Sunday, August 11, 2013

Penguins, Hillsong and Crepes, Oh My!

Yesterday was soooo much fun! It was cold, but I've adjusted to the temperature. I'm still so jealous their winter is so mild! We had a late start heading to Phillip Island, because I slept till 10:30... this jet lag is screwing with how late I'm sleeping for sure! It was an hour and a half drive to the island, so we had a great time chatting and catching up. We've been apart for a year and yet it feels like it's only been a few weeks. 

When we got there, we were both pretty hungry, so we stopped for some fish and chips! We ordered the type of fish, and the lady battered and fried it in front of us. It was so juicy and crispy... definitely the best fish i've ever had! We ate along the beach on a bench, but a stupid seagull yanked Naomi's potato cake out of her mouth! We moved under a tree and kept eyes on every seagull around us. They were everywhere!!

Scaring the seagulls away

After lunch we kept driving to the point of the island, and we stopped along the lookout points to take pictures. We stopped at a seal observation deck, and we could see seals through a camera anchored in the rocks where they hung out. We walked along a boardwalk right along the ocean. It was freezing, but super beautiful. It was windy and overcast, but we brought enough layers to not freeze. 

At 5 o'clock they let us pick our seats for the Penguin Parade, and we got some pretty awesome seats on the lower bleachers. We sat for an hour talking and waiting for the tiny Fairy Penguins to appear. 

Around 6 o'clock the sun had gone down and we spotted the first group of penguins! They were so small, like 13 inches tall! They would pop out of the ocean and pause because of all the seagulls on the beach. Then they would gather their courage and waddle as fast as they could up the beach to their nests. It was so precious. I wish they would have let me take pictures!

Today I got to go with Naomi to her church, called Hillsong. Every Sunday, they set up in a large theatre, you know, with a stage and multiple stories of seats, and take down right after their services. There's a band on stage that plays beautiful music, and a screen that projects the lyrics, which I loved. They were beautiful songs about Christ and it was a new and amazing way to celebrate the love of the Lord. After a while, the pastor gave a sermon on the layers of the Spirit, and it was a funny but really insightful look into the way people with the spirit live their lives. 

After church (which I wore jeans to, by the way!) we met up with Connor for brunch. (My first experience with brunch, no less!) There is this alleyway completely covered in beautiful grafitti, with small little shops with such varied types of food. There was Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Korean, a sub shop, and a French creperie. After peering at all the menus, I picked the French place, and we sat down at a small circular iron table, with a guy playing the accordion right behind us. So far, I've been doing really good at picking foods that are different or impossible to find in the States, but the second I saw the Nutella and Cream crepe on the menu, I knew I wouldn't be able to resist it. So Connor got a Latte, Naomi ordered a lasagna made of crepes, and I caved for the hazelnut one. The food was beautiful, and Connor's latte looked super yummy. It had foam and cinnamon sprinkled on top... I was sorta jealous. Then he tells me hot chocolates are served just like his latte, and I immediately wanted one. We ate, and then took a walk through the botanical gardens to walk off the 'sugary American crepe' I had just sucked down. 

I had wanted to see Luna Park, the 'amusement park' that Connor and Naomi had both mentioned when we lived in Florida, so we hopped in Naomi's car and drove there. Unfortunately they were repainting the clown face enterance, so I didn't take a picture of it. We were surprised to see a billion Muslim people, until Connor realized today is Ed, a big Muslim holiday.
Jordan got off work around that time, so we walked to the boardwalk across the street and walked along the beach for a while while we waited for Jordan to meet up with us. 

It took him forever to find a parking space, so when he finally met up with us, he was a little miffed. We randomly ended up at a Coles Supermarket because Connor needed food, and after he bought his basket of produce (he eats so healthy!) he and Naomi walked to his flat to put it all away. While they were gone, Jordan treated me to a beautiful foamy hot chocolate at a tea shop down the street. Ohhhh myyyyy goooosssshhhhh it was soo good! We talked about Disney movies and caught up with each other. It was really nice to just sit and chat for a while.

Once we had all met back up, Melissa Co met us at a cafeteria so we could all grab dinner. I chose sushi rolls again, probably because I love the idea of a huge log of sushi and no chopsticks. We sat and ate until the building closed down, and we all parted ways. It's so cool to me that a politician, a nurse, an entertainer, a lawyer and a teacher can all get along so well, and have such a strong friendhip, even though our interest are all so different.

So now I'm sitting in Naomi's room on my surprisingly comfortable mattress on her floor. She's getting ready for bed, cause she's got work again tomorrow. I think I'll sleep in tomorrow and meet up with Connor after lunch, but we will see what jet lag does to me!

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