About my Blog

Travel, Food, Film, Books, and Music!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blast to the future, in the present time.

I've just go to interject here and say that my musical draught has been quenched! I used to be the one teaching my little sister Kim about all these bands, but now that I live in Australia and only get top 40s music that I loathe ( well, most of it...I have a penchant for Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue) I asked her to make me a mix of what she's been listening to lately, and my god, it really hit the spot!
Dengue Fever
Two Door Cinema Club
White Rabbits
The National

Here is Dengue Fever's song "Seeing Hands"

I already knew the National, but I fell completely head over heels for Two Door Cinema Club, and I went on Soundcloud and found some fabulous remixes ( The Twelves remix of "Something good can work" is just amazing!).

It made me a little nostaglic for my time in LA with my closest friends going to Cinespace for Camerata on Sundays and Moscow at Boardner's on Wednesdays. Some of you may think these places are lame, but compared to the filth I have experienced here, you'd be more appreciative. I haven't found a place that I like out here yet, I'm going to have to venture out into the city to find a place I like. I found an awesome place when we were in Sydney in September, it reminded me of the ChaCha Lounge in Silverlake....I miss it. Relaxing bar with good music, good vibes, and good people.
My best friend Rachael and I at our usual spot <3

I've kind of decided I want to open/run a place that has that good vibe we're all looking for. Bouncers, resident and guest DJs, the lot. Bouncers here are soooo easy going and I can't stand it because you get the most disgusting people throwing up or fighting all the time and nobody does anything about it! I want a place that shows what this city can be. I want a place where you can know every week is going to be fun, people are actually going to dance, and fights are over instantly. Is that too much to ask?

A lot of the people here think of  alcohol as a hobby. Although I enjor my fair share of drinks myself, I don't find it necessary or even all that fun to drink myself stupid every single weekend. This I think is why I'm finding it difficult to make friends here. Dave's relatives our age RULE. Dave's sister who is my age is so awesome, and his cousins in Sydney are a hell of a lot of fun too. I know I have only been here 6 months (not counting the 3 months I was here December through March, since I had to leave for 2 months again), but sometimes I do find it a little disheartening. I only get homesick every once in awhile, I'm not sad all the time at all! One day every few weeks I'm sad, but usually talking to my friends overseas on Facebook is helpful.

I'm looking into hobbies of my own, since Dave has his bike. I'm working or getting rollerskates to try roller derby, I'm almost done paying off my sewing machine that's on layaway and excited to learn how to use it and make things!, I'm trying to blog more, I'm reading a lot ( which I always have done), and thinking I should probably try to finish my scrapbook project that has been a year in the making!

Just thinking a little on this 4th day of being under house-arrest/quarantine ( I more than likely have the measles).


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Canada, eh!

I know it has been ages and I'm totally failing at this blog thing, but bear with me, when I get to the present time, I'll be doing a lot better. I'm also trying to remember everything from this point on, since it's not been over a year since some of these events have happened..Here goes!

Dave's friends Tristan and Squiggy went off to Woodward camp in Pennsylvania, so Dave and I planned our trip to Toronto to visit his Great Uncle Joe and Family.

We went the last week of July. I loved it there! It did, however, rain quite a bit while we were there, but I love the rain! Dave didn't bring his bike, otherwise he would have been sad that he couldn't ride.

Uncle Christino and Aunty Maryanne are such nice people!! They have 3 children, Chris, Maria, and Victoria. They are obviously their parents' children because they are also AWESOME! The night we got there, it was already late so he had a couple of beers, caught up, and went to bed. The next day, Chris and Maryanne took us to Niagara-On -The- Lake, it's such a nice area! We had our first taste of Maple Fudge, yummy!! We also discovered Tim Horton's! This place has delicious donuts and coffee. We visited the Butterfly conservancy on the way to Niagara falls, it was incredibly beautiful. They have so many butterflies flying around, pretty much everyone gets a new friend landing on them to take a break!

We got to the Legendary Niagara Falls.

It's really an incredible place. Dave and I took the "Maid Of The Mist" Tour, which was awesome except we were so drenched by the end of it! Definitely a lot of fun, though! Afterwards, Uncle Chris And Maryanne picked us up and we went to dinner at the Copacabana. This place is fantastic. It wasn't busy, so despite some Yelp reviews I've seen, I give this place 5 stars. Sure, it's pricy, but it's all your can eat, and there are so many different types of meat coming your way, you end up really full! They also have a nice "salad" bar, that doesn't just have salad.
My very favorite part about this place, was the Brown Sugar Roasted Pineapple!!!!!!!!!!! I must figure out how to re-create this! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water!

 The following day, we were invited to see a Toronto Bluejays baseball game! Chris, Maria, and Victoria took us. It was awesome! I'll admit, I had a few beers so I got a bit carried away. I even had a complete stranger ahead of us turn around and shout " I love you!" at me!

We decided to visit Dave's great-uncle Christino in Toronto at the end of July. We had an absolutely amazing time! We met his lovely wife, Maryann,  their 3 children Chris, Maria, and Victoria. Chris is married to a lovely lady named Tanya and they have 2 beautiful girls, Gianna and Ava. Though we had rainy weather the whole week, I loved it there.

We went to Niagara falls on our first day, which is so amazing that you have to see it for yourself. The original plans was to get married there, but it didn't work out that way. On the way there we saw the floral clock, and visited the Butterfly Conservancy, which was so awesome!

When we got to the Falls, We did the "Maid of the Mist" boat ride which takes you right to the foot of the falls and soaks you! The Mist feels like rain, it's so strong. I really enjoyed it.

By the way, If you can choose, go on the Canadian side. The American side is way more boring...haha

Niagara Falls is a very romantic place. I couldn't have been happier sharing this experience with my honey! It reminded me of all the movies from the 40s to the 60s where couples would elope there, and it was the most romantic thing in the world. We had dinner at a place called the Copacabana. My GOSH. This food was absolutely fantastic! I highly recommend it if you ever head out that way. It's a great meal ( maybe not so much for vegetarians, though.) I wish I had gotten a photo. It's a brazilian style all-you-can-eat place. Kind-of high end, the waiters rotate tables with a different kind of meat on a rotisserie, and ask if you want some, and they cut it in front of you. They also have a very nice salad and pasta bar.
My shoes were SO soaked and I was trying to get some mocassins but they didn't have my size..They have a lot of scary houses, like frankenstein's castle and such on this big road ( of which I can't remember the name right now), but I was too scared to go in any of them. I'm a bit of a scaredy cat!

We went to a Toronto Bluejays baseball game the next day with Chris, Maria, and Victoria. We had SUCH a great time! I'll admit I had a few beers on an empty stomach and got a little roudy. I'm not a big sports watcher, but when I'm at a game I really get into it! I got a flag and waved everytime a Jay hit the ball, and it was a beautiful game. they beat the Cleveland indians! In celebration, I got Dave a bluejays cap and myself some jammies bottoms. Go Jays!!

One of the days, we went to African Lion Safari! Young Chris took us, as well as his oldest daughter Gianna. She and I had major bonding time on the car ride, thanks to by trusty firned Derek putting Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus on my iPod. Also she was fascinated by my tattoos, and revealed that she loves Kat Von D and watches LA Ink. She was jealous when I told her I had met her! How cute.

As many of you know, I'm a BIG animal nerd. So, the zoo was naturally something I was very excited about. Cheetahs, giraffes, monkeys, etc.. I loved it. The first part, you drive through, which is so rad because some of the animals come up really close to the car! The rest is walking. We ordered some food, and the girl clearly had so idea how to cook on a barbecue, so Dave and Chris took over. ( if you ask me, we should have gotten the food for free in that case! haha!)
Gianna and I fed some deer ( or as I like to say, BAMBI!!!!!) who got really pushy with the little lady, it was so funny!

 their antlers are sooo soft and fuzzy!

 incompetent Canadian girl.
 Baby Peacock!

After our nice day at the zoo, We went out with Victoria, Maria, and their boyfriends, and another couple of friends of theirs. We had a nice time in a really cool bar, very much my style. Small, cool decorations/oddities, no overpretentious people, and good music.

On our second last day in Toronto, We went to the Hockey Hall of Fame with Maria and Victoria. It was way cool! we also went up the CN Tower. Another thing you may or may not know about me, I'm afraid of heights. so this was not my favorite thing to do at all! there is a clear floor and I was freaking out, even in the elevator!

 clearly not stoked, even though Dave is having a great time!

On our very last day, we all went back to the Falls, had a nice dinner and did the Journey Behind The Falls, which was also way cool. You get to go in these tunnel behind the falls and there are openings where you see the water rushing in front of you! You also get pretty soaked during this, good thing you get FREE raincoats for all that stuff you do.

I was so sad to leave, and I'm sure Dave was too. We had a great time in Toronto, loved everyone I met, and can't wait to go back someday! Thanks again to everyone for taking such amazing care of us and showing us around <3

My birthday was coming up! Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's been awhile

I promise to catch up on things soon, but I have also decided to put  up things I like on the internet, so he is the first!


These cupcakes are so cute!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Come From A Land Down Under

    After the craziness of moving my stuff into storage, I lived with my mother for the month of April. Honestly, it was difficult. My little sister wouldn't let me sleep in my old room ( she had been sleeping on the couch for some reason, but when I was coming back she decided to take over my old room) so I got to sleep on the couch. Good thing it's a nice day bed, so there was a decent amount of space. The problem was that there is a huge arcade window ( floor to ceiling length) in the living room, and nothing to cover it. So every morning, at promptly 6:30am, I was awoken by bright sunshine...the other problem, was my allergies. I'm allergic to cats, and my mom has one (I love kitties though anyway), and there is so much dust and pollen in the area my mom lives! I tried every over-the-counter allergy medicine I could find, and nothing worked. I finally went to see the allergy doctor and was tested for allergies. I'm allergic to 14 different types of trees, grass, cats, pollen, mildew, dust, etc...and lucky me, I got to have a shot of Cortizone in my right butt cheek! It was SO painful, and I had a huge bruise for about a week, it hurt for over a week! I was prescribed medication that worked, and ever since, I have been allergy free!

    The end of April was quickly approaching, and although I was thrilled to see Dave, I still didn't have a place for us to live! I went searching on my days off work, and I found something I liked near my work. I put the down payment in and after a bit of thought, I decide it wasn't right for us. It was really nice, but the way they metered the gas/electric/water bills, I didn't like ( one meter for each building, where there are about 8 units in each) and they split it evenly! So if the Smith family downstairs has a catering business, you're paying their bills! So I changed my mind and got my deposit back. Luckily, the very same day (literally within half an hour) a lady customer from work called me to say she had a guest house behind her house that she wanted to rent out. I went to check it out right away and it was PERFECT! Within the week I had signed the rental agreement and started moving in. I didn't have the help to get everything there before Dave got there, so I made sure to have the essentials.

    Dave got to LA, and I felt like i fell in love with him all over again.

    I was so nervous to see him again, even though we video chatted almost every day.The first thing he said to me was " Look at how beautiful you are". I hugged him and never wanted to let go.
We drove to our new home, I showed Dave around a little bit, and we headed to Downtown LA via the Gold Line. My poor honey, he was exhausted, but I wanted to show him what Cinco De Mayo was all about, so we went to Olvera Street. We had some food, walked around a bit, and took the metro back. He didn't feel very well...That was my fault. He was all jetlagged and tired and there I was dragging him all over the place. We went back home and took a nap.
    I didn't get the next day off of work like I had thought, So that morning I drove him around to show him where stuff was, so he could ride his bike and such. I went to work the Meg & Dia signing at my store, and went home to my honey for the first time. I really loved coming home to someone, it's the best feeling.
    That week, Dave met my mother. It went rather well, I must say. She liked him, that's all I wanted.

    Yes, it was THAT uneventful.

    At first, of course, it took a little getting used to, living together.

I had a lot of stuff to organize and get rid of ( I come from a packrat-ish mother), so Dave had a slightly hard time with that at first, but I learned to get rid of stuff. It was like a good therapy session. 
Dave wasn't used to not working, so sometimes he a got a bit frustrated about doing housewively duties. I got annoyed with his bike being inside and in the way ( keep in mind we had a small space and his bike is worth a decent amount, so it had to be inside) but I kept running into it so I would get annoyed. No big deal, we talked it out. Relationships don't last if you don't have a small argument from time to time, and work it out. My dear friend Rachael, who is a therapist, says that it helps build trust in a relationship. I couldn't agree more!

    Not long after Dave's arrival, came a very important moment in my life. Anyone that knows me, knows that I have sworn myself to only tell one man these important words :

I love you.

    I have never said it to anyone except for my friends, but never to a boyfriend. I felt that those words are thrown around too often in most relationships, but aren't really meant. Or maybe, that people didn't understand the true feeling of being in love. Lust and love are very commonly confused.

One night, Dave and I were laying in bed, talking about the future, things we wanted to do and such, and he said to me: Hey, you know what? I love you. At first, I was taken completely by surprise, so I said: "Really? Me too". I was in shock, that someone would actually truly love me. So at first, I almost felt like I had to mull it over. To this day, I don't know what Dave thinks of that night. I'm really glad he didn't try to get it out of me, because somehow, even though I certainly DID love him, I needed to be sure that he meant it. By no means did I NOT believe him, but, I wasn't 100% Ready to say it. I also wanted to say it for the first time out of my own free will. So, I think it was the following day

    In June, Dave's friends Tristan and Squiggy came to visit. We had a great time! We went to the LA Zoo and the Aquarium of the Pacific!
(pictures coming soon)
    The 4th of July came, and I had to work.  the boys took the metro down to Manhattan beach, and I drove down there, in traffic. There was, of course, nowhere to park. Needless to say, I was frustrated, and the boys had had a few drinks so they weren't very easy to communicate with. I ended up in a house with complete strangers, and stood around, waiting for the boys to get their stuff together so we could leave. We had to go to a friend of mine's party. I wasn't in the best mood, I'll admit. So David and I had a bit of an argument, and I thought everything was resolved. We got to my friend's party, and it turned out it was a fundraiser of some sort, and we had to pay $5 each to get in. That's fine, I thought. At aleast there would be food and drinks. We go to the barbecue, no food. We go to the drinks, no drinks. I try to find some of the people responsible for the party, they're wasted and incoherent. I'm upset at that point. We just paid a total of $20 for nothing! They want a good 4th of July, and I need food, because I've been hungry for awhile and I am starting to get anxious.
    We go back to the car. Tristan tries to tell me something, and I don't understand. He repeats. I still don't understand ( he has a thick aussie accent, so sometimes it takes a few repetitions for me to understand what on earth he's saying). Well Dave, who was now not in the best of moods, snapped at me and said I was being rude to his friend. We both were NOT happy at this point. So we left, and on the drive home, I decided I was going to try to make it up to the boys. I stop at First Cabin ( a bar in Arcadia) so we can get a drink and all calm down. I forgot that it was family owned and operated, therefore you could smoke inside. Dave hates cigarettes, so he walked out and got mad. I followed him, and we had it out in the parking lot.

This is when I was sure it was over.

But, we talked it out. We realized that we wouldn't give up that easily. It was a rough day, full of misunderstandings, and We'd work it out.

And we did!

From then on, we promised to communicate more effectively.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hey, You're Part Of It.

So Dave and I had some delicious dinner With Toby, Joe, Andreas and Kobe.

It seems that a lot of restaurants in Australia are different in 2 ways from the US:
1. No Tipping. This goes for bars too. Their minimum wage is far higher than ANYWHERE in the States, and they don't get paid any less because they can make tips ( I saw this in Arizona- $5.15/h was the minimum wage, but if you made tips, it was $2.15/h!) They'll look at you funny and you'll obviously be a tourist. That being said, I've noticed not too many waiters go above & beyond to make people happy.
2. A lot of restaurants are BYOB. I don't know why this is at all.

After dinner, we followed Toby and Andreas to a bar and hung out.
Andreas ended up disappearing and Toby kept buying us drinks...Let me just say, the Aussies can DRINK. They are also some of the most hospitable people I have ever met. We took a taxi back to Uncle Reno's place and went to sleep.

Sydney was great fun!

The 13 hour drive back was...well, 13 hours. I wanted to check out Big Banana, but it was closed by the time we got there.
I really like their pride of native Aussie things ( Big Pineapple, Big Prawn, Big Banana, etc...).
Here's a photo of Big Prawn (their way of saying "Shrimp")
We decided instead of staying the night in a hotel (we weren't impressed by the ones we were looking at) that we'd just stick it out and drive all the way back to the Sunny Coast. That afternoon, we drove past the sugar cane fields again.

The air smelled sweet and it felt like we were being kissed by the sun with the windows down, our arms in the wind and smiles on our faces.
Road trips are my favorite. I looking forward to exploring more of Australia with my honey =]

One day, Dave took me to a hidden treasure: Gardener's Falls.
It's a local secret. I was beyond excited to discover this waterfall, with a rope swing! But of course, the big sissy that I am, I couldn't jump. But Dave did!
You can also jump off the rocks, but I couldn't do that either. Hopefully one day I'll be able to muster up the courage to do it!
On the drive back home that day, we stopped to take a photo together with the nice scenery in the background.
Then, we noticed a lady pull over. She got out of her car and offered to take our picture! Wasn't that the nicest thing?
Then I took a funny picture of Dave next to his car. He thought it was lame. Sorry honey! haha =]

I forgot to mention, one of the best parts of my trip! Dave took me to BIG PINEAPPLE! If you know me (::cough:: Rachael ::cough::) you know that I love pineapples!
Did you know Pineapples grow from the bottom up?
They also have animals there!
They serve the yummiest ice cream there! This country has the most exotic flavours too! ( Macadamia is my favorite, it's just plain HEAVENLY!).
While in Australia, I also had my very first snorkeling experience.
It was kind of scary, learning how breathe through a tube. I thoroughly enjoyed using my flippers though! Noosa National park is so beautiful! We saw a silver eel, a couple of jellyfish, a baby stingray, and some pretty fish. I need to get a waterproof camera! I'll admit that I am nt totally used to sea life, so when I saw the eel and the stingray, I jumped out of the water and latched onto Dave's legs, and of course he made fun of me...meanie!

    Lastly, but certainly not least, I had the tremendous joy of going to Australia Zoo. It is the Zoo that Steve Irwin took over years ago and made it into what I believe is the biggest Zoo in Australia, and it's just wonderful. They have a huge area where you can feed and pet Kangaroos! This one was my favorite. It's an Albino. It hopped several feet to come see me. It is as soft as a bunny!
Look at all the sleepy Koalas!
Like the nerd That I am, We stayed until the park closed. on the walk out, I made a new friend, who was being taken out for her evening walk.
Wombats are AWESOME! I wish I could have one as a pet!

Unfortunately the dreaded time came...I was leaving. We got together with Dave's parents and friends for a goodbye dinner at a yummy Thai Place.
This is me and Therese, David's Mother <3

   Of course, we were both very upset. When I was packing, I cried. Dave had to leave the room and watch TV because he said he couldn't bear to watch. We cried at the table while eating breakfast the morning I was leaving. We left each other crying at the airport ( David swears he just had something in his eye). The people at customs asked me if I was okay, and a quickly explained our situation, and of course, I lost it and tears came down my face again...It never gets easier to say goodbye.

I got on that plane against my will. The steward got me buzzed on champagne and checked up on me frequently. By the time I landed in Auckland, I felt somewhat better. Not happy, but not crying. A sort of numbness, Almost the way you feel when you just got dumped. I didn't know when I was going to see David again. All I knew was that I missed him, and I didn't want to go back to LA.

On the second flight, I sat next to a newlywed couple. I swear, They were so odd! Leather vests, leather hats, the Man was a giant ( tall AND large) and she was large but not as tall. They had gold rings on, which, get this, had the same writing as the ring in "Lord of the Rings" and I couldn't help but giggle to myself...And then The man pulled his leather satchel from under the seat in front of him. Hilarious!

I landed in LA, and my dear friend Aubrie came to pick me up. She is one of the best friends anyone could ever ask for.

I couldn't bear to go back to my apartment for a few days, so instead of dealing with my crappy roommates, I grabbed some clothes and stayed with my friends Shelley and Sabrina for a few days. The Rucker sisters are really sweet young ladies. They cheered me up with food, movies, and company. Sometimes you just need your friends to remind you that life isn't so bad.

When I finally went back to my apartment, I found out that my roommates were moving out! After working a couple of days, I went home one night and all their stuff was gone. Just what I needed! After a few days of panic, I put in the 30 day notice and started to pack. I moved everything into storage with the help of my friend Rick and my mother, and all I lost was my right pinky fingernail! It was the grossest and most painful experience I have ever had to date. I'll have to find a picture and put it up.

Simply put: Don't get fake nails! ( Back to Australia, it's much more expensive to get your nails done there!)

I moved into my mom's place for the month of April, and looked for a new place to live. Dave and I decided he was going to come out in May for 6 months, and we'd go from there.

He was coming back on May 5th!