Posted in Australia, Travel

9 things I miss about Australia

We recently visited Australia and had an absolutely awesome time.  I found out that some friends and family actually read this blog! Hi!

On arrival we immediately noticed three things: how well dressed everyone is, how affluent the country appears, and how much the price of everything has gone up since our last visit a year ago.  Since when did a McDonald’s meal cost over $8?  Since when did an overseas stamp cost $2.55?  And since when did a Cherry Ripe* (see below) cost $2.50+?

That aside, here are some things I realized I really miss about the land down under. Obviously it’s not an exhaustive list…and a worrying number of the points below relate to food.

1. Storms

They have proper storms in Australia. As witnessed by the recent storm-pocalypse of Brisbane. Always good when you go to stay with friends then have 1.5 days without power.

2. Vegemite on Toast

Craved it.  Note, must be proper Australian bread.

3.  Food in general

Everything we ate was awesome (and very expensive).

4. Prawns [shrimp] are the correct size

I.e. Massive.  That’s not a prawn, THIS is a prawn.  Preferably cooked on a BBQ by a blond Australian man holding a beer (not pictured).

5. McDonalds

Edible! Also apparently now called “Macca’s”.

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Melbourne

6. Coffee

So much coffee.  Even in Melbourne airport they have a helpful sign telling you where you can buy it in the terminal.  The man at the lovely Cafe de Aura in Redcliffe, Qld, made a pattern of a phoenix on my flat white.

7. Place names

What’s the name of that creek? So strange.

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8. Sunsets

Ok, so I know LA has awesome sunsets (due to, ahem, smog) but somehow I just prefer the Australian ones.

*9. Cherry Ripes

A wonderful, Australian only, Cadbury’s chocolate.  Savored until the next supply run!

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Questions: What do you miss about ‘home’? | Any thoughts on Vegemite?

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Posted in Australia, Travel

Australia trip – summary part 1

Australia is the singular most amazing place in the world (I’m quite biased).  We were lucky enough to go there earlier this month for three weeks.  Here’s what happened.

We flew American Airlines from Boston to LAX, transited in the lovely new shiny part of the Tom Bradley terminal – which was sadly lacking shops, but did have free WiFi – to a Qantas A380 for a 15hr+ flight to Melbourne.  Oh boy was I glad to get off that plane.

We spent a fantastic long weekend in Melbourne with family enjoying the warm weather, the beautiful sunshine and great food.  I went for a couple of runs, including my fastest 10km ever (58.30 for a pace of 5:50).

Melbourne - Carlton somewhere.
Melbourne – Carlton somewhere.
Melbourne - Footscray Park.
Melbourne – Footscray Park.

Then I flew (Qantas again) to my most favourite city in the whole world – Brisbane, Queensland.

Brisbane just smells like Frangipani to me.
Brisbane just smells like Frangipani to me.

I stayed with my fabulous best friend Chantal and we hung out, doing things like going for coffee, running and having dinner at Popolo on Southbank.

Brisbane - proper coffee in West End.
Brisbane – proper coffee in West End.
Gotta love the Australian sense of humour.
Gotta love the Australian sense of humour.
View from our table at Popolo's.
View from our table at Popolo’s.

Then we were off to Sydney!

More on that in Part 2 🙂