So once again, thank you thank you thank you to Brent and Jenna for being absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see you guys in April. Good luck with getting some teaching work, I know you can do it! And for everyone else, I guess it’s just nice to be able to be on the other side of the world and have a little reminder of home – in my case, a couple friends with true Canadian hospitality.
I was random chance, bad romance, I was just there…
I’m trying to be more diligent with updating this, but as with normal, everyday life… there are periods when traveling when not a whole heck of a lot really happens. I have just returned to Sydney for the evening, before tomorrow’s mini vaycay to the infamous Blue Mountains. I am going on the OZ Experience bus, and spending 2 nights at the YHA Katoomba. I’m really looking forward to the canyoning/abseiling expedition that I am booked to do on Tuesday in Empress Canyon.
Anyways, back to what I have been up to. I left Sydney for Wollongong on Thursday morning. After a lovely 2hr train ride south of the city, I was greeted by Jenna. Jenna is Brent’s amazingly wonderful girlfriend who is more than hospitable. Brent, for those who don’t know, is a friend from Brock University – we’re fellow filmies. Brent and Jenna moved out to Wollongong in January 2010 to do teachers college, and have now returned for a few months to look for some supply/short term teaching work out here. Jenna met me at the train station and we walked back to their brand new apartment (which was getting furniture and appliances as I arrived!) So despite the fact that they were busy with move in stuff, they were more than accommodating to me and my giant backpack(s).
Honestly, not to sound like a complete kiss ass… but these two are two of the best people ever. They were more than happy to have me, despite them JUST moving into their apartment that day, and in fact kept apologizing for the fact that they weren’t already settled more. After telling them not to be silly, and that I was more than happy to stay somewhere that didn’t require me to pay $35+/night and that a couch or dark corner would suffice. They of course insisted I sleep on their air mattress – which I had to fight Jenna to allow me to pump up myself! Hahaha. They also kept apologizing for the fact that they had to work in the evenings at their restaurant job at Outback Steakhouse. I told them not to be silly and that I was simply happy to stay with people who I knew.
That first evening, Brent had to work, so Jenna and I had a date night to the Outback for dinner. We made it there just in time before a huge storm rolled in – torrential downpour, lightning and thunder… the works. We settled into seats at the bar and enjoyed ourselves a nice strawberry daiquiri which of course had extra rum (thanks to Jenna’s bartender friend/ coworker). Once our table was ready, we moved over and I ordered myself a half rack of ribs — something I had been craving for weeks! Jenna had a gorgeous steak with blue cheese crust. It was delicious. During our meal an elderly man from a neighbouring table was walking back with his grandson and Jenna reached out to the man and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Assuming that she knew the man, perhaps he was a regular customer, I too gave him a kiss on the cheek. It wasn’t till he stood there chatting with us did I notice the button saying “Kiss me it’s my Birthday” – which of course explained why Jenna did what she did. We got chatting with him and his family, and they were really quite lovely people. We even got a picture with the birthday boy and his darling wife. After eating our amazing dinner and having another daiquiri each, Brent finished his shift and Jenna insisted on treating me by paying the bill (for a little one, she’s quite pushy when it comes to paying for things 😉 hahaha. In all honesty, it was extremely generous of her, and I really do appreciate it. Although I STILL owe you one, Jenner.) The three of us walked home (since it was no longer raining) and shortly after arriving back at the apartment were out cold.
The following day we had a lazy day and just went to the mall – had some coffee at Gloria Jeans and window shopped. Brent had to work, so Jenna and I had a girls night with some of their girl friends. We made a delicious tortellini with salad and garlic bread, and their friend Jess brought over amazing (moist!) cupcakes. Then the 5 of us went to see the Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher movie, No Strings Attached – AWESOME FLICK! Great chick flick movie…. Check it out.
Saturday, the three of us woke up relatively early and went over to their friend Emily’s house to pick up Brent and Jenna’s surfboards. We then headed down to North Beach, where they attempted to teach me how to surf. Now I’m going to simply blame it on the fact that the waves were crap and not the fact that I’m incredibly uncoordinated… but it was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I managed to only ride one wave in… and that was on my stomach. I thought about attempting to pop up onto my feet and then decided against it and just enjoyed the ride. After a long walk back to their apartment, we were all pretty tuckered out. Brent had to go into work early and Jenna and I had naps. Then Jenna had to leave for work as well… so I had the evening to just relax and have a night to myself. It was actually very nice to have a few hours just to relax, have a nice shower, take a walk, read and watch some TV (as well as clean the dishes from the last couple days that had piled up in the sink… the least I could do to contribute!).
Today we slept in and then headed out to Gloria Jean’s for coffee since Brent had to help a friend with some computer stuff. We sat around chatting for a few hours and then Brent went home to study for a menu quiz. Jenna and I went shopping – I found a gorgeous birdcage necklace and a pair of long jean shorts — something I was looking for… cause sometimes you don’t feel like wearing short shorts all the time. I also managed to get a new flashlight and some dry shampoo (for my Western Australian adventure – I’m sure it’ll come in handy). Before I knew it, it was time for Brent and Jenna to head to work, and me to catch my train. They were incredible hosts to me for the past 3 nights and were even amazing enough to let me store some of my stuff at their place while I go out west. I’ve finally got my bags (yes plural) down to a manageable weight by leaving behind all my jeans, a few dresses and going out clothes, my Steve Madden army boots, and some photography gear (that I haven’t even looked at since arriving here back in December.)
Now Playing – Doghearted by Late July (http://miss.latejuly.ca – Check her out, she’s awesome!)