Friday, April 29, 2011

Should have been...

I already posted this picture once, but Shari made it
look all fancy and neat! Besides, it's very fitting since
we watched the movie "Roommates!"
It should have been race day this weekend, but it got cancelled. Sad day.

So instead, I am going to spend the whole day studying because I really need to be productive and get some essays written.  I was going to do that last night but ended up watching the scary movie "Roommates" with some of my actual roommates.  Ekk! Maybe this is why I live by myself in Logan!

On a really exciting side note, a booked my plane ticket for Sydney yesterday!  I'm going to go stay at my friend Cate's house from May 19th till the 23rd.  It's not a very long time to stay there - but at least I'll get to see some of the really neat things while I am there!

I think that's all I am going to write for now.  Time to eat left over spaghetti! Wow. Pretty sure that is something my sister Heidi would say. Ha ha.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Koala Bear Love

Oh yes. This is another post about koala bears.  I'm sure you get sick of hearing about the koala bears, but maybe not. They are pretty awesome.

Anyways, today (despite the on and off again downpours) I went and cared for the koala's.  Because it had been raining all day they were cuddled up resembling huge wet balls of fur.  But so cute!

One of the babies decided to wake up when the sun came out and it sure seemed like she wanted her picture taken!  Days like this making doing service easy and fun.  And I love. I love every last minute of it.

Before koalas, I took the long route down to campus and went on a walk called Blackman's walk.  It was really interesting because I hadn't seen that part of campus up close before.  I saw medical gardens, beautiful pink daisies, lush green plants, and one very muddy lake due to all the rain.  It was neat to walk that direction and really fun!

I love exploring. So exploring campus is really neat too!

Tonight all of my roomies are out drinkin'.  Thursday is a popular night to drink.  I'm not sure why, because I would have thought Friday would have been more popular... but no. It's all about getting your Thursday on.  Actually, it's really fun right before they go out to the clubs when we are doing silly stuff in our apartment. Like dancing. Or laughing so hard we cry.

Great night.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011




I like this not going to school regularly business. It makes life really fun and relaxing - which hasn't happened in a long while.

Basically all I did this weekend was eat, hang out with friends, oh and take up digital painting.  I'm not very good with a real pen and pencil, but I'm pretty good with digital stuff.  What do you think? (Comparison pictures on the right hand side...) Obviously the original picture is more beautiful, but mine isn't too bad for a shot in the dark.

And I was on another Disney movie kick. Tonight I watched Princess and the Frog.  One of my favorite lines in the movie goes like this: "The evening star is shinin' bright. So make a wish and hold on tight. There's magic in the air tonight, and anything can happen."

Oh! And I download and watched (twice) the first episode of Doctor Who season 6!  I am happy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter in Australia

Happy Easter everybody!

For some people Easter is today, but I celebrated yesterday. Funny how Australia is a day ahead like that. Easter was really good this year (as it always is). I went to church and ate cake in Relief Society. Plus I got Anzac Day Biscuits. I have no idea what ingredients they had in them, but they resembled cookies and were delicious!

After church I went over to Julie's house. (Julie is the lady that picks me up for church each Sunday.)  Her daughter Cate was there and so was her granddaughter LauraLee (not sure if I spelled that right).  It was such much fun! We ate snacks while watching the third Chronicles of Narnia movie, played some games, chatted, and then got to eat an amazing Easter feast!  It made my day because I got to spend Easter with a neat family and didn't have to be alone in my apartment.

When I came back to my flat, my two roomies Hillary and Kirsten were back from the Gold Coast. In honour of Easter I made a cake!  Not the best cake I have ever made, but it was good just the same! Then we watched the Little Mermaid.  Yup. A pretty darn good Easter!

Today I have been homework all day and I have also Skpyed mom in the morning. I also realized that I have nine days of classes left. Woah. I still have five weeks of turning assignments in, but as far as physically going to classes I'm almost done. Which is crazy.

Time to get back to the grind of homework.  I hope everyone has/had a fantastic Easter holiday!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

23 April

Could I have come up with a more interesting blog post title? Probably.  But I didn't really feel like it.  So tomorrow is Easter! And I am soooo excited!  I have been holding off on eating the candy mom sent me and I can't wait to dive into it tomorrow! (Also I am going to bake a cake... so tomorrow shall be grand!)

I decided that since my roomies are gone for Easter (and away the US) I would play mum of the apartment and be the Easter Bunny.  I put together little sacks of chocolate for each roommate.  I also put together a "apartment Easter basket." (Although really it's in a cereal bowl, because I forgot to buy a basket.) It's filled with silly putty, chocolate, more chocolate, and plastic eggs with chocolate in them.

Besides doing all that jazz today, I found my friend Julia who was still here today! I thought everyone had left, but she and her roommate ended up being here today.  That equaled lunch at KFC then shopping around the Square [Lismore shops].   The day before Easter is apparently a day to have huge sales.

This made me excited because I came home with a cute pair of 5 dollar shoes!  Hooray for adventures that end in shoe buying!

I'm still no where near the grand total of shoes I bought while in France the first go around, but I would say that two pair is pretty good for Oz!

And in case you didn't know, the season premier of (one of) my favorite shows will have happened by the time you read this post. (Mostly likely anyways depending on your country/state/time-zone.)  Drum roll.... Doctor Who!  Can I tell you how excited I am?!  I will hunt down a T.V. with BBC on it. Or find somewhere to watch it online. So excited!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Over the years I have searched for Easter eggs in my parents home because it's a family tradition.  Dad is amazing at hiding Easter eggs! You know, the normal places. Buried in plant pots. Behind clock mechanisms. In pottery. Drawers. You name it and there is an egg there.
So over the years I have became adapt at looking in strange places for Easter eggs. And that mad skill payed off in the campus housing Easter egg hunt; because who scored the most chocolate eggs? Me! It was pretty neat that I hunted Easter eggs here, a good way to start an extremely lonnng weekend. 

I got to Skype with my sister Heidi and her hubby David today so that was exciting!  Talking to family is always makes a good day!  I just love laughing with them!

Anyways - I thought I should write a mini list of Aussie slang that I either hear or use on a regular basis. 

Arvo... afternoon
Arse... need you really ask? (Think butt)
Barbie... BBQ
Bathers... swimsuit 
Bloke... guy
Blue blood... An Aussie
Bottle Shop... Liquor Store
Brekkie... Breakfast
Brizzie... Brisbane (City in QLD)
Brumby... Wildhorse
Bush Bashing... 4WDing in the Bush
Bush walking... Hiking
B.Y.O... Bring your own [insert]. A very popular thing here.
Cuppa... Like cup of tea/coffee
Dag... idiot. Or nerd. I can never figure out which.
Damper... Bush Food. Flour + Water + Fire = Yummy.
Dingo... Wild Dog.
Fag... Cigarette.  This one confused me for a while.
Fair Go... Give him/her a chance.
Flat... Apartment
Footie... Rugby
G'Day... Hello
Good on ya... Well Done
Greenie... Environmentalist 
Grog... Beer
Heaps... Lots
Kiwi.... A New Zealander
Lolly... $$
Lollies... chewy candy
Macca's... Mac Donalds
Mate... Friend
Mozzie... Mosquito
No worries.... Easy
O.S.... Over seas
Old fella... Father
Op Shop.... Thrift Store
OZ.... Australia
Pav... Pavalo (Oz dessert)
Piss... Beer
Push Bike... Bicycle
Road Train... Semi with many trailers
Sunnies... Sunglassess
Tomato Sauce... Ketchup
Uni... University
Ute... Pick Up Truck
Unit... Block of flats
Thats all I can remember right off hand. If you want Aussie think shortened words, abbreviation, and speak with a lazy tongue.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hakuna Matata

This is becoming a nightly routine, that is, watching movies with the roomies.  Tonight we watched The Lion King.  Love that movie!  I remember watching it as a little kid and loving it.  I still have it on VHS, but it's been several years since I have seen it.

I love the movie.  I also love the phrase, "hakuna matata."  As the Disney song says, "It means no worries for the rest of your days, it's our problem-free philosophy... hakuna mata!" To me, this little moto really resprents the need to live in the present. Live life and enjoy it!

Disney movies are great. End of story.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Roomies and Cookies

I feel the need to update to my mostly non-existence readers (if you read this post a comment below so I know someone is out there!).  Saturday I did homework all day.  And Sunday was filled was a lot of excitement!
Wilson Nature Reserve
I went to choir practice in the morning then went to Sacrament. I got to lead the music, but I forgot how much arm muscle you need to lead the songs with four or five verses. Haha. I thought my arm might fall off at one point in time.  Then I taught a primary class.  We played hangman.  Oh yeah.  Relief society was filled with some great advice, but after church the real adventure began.

I ended up heading up to Brisbane [2.5 hours away from Lismore] with the young single adults in the Lismore Ward.  We all hung out at Ben's house eating lunch and listening to music until it was time to head up to Brisbane. The drive was fun and filled with me attempting to speak Australian. Huge fail. I need to practice more so when I come back to America I sound cool!  We attended a Fireside in Brisbane about missionary work and I really loved it!  Great speakers with a neat message! And there was cake!  Yummy!  We got to Lismore about 12:30am, but it was heaps of fun!

I reckon' that Monday was equally as fun. The roomies and I (Kirsten, Hilary, and Nicole) watched the movie Tangled and ate an entire pan of chocolate chip cookies.  Good bonding. It'll be strange to live in my studio apartment again and I'll miss the interaction with people. But I'll be heaps more productive in my own place.

Today was hello rainy day.  It was also my biology field trip. Today we went to Wilson Nature Reserve in Lismore and got a chance to do some field work.  Our group also got attacked by jumping ants, haha. It was epic and involved screaming.  I escaped unharmed though, no worries!  It actually didn't rain on us, which was so nice! Although the clouds were looming overhead daring to rain.

Outdoor education was interesting and it's giving me some really good ideas for improving horse camp this summer. I also am pulling some great ideas for my senior internship/capstone class ENVS 4920.  Not much else happen, except for it raining.  (My friend Alyson gave me Easter candy today! That was happy!)

Oh... I also found the neatest hand dryer on campus.  Yes, that is a kangaroo and emu on it!  Proudly Australian Made.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rain Rain Rain

I was going to go hiking today with the SCU Outdoor Adventure Club and I was actually really excited to hike the Border Ranges National Park.

But then when I woke up this morning it was raining. And it was raining hard. Currently it's still raining. Anyways, I just couldn't convince myself to go hiking in the rain because I hate hiking in wet clothing.  It's not chilly out, but still. Who wants to hike when it's wet?  (Alright. I know. There are a lot of people who would go hiking in the rain.)

Instead of hiking in the rain I think I will catch up on all of my assigned readings for school.  Then I'll get  a head start on some of my assignments, maybe wash my sleeping bag/sheets, clean my room, and try to make my day as productive as possible.

We know that I would much rather be outside.... but not when it's raining. (That's not entirely true. I would ride a horse in the rain. Or go surfing in the rain. But I think it might just be hiking in the rain I'm not keen on.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


This is me. Wishing I was at the pool instead of writing an essay about tourism management.  On the plus side... I am being productive. Haha. (It's rare. I know. But when in Australia... go on adventures and play! Er... maybe do school sometimes too.)

FYI - Check out my outback posts if you haven't already. Cause they are awesome. Just sayin'. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Group Memories

Here's a video of my outback experience in Alice Springs (Australia)!  Hope you enjoy it!  (If you haven't read the blog post yet I suggest you do that.  You can find it by clicking here.)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Alice and the Outback

Yes. I made it to the Outback! And it was amazing!  Before I get started with this post let me warn you for a long post with lots of pictures; but hopefully you'll enjoy reading it.  Oh, and I am going to organize this post by days to make it less confusing for me and hopefully you.  So here we go!

Day One

I woke up at 3:20am and caught the bus to Brisbane.  (This trip was sponsored by the international office so everything was organized for us.)  In Brisbane we caught a flight to Alice Springs and were on the ground in central Australia by noon. I don't know what I expected when I got to Alice Springs, but I didn't expect to see a green wonderland!  Because of all the rain Australia has been getting, the Outback was green... not a red desert! So it was a unique chance to be there for a week!

All in all, there were about 23 students (I think) and three instructors.  We got divided up into three groups, each with seven or eight students.  Two groups traveled the route counter clockwise and one group traveled it clockwise.  I ended up in the smaller group traveling by ourselves, which turned out to be perfect!  I loved our small group and it was so neat to be able to do our own thing.  "Jude's Tour Group" as we joking became known composed of myself, Amy, Ashley, Julia, Alyson, Kurt, Trent, Brain, and Jude - our guide.

After organizing food and eating lunch we headed out to Ellory Creek Big Hole about an hour or two drive away from Alice. Ellory Creek was a fun first camp site because it had a nice (cold!) waterhole and was perfect for day one of our journey. We got to sleep on the sand under the stars and it was amazing.

Day Two

After waking up and eating a meal of Milo (similar to hot chocolate), powered milk, and cereal we packed up the rental Ute (truck) and headed to Ormistin Gorge.  It was a beautiful gorge that was cut deep into the earth.  We hiked the gorge and pound walk wich was about a three hour walk.  The Ormostin Pound was a huge valley that would typically be red desert, but it looked at parts more like an oasis than desert.

Once the hiking and lunch was finished we stopped at Glen Helen (small backpacker lodge) for snacks and a swim at the water hole there.  Then drove and slept at Redbank Gorge on the sand.

Day Three

Day three was madness... in the fact that we all got up at 2am to hike Mount Sonder.  The hike was 18 kms round trip and it was hard.  I came back with several blisters from that and I learned I am not a hiker.  I'll stick to horses.   But the hike was worth it to see the sunrise, but it was so windy and cold! Brrr!

After the hike we spent the rest of the day at Red Bank Gorge exploring and playing frisbee in the waterhole there. We made camp on the sand again and it was really fun to relax after such a hard hike.

Day Four

We woke up, packed up, and headed out towards Kings Canyon on day four. The drive was long and all on red dirt roads. The roads were in good shape, but every so often we would hit a huge dip and send everyone in the back flying!

After the drive we met up with the other two groups and hiked into camp at sunset. We all camped together on huge rock slabs at a place called the Amphitheater in Kings Canyon.  It was funny because even though everyone was together our small group still stayed close and didn't mingle with the others. It was like a little family. And the sleep was good... for rocks.

Day Five

Today we walked about from the Amphitheater down to the car park and broke away from the other group.  At the car park we ate some lunch and then hiked the rest of the King's Canyon circuit. The walk was really neat, but very touristy. King's Canyon itself was amazing!  It was so unique and interesting.  A fun hike for sure!

After making the loop we headed out into the middle of nowhere and made camp along the side of the road. We also had the best firewood getting experience ever. It involved knocking over trees with the bull grill on the front of the truck!  So much fun!!  We also told riddles around the fire and became a much closer group.

Day Six

This was the day that we drove to Yulara (near Ayer's Rock). We stopped at Mt Conner Lookout, but otherwise the drive was pretty long. When I first saw Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in the distance it was really neat, but I was actually more excited to hike Kata Tjuata. Kata Tjuata is more sacred to the Aboriginal population and, to me, it was actually much prettier.  It was one of my favorite hikes if I had to pick!

After the 2.5 hour walk we decided to walk up Walpa Gorge and watch the sunset.  Apparently you aren't supposed to do this as a park ranger informed us when we got back to our truck, but it was worth it. It was so neat to chill with the group and tell stories.  Plus we kept making echos in the canyon so it was neat!

Day Six was also neat because we got to go eat out at a restaurant called Pioneer Tavern. I'm sure I could have ordered something really interesting (like roo or croc) but I had steak. Yummy yummy steak.  There was also live music and dancing so it was a fun night.

Day Seven

We woke up early when it was still dark out and headed out to Uluru to see the sunrise.  It was so touristy there but it was worth it! As the sun hit Uluru the rock changed colors from a dark brown to a vivid red!  Awesome!  Uluru has some really interesting features and stories behind it, so I enjoyed it.  We walked around the base of Uluru (13kms) and then headed to Finke River and slept on a huge dry river bed.  It was sad because it was the last day the group was together but it was a fun night!

We cooked potatoes in the sand, made bush damper (self-rising flour and flour wrapped around a stick then cooked over the fire till golden brown), and talked about the week.  The dynamics of the group were perfect and it was amazing to see how we had all bonded.

Day Eight

We headed back to Alice and then home to Lismore.  I wish this could have lasted longer because I loved it.  I love sleeping under the stars surrounded by people who love the same things I do.  It was a great adventure!  (All in all we hiked somewhere around 65kms and drove 1600 miles.  A huge journey if you ask me!)

[Outback Animal List]
Cattle (Stations)
Dingos (Heard them at night, sounds like a coyote!)
Whistling Kites (Bird)
Wedge-tail Eagle
Brumbees (Horses)

[Aussie Words Used this Trip]
I reckon'
No Worries
Give it a Think