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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tay, Tip, and Heath Arrive in Australia!!

Palm Beach Lighthouse Walk

Day 1 with Everyone! Tay arrived May 4th and Tip and Heather arrived May 12th. We are so excited to have them over here in Australia with us! They all came in on the Northside shuttle bus at about 8:30am. It was awesome just to give them a hug and see their faces. I have missed them so much. We wasted no time in showing them around. We made coffee and went out to look at the beach which was beautiful as always. Then Mikey, Tip, Tay, and Heath went for a quadzilla run on the beach which is about a 35 minute run in thick sand on a slant. I made breakfast!! We then headed to Palm Beach, the most northern point of the northern beaches. We hiked the Palm Beach Lighthouse for some outstanding views of Palm Beach, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, and Central Coast to the north of us.
We then headed back to the house and got ourselves turned around to go down and grill
by the Lake. We got different flavors of chicken skewers, sausage, and some cuts of steak.
We also sauted some vegetables! It was a really nice atmosphere and gave them their first

Aussie Barbeque. Many more of those to come that's for sure!

Camping the Basin

Day 2- I decided that Camping the Basin was a must with only 2 full weekends with everyone here. The weather is also only going to get colder so I thought we might get better weather. Mikey and I both worked and I was lucky enough to be invited by my boss to go into the city and take pilates class at the head Classical Pilates cneter in NSW(our state) The studio was located in Surrey Hills which is the Eastern Suberbs of Sydney. I had never been here before so this was a real treat. She drove us in and we grabbed a coffee and snack before heading in for our advanced Reformer class. It was awesome! I was really pushed and definitley exhausted after. I had lined up for Tay, Tip, and Heather to get the L90 bus to Palm Beach and then catch the 2pm ferry to the Basin. I was planning on meeting them there but after the class in the city Gail needed to run some errands which was fine with me and by the time we got home it was 6pm and dark. I figured that by the time I got there it would be completely dark and they would be tired from a long day outdoors. It sounds and looks like they had a great time! They got to see there first live Wallabies which was cool. I am still sending them to the zoo so they will get to see even more of Australia's wildlife.

A Rugby Game at Sydney Olympic Park

City at night from the Ferry
The Opera House at night from Ferry
Kris and Heath bundled on Ferry
The 3 Muskateers on Ferry!!
ANZ stadium in Olympic Park
Rabbitohs vs Tigers
Rabbitohs win!!
Day 3- The activities keep coming! Mikey had to work in Manly so we all took the 155 bus into Manly where we met Mikey at his work. They had there first Australian "pie" experience for dinner. Aussie's love their pies! It is like a chicken pot pie but they really experiment on what they put in them. Tip and I got the Chicken Satay, Heath got a chicken bacon avacado, and Mikey the Steak potatoe cheese. We then took the Manly Ferry which is always a great way to travel to the city with amazing views and sites of the Harbour and Circular Quay. From Circular Quay we got the train to Sydney Olympic Park's ANZ stadium for a 7:30 Rugby Game. It was South Sydney Rabbitohs verse the West Sydney Tigers. Yes, Mikey and I are really Manly Sea Eagles fans and we would have loved to take them to one of those games but they do not have one scheduled at home in the 2 weeks we are here. So we settled on Russel Crowe's Rabbitohs. At least they would get to experience Rugby! We had a great time. It was great game. The Rabbitohs won which was who we were going for in this match. Our travel time was about 1 1/2 hours each way and Tip and Heath were still kind of jet lagged so we headed home after the game.

Kristen and The gang

Friday, April 15, 2011

Camping The Basin

Camping the Basin
Palm Beach Ferry Ride
The Basin Beach
All of Our Stuff! Waiting on the Bus

Our Basin Friends:)
Our Tent!
Sausage Sizzle
View from The Grill
Our Grill Friend
D "mannin the grill"
Kris and the Tent
View from the Tent
Kris Posing with the Australian Flag!
Palm Beach Ferry

Camping the Basin at Ku-Ring- Gai Chase National Park

Finally the weather cleared enough this weekend for us to book a campsite at The Basin. We have been trying to go for 2 weeks but the Autumn season kept bringing in weekend rain! Unfortunately Mikey had to work and the only way to get to the Campsite is to take the Palm Beach Ferry and the last one leaves at 6pm. That was not enough time for him to drive from Manly to Palm Beach. So it was a girls camping weekend!!

Katie works at the Kayak rental place so she was not done until 5pm so D and I were on the early mission to pack, shop, and set up camp. It was quit the adventure trying to lug all of our stuff on the bus and then onto the ferry but we managed. We took the L90 bus from Narrabeen to Palm beach and then took the Palm Beach 20 minute ferry ride to the Basin. The ferry ride was beautiful really giving us a panoramic view of the Northern Beaches Peninsula.

D and I arrived and quickly staked out a spot that was close to the water and the grills and far away from others. Wallabies greeted us which immediately got us in the spirit! They are sooo cute. The camping is tent camping only and they have no store or anything just that at 10 and 3:30 they sell ice. So we bought ice at 3:30 and checked ourselves in. After we set up we headed straight to the grills for a sausage sizzle. We had a perfect view of Pittwater Intercoastel with all the sailboats and in the distance you could see the Palm Beach lighthouse. So beautiful. We then cased out the rest of the area. The Basin is surrounded by water and hills of the national park. They also have a big picnic area and 2 big fire pits with wood they provide to build a controlled campfire.

We met Katie at the ferry 6:20 and then headed back to the grills for dinner! We made fish sandwiches, corn, and raman. It is not an official camping trip without raman. We then went and sat by the campfire with some other Aussies and then retreated back to our campsite where we sat on a blanket and talked about life under the stars. It was so much fun!! Our sleeping situation was pretty funny. We took mikey and I's tent since it was a 3 man but we only had the one air mattress. D had the idea that if we turned it horizontal we could at least all have room for our upper bodies. So we all slept with our feet hanging off the edge. Pretty funny!!

The next day was the day light saving so we got up 6:30am and watched the sunrise. We then went and made a much needed breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, beans, toast, crackers and cheese, and coffee. We had breakfast by the water and then got ready for some swimming! The sun was shining bright it was going to be a gorgeous day! We snorkeled the Basin and then took a walk around the cliffs and found a relaxing spot to watch all the sailboats on the water. There was also wild Goanna's around the camp ground. We saw them getting into one persons food and even into their coolers. Apparently they get pretty aggressive around the food! They will crawl up you someone said. I stayed a good distance back from them. They are really cool to look at. Sadly it was time to pack up and get the ferry back to reality! Mikey was there to pick us up! It was such a great way to spend a weekend!

Love Always,


Monday, March 7, 2011

Kristen turns 28 in Australia!!

Kristen and Mikey, I'm in my new bday shirt!!

Well another event to share with you on the blog. My 28th Birthday!!! And of course I had about a million things on my list that I wanted to do. I think I wore Mikey and the new roomies out with trying to fit everything in. It was a great day just being in Australia. I went to work at the Pilates studio which reminded me what a wonderful experience all this has been and how lucky I was to find such a wonderful work environment. We then had reservations at Mexicana the new mexican restaurant that opened up down the street from us at North Narrabeen. It looked pretty good and we have yet to have good mexican in Australia so we thought we would give it a try on my bday! We invited the people we had Christmas dinner with and their daughter and of course the 2 new roommates, Mikey, and I. Katie and D(new roommates) gave me a bouquet of beautiful flowers and 2 "real" wine glasses for my birthday. So sweet. Mikey got him and I tickets to see Sydney Dance Company perform on April 9th. I can't wait!! i have still been taking class there every Tuesday with Sydney Dance Company's rehearsal director. She teaches a professional contemporary class which is awesome!! Keeping me on my toes. We then had some guacamole that I made as an appetizer for everyone to eat and unwind before heading off to dinner. We then went to the restaurant at 8 pm and I ordered the 3 tacos and we had some chips and salsa. We had a great time and overall the food was pretty good. Definitely not American mexican and not El Sombrero to my Gainesville folk!! The next day we went kayaking and paddle boarding on Narrabeen Lake. The weather wasn't great but Mikey had taken off work to do this and we were in the spirit so we made the best of it. Before venturing down to the lake, Katie, other roommate had also gotten me a Narrabeen Lagoon informational DVD(sort of like a gag gift) to watch before we kayaked the lake to learn more about how it was formed. So we all gathered around and watched this video. It was pretty informative and we all had a good laugh that she had gotten this and we were preparing for our days adventure very astutely!! We started the day with fish sandwiches and fries on the bbq by the lake. Then we rented the equipment and set out on our adventure!! It was soooooo much fun. Pretty big lake too and right in the middle of a city suburb so it was really special place. We all took turns in the kayak and on the stand up paddle boards. We then decided that pizza and a movie was the perfect way to end this eventful day. And of course the next day was beautiful and I was surprisingly a little sore from the kayaking and paddle boarding! So me and the girls hit the beach while mikey watched the Quiksilver pro contest online that is going on on the Gold Coast. Later in the day Mikey and I went for our favorite walk around here up to North Narrabeen onto Narrabeen headland and then over Turimatta head. The day ended perfectly with Cheescake made by our english roomate D. A birthday candle, fresh raspberries on top, and even the happy birthday song. They all assured me that after the cheesecake my birthday was over!!!!! :) hey we all got to do some fun things that we had been wanting to do anyways and my birthday just gave us the excuse.
Flowers and Wine glasses from Roomates

Bouquet of flowers from rommates and my present to myself, new bathing suit!!
The Dummets and the Sully's at Mexicana
Everyone at Mexicana
Kristen, Mikey, Katie, and D
BBQ at lake
Kristen and D on Paddle Boards
Mikey kayaking on Narrabeen Lake
Kristen and Mikey in Narrabeen Lake
Mikey on a stand up paddle
Let's just say I went flying off into the water after this picture!!
D and Mikey in the Kayak!
The Cheesecake!!
Love Always,