet…

On the second day, Sean and I conquered Cradle Mountain. Ha-mazing.

CONQUERED!

After Cradle… well there is more to come, but I’m sorry. After spending the better half of two days editing down images and still having about 60 odd that I wanted to post… well I’ll have to split it into two. But I promise that’s it!

🙂

See ya soon!

xxx

 

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riding sand dunes and hugging kangaroos

Why is it that the more time you have… the less you get done. Is that a law? Like Murphy’s law? Or Newton’s law? Are those things?

I’m calling this Caitlin’s Law. You see, it seems that I need to be extremely busy in order to get things done. Normal things. Like grocery shopping, and altering clothes, and doing laundry. All of which I can get done IF I have no time at all to do them. NONE of which will get done if I’m on ‘vacation.’ It’s Caitlin’s Law. I’m just being real with you.

Anyway, blogging has fallen into that category of things that don’t get done when I have an inordinate amount of time. But now, well NOW things are picking up, and so naturally, this fits quite nicely into my tight schedule this week.

I suppose I’m a creature of routine. I need structure and boundaries and time tables and lists in order to function. Take it all away and I’m completely lost. I get up at 8am, which seems early enough, but I struggle to leave the house before 11. Who takes 3 hours to eat a smoothie and shower?

I guess that’s just real life. I don’t know what else to tell you.

In any case, I’m here to update you with pictures from the last couple weeks. Get ready, cause things are about to shift from 0 to AWESOME.

My parents rented a wee car and we went on a good old fashioned roadtrip for a couple days. I researched some very exciting things that I then forced them to do with me.

For example: Walking to Stockton Beach to see the Largest moving sand mass in the Southern Hemisphere. Apparently the sand dunes move about 4m north every year! WHAT?!

The walk there was actually more of a hike, and mostly flat. Kinda. It was also very hot that day… it was truly like the Sahara. I swear.

Stockton Beach

After a night in Port Macquarie, we ventured to Byron Beach. Hippie Capital of Australia. Absolutely no one wears shoes… or a shirt… but it issss beautiful…

Byron...

I ran up to the lighthouse in the pouring rain, and came upon this young Wallaby. Uh-mazing.

the lighthouse run

Next we wrote some postcards in which I detailed my life in red and blue ink. Mostly about how I was going to find some kangaroos to hug.

postcardsss

And true to my word… I DID find them.

At a wildlife sanctuary that I demanded we visit.

kangaaarooooo!

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A JOEY?!

joey joey joey

bzzz

kanga AND roo!

Seriously. Kangaroos are the coolest EVER. Emus… not so much.

x

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the best way to spread Christmas cheer… is singing loud for all to hear.

so pretty...

It would seem that Christmas sort of exploded into my life over the last week. Yes, Sam the Snowman himself just waltzed in and puked Christmas cheer all over my apartment… too much? OK well then… Buddy the elf came by and in a matter of hours there were paper snowflakes hanging from my ceiling, white paper garlands on my walls, and a beautiful Christmas tree adorning my living room. (I exaggerate only moderately.)

CHRISTMAS TREE!

The only thing missing, frosty windows and a mulled cider on the stove.

Not only did I complete the apartment re-design for Christmas, but I also donned my new baking gear (the amazing Christmas themed apron courtesy of my mother) and churned out two batches of gingerbread. One of which I constructed into a house, complete with gingerbread men, trees, reindeer, and snowflakes. And after that? A batch of chocolate-orange biscotti.

biscotti and coffee

Note that one of my batches of gingerbread failed to come together in order to make a house or men… however it made the PERFECT dough for smushed up mishapen cookies. As for the biscotti… well, while they were delicious, I think I’ll leave that to my dad. But more on that later.

In the last week and a half I have watched no less than 8 Christmas movies:

1. Robbie the Reindeer

2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

3. A Christmas Story

4. Elf

5. Home Alone

6. Home Alone 2: Taking back New York

7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

8. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

… and more to come!

Just a few brief pictures today, as I am pooped…

🙂
x

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Christmas weather (kind of) and Miso!

miso soup

Not sure what happened to Summer over here in the land down under, but it seems to have made it self very scarce as of late. Yes, it’s actually looking a lot more like Christmas around here than I initially expected. The warm summer breezes have been swapped for cool windy temperatures with lots of rain. And while it isn’t quite the right form of precipitation falling from the sky for a White Christmas, it is consistent and unforgiving. Mostly when you’re walking to and from work and especialllllly when you’re carrying one too many bags, as I normally am for some reason unbeknownst to me.

Anyway, I have a feeling I jinxed things with my complaints about the hot wind. And maybe also when I was writing Christmas cards and declaring how much I missed the winter. Ooops.

No matter, I can deal with a bit of wet weather and a cooler climate for a while. It makes drinking tea SO desirable and it gives me more excuses to bake and also make soup. SOUP!

Miso Soup that is. I only recently acquired a taste for Japanese food. Seaweed used to completely turn me off. The smell still does a bit, but I’m really getting into vegetable sushi and miso soup seemed like a great idea last week. And let me tell you, it was.

miso!

I’ve made it twice now. The second time adding every vegetable in my fridge that was about to go off. It’s a win win. Though I’m not sure if I can call in Miso soup after that. Maybe more like ‘Vegetable soup with some miso in it.’

everything that was in my fridge soup

Either way, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Miso Soup the Caitlin Way

3 c. of vegetable broth

3 c. of water

6 tbsp. Miso

4 strips of dried wakame

1/2 c. chopped mushrooms

3 stalks of spring onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

half block of firm tofu, chopped in cubes

1 head of baby bok choy

Whatever else you have on hand that seems appropriate or not appropriate. Or any vegetable ever.

Bring the broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan and add the wakame. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until it is soft. Remove the wakame and chop into much smaller pieces. Add the onion and carrots to the broth and boil until tender. Add the mushrooms, tofu and wakame to the broth and simmer for another 10 minutes. Right before serving, add the bok choy for a couple minutes until just wilted.

Take a spoonful of broth and add 1 tbsp of miso. Whisk it up until combined and then fill the rest of the bowl with soup.

I add the miso to each bowl, as it should not be boiled. You can add it to the pot if you intend to eat all the soup at once, otherwise just add it per bowl. Adjust to your taste.

Delightful.

I used a very light miso in this recipe, so it wasn’t a strong flavour, but I enjoyed it. You can use  whatever type of miso you prefer.

x

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