I can’t believe I have been here for a month already. Where did the time go!? It seriously is going by waaaayyy too fast. So much has happened since I have been here, and there’s a whole lot more to come. This post is going to be a long one……
Let’s start off with last weekend. Last Friday I packed my backpack for the weekend to go to Mojo’s Surf Camp at Spot X. It’s located about half an hour from Coffs Harbour and was a 2 1/2 hour drive from Lismore…. I was finally going to learn how to surf! Something on my bucket list that I can now cross off as completed! Yeeeww!!
We arrived late at night on Friday. Saturday we were going to have two two hour surf lessons, and then another two hour lesson on Sunday. The instructor who rode on the bus with us split us up into two different groups for surfing times. My first lesson was going to be at 8:30am. A little early, but so worth it. After arrival we were showed to our cabins, or what I would like to call “Surf Shacks,” — and I emphasise on it being a legit “shack”. I didn’t know what to expect this place to be like, but let’s just say I wasn’t quite expecting what it actually was. You walked in and there were two bunk beds, and a bathroom. Typical accommodations. It basically was a hostile, except I also did not know that I would be having other roommates besides my human ones…yes thats right, I was sleeping with spiders! The girls in the cabin next to me had a huge Huntsman spider in their room and had to get someone to get it out. Here I am thinking to myself “oh great.”… I kid you not I did not sleep the greatest the first night. I curled up in a ball in my covers so no trace of a spider could touch me. My biggest fear that night was having one crawl in my blankets, and well you know the rest…me screaming and freaking out.
(Found a Huntsman in the bathroom) – It’s ok I didn’t scream.
Anyways enough talk about spiders, lets get back to surf talk. After a night of little sleep I was ready to go hit some waves! Before we got to the beach we had to get a little surfing 101 lesson, and also suit up into wetsuits.
After a little lesson about the ocean and surfing it was off to the ocean! Before going in the water our instructors made the group get in a big circle and practice the technique s of standing up onto a surfboard. One thing I can say about surfing: Timing is EVERYTHING.
To be able to surf, it is important to have a strong core, and as well good balance. Thank goodness that I snowboard and wakeboard back home because I believe that because of that, it was easier for me to get up and surf…it took myself 3 tries, but by the 4th one I was actually up! Our instructors informed us that once up you had to make the shocka hand sign and yell “YEEEWW!!” …All I can say is I absolutely love surfing and hope to do it some more while I am here in Australia. Overall surf camp was a great weekend, and Im glad I went.
Besides surf camp, my week this week was pretty fun filled as well. oN Tuesday ,Tommy’s was having a Mexican Fiesta themed party. A few of my friends and I decided it would be fun to dress up and go.
To say the least, it was a fun, but also an interesting night. I won’t go into too much detail but I somehow happened to lose my apartment/room key. When coming home, I thought I may have locked it into my room. I tried breaking in with a credit card,a bobby pin, I even tried breaking into my window…nothing worked. I eventually got a key in from my RA, and there was no sign of my key…Where could it be?… Thank goodness for my friend Megan who was my lifesaver that night. Apparently my key fell out of my wallet while at the pub and she grabbed it and picked up. I seriously owe her!
We also had a bon fire from when we got back from Tommy’s. It was nice to sit around and look up into the sky at the stars. It was a great ending to the night. It would have been perfect if there was smores!
Wednesday I had class all day, and thursday I finally got to lay all day by the pool! For how long I have been here I have not got to enjoy this pool that I have easy access to everyday. It was so nice to bum around and to just sit back and relax while catching some rays of sunshine. It was a perfect day.
The only problem with laying by a pool all day: sunburn. And oh man did I get burnt. I laid on my back all day and did not flip over once….bad idea. When I walked in to take a shower my stomach and front side of my body was fried. Looking like the color of a cherry tomato. My backside completely white. It looked like day and night on each side of my body.
Let’s just say I now have to wait a few days to go back into the sun again, and I’m definitely covering up my stomach for a while.
(Sunburn = not so good)
Friday was another eventful day. Some of my friends and I decided we would get together and make pancakes for breakfast..All I can say is: Greatest decision ever. They were sooo good. I also should mention that after breakfast we decided to book a last minute trip to the Gold Coast to go watch the Roxy Pro surf competition. Literally in just a few minutes I booked a hostile and bus ticket to leave that night. Quite a spontaneous thing that I did. There were nine of us that would be going. After booking that, I made plans with another international student from Germany named Anna to go shopping at the downtown shops in Lismore for the afternoon. It was a fun filled day of shopping and I came back with some new clothing pieces. To end this fabulous day of shopping, we went over to Ben and Jerry’s and got some ice cream….Best decision ever.
Since I have been here I have been OBSESSED with ice cream. I eat it everyday. So for any of you thinking about sending care packages, all I really need is funding for my ice cream and chocolate spendings 😉 . I think I could live of the two of those items if I really had to. I just can’t get enough!
After a fun filled day of shopping. I had to pack my backpack for our last minute trip. The Gold Coast bus ride was about a 2 1/2 hour drive. We had to make a few stops here and there. We arrived around 10pm that night and were staying at a hostel called Backpackers. After getting our rooms situated we all decided that it would be fun to go out and check out the nightlife in what is known as Surfer’s Paradise. The Gold Coast is a huge city, and I absolutely love it. Before coming here I was informed that the night life was fun and to definitely go check it out.Our hostile had a deal for us to go to Club Vanity. For $10 you got a free drink from the hostel, entry into the club, as well another free drink from the club. I had my first Australian beer that night! So so much better than good ole goon.
The club definitely was fun. My friends and I danced the night away. I already know I am planning on spending another whole weekend up at the Gold Coast. There is just so much to do!
After leaving the club we decided to go grab some food and check out the ocean. We put our feet in the water, took some pictures and hung around the beach for a bit. While hanging down down there, four random girls came out of no where and decided to strip down naked and go skinny dipping, running right past us and everyone else. And I mean EVERYONE saw them. They had no cares in the world for who was watching and were just being free spirits living in the moment. I wish I had enough guts to do that. I give them props.
(It’s a “Full Moon” tonight)
We decided that the next morning we would all meet at 8am to discuss the surf competition. So we got some sleep and met up the next morning. That morning we found out we were going to be having a slight change of plans…
Turns out the surf competition was another hour bus ride away… and the there were only two bus times going back to Lismore. One leaving at 2pm, the other at 4 in the morning Sunday.. and a few of us signed up to have an Aussie lunch with a family at noon on Sunday. Didn’t want to be tired for that. Also no one really realized how big the Gold Coast is/ and also when booking our hostel it was the closest to the bus station where we got dropped off at. Also the competition was postponed due to weather conditions. So instead we made the best of the day and hung around the beach and shopped around until we had to catch the 2:00pm bus. In the end it was a fun filled day.
(Lovin the Gold Coast)
And now which brings me to today’s events. A few weeks ago, I signed up to have a typical Australian lunch/barbeque with a family. Here families volunteered to take in international students for a day and to give us a typical meal eaten here. Some families took some of the international students to the beach for a barbeque, and other families took us into their homes. My friend Emily from SCSU and I signed up to have lunch together with a family. It was such a wonderful day. An old man came and picked her and I up. We would be going to his brother’s house for lunch. The couples names were Sandra and Barry, along with his brother Graham. They lived out in the countryside, about a 20 minute drive out of town. Barry was a dairy farmer and growing up his and Graham’s father was a farmer as well. I was happy that I was able to relate to them with having my grandparents and relatives being farmers as well. Graham was our tour guide and told Emily and I everything about the town of Lismore and showed us everything as well. Once arriving to Barry and Sandra’s house, we were greeted by each of them and were informed some of their grandchildren would be joining with us. They were the cutest girls ever. There was Allie who was three, Alicia who was 7, and Tamika who was 10. They were very excited to be meeting American girls, and had sooo many questions to ask. Lunch was also delightful. I have not had a home cooked meal since I have been here and this hit the spot. Sandra’s cooking was just like my Grandma Pfannenstein. It was like it was a nice piece of home with me, just in Australia. We had lamb, cooked vegetables, and for dessert a homemade cake with pudding and ice cream. Deeeelissshh. A funny comment I should add: while eating lunch the youngest girl Allie says to me “I like your face.” It was the cutest comment ever and we all started to laugh. She was throwing out comments left and right and would say whatever was on her mind. She was a sweetheart.
After lunch we sat around the table talking. And also I somehow ended up playing hide and seek with the girls and doing their hair. They also drew Emily and I pictures to take back home with us. It was precious. It reminded me of playing with my younger cousins back at home. I absolutely loved it.
After a few hours it came time to saying goodbye. The girls all gave us hugs and asked when the next time we we see them, and they didn’t want us to leave. It was too cute.
On the way back, Graham took Emily and I to his place. Here he owns a Macadamia Nut farm. 40 acres of land, 30 being filled with over 3,000 macadamia nut trees. He told us everything there was to farming this, and how the process was done as well. It was a beautiful sight, and interesting to see because these trees are not found in the states. After driving us around we stopped and got out of the car to go pick some macadamias. They were delicious!
It was a perfect ending to a great day.
( God bless this couple and their grandkids for welcoming us into their home this arvo to give us a taste of daily life in Lismore… The Aussie spirit is incredible)