Tag Archives: fun

winter

Let’s keep the words to a minimum and just focus on some beach-side pictures. This is Australia. In the winter.
Eww. Just… Ewwwww. Amiright?

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These tiny little holes in the rocks FASCINATE me. It’s like who-ville in there. A whole nother world.

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Also: Highlight of the weekend: I went to look for whales… and i saw DOLPHINS!!! (Whales woulda been cool… since I can speak whale and all… but I will see them next week… when I go WHALLLLE WATCHINNNNNNGGGG) (said in an Oprah voice)

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eeeeeeeeeeee!

xxx

 

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noosa

Another weekend vacation! I can’t get enough of these. If I could take a long weekend once a month and travel to a beautiful place by the sea where turkeys run a muck like squirrels, well I would live a very happy life. So far, I’m doing ok!

So, here is a photo bomb for you… of my adventures to Noosa with my jazzy lady friend – Sam. We were able to get awesome flight deals and scored a Romantic Escape deal for our hotel. We had cocktails, dinners with a piano man, we napped on the beach, we walked for ages to nowhere (actually a mistake), we watched the sunset, we took a bad ass bus to Fraser Island, we saw a dingo, it ate my baybay, we had more cocktails, we looked at the stars, we drank coffee and then we ate an amazing breakfast. Best breakfast of my life! Please see evidence of all happenings below.

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xxx

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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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Canberra, Thredbo and some unfortunate incidents…

ohhhhhhhhhhkaaaaay.
Here we go. Where to begin? At the beginning I guess… but this might get a bit rambley.

It was a Saturday like any other. But not at all really. Cause we woke up at the bumcrack of dawn and piled the car about ten stories high with camping gear and backpacks in our attempts to ‘pack light.’ We slowly drove the car over to my parents where we stopped momentarily to pile more luggage in, then gawk, get really nervous, gawk some more… and then order coffee.

After all the gawking and coffee drinking, we began to come to terms with the fact that the next two and a half weeks would, for the most part, be spent in this very car. Anyway, that is neither here nor there. In the grand scheme of things the car was fine. A mere 3000 km later and we are back in Sydney, safe and sound.

goulburn

So we started to drive. We drove for a while and then I sneezed. We drove some more. We stopped briefly in Goulburn for some site seeing. The Big Ram. Yeah for real… and also a light breakfast.

the ram! (he was anatomically correct as well...)

We started driving again. I sneezed again. and then again. And then my nose made noises that I’ve never heard. Then we stopped in Canberra. It was hot and Canberra is… um… a city of roundabouts. And a pinch of history. We visited the Parliament house. But first, I stuck some eucalyptus up my nose for some temporary relief.

ahhh sweet relief.

I’ve never been one for seasonal allergies, but I suppose that is what was going on. Eucalyptus is like a miracle plant or something, no? I dunno. But you can leave your judgements at the door, cause I could definitely breath 90% better after this little incident.

So we looked around, bought a spoon, and piled back in the car. Thredbo— camping on night one!

We just jumped in. Right on in. Both feet. In the water. CAMPING! Probably the first time my parents have camped since I was what… 10? So, we settled into a nice little campsite equipped with a fire pit and pet ducks!

duckie

Then the sneezing continued. Full on, rib cracking sneezes. I got up to nine in a row. I’m sorry to dwell on this, but it was a big part of my first day on holidays. Sneezes. One after another and then I stopped counting. My nose was running like a faucet. I had bought four packs of travel kleenex and I was already through TWO of them. Things were out of control. After another 6 sneezes in a row I felt my ribs poking my organs, I felt my lungs coming up my throat. I had just about enough of this nonsense.

So I did what any other normal person would do. I stuck a kleenex up each nostril. Well low and behold, the sneezing stopped.

By this time I was in a foul-ish mood, so I decided that I should go for a wee nature walk and see what the creek had to offer. I had been warned of uneven terrain, so I stepped carefully. I was taking pictures of the creek and what I thought was a platypus when it began to rain… sprinkling at first, so I took little notice, but then a couple of big drops fell and I decided that it was time to head back. I didn’t want my camera to get waterlogged on the first day.

the creek

However, I decided to take the long way round. The path that I hadn’t come down. It was a bold move, I KNOW. I’m a dare devil, what can I say…

Well, wouldn’t you know it, just as I was replacing the saturated kleenex in my nose I failed to look where I was placing my feet and I fell right into a Wombat hole. At this point I had yet to see a wombat, but I had heard that they can get pissed off quite easily. I immediately pictured a cylindrical creature waddling after me at an alarming rate with a distinct rage in it’s eyes. So I did what you do; 1. I checked to make sure no one saw me fall, and  2. I ran. I rannnnnnn fast. Away from the non-existent wombat that I was SURE was chasing me. I had real fear.

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And then, just for kicks, I lost my footing again and rolled my right ankle. Falling over briefly, I looked around once more, made sure no one saw (always so vain, I am…) And then attempted to keep running. Which at this point, lets be honest, was not really my best bet. I finally slowed. Realizing there was no angry wombat, no crazed animals chasing me. No. I was the only crazy one on that creek. But I don’t think that’s news to anyone.

I stopped for a second and took in all my bad fortune, then hobbled back to the campsite for some good eating and really really horrible pictures.

Really.

oh jeeez.

But here is a cute one of my parents:

mom and dad

I swear this trip has more to it then sneezing and imaginary wombats. Really. There might even be some REAL wombats in the next post.

just two of my favourite animals eva...

xxx

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hellllllllllllllllllllllllllooo two-thousand twelve

Hi.

I’m Caitlin Hicks. You may remember me from such blog posts as “Christmas Eve in North Sydney” and “GAZPACHO!” Those posts were sooo 2011… and I’ve got news for you. It’s 2012.

Happy NEW YEAR!

Sydney harbour Bridge 2012

What? When? WHO?! oh my god. This just got real.

I’ve got a lot to cover, as I’ve been somewhat MIA as of late. Let’s start with the basics…

Christmas ’twas lovely. A leisurely morning of coffee and presents with my boyfriend,

coffee and ukuleles.

followed by the most cocktail filled, antipasto-delicious, summery Christmas brunch I have ever experienced.

anti-pasto lunch

Crazy Straws and White Sangria? Yes. Yes I think so.

ha-mazing

This crazy straw makes an appearance later on… cause let’s be serious. Is there a better way to sip fancy alcoholic drinks than through a twisty twirly straw? Don’t answer that… cause there is NO better way. Fact.

Christmas was followed by boxing day, more food, more lovely people… more lovely weather.

Boxing Day was followed by ‘My parents arrive in SYDNEY day’ Also known as December 27th, 2011. Even more lovely people, mediocre weather…

My parents arrived in SYDNEY day was followed by ‘Breakfast and impromptu pub crawl day.’

tourists!

There was coffee, there was toast, there was one pub, and then there were three more. I had one cider. A schooner. I wassssssss drunk. Not a joke. Still not sure what happened.

black and white images make us classier, no?

That day was then followed by a slew of days that ended a wonderful year. 2011… where did you go?

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I rang in the new year with… MORE Antipasto, more cocktails and an enormous amount of fireworks. Hallllelujah.

delicious

There were rice paper rolls, there were dips, there were vegan cheeses (recipe to follow) and there was a punch bowl of PIMMS. Pretty much the best drink you’ll ever have. I do declare.

vegan cheese! (ish)

Happy New Year everyone. Two-thousand and Twelve greets me with no job, but some wonderful company and exciting prospects.

rooftop fireworks

Things are just getting interesting.

I’m declaring it the best year ever. Deal with it.

x

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jelly bellies and nutty butties…

30 degrees Celcius + blue skies + running in a national park + jellyfish + starfish + wallabies + all-day breakfast on a dock + sunsets + chickpea cookie dough = an excellent weekend.

Wait… Chickpeas? Yup. Cookie dough? Yup. Delicious? Yup.

But first…

Highlights from the day, in picture form.

mapping the route...

run then swim

STARFISH! and a tentacle-less jellyfish!

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another starfish anddd blue steel.

coffee and breakfast at 5pm

sittin' on the dock of the bay...

After alllll that, we were pooped… and what else to do then go home, put on a movie and try out a ridiculous recipe that ended up being delicious and yet wildly nutritious.

Done and done.

dessert hummus

Chickpea Cookie dough – Nutty Butties

Inspired by this recipe

1 can of chickpeas

1/3-1/4 c. maple syrup

1/4 c. nut butter

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. dark chocolate chips or chunks

Optional mix ins:

Chopped nuts

Dried fruit

Shredded coconut

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. I tried my best to peel most of mine as well, but this is optional. Peeling those peas will increase the smoothness of the dough, and decrease farts. Not kidding. My mother LOVES that tidbit of information.

So blend the chickpeas, maple syrup, nut butter and vanilla until reallllllll smooth. Stir in the chocolate and any other extras and your done.

I enjoy it chilled, with some banana on top.

This might be the kind of the recipe that you definitely have to try to believe how yummy it is. But for real… if you didn’t know there were chickpeas in it, you would never pick it. My boyfriend didn’t… and then he felt deceived after I told him. However, he continued eating it straight from the mixing bowl, with a spoon. haha.

Go make this. I dare you!

xxx


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City2Surf…

This past Sunday was the long awaited City 2 Surf 14 km run in Sydney.

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I have been waiting for this run for ages. Literally, over a year. I was so excited to register this year and I was determined to train and run a really good time. I was aiming for a time that seemed almost out of reach; 75 Minutes.

bibs... lucky number (665)11!

The last race I ran was in… 2006? I think. It was the Toronto Half-marathon. I finished a couple minutes over 2 hours and I was shattered. I reallllly wanted to break 2 hours, but such is life. I was super stressed that year, starting university, working 30 hours a week and training for a half marathon. I took on way too much…

Well anyway, when the City 2 Surf came along, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to train up and set a rather ambitious goal. This race has got to be one of the biggest in the world. (But don’t quote me on that.) (No wait… you can quote me on that. I looked it up.) They had to cut off the entries a couple of weeks ago because 85,000 people had registered. And I was one of them. The race starts in the Sydney CBD and winds its way down to Bondi Beach. It’s kind of a big deal.

I didn’t actually end up training as much as I wanted to. True, I’ve been running about 6 days a week, however I haven’t ran more than 10km at a time. Usually, I would just do 5kms and call it a day. Needless to say, I’ve been a  little bit anxious the last couple days because I knew my goal time was slightly out of reach. I quietly changed it to ‘I’m aiming to break 80 minutes.’

Suddenly, the day was upon us. On Sunday morning I woke at 6am, had a cup of tea, a date stuffed with peanut butter, braided my hair, laced up my shoes and we caught a bus into the City.

pre-race jitters

My stomach was a little bit in knots. I needed a bathroom about 3 times before the race even started. Just to be safe. And even then, I had to pee from kilometer 1. Oh jeeez.

Sean and I crossed the starting line together, started our watches and then we went our own ways. As in – he sprinted ahead and I sneakily followed him for about 1/2 km.

The biggest challenge of this race is what the Sydneysiders affectionately call ‘Heart Break Hill.’ Basically, it’s a 1km long hill that promises to break you before you’re even half-way through the race. Well Heartbreak my ass. I came and I conquered that mofo. I give credit to all those stairs I climb at work. And to Sydney for being a very hilly city in general. Every single run I go on has a heartbreak hill. Pft, child’s play.

Besides, the biggest challenge for me was the 85,000 people. I mean… that crowd didn’t thin out ONCE. I was constantly weaving through sweaty men and women. It was kind of annoying at first but it sort of turned into a game. I only shoulder checked a handful of people – BY ACCIDENT. And in true Canadian fashion I turned around and apologized profusely.

I didn’t look at my stopwatch at all during the race, but I felt strong and before I knew it I was at 10 km… then 11… and then I saw Bondi.

Bondi...

So the final result?! An unofficial time of 70 minutes and 4 seconds. DAMN YOU FOUR SECONDS! damn you.

the final time (ignore the fact that my ipod is still on toronto time)

Needless to say, I was pretty happy with these results. We’ll see what the Sydney Morning Herald says on Tuesday with my official race times according to the chip in my race bib.

weee...

After the race, Sean and I met up at a pre-determined spot, slightly out of the way, and drank some complimentary Gatorade and water.

why does my left eye squint more than my right eye?... MOM?! I guess it's not just my eye... this picture is unflattering in a lot of ways...

After a brief walk around Campbell Parade and a couple more bathroom breaks, we somehow managed to grab a table at one of the best cafe’s in Bondi. Trio. It was deliciousssss. Seriously good eating. Or maybe that was the 14 kilometers of hunger talking, I can’t know for sure.

trio coffee

However, I burned it off before we even made it home and I was hungry again.

carrot-sourdough toast, avocado, roast toe-ma-toe and jam...

All in all, it was an excellent day. I’ve had that running high for over 24 hours now, and I’m itching to do another race.

City2Sea anyone?

November 13th in Melbourne? Sign me up… This time I’m aiming for a sub 60 minutes.

bahahaha I kid I kid…

xxx

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