Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shopping Down Under

We've learnt a lot about shopping whilst we have been here in Australia. And it is a whole different experience from shopping in the States. For instance, you can buy your "Horse Poo" and Eggs at the same location.
Live chickens are readily available at the market.
As are fresh local fruits and vegetables.

With rows and rows of vendors selling their wares you can always find great produce. Active bartering is encouraged so you can usually find a good deal as well.

The mystery meat shop, fish monger, and butcher provide the protein. The meat is always really good, especially the fish. But the smells coming out of these places can be a little bit sketchy.

One thing we still can't get over is the fact that at the supermarket the milk and eggs are not refrigerated...
...whilst the dog food is. Very strange.

Finally, from the "Australians do this better file" we have the "travelator". Like an escalator but without the steps. These are very convenient when you need to change levels with a shopping cart. The shopping carts are even designed so that they don't roll when going up or down a travelator.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Australian Rules Football Grand Final (Super Bowl)

The whole family has really gotten into Australian Rules Football while we've been here. Colin played "Footy" this past winter and loved it.
Football is very important in Melbourne, we were told by multiple people when we first moved here that we needed to choose a team. So without much forethought we choose a team based in the neighborhood we live in. Our adopted team, the St. Kilda Saints, are best known as perennial losers. Their first, last and only Grand Final victory came in 1967. But this year, out of the blue, they had the best record in the regular season, got the top seed in the playoffs and made it to the Grand Final. Grand Final week was really fun, there were lots of activities all around the city and everyone was talking about the big game.

The pillars of City Hall were draped in St. Kilda colours.
St. Kilda cupcakes for Colin's Birthday

The most popular show in Australia is "The Footy Show". It's a mix of a traditional pre-game show and Saturday Night Live. Sounds like a strange mix, but it really works. John and I became fans during the season and I was able to get tickets to the Grand Final show. It was Awesome.
The kids and I went downtown for the Grand Final parade.

We had expected to enjoy a Saturday afternoon barby and watch the game at home. But an extremely generous friend of ours got a couple of extra tickets and offered them to John and Colin. Getting tickets for the Grand Final is like getting tickets for the Super Bowl. It's nearly impossible to get tickets unless you are willing to pay a ton of money.
MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) seating compacity 100,000.
The game was incredible, very intense. The Saints led for almost the whole game, but in the end fell just short.
Picture with our fiend's daughters taken about 3o minutes after the game. Colin was devastated by the loss, but did his best to try and look happy for the picture.
Following the game our friend somberly told John that Melbourne has two seasons, footy and boring. We have now entered boring, which has proven to be true.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Great Ocean Road 3, 4, and 5

We love the Great Ocean Road. Love it. But visiting 5 times in under the year is quite the feat. Instead of blogging about each trip individually you get a shortened version. As always the highlight of every trip is seeing the Koalas at Kennett River. The views are amazing, the rain forests wet and very green and the milk shakes are still just milk shaken up! It has been one of our favourite places to take our guests from overseas.
The Great Ocean Road: Number III
We spent two full days during this trip with Jenny's parents staying one night in Apollo Bay and the second in Port Campbell. It was so nice to take the time to see the sights and we were able to enjoy many bush walks.
Kangaroos in the wild at dusk
Koalas on Kennett River
Hopetoun Falls

Maits Rainforest Walk
Triplett Falls
The Twelve Apostles
The Grotto
London Arch

The Great Ocean Road: Number IV
John's sister Allyson and her husband Matt came to visit in May. They got to Melbourne on Saturday morning and left Monday morning (no worries though...they went to Fiji, Cairns and the Gold Coast before arriving here). It was a whirlwind trip and it included a quick trip to the Great Ocean Road. We left around 11:30 am and barely made it out to the Twelve Apostles before sunset.

Kennett River
The Twelve Apostles
Just Jared

And finally, The Great Ocean Road: Number V
Our last trip was on the 12th of September. Jenny's parents returned with her little sister Kim and husband Chris. It was fun to show them all of the sights along the road and the weather was beautiful for our trip.

Koalas at Kennett River
The Split Point Lighthouse at Airey's Inlet

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Daydream Island - The Animals!

We had a wonderful time spotting animals around the island. Our favourites included the goannas that were everywhere and all of the marine animals in the the 'shark ponds'. We spent a lot of time watching the stingrays and sharks being fed and spotting all of the beautiful fish. Can you tell which animal is real in the picture with Colin?