Friday, February 27, 2015



Left the airbnb in sort of a mad dash this morning. Woke up to find the towels in the dryer still damp... Oh well.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Taronga Zoo

Feeding time at the tiger enclosure. Apparently it was rare for them to get close to the glass like this, unless it was feeding time.

Bird show.

Taronga Zoo is amazing, but I'm all zoo-ed out. We just spent nearly 5 hours with Billy, Nate's younger cousin, who volunteers at the zoo here in Sydney, and who was our guide for the day. While we've heard good things about the zoo, we didn't have original plans to go. 

Water dragon 


But the zoo was quite amazing, like it always is. Even in different places. We went to the bird show and a seal show. Both I gave thumbs-up ratings, but the seal show hit closer to home because all of the seals in it were California seals, and they were all soo cute and talented!

Beautiful tiger.

Billy is this fifteen year old something, and his love and knowledge of wildlife and animals reminds me so much of Nate. It's like his mini me! He was such a good tour guide, and knew all about the animals and their names! Kind of crazy. I have trouble remembering people's names sometimes myself. I can see his future career with animals for sure, like maybe being employed by the zoo or one of those animal protection organizations. 

Even though I had salted caramel ice cream last night, I was in the mood for gelato. I got pistachio again at Gelatissimo, but this time with Espresso. I think my last combo with chocolate chip was much better. We sat near the wharf where the supposed Penguins were. Apparently you can eat some of the fish by the pier there. Also witnessed a seagull eating a fish out of the ocean, some 6 meters away. 

Manly beach.

It was our last night in the area so we headed to Manly beach after. I didn't go in but Nate did. I was just watching people in the water and it was amazing how late people go to the beach. When we left it was a little past 7pm, and there were still surfers and swimmers in the water. 

Where we had our dinner. Shop was just about to close so most of the little trays of sushi were half off! Score. Sadly can't remember the name of the place though. 

Also amazing how I've kept up with writing entries everyday since we've been in Australia. Or should I say, "typing" or even "dictating". If you have an apple/android product, you'd know what I mean. I'm curious to see how I'll continue entries depending on schedule changes and availability of wifi. 

Not sad to leave our airbnb rental, but not happy either. This place has been perfect. It was 10 minutes away from the Corso, which had stores of everything one needed. The closest beach was 5 minutes away, while Manly beach was an additional 8 minutes away. Everything was within walking distance and very convenient. Walking up a hill to the apartment also worked out my glutes, a plus! 

I only hope now our shuttle picks us up tomorrow and that we have more fun. 

Bondi dinner


I rode on the back of a scooter last night. Quite exhilarating. If riding a motorcycle is dangerous, this is probably the next best thing. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Bacon, cheese and egg roll that we had for breakfast from one of the bakeries in the corso. Delicious! 

Monday, February 23, 2015


Went parasailing today, which was incredibly fun! Another thing to check off the life list for sure. Nate and I both hate heights so when the tine come for us to walk to the docks, I was just thinking, "what am I getting myself into?" But the experience was so worth it. It was surprisingly relaxing. We were about 80 meters up and fully dunked in the water... Twice. SO FUN. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Reef Beach Ice Cream

Yesterday was just a lazy beach day. Saw a water dragon, crab and water snails at Reef Beach. There was also an equivalent of an ice cream man on a boat within 20 minutes of us being on the beach so of course I had to send Nate to fetch me some. I really love the concept of an ice cream boat and I think he also sold beverages, as another woman at the same beach bought water from him. It was Sunday, so the beaches were disappointingly crowded. The exact beach we were even had some kind of a photo shoot going on. Initially I thought it was strange that woman was selling her clothes and jewelry on the beach, but then I realized she was dressing up and accessorizing models- who then walked across the beach to their photo shoot. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tourists in Straya

Did all the tourists sights today: the Sydney opera house, harbor bridge, botanical gardens and the rocks. We had a great (and exhausting) time but two things lingered in my mind: better shoes and the Internet. I used to walk all over SF so I should know this, and Internet connection could have been better. We spent maybe about 25% of the time trying to find directions and it pushed me to frustration. Even with data on the phone, searching for things online was extremely slowww. Not good, Australia. But you have lovely beaches and wildlife, so I'll forgive you. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Accidental Roadtrip

Friday, February 20th

Finally got our Australian phone to work, so that's good. We can be more accessible now and less disconnected. 

Slept in and had a bit of a late start today, as we needed it. It was probably close to 9 when we sat down at breakfast. I definitely had better sleep than the previous night. Not sure what it was but we both looked at each other at breakfast and knew that it was just going to be an unplanned, relaxed/lazy day. 

Nate and I started out day off with a run. My goal was a measly mile, considering the heat and humidity here but also the fact that my last proper run was in December. I finished off with a little over 2 miles. I sat at a park bench to catch my breath after and pondered upon the strange and new birds I saw that were eating the worms from the ground. 

His aunt Fiona ended up taking us for a few hours, to see all the best local beaches- an accidental road trip, if you will. They were all beautiful and I wished I had brought something more than my gopro and iPhone to capture it all. I haven't been all over the world (yet) but from what I've seen, this country really does have the best beaches in the world! Lucky Australians... 

We end up at Telstra in Warringah mall in the later afternoon to solve the phone issue and to target. As a girl in Target, can I just say their clothing department beats the U.S.? Prices aren't bad as well. Definitely going to try to return here, even if he doesn't want to. Hah.

After that we moved into our airbnb apartment rental, which is literally the next street over from his Nana's house. The place is so cute and uncluttered! Pictures are on my dslr, which I'll upload at a later time. All the place lacks is AC, but there is a huge fan to compensate it. 

We are STARVING. Just headed to an international food festival at the wharf (7 minute walk away!) that his Nana and Fiona told us about. Excited. But more so hungry. 

The lamington's I finally tried!!! Yum. Sponge cake. 

We've got 7 more days exactly here so I think our next days will be more orderly. Can't wait. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

First Full Day in Oz

I'm awake and I think it's just maybe around noon pacific time. Yesterday was our first full day in oz. Woke up at 6:30 with Nate so he could swim the bold & beautiful, which is sort of where a group of people anywhere from 100 to 300 swim across the ocean to Shelly beach and then back to shore. We were running a little late and coincidentally as we thought twice about crossing the street, his aunt Fiona saw us and offered us a ride as she was swimming the bold and beautiful as well.

Nate signed in, his photo was taken and he disappeared into the waves. I walked along the coast while watching the swimmers in their pink caps attacking the waves. The swells were certainly larger today. I got to Shelly beach and realize it barely took me fifteen minutes to walk to it. Five minutes later I see a head pop out of the ocean-- it was Nate! Him being a swimmer, of course it wasn't a surprise he would be first. They waited for the others to swim to reach the shore, at which point someone yelled "let's go!" and they did the returning swim to the first beach. 

It was so hot the pigeons were sprawled out with their wings like this. I thought it was such a strange thing, yet it makes sense. 

In one of the shops on the Corso. 

But enough about the bold and beautiful. I now know why Shelly beach is called as such; the beach has broken shells as its sand. I was told that this would be the perfect place to go snorkeling too so that's another thing I'm looking forward to. 

Walking through the Corso is like walking through the Santa Cruz beach Boardwalk; although it was empty when we went through it as it was barely 8am. One goal today was go get out Australian phones but this was not accomplished. No matter. In the thick of it we wandered through stores and rode a free shuttle to a mall and remembered I wanted to buy a few tanks (I packed very light). But oh! The prices. I knew Australia was expensive and I forgot, but being at the stores I was reminded by it. Even if something was on sale, it was still about 40-50 US dollars and I really thought that wasn't worth it. Especially if it was just a plain tee shirt.
Teaching Nate to be better photographer. 

Lovely dinner by Pat- Nate's grandma.

At the end of the day we went to Manly beach again and bodysurfed and played in the waves. The swells were larger than yesterday so I didn't go far out as I did. Some kid almost nicked me in the abdomen with her boogie board with a huge wave, but I dodged it in time. Note to self: stay away from kids who have boards... Nevertheless it's really fun going to beach without having to bring a huge sweater or coat; trying to soak up all the vitamin D I lack, so we're planning to be at a beach everyday. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


BULA. Fijian for "hello". It's 620am, Fiji time, wed feb 18th. 

Fiji airways was so much better than American Airlines. You'd think a country with more money would have more amenities, but that's not the case. We were fed dinner, a light breakfast, given blankets and pillows. We even had individual tv screens with multiple forms of entertainment. I don't often fly with airlines with all of those so they were all a plus in my book. FAs wore tribal printed uniforms that were green. Very island like, I thought. They would match with my orangy pink skirt that I have packed in my checked in luggage. Also popped a sleeping pill after watching a movie in the beginning of the flight so I've had about 6 hours sleep? I think I'm pretty rested. I can use about 2 more hours of sleep but for now, I'm all right. Probably one of the best sleeps I've had on a flight because I'm such a light sleeper.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Elephant Seals

See the Elephant Seals. Check! - Part of my birthday week, from earlier this month! 
The seals land on the coast around this time to mate. The other time they come to shore is to molt. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

25 Things For Year 25

1. Watch all 8 movies of Harry Potter in one weekend
2. Schedule dental work
3. Look into the stock market
4. Open up a CD 
5. Go to yoga with Anita
6. Get out of California. Twice.   Australia. Mexico.
7. Look into a 401k
8. Finally see a movie at that movie theatre down the street
9. Save $1000? for a road bike, sell the old one
10. Make travel arrangements with a friend to a domestic or international place  Mexico
11. Run 2 races. 
12. Finish reading 3 books on the iPad  Read way more than that.
13. Figure out how to borrow ebooks from sfpl to read on my iPad
14. See the elephant seals   2/4/15
15. Eat a burrito at the best burrito place in the world
16. Get climbing membership for 10 days or a month
17. Go on a pd ride along around my birthday  1/31/15
18. Finish portraits of people at work? 
19. Draw my family tree
20. Send a care package to tarpuy sonqo for the holidays
21. Get my hurr did 1/24/15
22. Try Loved listening to digital ebooks on my iPad!
23. Make sinigang
24. Handmake all bday cards this year 
25. Go snorkeling