Sunday, March 27, 2011

Melbourne Madness and Sydney Shenanigans!

Heaps Sightseeing
The weather in Melbourne is ADD right now so we decided to do the Great Ocean Road last minute. While Chris was in class, Brad and I booked it over to the car hire and picked up a sweet Broyota Brorolla. With no directions or idea of what we’re getting into we head to campus to pick up Christopher. The roads of Melbourne are HECTIC! You are sharing the road with trams, trains, trolleys, busses, bikers, trucks and cars. I only managed to get honked at a few times leaving the city with trusty co-pilot Brad. Chris just slept the whole time… surprising! The first stop of our journey was Torquay, the home of Quicksilver. Then we scooted over to Bells Beach.  After we realized how far we needed to go to get to the really cool sites we started rambling our hotrod. We cut expected travel times in half and made it to the 12 Apostles by midday. What a site to see! We hiked down to the beach and hung out for a while. We also explored a cemetery of those lost in a famous boat wreck right offshore in the 1800s. I hopped the fence barrier and hiked out to the point of one of the cliffs and got some cool photos. I also got some frowns from other spectators.

The 12 Apostles
After raging a few more nights in Melbourne it was time to get ready for Sydney. We had a 6am flight and we somehow managed to make it to our flight. In the fray of things I left my most prized possession in Chris’s cupboard… MY TAPATIO!!!! Chris is now double stoked on Brad’s gifts. We landed early and met our new host Brye. She worked at Redbull and Pat put us in contact with her. She lives only 15 minutes walking to downtown Sydney. We didn’t waste any time and walked to downtown. The famous Sydney Opera House was indeed grand. We hopped on a ferry and went to Manly Beach. We were really surprised when the ferry started rocking really hard side to side. Chris and I had a twin moment and looked up at each other thinking the same thing “SURFS UP”! We didn’t expect it all thus we weren’t equipped for the situation. We went to a couple surf shops where I bought a SUHHWEEET new board. I’m thinking I’ll name her TimTam. Chris bought a boogie board so he could get involved (only two months from knee surgery and he’s already a gazelle) and Brad rented. The surf was FIRING! The next two days we put site seeing aside to surf. I didn’t get to see too much of Sydney but the surf was great.

Sydney Opera House
Chris at home!
For my last night in Sydney  we signed up for a pub crawl with a bunch of people we met on the beach. One of them randomly being Kyle D’s previous girlfriend (Hope) who we’ve never met before this weekend. Small world! Chris and Brad aren’t leaving until Tuesday while I was supposed to leave early Sunday. Let’s just say that pub crawls and 6am flights don’t mix. My phone died thus no alarm and I woke up at 545 to Chris laughing at me. I frantically got on my computer to look at my options. All flights to the Gold Coast and Brisbane were either insanely expensive or sold out. I was able to book a flight to the Sunshine Coast which is 6 hours north of where I live.

More Sites!
Right now I’m writing this on the train from Sunshine Coast to Brisbane. It’s been a looonnnggg day! I’ve already taken two trains, three busses, and a flight today. I still have another train and bus to catch before I call it quits at home in Surfers. After I’m done with class this week, Chris and Brad fly out to visit me, pumped! I finally have my own board so I’ll be mounting the GoBro on it. I’m going to put my editing skills to work and see if I can make a cool little video. Until then, stay classy! 


Stone Child with Ipad

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Trips on Trips!

party crew at my place

After the Bro and Ariel left the Gold Coast I had headed back to Brisbane for classes. When classes ended for the week I headed back down to Surfers Paradise with Rebecca and Leslie for a fun weekend of activities. I got to surf the whole weekend as the waves were pretty good. I hosted a small get together that quickly turned into a couple dozen people partying on my balcony.  The next morning we rented a minivan and headed south. We crammed 9 people into it and drove to Nimbin. Nimbin is a really small town in the middle of nowhere. After checking the small quarky town out I got to drive everybody to Byron. Byron Bay is definitely the coolest place I’ve seen on this trip. It is a small beach town with amazing beaches and surf. I can’t wait to go back to Byron Bay with Brad and Chris.
Byron Bay

NIMBIN!
Chris, our new friend Ben, and I booked flights to Bali for our Fall Break. Chris’s knee will be solid by then so it will be great to surf with him again. Soooo stoked for break!!

Three days ago I flew to Melbourne where I’ve been hanging out with the Bro and his new roomies. The party scene in Melbourne is crazy. He lives smack-dab in downtown Melbourne so everything is really close. St. Patties was a huge success. Chris and I bumped into the girls netball team and somehow ended up at their private party. The ratio was 40 to 3 so we weren’t complaining!

Brighton Beach Charisma
Yesterday morning I got a call early early in the AM from Brad telling me that he has arrived. Chris and I rushed down to the train station to meet him and guess what he surprised us with?! Two bottles of TAPATIO and two extra large bags of Snickers. EPIC!! We haven’t tried them together yet but I’m sure it would taste great! We wasted no time dilly-dallying and got right to exploring Melbourne. We took a tram over to Brighton Beach, home of the colorful little sheds on the beach. After hanging out we went to the supermarket and bought Kangaroo steaks. Kang with tapatio and broccoli isn’t a bad combo!
Bradley!!! (plus creepy clown)
Silly Birds!
Today we tried to rent a car to drive the Great Ocean Road but all the car rentals we sold out due to the Formula 1 races this coming week in Melbourne. After the car rental fail we hopped on another tram to visit the beaches of St. Kilda. The weather today was awesome and Brad got a pretty awesome AUS sunburn. We met up with Aaron B. at the beach for a super mellow Sunday. We ended our day with famous “Mighty Melbourne” burgers at The Grill. Hands down the best burger I’ve ever eaten. We’re hoping to get a car tomorrow but its weather pending. I’ve heard great things about the Great Ocean Road!

PS: You can click on any picture to see the original size

St. Kilda's grassy beach

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wahoooo!!!

Reunited


Another crazy week down under. Chris and Ariel came and visited this weekend from Melbourne. The weather their first day was killer and we chilled in Surfer’s Paradise soaking up the rays. The next two days we had sporadic thunder and lightning we made for some interesting surfing and swimming. On Saturday the weather cleared and the surf rolled in so we went down to Coola\ngatta for the Quicksilver Pro surf contest at the famous break Snapper Rocks. It was a really awesome setup as us, “the fans” can wade out into the water knee deep which puts you literally 30 ft. from where the pros are taking off on their waves. It was really cool to be that close to Kelly Slater and the rest of the gang as they were tearing it up in the near perfect conditions. I’ve never seen people get barreled so long. 
The Crew for theweekend

This weekend was the first time I sampled the nightlife in Surfers and what a better way to do it with the brother. We had two awesome nights’ outs bouncing from club to club and eventually coming back around 5am. We ended our night by watching a huge drum circle with a bunch of hippies while a British street rapper spit rhymes to their beats. It was a really cool combo! 

After the bro left I headed back to Brisbane for class. As soon as I was done with class for the week I rushed back to down to Surfers as the next day was the Finals of the Quicksilver Pro. I went down with the new Brazilian roommates. The semi-finals and finals were really intense and there was a huge crowd. In between heats we went surfing at a close break called Fingel Point. After our quick session we went back to watch Kelly Slater dominate the finals and take home the win. 
Kelly Slater
The next day the roommates and I drove north to the harbor next to Stradbroke Island. We hopped on a small boat which took us to the other side of the island where we had an unbelievable surf session with only a few other guys. We surfed for almost four hours before we climbed aboard the boat for the ride back. It was one of the best surf sessions I’ve ever had. The waves were huge and really powerful and you can take them either left or right. After a ride I saw a guy duck-dive under a wave which landed on him and when he came to the surface his board was snapped in half. The waves on this island are unlike and other wave I’ve ever surfed. I managed to put two holes in the bottom of my board from landing on it with my elbow. Lucky for me I’m using a beater board that’s probably going to snap the next time I use it. The best part of Stradbroke Island is that it’s only a ten minute drive from my place. It will definitely be going there from now on. After the long day of surfing I hopped on the train to head back to Brisbane for a Steve Aoki concert. 
cruising at the Quicksilver Pro! 

The venue was at a huge club in Fortitude Valley called The Met. It was a four story club with music so loud my ears are still ringing. Steve Aoki is a crazy man with even crazier antics! He brought on stage a blow up pool which he tossed into the crowd. He then climbed up to the second story level and jumped onto the inflatable that we were holding down below. Pretty awesome night!

This morning I spontaneously bought a one-way ticket to Melbourne to visit my brother this Thursday. Our buddy Brad lands in Melbourne on Saturday so I figured it would be great to kill two birds with one stone. I’m looking forward to next week with the Bro, Brad, Ariel n friends!  After we explore Melbourne we plan on flying to Sydney and from there we have no idea. We’ll be doing what we do best… going with the flow!