A short post this week, everybody; most of what I did was in preparation for my “spring break” trip to Cairns.
On Monday, I went to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for tomato sauce and to make an Italian dinner for my friends that evening. I spent the better part of the day cooking the sauce and just hanging out. When the time came for dinner, my friends were all very appreciative for the wonderful meal. Claudia and Jess especially enjoyed themselves; Jess even gave me a hug for making sauce and meatballs (which are essentially two of her major food groups). Italian food in general is in short supply here, so we were all very happy for the quality sauce. Thanks for the recipes, mom!
On Tuesday I had class, which seemed to drag more than usual because of the beautiful weather I wasn’t able to enjoy. When I got home at the end of the night, I enjoyed my Italian left overs. I also ended up going to get dessert with Claudia and Jess. We went to a place called Chocolateria San Churro where you can get everything from churros to milkshakes. I got a dark chocolate and hazelnut milkshake which was absolutely delicious.
Wednesday and Thursday were unusually boring. Since it was the end of the term for the local schools, Nudgee Beach is closed for the last two weeks of September and I didn’t have to go to my internship. That lead to two very thrilling days of watching Netflix and writing and essay for my philosophy class. Woohoo. We watched The Bachelorette on these evenings, which surprisingly has more drama than The Bachelor; the guys they picked for this show just really don’t know how to handle themselves.
On Friday, I went to my philosophy class in the morning, and then spent most of the afternoon tackling my pre-trip To Do list. By the end of the day (and by that I mean by 3 am) I had submitted my philosophy paper, submitted the journal entry for my internship, packed my bags for Cairns, gotten food with Carla, and cleaned my room. I also managed to get a few hours of sleep; luckily, I didn’t have to make an early flight on Saturday.
Saturday was the big day! I was up by 9:30 am and on the train to the airport at 11:30. We took off just before 2:00 and arrived a little bit after 4:00 pm. While on the plane, the woman I was sitting next to was nice enough to point out the Great Barrier Reef to me as we passed over parts of it. It was very cool for a first look! After claiming my bags, I was shuttled to my hostel to get settled in.
My hostel is… less than impressive. But, since I’m basically just paying to sleep there, I don’t have any real complaints. After getting settled, I explored my hostel and the surrounding area. I ended up getting a burger for dinner and spending some time on the boardwalk, which is very pretty when lit up in the evenings. I slept pretty terribly, but I expect that since I don’t usually sleep well in new places.
This morning (Sunday) I slept in, which was much needed after my day of travelling. A little later, I went food shopping at the grocery store around the corner so that I wouldn’t have to eat out every night of my stay here. In the afternoon, I spent some time reading in the park since it was such a gorgeous day. I also reconfirmed the tours I will be doing and planned a few more things to do with the days I still had free. At 5 pm I went to mass at St. Monica’s Cathedral down the street from where I’m staying. Mass was very nice (if not a little depressing…) but stained glass of the church was absolutely gorgeous. Given the locale of the church, it was no surprise to see windows depicting a kind of creation story that led to aspects of Australian wildlife. I picked out lorikeets, roos, and reef wildlife amid a backdrop of stars, Aboriginal camps, and erupting volcanos. The pictures I took simply do not do it justice!
Tomorrow I will begin the real adventure with my first tour: a day cruise that will include snorkelling part of the Great Barrier Reef! I am very excited and plan to take a lok of pictures. I’m going to try to post every few days while I’m here since I plan to pack a lot of fun into just under six days. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing about it – this week is the reason that I wanted to come to Australia in the first place!
As always, cheers and thanks for reading!