Tomato Sauce (Catch Up)

Hello, all! It’s been quite a while since my last post and so much has happened since then! After spring break, I only had three short weeks left of class, so assignments and projects started to take a precedent over blogging. Sorry about leaving you all in the dark during that time; I’m going to use this post to recap what I’ve been up to in the past month.

Week of October 5th: After a surreal week of class and my internship (my brain was still making the trip back from Cairns) I had a very eventful weekend! Saturday started with a trip to the farmer’s market with Claudia and Jess; it was much needed after a few weekends away. On the way there we met a very friendly cat and on the way home we got iced tea and stopped at a playground. An awesome Saturday already!

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That evening, I went my friend Keish’s 18th birthday party. Since 18 is the Australian 21, it was a great excuse to get dressed up and go to a fancy hotel for a party. I met a bunch of cool people, danced, and had a wonderful time. The night ended off back at Keish’s house where we ordered pizza and started to wind down, but I somehow still ended up going to bed at 3am. I suppose you’re only young once.

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After about three hours of sleep, I got up and took a bus back to my apartment. My friend’s and I had made plans to find a “secret beach” on the Gold Coast and we needed an early start. Our travels ended up being a series of getting on the wrong bus/train, getting off at the wrong stop, and not quite reaching our destination. However, we still ended up having a beautiful day, making it to a beach, and finding three different playgrounds. We ended our night in Surfer’s Paradise, revisiting a Chinese restaurant we found during our first trip there and walking the boardwalk. I’d call the adventure a complete success.

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Week of October 12th: On Tuesday morning after our misadventure, Jess came to me in a bit of a panic. While collecting shells on the beach Sunday, she had accidentally kidnapped two hermit crabs! She was on her way out to class when she heard them moving around in her bathroom, so I told her I’d take care of them. I got them in some salt water and called my boss at work to find out how to take care of them. I set up a little habitat for them and decided that they should be called Frida and Diego. I’d hoped that they would surive until I could take them to Nudgee to release them, but unfortunately they didn’t make it. Instead, I had a funeral for them on Thursday morning at the beach. I think its what they would have wanted.

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After a long week, Claudia, Jess, Carla, and I decided to go out on Friday night. It is very rare that we, the introverts, are the ones spearheading a night out. We had a great time getting drinks and meeting new people. We eventually ended up at Pie Face (a 24 hour restaruant that makes amazing meat pies) and getting kicked out of a play ground at 1:30 in the morning (not because we were doing anything bad, but because it was apparently closed). Another solid adventure for the books!

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Week of October 19th: The last week of class, the home stretch! This week was mostly spent doing work, for class and my internship. I started writing some of my final papers and tested the tank water at work. It was obviously super thrilling. On Friday morning, Claudia and I decided to try a coffee place called Espresso Train we’d heard about near our uni. I got what I consider to be the best mocha I’ve ever had. Yum, yum!

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Friday night I spent packing for a trip up to the Whitsunday Islands, and by Saturday evening was comfortably situated in a surprisingly nice hostel in Proserpine (Northern Queensland). The Whitsundays are a chain of 80 some-odd islands near the Great Barrier Reef and are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. On Sunday we went on an all day cruise and visited Hamilton Island (Catseye Beach) and Whitehaven Beach. We also saw Indian Head Rock (located on Pentecost Island). It was an absolutely perfect day and was a wonderful way to relax before having to crack down on the rest of my final essays.

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Week of October 26th: On Monday morning, Claudia and I got up early to see the sunrise over Airlie Beach (down the street from our hostel). After that, we went back to bed for a few hours before checking out and getting breakfast with the rest of our friends. Since our flight out wasn’t until 4pm, we spent the afternoon exploring the shops in Proserpine, sitting on the beach, and getting smoothies to keep us cool. When we arrived back in Brisbane, Carla and I headed back to the apartment while the rest of our friends continued up to Cairns.

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This week was technically a study week used to prep for finals. On Tuesday morning, I had to do a final group performance for my Drama class. My group of five did a series of monologues from an Australian play called Secret Bridesmaid’s Business; I played the mother of the bride. We structured our performance so that between each character’s monologue was the hustle and bustle of the hours before a wedding. While one character was speaking, the other four were frozen in one of four poses. It was a fun performance; our professor gave us some really good feedback and we ended up getting a good grade.

The rest of the week I spent working at Nudgee Beach and writing my essays. I say working because once I finished my internship hours, my boss offered me and the other intern, Wyatt, paid positions. We basically do the exact same thing, but now we’re getting paid for it. Its a really nice set up and gives us a little extra spending money for the remainder of our time here.

Week of November 2nd: On Monday, I turned in two of my four final essays, which was a huge weight off my shoulders. Some of my friends and I then rented a car and drove to Tambourine Mountain for the day. While there, we went to the glow worm caves. The caves are man-made and were created to help protect the glow worms from human interference. The worms only actually glow when they are in the larval stage of their lives and were incredibly small for the amount of light they give off. Walking through the cave was like being under a sky full of stars and was extremely beautiful.

Next, we visited a few shops on the main street of Tambourine and got lunch. Lots of the stores sold antiques or handmade gifts, so we saw a lot of interesting things. We then drove to Cedar Creek Falls, where we spent some time swimming in the pool of a waterfall and enjoying the sunshine.

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As I was the only person who was 21 in our group, I ended up driving the rental car for the three hour round trip. Since everything is flipped, it was very active, very tiring driving. Additionally, the road up the moutain was narrow and windy, and people whip around corners like you would not believe! City driving was not much better and I was relieved when we finally turned the car in. Getting the car back on time was itself an adventure, as driving with the GPS proved to be more of a challenge than expected. Still, we had a great day and managed to get the car back with a minute to spare.

On Tuesday, I went to campus with some of my friends who had a final so I could work on my essays while they were taking their test. We got coffee from Espresso Train on the way and I had a couple hours in the library to get some work done. When we got back to South Bank, we rewarded ourselves with some margarita’s and nachos; I got a Blackberry and Vanilla flavour that was absolutely delicious!

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That evening, I met my co-workers from Nudgee for dinner and trivia. This was meant to be a thank you/celebration for me and Wyatt and all the work we’d done during the semester. Mary Ann (my boss) gave us some books on the mangroves and wildlife of Moreton Bay, which I was very excited about, and our team ended up winning trivia night. It was so much fun; I’m definitely going to miss these people when I come back to America.

On Friday, Claudia came to Nudgee with me so she could interview one of my co-workers for  her final media assignment. I also got to show her around the center and take her down to the beach for a bit. We ended up saving some jellyfish who’d beached themselves as well.

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On Friday night I had submitted the third of four final essays, so a weekend of relaxing was not out of the question. I also started packing for my trip to Sydney, which you’ll have to wait to read about in my next post 🙂 Thanks for bearing with me while I was on hiatus. I’ll have a few more posts before I leave (which will be in just over a week!) because I still have a lot more to do and see.

Until then!

Luisa

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