Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Friday Adventure: Vietnam

Photo: Riding Vietnam's Reunification Train

How is it nearly May? My lack of blog posts the past week+ is proof that time is flying and I can’t keep up! Again, I do believe that time flies when you’re having fun so it’s all good.

Last Friday, our weekly adventure was more of an errand than an adventure, though one could argue that any activity could be called an adventure. Wow - I think I hit the record for the amount of times the word ‘adventure’ can be used in a sentence! Anyways, we made a trip to the Vietnam Consulate in the city so I could apply for my visa for my trip to Vietnam. Yup. You read that right: I’M GOING TO VIETNAM. Ah. So excited.

I’m leaving the end of May for a 11 day trek through the country with a tour group. I knew I was going to travel some while I was over here, but I was thinking more along the lines of Fiji or Bali (a week of lying on the beach? yes, please). Ash convinced me that Vietnam is the place to go though. She did the same exact tour 9 years ago and said it was the best trip of her life. That is convincing enough!

This adventure was sort of a two-part one since I had to go pick up my passport + visa from the consulate this week. My friend Rebecca is visiting (lots more on that to come!) so yesterday we ventured into the city with Anderson to pick it up. We took the bus into the city, met Ash for coffee, took the train to Edgecliff (where the consulate is), and then went back into the city to celebrate at the Max Brenner chocolate cafe (of course!) and then home again. Good day!

Tres amigos in the city

Buggy was chatting up a storm to random strangers on the bus!

Chocolate covered strawberries at Max Brenner

Much, much more on Vietnam to come!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Adventure: Sydney Fish Market

Ash, Anderson, and I have decided that we are going to spend our free Fridays doing something different and exciting every week. Hello, Friday Adventures! Being the end of the week, we felt like we could easily fall into a patten of lounging around the house doing much of nothing (which believe me, there is nothing wrong with that!). There is so much to see and do in Sydney though so we might as well take advantage. I feel like my time here is flying - I've been here a month and a half already (!!!) - so I need to use my time wisely. 

Today, we went to the Sydney Fish Market. This trip was partly for our weekly adventure and partly because Ash wanted to stock up on some salmon. Honestly, it wasn't high on my list of places to see in Sydney. Those who know me well know that I am not a seafood person. At all. I am learning though and can finally add salmon to the list of foods I like. That is progress, my friends. 

First stop was coffee, of course. Isn't this menu cool?! It shows what is in each type of drink. The picture doesn't show it very well, but the white parts of the cups say 'milk'. Pretty clever. 

The smells were overwhelming. Ugh. It grosses me out just thinking about it now! And the seafood on display was not helping convince me that seafood is in fact worth eating. Ewwww. 

While we waited for them to make our fish no longer look like a fish (no skin or bones and in fillets, thank you very much), we went outside. The smell was better and the view is prettier - the market sits on the water. It was overcast and dizzily, but again, this Seattle girl wasn't bothered. And Anderson spent most of his time looking up at the birds. Oh to be that easily entertained. ;) 

It was a good morning! While I can't say it's my favorite place in Sydney, it was worth the visit. Plus, we got some good salmon, which surprisingly, I'm excited to eat. Ash is a very good cook, which definitely helps! 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Easter Show

I'm a little late to the party with this post as Easter was a while ago (or so it seems). Anyways, Easter in Australia is a big deal. It’s a four day holiday weekend complete with the Sydney Royal Easter Show and hot cross buns. Those are the big differences I noticed compared to the states at least.

While the Easter show sounds like it could be an actual show or performance, it’s actually more like a county fair with a fancy name. And in the city.

Pete, Ash, Anderson, and I went to the Easter show the Friday before Easter. Despite the rain and crowds, we had a great day exploring and eating our way through the show.

We ate lots of food: crumpets with nutella, coffee, dagwood dogs (corndogs) and cheese on a stick, lemonade, pork buns, nachos, and ice cream. Oh boy, that list makes me sick just thinking about it!
Nice try, Pete!  

We saw lots of fun sights:

A map where people places stickers to mark where they are from.
Ash & I proudly put our sticker in Washington. We were only two of four! 
The 'American' food at the show

But the most of fun of all was getting our showbags. What are showbags you ask? Only the best things ever! U.S. fairs take note. There is a shed full of stands with showbags. You buy a showbag for a small price and it’s full of things of a certain theme. For example, Ash and I both got a Style bag that had a purse, hat, scarf, sunglasses, hair thing, and many other random samples and things. They have lots of bags for kids, bags full of chocolate, and many other random things. So cool!

The showbag shed craziness 

Happy with our showbags!
Anderson got George from Peppa Pig for his showbag

Oh, and hot cross buns. Maybe I’m just uneducated, but I only knew they existed because of the nursery rhyme. Have you ever had hot cross buns? They're pretty good!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Not just a tourist anymore

Photo credit: These Foreign Lands

This morning, a lady stopped me on the street and asked me if I knew where the closest supermarket was. I was able to point her in the right direction with confidence and even discuss whether the store carries what she was looking for or not. HOORAY! It’s official, I’m no longer just a tourist.

Nothing like a little confirmation that I might actually look like I know what I’m doing and that I have quite possibly lived here for more than a month (even if I have really only lived here a little over a month). She didn't even seem to notice my American accent. Oh, hello! That, my friends, is a great way to start the day.
Happy Thursday/Wednesday/whatever day is it wherever you are!