Travel

Homage to Australia

What can I say of my love for the country down under? I just had to write a post dedicated to the land that hosts the most dangerous animals in the world, but still holds a dear place in my heart.

My husband got accepted to Bond University, Gold Coast when we were engaged. We were both ecstatic to start our wedded life abroad. And honestly, it was the best decision we ever made. We were half way around the world, just the two of us, away from family and in laws, which brought us closer together. My husband (Tupac fan) used to always say “Me against the world”, which later he changed to “Us against the world”. ❤

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One day, when I was five months pregnant with my eldest, my husband was on a guys night out and I stayed at home lying down on couch watching ‘Criminal Minds’ (how I wish I can lie down on couch and watch TV now without passing out). I then heard a THUMP on our window. Glanced at clock, 12:05 am. Maybe it’s nothing, a bird that got lost.

Another THUMP! Nope, this is definitely something. Called my husband, phone off. Perfect!

THUMP, BUMP! What do I do? What do I do? I can hear sounds of something moving outside and watching Criminal Minds did not help! The only thing I could think of doing was going to the kitchen and grabbing the biggest knife I could find, and stand readily in front of door. Ready for what? No idea, just ready.

Knock on door, and I immediately knew it was my husband from his knock. I opened the door, the look on his face was priceless.

Me: What are you doing?!?! You almost gave me a heart attack!!

DH: Sorry I forgot my key and my phone battery died. What are YOU doing??

Me: I don’t know, I was scared and grabbing a knife seemed like the most logical thing to do.

DH: Wow! Never knew I married a gangster.

 

Eight months pregnant and getting huge. My husband was out working on a project with his class mates. I was on the computer doing, I cant really remember what. Our desk was set in the corner of our living room and I was happily typing away when my phone rang, mom calling. I swear God sent my mom to me at that exact moment because if she didn’t call, the huge black hairy thing with long legs would’ve crawled up my legs and my heart would’ve stopped.

 So the desk was in the corner, wall to my left side and back. Desk in front of me, huge black hairy spider to the right. I could crawl under the table or jump over the spider. Crawl or jump? Crawl or jump? So me and my big belly decided to jump over it. I made it and ran to the garage, called my husband crying hysterically.

My husband, of course, thought I was overreacting. It seemed like ages till my husband came, the entire time I was in the garage looking over my shoulder because of course, it is out to get me! Where is it? Can it smell fear? Oh God where is my husband?!

He finally arrived, laughing at the crazy pregnant lady standing in the middle of the garage wrapped around in a towel. He picked up a broom, went in for a couple of minutes, came out and told me I must be dreaming. There is no spider. Maybe it was hiding in a corner …

NO! This spider can’t hide in a corner! It’s huge! Bigger than your hand! If you don’t get it, I’m staying at a hotel tonight!

He went back in again, a couple of minutes later, he came out and I knew he saw it. He won’t admit it but I could see in his eyes he was scared.

DH: “You’re right. It’s huge! I never saw a spider like that!”

Me: “Be careful. It might be poisonous.”

So my DH picked up a cricket bat, yes a cricket bat because we are the most logical people in the world, and went on an epic battle to kill the spider. He came out, triumphantly with the remnants of the shriveled spider in a tissue.

DH: “I need to show you something.”

Me: “I don’t want to see it again.”

DH: “No not that. Come upstairs to our room.”

And there, smack in the middle of the wall was a huge hole, apparently the remains of a battle field.”

Fast forward to the day we moved.

Property manager (PM): What in the world is that??

We told him the story with all the gross details explaining how huge and mean the spider looked. He looked at us like we were crazy people.

PM: “So you took a cricket bat and busted my wall to kill a spider??”

Yes, yes, that’s exactly what we did.

PM: “Why didn’t you just pick it up and place it in the garden? It’s just a huntsman spider, it’s not harmful.”

Us: “Pick it up?! Are you crazy?!?! It was big! And black! And hairy!!” (Please google huntsman spider so you know we not entirely crazy).

PM: “OK then, why didn’t you call me?”

Us: “Oh.. yeah.. why didn’t we?” That would’ve been the most logical thing to do… obviously.

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Things you must know about Australia:

1) Australians are the nicest people in the world:

I was shocked and surprised the first time I went in a shop. The lady working there greeted me in such a way, that I actually turned around thinking she must’ve seen her friend behind me or something. Is this hi for me? And it didn’t stop there. The wonderful lady at the post office who has a grandchild same age as DD’s, the lovely hard working family who owns the lakeside restaurant, and most importantly, our amazing neighbors. We have lost touch over the years so if anyone recognizes or knows them, please let them know we always remember them, talk about them, and they are always in our prayers.

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Janelle, Simone, Connor, and Finn in DD’s 1st Birthday
2) Australia is very kid friendly:

Worried that your child will throw a fit in the middle of Target? Or a temper tantrum at the Steak House? It doesn’t really matter because most probably, the guys next to you are dealing with their own temper tantrum fit throwing kid.

I can’t imagine the amount of deathly stares, and how many “Oh mon Dieu” I will get if my baby was the crying baby in “Le Entrecote”, Geneva! In Australia, the waitress offered to walk around with my baby while I finished my food.

3) Follow the rules people!

That goes for everything but mainly: border control, speed, and swimming between the flags. Bringing food into the country? Declare it. Have electronics? State that. In doubt? Just declare everything just in case.

And please, swim between the flags and listen to the lifeguards. Its an ocean out there and it’s better to be safe than sorry. As for me, I only dipped my feet (ok maybe just toes) in the water. Beautiful as it may be, hearing about five shark attacks as soon as I landed coupled with watching ‘Bondi Beach’ made me very very scared. But for everyone else who is not a chicken like me, enjoy the waters, just be safe.

 

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From our second trip to Australia, 2015

Places I recommend in Gold Coast, Australia:

1) Surfers Paradise

It doesn’t get much better than this really. Amazing views, wonderful people, and delicious food (I recommend Hurricane’s Grill). They also have two days a week I think where people set up stalls on the walkway next to the sea. There is this one friendly and very talented lady who sews tablecloths and table runners and other accessories. Got my mom a gift from there and she loves it. Simply divine.

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2) Robina Town Center

Oh my true love! One of the biggest malls I’ve been to. It’s amazing! I would recommend you have breakfast in Shingle Inn (their eggs and chicken caesar sandwich is to die for), lunch in Vida (love their pasta and butterscotch cupcake .. Mmmm), and dinner in Squires Loft or the Groove Train. Shopping? You simply can’t miss David Johns. Oh how I miss this place!

3) Parks

The Gold Coast hosts a number of amusement parks and water parks: Warner Brothers, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild, White Water World, and Dreamworld. If you are pressed for time and would like to go to one park only, I would recommend Dreamworld. It is bigger, has more attractions for all ages (the Wiggles world for kids) and even has a zoo in it.

4) Nature

Australia hosts a number of rainforests. I personally only went to Mt. Tamborine and got a glimpse of the waterfall. But honestly, Australia is a nature’s lovers paradise, everywhere you go is beautiful.

 That’s it! Taa Australia. We love you! Until next time!