This week was so much fun. I don’t even know where to begin.

Oh wait. I do. It’s called MONDAY.

Ok…so Monday was the first nice day in weeks. It’s been so cold and rainy I’ve worn something other than pants twice since being here. Not even kidding. It rained for days up until Monday so when I saw that it had finally cleared up, I headed straight for, you guessed it, the park. Centennial Park isn’t too far from where I live and it’s quite beautiful. It’s huge though so I didn’t get to see all of it. However, I do plan on going back this week.

I hate when things are closed, but if it's due to awesomeness then I guess I can deal.

Tuesday found me at yet another park–the Royal Botanical Gardens downtown! So so gorgeous there! Unfortunately my camera died so I didn’t take too many pictures. Afterwards I ended up at the big library downtown where they had an exhibit on commercialism in Sydney. That’s not what it was called, but it might as well have been. It was interesting seeing photographs of the ways downtown has developed over the years and then seeing all of these vintage advertisements. I’m a big fan of vintage ads so it was cool getting to see them all on display. My favorite? This one for sure (the big one)

Now I know what to get my mom for Christmas!

After work that night, I went to the international food festival at Hyde Park, which is in the middle of downtown. Can I just say that I love parks in the middle of urban areas? Like Central Park. I love Central Park! There are so many parks here it’s crazy and it makes me so happy. Hyde Park is absolutely beautiful and it’s legitimately in the middle of all of these high rises. Anyway, my friend called me to say her friends were down there. Unfortunately, we’d already eaten so we just went to hang out. The park was completely packed and there were tents from a million and one restaurants all serving food and drinks. We also went to a place that serves drinks in teapots. I thought it was pretty funny/really awesome! After we finished eating we went to karaoke. We didn’t sing but it was entertaining nonetheless.The people were actually pretty good. Usually karaoke is a hot mess, which is its entertainment value, but that night they were surprisingly good. It was a lot of fun.

Wednesday I went to hang out with my friend down the street and we visited her friend who is housesitting this absolutely gorgeous house with an ocean view. Can I just say, I love having a friend down the street? It makes life so much easier. When I go see my other friends in my off hours, we always have to coordinate where we want to go, how long it’ll take to get there, then figure out where we’ll meet etc. With a friend down the street, I can pop in for an hour, maybe go take a walk etc and if we feel like going somewhere, we obviously go together so there’s no issue of trying to find each other. A few weeks ago, my other friend and I tried to meet in this one suburb and due to an error of communication we ended up on complete opposite sides of the suburb. Luckily it’s not a big area so we were able to find each other but it was definitely a bitch and a half. Anyway, this beach house is gorgeous. I am in love! It was cool to meet some other people too. My friend actually knows a lot of Aussies because her best friend is from here and she has come to visit him a bunch of times. It’s been nice meeting and branching out. I absolutely love meeting new people. I mean, I guess I’d have to if I took a chance and moved in with a family I didn’t know, to a city full of people I don’t know. It’s all worked out far too well though!

On Thursday I had my second improv show! My first one was definitely a hot mess. Then again, what else would you expect from my life? Seriously though. Terrible. I don’t even want to talk about it…so I won’t. The way the show works is we have 14 players, each of which has been assigned a number. The directors of the show draw a few numbers up and randomly assign a game/scene for them to do. After it’s over, the audience gives them a score of 1-5, 1 being the highest and 5 being the lowest. After a couple of rounds, the points are tallied and the directors make eliminations. This continues to happen until there is one person, the winner of the game. Sound a tad unfair? It is. And we tell you that at the beginning, but it’s all in good fun. Anyway, the first game was a disaster so I won’t even go there. My second game was wonderful though. Still not the greatest game in the universe for me, but I’m a beginner with no innate improvisational talent so what else would you expect? I got some pretty high scores for my scenes, which is probably in great part thanks to my talented co-stars, but you know…I’ll take it anyway…I made it through a lot more rounds than the previous week and felt pretty decent about the whole thing. One of the other players came and talked to me about their group and said I should come to their practices or something like that. Of course though, it’s when I work so I can’t but it was nice of him to offer. Everyone I’ve met on the team has been super cool. I can’t wait to do more!

Friday found me on the usual Friday morning playdate. This time we went to this indoor playground the other nanny knew about since it was cold and potentially rainy outside. This place was insane. Think of the biggest McDonald’s play structure you’ve ever seen. Now multiply it by ten and put it on crack. That’s what this place was. The kids went apeshit over it though. It was great. That evening I went to the Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills which was so good. Seriously. It’s built to look like an old English pub so I immediately loved the ambiance and they had great food for cheap! The food was probably a hair cheaper than in America too so I was all about it. I am definitely going back to this place!

Saturday I went downtown to an area called The Rocks because my friend hadn’t been there yet. They have a great little market there on the weekends. There was a guy playing pretty decent music so we sat and watched him for a while. I might go to his concert on Thursday, which should be fun. We’ll see. There’s a cool program in the city called Art and About where they’re putting various art project all around the city. I always end up stumbling on one thing or another. As we were walking, we walked down this one narrow street past some cafes and there were all of these ball things that you could rest on. There were a few people just hanging out on them so we decided to take a rest too. They were so cool! I wanted to take one home with me. Unfortunately they were all chained down. Duh.

Sunday there was an open house at the Opera House so we got to walk around ad see all of this cool stuff for free (my favorite word). Otherwise tours there are a pretty penny. Obviously, I had to hit this up. It was incredible. The Opera House is unbelievable. I didn’t realize there were so many different theaters to it. I love knowing that in one space you can be having a beautiful ballet going on, in the next a play that makes you laugh so hard you cry, and in the next an orchestra playing all at the same time! I’m sure they don’t do all of those at the same time as it would be absolute madness, but it’s a cool thought. While we were walking through the concert hall, I saw a little girl who was maybe 10 walk up to the organ and start playing. I turned to my friend and I was like, “That little girl is incredible!” and my friend says, “That can’t be a little girl. I think that’s just a short older lady…” I was right. She was definitely a little girl. They actually had a few kids go up and perform and they were so good. I was unbelievably jealous. I was definitely not that good at the piano when I was ten. I was good, but I wasn’t that good…In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m still not that good! Oh to be a child prodigy. Sigh.

 

Just for you, dad! A Steinway!

We basically stood in her presence.

The costumes were to DIE for. Amazing.

Look at that view! So good.

Everything else has been going well. I finally feel like less of a tourist and more like I live here. I have yet to be “local” status as I still don’t know where everything is, but at least I feel a lot more familiar with things. It’s a really nice feeling. It’s going to be really weird having to go back home. However, I’ll have to be away from Aus for three months so I think I can renew my visa for another year if I want! Kidding. Sort of. But not really. But really. I plan on going somewhere else next year but not after spending some quality time at home. I have to get my fill of In & Out and Trader Joes before I go. Speakin of…If you love me, you will get me carton upon carton of Trader Joe’s peppermint tea (seriously. It’s unlike any I’ve ever had and last Christmas the boxes had narwhals on them so bonus points all around) and Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe Joe’s ice cream. This is not a joke. I repeat. This. Is. Not. A. Joke. I’m already missing out on Christmas decorations, music, and Christmas in general since the family I live with is Jewish. Don’t make me miss out on Christmas at Trader Joe’s too!

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