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Thursday, January 10, 2013

An Australian Holiday Downunder - Part One

Due to my ever-sentimental attitude towards Australia, I must start this particular blog post off with lyrics from one of my favorite songs that coincidentally was also the song of this trip.

St. Lucia's "All Eyes On You"

I will never take back
The words that I said then
I always knew I'd come back to you

Soooo cheesy.  Soooo true.  When they carried me kicking and screaming to the Brisbane Airport after six amazing months abroad, I swore I would return.  And six long years later... I  have.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My journey began in sunny Brisbane, where I would be spending a few days paling around town with my best friend from my uni days, The Gangster.  I was especially excited to see him since I'd spent most of my 20 hour plane ride worrying that the Mayan Calendar events might have wiped Australia off the world map leaving me with nowhere to land.  Luckily the Mayans were idiots (possibly why they actually are wiped out). Anyways...

We promptly began my holiday with a jug of beer at the Merthyr Bowls Club right on the water.

Halfway through said jug, we made the snap decision to drive 45 minutes up the coast to the Sunshine Coast Turf Club to burn money on horses.  I changed into a "fancy" dress to classy things up a bit and promptly bet on almost every single losing horse in the eight races of the day.  This was my "cup of tears."  We also took down some "track burgers" which amazingly enough were incredibly tasty!  I have strangely missed Aussie burgers with their egg and beet root additions.

Overall it was the perfect race day minus the nasty burn I managed to get on my left arm thanks to changing into my fancy dress (the sleeve was an inch shorter than the t-shirt I'd been wearing when I applied my 30 proof sunscreen)!

After a refreshing shower that was much needed thanks to the Queensland heat, we continued on to the Toowong Bowls Club to meet up with the rest of the Rat Pack from my uni days.  Six years hadn't changed them ONE BIT.  I sat through stories ranging from "how to build a seaworthy pirate ship" to "the historical significance of kangaroo court" to "the best way to point out to a girl that you hold a swimming record."  I also learned a drinking game called "wizard stick" where each time you drink a can of beer you tape it to the last can of beer until you've built a stick as tall as you.  Um, awesome?

This magical evening then devolved into debauchery at my favorite stomping grounds.  The R.E.  This place takes the "CL" out of "CLASSY" my friends.  Between taking shots of some weird pink alcohol mixture and asking the girl in the stall next to me for whatever TP she can spare, I fell in love with this place all over again.  A great start to my holiday.

Monday, December 24 - Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The next morning I spent a leisurely morning shopping on Queen Street in downtown Brisbane while the Gangster got a few hours of work in.  We then hit up my other favorite dive bar, the Regatta, for a plate of veggie rolls, cheese balls, sausages and chicken wings also known as the "dude platter" or something like that (yes the veggie rolls are usually prawns but I'm allergic).  Turns out it's not longer ghetto - WTF??  It's a ritzy, high-class-looking, place.  While the food is now awesome and I could spend the day on the lovely outdoor/indoor patio a part of me misses the old Regatta where girls routinely lit their hair on fire trying to down a round of Blue Dragons and the see-through toilet.  The times they are a changin'...


Nice and full we packed up and headed back up the coast to spend the next two days at the Gangster's family beach house near King's Beach where copious amounts of pork, wine and beers were consumed, beach naps were taken, and gifts were exchanged.  I was also taught all about Quidditch-I-Mean-Cricket.  Both games feature a ball, a bat, and a set of magical rules that are somewhat difficult to follow.  However, after having 8 Queensland gangsters explain the rules I walked away knowing about everything about bowlers and wickets and innings.  I'm like an expert now.

On a sentimental note though it was great to see the Gangster's family.  I have to give a shout-out to their incredible skill at the card game, Asshole, because somehow the brother-sister duo managed to rule that game for hours on Christmas evening leaving the rest of us non-relatives "aggressively sipping" our white wine in protest.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day came too soon and with it my departure from Brisbane to Sydney to see the many other Aussies I call friends.  I couldn't bear to leave Queensland though without hoovering 2-3 meat pies from Beefy's Pies on the way to the airport (sadly Yatellas was not on the way).  God Aussie meat pies are good.  Tuck Shop - take some notes yo.  The Signature beef and the special Red Curry Lamb were both amazing.

The trip to Sydney was short n sweet and before I knew it I had dropped my stuff at Ponyo's place and had made my way to Beach Road, a bar in Bondi Beach.  The best part?  One of the boys brought over a round of beer and it wasn't until I was a few sips in that I realized my beer was different from everyone else's.  When questioned, he told me that he'd ordered me a Miller Lite since it was the only American beer on tap while everyone else had gotten an Australian Coopers (my favorite Aussie beer).  This resulted in me shaming him for about five minutes.  Miller Lite?  The WORST of the American Lites.  I should've made him switch with me so he could taste my pain.  The last thing I want on holiday is American light beer. Gag.

Moments later a massive drunk Aussie, who'd clearly spent all of Boxing Day skulling beer, careened into me, volcano-ing beer all over my shirt and hair, and knocking me to the ground.  The boys came to my rescue asking if I wanted to leave.  While ringing the beer from my hair, I replied, "Let's get a shot."  The rest of the night remained fairly PG as we were easily a keg behind the rest of the bar constituents so we eventually called it.

Check back for more Sydney fun!

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