May 23, 2010

Birthday Travelganza Part 5: Toronto

After two crazy weeks and five amazing cities, I am happy to announce I have made it to my final destination in my home and native land! Toronto embraced me with sunshine and smiles and it felt so damn good :)

I flew in from NYC with Porter which drops you off right in the heart of the city at Toronto Island Airport. Getting through customs was a breeze since there was basically 30 other people on my flight (yet another reason why I LOVE this airline).

I went straight to my Toronto apt, jumped in the shower, threw on the cleanest clothes I had and walked down Queen St to surprise my roomie Nicole at Davids Tea. It was so awesome to be reunited with her after 6 months you have no idea.

After this it was pretty much non-stop.
Had a rooftop beach party with my neighbours

Reunited with some friends at Betty's (one of my fav pubs in Toronto). It was a perfect night of people dropping in and out so I could have some one-on-one time with them and catch up. I've discovered how helpful it was to blog about my aussie adventure while I was away. Most confessed that they were living vicariously through my phot albums and blogs and already knew everything about my trip. I love that :)

The weekend was full of coffee dates, BBQ's, beers and very little sleep. My bod is still running on Oz time so I often wake up at 4am for no reason.

So it's official. I've hit the quarter century. 
25 and still going strong!

Thank you to everyone from all the cities I visited over the past two weeks for making this experience an unforgettable one. It sure feels good to be back :)

May 19, 2010

Birthday Travelganza Part 4: LA/NYC

I stood in front of this sign at the Sydney airport for a solid ten minutes and thought to myself 
'am I really doing this?' 

The answer was yes. 

I ended up going with the window seat after all. But scored BIG time since I was in the first row in the economy section. I had heaps of leg room and didn't have to worry about bugging the french dude in the aisle seat anytime I had to pee. Oh and the cute male flight attendant would occasionally pop his head through the curtain and offer me warm croissants and other goodies only business class had the luxury of enjoying. Best Birthday flight ever. 


So it's official. I am back in North America. I knew it the moment I stepped off the plane and the hostile airport security yelled at me where to go. What ever happened to 'Welcome to Los Angeles, please head this way to collect your luggage' ?  Meh... a girl can dream can't she?

God I miss Australia already. Luckily it was a sunny day in California so after going through the headache of American customs and stripped/patted down to virtually nothing, I hit the bar. Met some cool dudes, some not-so-cool dudes, and some really creepy 50-something men who think they've still got game. I laughed, and continued to drink my beer.

I went to the ATM and realized how much I hate American money. It's so dirty, bland and boring. The Aussies not only have colourful bills organized by size, but it was rip/waterproof too. So brilliant my mates are :)

After finally making it to rainy NYC I realized how not attracted I am to this city. I used to think NYC was so cool, but now coming back to it for the third time I see nothing but an overpopulated piece of land that looks concrete old and rusty. Living in Australia has really changed by perspective on things... I realize now sitting here in an NYC cafe how much I never want to live here. #realtalk

But let's talk about something I do love about NYC shall we? The BAGELS AND CREAM CHEESE. 

I kid you not when I say I was literally shoveling this stuff into my mouth. Australia doesn't specialize in this at all. It was VERY difficult for me to find places that had bagels anywhere in Aus and the ones that did tasted like crap. New Yorkers... now they know what they're doing when it comes to this shit right here. Hands down.

My time is short here in NYC but since it's so crappy out I could care less. It is afterall only a one hour plane ride away from TORONTO.

4 cities down. 1 MORE TO GO!
Toronto, this is it!

May 18, 2010

Birthday Travelganza Part 3: Sydney

The official halfway point on my birthday tour, Sydney embraced me with open arms. I didn't realize how much I missed the smell of the ocean until I arrived back in Bondi. I'm seriously going to miss going for morning runs along the beach...big time.

It was so great to see old friends again and say a farewell to this beautiful country of Australia.

Had a nice big dinner at Bondi Pizza with both my Canadian and Aussie friends 

Enjoyed many open bar nights on the rooftop patio of Diageo (the nights got a bit blurry)

Had a good old fashion Aussie BBQ with the Whalley Family- my long lost Aus relatives. 

How cute is this little munchkin? I'm going to miss her big time

Another thing I'll miss about Australia? THE COFFEE.
 None of this drip business- everyone here is a barista even in their own kitchen.

I find it rather fitting that I'm ending my time here in Sydney where it all began. Over the past 6 months I have learned so much and met some really great people. I couldn't think of a better way to ring in my 25 years of living than by going out and actually living it. 

Goodbye for now dear Sydney... I will most definitely be back.

Next stop: NYC

May 16, 2010

Travelganza Part 2: Melbourne

As if Hobart wasn't a great way to kick things off, arriving in Melbourne really kept the momentum going. If you're not up to speed, I'm travelling over the next two weeks to five different cities to ring in my 25th birthday. 

Melbourne reminds me a lot of Toronto, but operates much more effectively. 

The transportation system is brilliant weather you're driving, tramming it or riding your bike. My friend Erin snapped this photo out of the sunroof of our friends car as we drove through the city and I think it captures the beauty of Melbs perfectly:

I love cruising around Melbourne and checking out all the cool buildings. The architecture here is unrivaled with colours and shapes that will put anyone in awe of it all. 

Hands down this is the culture capital of Australia. The people here don't have to try hard to be cool- they just are. You won't see girls running around in hoochie dresses and heels like they do in Sydney (and Toronto). Instead, you'll hear a live band jamming on the corner in a warehouse jam space or local pub. If you love music and beer gardens, then you'll LOVE Melbourne. Sidenote* sometimes you have to walk down a sketchy alley to get to a great bar, but trust me when I say the reward is always a great one. 

I said my goodbyes to my roomies and our awesome Melbourne pad.

I'm REALLY going to miss Gill and Shannon. We had some of the best nights in Melbourne together and all piled into Shannon's warm comfy bed on our last night (yes we spooned and we're okay with that). 

If you ever make it out to Melbourne, check out my Aussie Adventure Blog post 'Must Do's in Melbs

2 cities down. 3 more to go. 
Sydney: brace yourself! 

May 10, 2010

Birthday Travelganza Part 1: Hobart

One city down, four more to go.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about. Allow me to catch you up to speed:

I'm travelling over the next two weeks to five different cities and celebrating my 25th birthday along the way. I'll probably be completely sick of airports by the end of it, but having a laptop (aka- my child) with me makes things more tolerable. Now if only more airports had free wifi...
but I digress...

As I flew into the beautiful state of Tasmania I was completely taken back by it's beauty. As we drove into Hobart, I suddenly felt like I was in Vancouver -a city surrounded by mountains and right by the water.

All in all it was a fantastic experience and one that I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone travelling Australia. Here's what happened in a nutshell:

-Got a tour of the oldest brewery in Australia (Cascade)


-Road tripped out to Bruny Island where I ate a lot of cheese, drank a lot of wine, found the stairway to heaven and got shucked.


-Climbed a mother fuckin' mountain in Wineglass Bay (and told myself the whole way up I am not getting old)


-Drank the best coffee of my life, hit the Salamanca Markets and bought heaps of goodies for my fam back home (I've had to dump some clothes to make it all fit)

Next Stop: Melbourne. Bring. it. on.

May 04, 2010

two. five.

Two weeks. Five cities.

Can she handle it?

New York

let the madness begin.

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