Thursday, December 30, 2010

Presents Everywhere

Christmas may have come and gone, but due to the post office my Christmas keeps continuing.  The box of presents from my parents finally arrived on Wednesday, chock full of little surprises including lots of excellent kitchen gadgets, See's Candies, local calendars, and a personalised Christmas stocking and ornament.  Then today I picked up a box from the post office from my aunt, which included a festive blouse and a hand sewn apron from my cousin Leilani.  The apron may be my favorite gift ever- it's so cute!  I can't wait to wear it while baking, but that will be well after all the See's Candies is gone from my cupboard.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays

Since I was not going to fly home for the holidays, Clinton invited me to join his family's celebrations this weekend in Rosebud, which is about an hour and half south-east of Melbourne.  The boys picked me up and we drove down around noon on Christmas Day.  His family were very welcoming and even had little Christmas presents for me (which was nice because my presents from home are currently MIA and likely stuck in customs).  I brought some snowball cookies to contribute to the meal and a bottle of wine, which turned out to a favorite of Clinton's father.

The weather was warm but not too hot and the backyard tables were festively decorated.  Various family members stopped in and joined the celebrations throughout the afternoon.  We had so much food to eat starting with chips, dip, cheese and crackers.  We then had prawns, barbecue steak, sausage, shish kebabs, coleslaw and potato salad.  On top of all this food Clinton's brother, who is a bartender, was mixing drinks and made sangria as well as various fruit daiquiris.  After digesting the late afternoon lunch we ate Clinton's pavlova and my cookies for dessert.  There were lots of funny stories about growing up in Rosebud and we played a few games.  It was a nice evening.

Today we woke up to some rain, but it managed to clear by early afternoon.  Since I haven't ever explored the Mornington Peninsula before, Clinton's parents took us for a bit of a drive around the area.  We started with a walk in Arthurs Seat State Park with its great views of Port Phillip Bay and the Seawinds Garden, which contains several sculptures by William Ricketts.  The chairlift to the summit isn't working, but Clinton, Kevin and I took a picture on "Arthurs Seat."  We next drove down to Point Nepean Road and through the various seaside towns on the way to Sorrento to visit Clinton's brother, who was working.  We took a walk along the front beach and out onto one of the piers.  After some fish and chips at the restaurant we headed back to Rosebud and then packed up the car for the drive back to Melbourne.  It was such a lovely weekend and a great way to spend the Christmas holiday.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Oprah Winfrey and 300 of her lucky audience members are currently in Australia as part of Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure.  The media countdown to her arrival in Melbourne has been intense, and this afternoon she appeared at Federation Square along with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu to greet the thousands of fans who turned out to see her.  I was going to go down there but I had my work Christmas lunch on at the same time and didn't make it.  Clinton and Kevin were there and they said it was amazing.  You can watch Oprah's speech here.  The next stop on the trip is Sydney, where she will be taping her shows at the Sydney Opera House early next week.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Victoria's worst locust plague in 70 years has reached Melbourne in the past couple days due to the warm weather.  I spotted my first one walking to the train station this morning.  Thankfully they are not swarming in the city like they are in other parts of the state.  We had a lot of rain today, so I am hoping that has washed many of them away.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Melbourne Victory vs. Brisbane Roar

After drinks to celebrate surviving the first week of the new government, Chantal, Amrita, Justin and I headed into Chinatown for dinner at Ants Bistro.  Justin goes there frequently enough that they were pouring him his beer by the time we sat down at the table.  It was a good and filling meal and I'll probably go there again.

Justin and I then left and headed to AAMI Park to watch Melbourne Victory take on top of the table A-League team the Brisbane Roar.  This was my first time attending a professional soccer match, and the atmosphere was quite entertaining.  On the north and south ends of the grounds behind the goals are the hard core fans who chant and sing (and sometimes throw flares) during the match.  Justin is a mad soccer (or football) fan and was explaining the nuances of the game to me throughout the evening.

The first half was a bit of a disappointment as Brisbane ended up scoring two goals.  However, Melbourne fought back in the second half, scoring three straight goals and had the lead going into stoppage time.  In the last minute of the match Brisbane's goal keeper appeared to pick up the ball outside of the box, which wasn't called by the officials.  The ball then made it's way down the field and Brisbane ended up scoring a goal off a rebound from the Melbourne goal keeper in the dying seconds to bring the match to a 3-3 draw.  The crowd was not impressed and the officials were booed off the ground.  Even though it was a heartbreaking draw, the match was very exciting, especially in the second half.
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