Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 264: Mornington Peninsula... wow!

Back Beach, Ocean

Front Beach, Bay

Our good friends took us in for the holidays. The Marie family invited us to Rye for Christmas. We gladly accepted the invitation. We all slept in after a long night of relaxing and drinking. We woke up to a delicious breakfast and made our way to explore Rye and the neighboring beach towns. 

We kept hearing that Mornington Peninsula was gorgeous and boy were they right!!! Mornington is divided into two sides: the ocean side and the bay side. Both are equally beautiful in their own way. The ocean side has choppy water, crashing waves, beautiful rocky cliffs, windy, and is great for fishing. The bay side is calm, has clear water, and is great for laying on the beach and enjoying a BBQ. 

We just got here and we are already planning a weekend trip back.  The best part is that all this beauty is only an hour and half drive away from the city!

Day 263: Elom & Yve!

Hoiser Laneway 

Friday was my first day off of work until 2012. Woot!  It was actually a fun day! I had an unexpected visitor: Elom, from my Penn State days! We met up for a full day of sight seeing. It was gorgeous day to roam around the city for sights, food, and drinks! We leave tonight for our weekend Christmas get-away!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 262: Crab Legs in Melbourne

Just in case you don't remember: Adonis is obsessed with crab legs. He's was going through serious cravings earlier this year, but crab legs are non-existent in Melbourne. He had to wait to satisfy the crab leg craving until we got to Japan in August.

Fast forward to today: He found crab legs! Of course he bought them!! These are King crab legs and yes, it hurts as bad as it looks! The spikes didn't stop us though. We went in!

Day 261: Sangria & Coquito

Adonis made Sangria and Coquito today! Say What?!  We took orders from friends and in the end made/sold 10 bottles of Sangria.  Talk about getting his hustle on, right?!

 Don't be jelly!

Day 260: Pellegrini's


We escaped to Pellegrini's this evening. Apparently it's a staple of Melbourne and it's a must do. I wasn't sure what to expect but I liked what I saw. It's a small establishment and it felt homely. We sat all the way in the back, which is where the kitchen was. This place has looked the same and operated the same since the 1950's. Overall we enjoyed our food. Pricey -- but good. I would normally post pictures of the food, but our plates were wiped clean. Yum!

FYI ... It's Leash's last night in Melbourne. She is a trooper. She won our "Adventurer" badge for traveling solo and unlocked the "Mother Nature" badge for swimming with dolphins and seals, cuddling a Koala, going to the botanic gardens, going to a farm near Canberra, and her other planned nature stuff live surf lessons at Manly Beach (Sydney). Awwww, we'll miss you!

Day 259: Gorgeous Sky!... Again!

Adonis tells me to stop taking pictures of the sky and skyline because we have enough on the blog... But how can I stop with views like this right outside our window?!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 258: Flinders St. Station Xmas

You see! Merry Christmas at Flinders Station! ... except that I was wearing shorts. Weird. This sign was JUST put up today: 7 days before Christmas. Why even bother to do all that work? Anyway....

Leash and I ventured all over the city:

  • Queen Victoria Market (which she loved)
  • St. Kilda (we saw a penguin hiding in the rocks)
  • Melbourne Botanic Garden (I showed Leash my favorite spot in the Garden. She also loved this "oasis in the middle of the city")
I also taught Leash how to make "Carne Guisada" (Spanish Beef Stew). She asked me for the recipe months ago. I started to write it down for her, but I included way too many details and it was too much work to complete lol. So, I showed her instead. I believe hands-on learning is best anyway. It was tasty!

Day 257: Brunch & Brunswick

Leash loves the glass water bottles! (We do too!)

We spent the gorgeous day with brunch at a cafe in DeGraves Laneway and at Brunswick St. (of course). 

The two graffiti artist above made conversation with us as we took pictures of them. They were hype that I was from NYC and from Brooklyn. I'm always surprised at how excited Aussies get when we tell them that we are from NYC. We love our city!

Some of you have been asking what Christmas is like in Australia. I can say for sure that it doesn't feel like Christmas. There are trees and Christmas decorations around the city but it's hot and sunny. I'm used to seeing kids making snow angels in December, not splashing in a fountain. Trust, this isn't a complaint. We are looking forward to wearing our Santa hats on the beach ;-)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 256: The Pier

Leash enjoyed a nice day at Brighton Beach. We had dinner at The Pier for the first time. We like this place! Nice vibe, nice environment, lovely sunset colors, and good drinks.

Day 255: Share a Coke with... Leash!

I'm not sure if they are running this coke ad campaign back home, but how nice are these coke cans. Some of the cans have a person's name, some have a relative (like "sis" or "dad"), some have Santa's reindeer's names. Awww. I had to get the "mate" can.

Speaking of mates ... Leash has arrived!!  I met Leash in college and she is a faithful "Longologist". She has always wanted to visit Australia and she's finally made that dream a reality!! Congratulations Leash! Hope you enjoy the land down unda!

Day 254: Milkshake Madness

Ok, so all husbands love their wives right? (for the most part).

I'm convinced my hubsteroo super duper loves me. Today I had a mentally draining day at work. I got home later than usual and he greets me with a big hug/kiss, garlic buttered shrimp, breaded shrimp, homemade cocktail sauce, AND STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKES!! Yes, he loves me.

Day 253: Can't Wait

Here's a quick extra: Manly Beach

I can't wait until Adonis and I get to tour some Sydney Beaches next year.

Uneventful day.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 252: Orchid surprise

I went to work this morning and this little guy was on my desk. I have no idea who left it there but I appreciate it.

Hmmmm, how do I keep this thing alive and growing. I'm more of a cactus and bamboo type of person lol. Oh man, I need to do my research!

Day 251: Collaboration Dinners never get old

This morning we witnessed two amazing UFC fights:
(1) Frank Mir breaking Nogueira's arm!
(2) Jon Jones winning yet another fight with an amazing submission. This time against Machida.

In the evening, we enjoyed the company of good friends at one of our collaboration dinners. This time I made a good ol' pernil.  Special thanks to my mom sending over my special ingredients.

For me, the stars of the night were the chocolate covered strawberries. I have been craving these for months! As soon as I saw these my face lit up!

Day 250: Bending Bananas

After 10 days with The Blackburns of non-stop fun, we needed a full day of rest. We slept in (again) and did nothing! <-- That's what "bending bananas" means. Actually, it's a little choppy but I tried something new with my nails. That counts! Right?

Day 249: Blackburns' Last Night

Fed Square Christmas Decor

After partying last night, we slept in and woke up to a gorgeous warm day! Since today was the Blackburns' last day/night in Melbourne we spent the better part of the day walking around the city shoe shopping of course lol! Cindy was on the hunt for THE wedding shoes and she found them on our shoe hunt today!

As we walked around the city we saw this writing on a side walk. I have mixed feelings about this one:

We ate dinner at Rare Steakhouse and man o' man was it yummy! Actually my food came out cold, but once they reheated it, I was happy! We then headed over to The Toff to enjoy some drink and music.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 248: No Chips, just Salsa

Latin Night @ Silk Road

Shots shots shots shots shots shots shots shots shots shots shots shots shots shots (breath..)Shots shots....
Teach me how to Dougie, teach me, teach me, how to Dougie....isn't it supposed to be Salsa night???
Teaching Shawn how to swag that man is always game!!

Oh what a night. The Blackburns spent the day at Brighton Beach. In the evening, Adonis and I went to the Vanguard Christmas Party. I have to admit that it was much better than I thought it would be (No, not because booze were served lol). The crew and their partners were genuinely having fun drinking, eating, and dancing. Loved it. Side Note: Why were my co-workers saying hi to Adonis more than they were to me! I swear, he kept getting stopped and chatting away. He's such a social butterfly. I mean, who can resist his charm?!

After the Christmas Party, we met up with The Blackburns for a salsa evening at Silk Rd. We ended the night with tequila shots and doing the Dougie! lol.

Day 247: Melbourne Laneways

Photo Credit: Adonis Long

Photo Credit: Adonis Long

Photo Credit: Adonis Long

Photo Credit: Adonis Long

Photo Credit: Adonis Long

Photo Credit: Adonis Long
 I'm so jealous that Adonis took Cindy and Shawn on a laneway tour. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the laneways are my favorite spots around Melbourne. You never know who you'll see taggin' up. For example, how cute is this chick with her spray paint in a basket lol. "Urban" definitely has a new face nowadays.

So, I missed out on all the fun during the day because I was at work... wah! But, we made it up by heading to the Night Market again! This time we ate as much as we wanted and drank as much as we wanted!

Day 246: Little Penguin

Photo Credit: Adonis Long

Photo Credit: Adonis Long
The BlackBurn's vacay the Long way! Beach was on the Agenda our first day back in Melbourne. They had yet to see the city, so we figured what better way than to show em' around St. Kilda. You guys may remember we took the guys here to. This time around we actually brought our beach gear and got to lounge for a few hours. The beach was full, but not nearly packed. The water was on the warm side and the breeze was just enough to save us from the rays of the sun. We started the day with lunch at our favorite Mexican joint, Amigos. We did a lil knick/knack shopping, had some sweets from the bakery, and moved on. After showing them around the main strip we made our way to the boardwalk and the rest is history.....
Photo Credit: Adonis Long

Meet Dougie!! The illusive lil' penguin from St. Kilda pier. I can't tell you how many times we've been on the pier and griped at the fact that you see the signs showing where the penguins are, but you never actually see them. Finally our efforts were rewarded. I think partially because Shaun is so tall he blocked out the sun which cooled the rocks down lol...just kidding. Anyway we named the lil guy Doug. He had us all in tears as we laughed at his attempts to negotiate the rocks. Poor guy had to build up his confidence and wound himself up to make each jump. He barely made it onto some of the rocks and we nearly lost him to the crashing waves. 

Day 245: Manly Beach & Meat Pies

Photo Credit: Adonis Long
Photo Credit: Adonis Long

I love the beach, who doesn't right!? We were told about several beaches to visit while here. Since the weather was nice, we set out to find some more. We took the ferry over to Manly Beach, where we were greeted by a friendly little shopping strip which opened up to Manly at the end. We had a bit of a laugh as the ferry approached the dock, which has a small beach of its own. We didn't say anything at first but the look on all of our faces said it all. What the hell, we travelled all this was for this? There had to be more to it, right?? I had a funny thought. What if this was some sort of joke, an initiation if you will, to the unweary traveller. They hype you up and tell you to go to this great beautiful beach, you get there, and it sucks...hahaha I'm glad it was just a thought. Manly was amazing, damn near better than Bondi if you ask me. Butttt, we went to Bondi on a rainy day, so we'll go back and give it a second try. 

Forget if you think Meatpie's are an English or British thing. When you come to Australia, one of few distinctively Australian things to eat, is a meatpie. My advice, stay away from the microwave mystery "may contain meat" pies that you'd find at an Aussie sporting event. Just like your favorite pizza place, sandwich shop, or hotdog stand (Windmill in Jersey yummmm!!!) there's a must go for meatpie. We were told by many of our Aussie friends that we must must mustttt go to Harry's. When we got to Sydney, it was on the top of priority list and I'm glad we found it! They had Meatpie's with mashed potatoes with gravy, peas and gravy, tomato sauce, just gravy, whichever and however you like. They also have vege pies, hot dogs, and a load of other snackeroos!