January 29, 2007

Margaret River and Canal Rocks (south of Perth)

G’day Mates! Your Sheila from down-under has been busy killing convicts during the night (those pissers). My roo picked me up this morn’ afta the koala next door prepared an Aussie breakie–Vegemite on toast. Then we speared some sharks with our sting ray blades coated in brown snake poison. Bloody rippa’! After tackling sea snakes & box jellyfish in the massive rip tides that cover the beaches, we rode the noon tsunami 10 km to catch tea at Foster’s Brewery (it IS definitely Australian for Beer) and watch a showing of ‘Crocodile Dundee.’ We took Nathan’s pet tasmanian devil, named “Lit’l Bugga”, for a walkabout to collect shrimps for the barbie. I’ve learned to play cricket in the past week and traveling to Sydney to defeat England for the last time. Bloody oath, the stupid flamin’ galahs!

Fair Dinkun, Ocker,
Jessica the Yank
Seriously, that all happened.

My family and I went down to Margaret River area (south of Perth, Western Australia) for 4 days. We stayed at a beach apartment at Canal Rocks. The ocean was just a few meters away, the surf was small, which meant you could swim and sun bathe instead. (Skin cancer can kill!)
We took short car trips to the various wineries (Vasse Felix, Mad Fish), restaurants (delicious salmon salads) and galleries (glass pieces, jewelery and local paintings). Below, was the awesome beach, Yallingup, where the reef was large enough to walk on and pools to chill in.

Below, Inginup beach had massive sand dunes we took turns running down. Then my brother and dad wrestled on the dune, tumbling down a ways. Depending on which beach you went to, there may be awesome waves for surfing, pools for diving, reefs, dangerous rocks, cliffs or long strips of sand. I think we saw all. I am a simple girl, collecting shells and taking photos in between dips in the cool, clear blue water.

Nathan and I tasted a few wines. I like the whites, and he thinks he likes reds, but really has no idea. We prefer beer, the mature wine palette will come eventually. But I'm not waiting for it, wines can be expensive. It is always interesting to compare least expensive to high range wines. The more expensive do have dynamic flavors that last–like chewing gum. Just kidding.

Lamb is a large part of the Australian culture and history of sheep farming. I tried it, but the baby animals are just too damn cute–I’ll stick to the salmon.

I rode in this kangaroo's pouch back to the beach apartment, it was quite roomy, but the in flight service was awful and the bumpy ride made me fall out a few times.

Can you believe all four of us: David, Nathan, me and Marian–are all in one photo together. No Photoshop splicing and emailing across the globe. It has been 6 years since we have all been in the same place. We'll have to send one to Grandma Pat, and others who like collecting family photos.

Here are some coastal shots from Canal Rocks at sundown.
Our beach apartment is 500 meters behind the rocks/bushes on right of the photo.

January 17, 2007

Hot child in the City

Perth is a clean city, close to parks and water, and filled with people walking fast–but strangely only five days a week. While trekking up and all over Kings park, I saw many colorful flowers, dramatic trees and crazy birds. I looked like a sore thumb with my tourist ensemble: walking shoes, iPod, camera, hat and backpack. My parents go on romantic picnics in Kings Park.The view was spectacular, and the skyline so foreign from Tucson. Pardon the over exposed photos; Tucson and Australia share the glaring sun.
Gorgeous dramatic shapes, emotional colors and familiar fragrances.

Fremantle & a rainy ride

I rode 14 miles to Cottesloe and back to Trigg, despite the rain and sideways wind. It was beautiful and I could've gone further. In the first half hour of the ride, I spotted a "stubbie" lizard in the middle of the path–almost hit it–but just passed it. It was a blue-tongued lizard, the type that held my mom hostage in the backyard, blocking the doorway. They open their mouths, hiss and show their blue tongues, not poisonous, but if bitten–strong jaws will not let go. I didn't stop for a picture, but saw two more lizards just 5 minutes later down the path. I pissed one off and it hissed at me. The photo I caught wasn't nearly as good as the one I pulled off the web: (looks basically like what happened)
The rest of the ride was awesome, but a storm arrived and rained and blew sideways wind, isn't it supposed to be summer? I spent a day in the city, chillin' and exploring . I must love Dale–I see him everywhere...That afternoon, I went with my Mom to get Nathan his x-mas present–a new suit! He attends formal dinners/events at Uni, since he is involved with the dorms. Dressing nice must cancel out irresponsible binge drinking games. Despite my opinion, he looked sharp as hell! I believe there are more mannequins in use in Australian shops–they were making me nervous:
On Sunday we went to Fremantle: a harbour city with adorable shops, market, x-cellent nightlife and a wicked brewery, "Little Creatures." Delicious brewskies & munchies. As tourists we also saw a convict-built lunatic asylum converted to a Museum (every room was haunted!) and a Maritime Museum. Hooray for history.

January 12, 2007

No jet lag: arrived in Perth

Wow, what a long flight. 12 hours from SFO to Korea, 6 hours to Singapore, 8 hours layover, then 5 hours to Perth. It seems like a crazy idea to be travelling for 2 days straight, but the reason/desination is worth it. While I was cursing the computer backgammon on the plane, I was imagining if there was no commercial air travel. Travelling by boat would take months; a rationalization that distracted me from the jarring elbow of the guy sitting next to me.
My parents house is beautiful, and just 2 blocks from the beach.I found a dead fish on the beach, is a Trigger fish, I don't know.
Maybe I will see a living one, or even an eel when I go snorkling.Australian Beach Rules: "Slip, slop, slap" sunscreen; & "Swim between the flags"Nathan, my brother, has a new MacBookPro....lucky!
I suspect he isn't utilizing it to it's full potential–
notice he's reading the TV guide instead.Home activities at their most honest.