Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Post Of The Year! ~Melbourne~

So, before Christmas, I jaunted down to the great state of Victoria to visit my friends and enjoy the beautiful city of Melbourne a second time, as well as many of its interesting suburbs.


Here is my best friend Stephanie in front of a convent in Abbotsford (yes, Abbotsford). Within the convent were a few cafes and bakeries, including a vegetarian "pay-what-you-feel" restaurant, which was delicious and awesome. They even make free coffee!

On the weekend I stayed with my friend Cali (Canadian) and her man David (Australian). They lived in Frankston, which is about an hour outside of Melbourne. On the weekend, we went to Luna Park in St. Kilda, which is home to the largest wooden roller coaster in the world.


Me at the the "mouth" of Luna Park.


The historic Luna Park carousel, built in 1913.


The Pharoah's Curse, which I did not ride, but Cali and David are on it. I don't like going completely upside down.





The roller coaster ("Scenic Railway") looks right over the beach and it was a gorgeous sunny day. The view was spectacular. Unfortunately I couldn't take my camera with me on the roller coaster!

This is Lolly, who was my room-mate for the weekend (she's Cali's flatmate's dog).


We took a walk down St. Kilda pier, which was quite pretty, even if the sky looked pretty ominous. It definitely reminded me of Vancouver.





You could definitely tell which way the wind was blowing.


The best part was definitely seeing the little penguins live and in the wild. The video isn't very good, but I can assure you, they were very cute.
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I took a trip to the ACCA, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and checked out their Beckett-inspired exhibit, which was sparse but still gave me a smile. It was a cool building, too, and right beside the Malthouse Theatre (which was, not shockingly, once a malthouse).




Since that was only a few blocks away from the Shrine of Remembrance, I decided to head on over to get a better look.

From one side:


And from another:


There were plenty of other beautiful monuments dedicated to the Australian soldiers, like this one:


The Shrine of Remembrance is located right by the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens.








The next week I stayed with Kaye, mum's good friend, and spent my days either with Steph and/or Cali, seeing the sights. There was an amazing exhibit at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, which I couldn't take pictures of, called Dreams Come True, which was all artwork from Disney movies, including cells and concept art from the best princess movies. It was magical! Here are some photos of Federation Square, where the ACMI is located.


from Fed Square, looking at St. Paul's Cathedral.


Steph and I in Fed Square.


Cali and I in Fed Square.


A cool church on Sydney Road, in Brunswick.



A cool building in Chinatown.


The Immigration Museum, which I didn't get a chance to visit last year. Very informative, all about how immigrants from all over the world came to Australia, particularly Victoria.


Rats immigrated, too!


This is the MCG, the Mebourne Cricket Ground. Didn't get much closer. Not a fan of cricket (but don't tell the Australians!!)


This is me with the Spirit Of The Square Wishing Penguin in Federation Square. He's a magical penguin who grants wishes at Christmas. Hurray!

I'm splitting this trip into two blog entries - I just have so many more pictures. So stay tuned, I'll be posting those in the new year... you know, probably tomorrow.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gold Coast Theatre Awards

Tuesday November 30 was the night of the 2nd Annual Gold Coast Theatre Awards in Benowa. It was a heck of a trek to get there... 45 minutes by train, then got picked up and another 50 minutes by car! But we ended up just outside of Surfer's Paradise at the lovely Gold Coast Arts Centre. Very posh! So much cool art around the building. It was a neat complex.







We were given a free drink with our ticket. Hurray!



My friend Jordan was there to cheer everybody on!


It was pretty dark in the Paradise Room, so the pictures didn't really turn out great. But I ran into half the cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee so I insisted on a picture!


From L to R: Me (of course), Frog (Barfee), Nikki (Marcy), Morgan (Logainne) and Ben (our Assistant Musical Director)
Front: Andy (Panch)

So, it was a good night. My category was second-to-last (people kept saying that therefore it was one of the most prestigious) so I couldn't drink as much as I had hoped to! Oh, well. It was very nice to see some of my pals win in their categories! I didn't have a speech prepared so it was just as well I didn't win. Everyone insisted it was a travesty of course, but the more optimistic were very encouraging - "Next year we'll see you up there!" As long as I can keep getting great parts in shows I love, that's enough for me!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dreamworld revisited

Life has been crazy busy over here, but we managed to get to White Water World on a nice sunny Saturday, which was awesome. We were pretty tired by about 2:30, but we went over to Dreamworld to check out the animals (and ride The Claw again!). We were sure glad we did, because we saw both a baby tiger and a baby koala. Enjoy!


video video

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dreamworld

I was so excited for Dreamworld, I even made up a theme song for it. Dreamworld is on the Gold Coast, in Coomera, which is about an hour and a half by transit. It's an amusement park with a little zoo in it, plus a waterslide park. We didn't have a chance to hit up WhiteWaterWorld but we got special passes that get us unlimited entry to both parks until Christmas, so we'll definitely go as it continues to get warmer!

We got there pretty early so we wouldn't have to wait in ridiculously long line-ups for rides. We went on the Cyclone, a loopy roller coaster, the Wipeout (not my favourite) and the Claw, which was THE FREAKING BEST RIDE EVER.


Wheee!!

Then it was on to Tiger Island, to watch the tigers eat, jump, climb trees and generally loll about.


Mohan, the oldest, the white tiger.


Tigers love milk!


I did mention the lolling.


Tigers, really, are just big cats, after all.

Then on through to the Australian Wildlife Experience, which had plenty of koalas:







Aw, little tired non-bears! Also, some sleepy roos (it was pretty hot at this point!):







Not to mention the crocs! These are "freshies" (freshwater crocodiles):


If you look real close you can see the litle red dragonfly on his head!



We also got to watch the saltwater crocodiles get fed. That was pretty amazing and terrifying. 5000 pounds of jaw pressure. Huge, dinosaur-like beasts, way bigger than these guys. Pat will have pictures of "Goliath" up soon.

Also, there were some beautiful birds in the aviary. Among the roos, we spotted an emu (they are hard to miss):



and in the reptile house, a little green tree frog:



There was also a baby wombat cuddling experience that I will have to do next time we go. I love wombats, they are like land-koalas. So cute!!

Next, we went on the log ride. It was later in the afternoon, now, so the wait in the queue was substantially longer than it had been in the morning (like 45 minutes). It was a great ride though, very atmospheric, and I got very, very wet since I was sitting in the front.

On to the Moto Coaster, which was super cool - basically, a roller coaster that has you riding on a motorcycle. It was so much fun, but again the line was very long and the ride was pretty short. If the ride had been just a bit longer, it would have been the best!

Dreamworld had some great shops in the main shopping area, including:

Ice cream parlour and gigantic candy shop.


Fairytale treasures!!! Easily my favourite shop there. They had a fairy out front doing face-painting.


There was a little train that went through the park. This is "central station".


The "fire station" (it stands to reason that the place is functional, but I didn't make sure. There wasn't a real fire station for miles).


A carriage in the old-timey village area.


There was so much to do and see. We didn't do all of it - next time we'll ride the train, the boat, the vintage cars, the Claw (again!), cuddle some baby wombats and then head over to White Water World for some waterslide action.

Just before the park closed, we went on the "Reef Diver" (which like the "Enterprise" back home) and then said farewell.


Goodbye Dreamworld! See you next time!