Holiday Happenings – Melbourne, Australia

G`Day Mate! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I have given myself a little break from the writing and updates as we all need some downtime every now and then. I have been catching up on some much needed rest and relaxation.

I have been doing quite a bit of reading and even more yoga. I have learned that if you do yoga everyday your flexibility increases dramatically over a very short time. It becomes addicting. My goal is to become more bendy or at least as bendy as Terry.

Christmas was very peaceful as we visited some of Sarahs` relatives for a holiday lunch in a very naturalistic Smiths Gully. I was told that they regularly have visits from kangaroos and wallabies but the only wildlife we saw that day was an echidna which reminded me of a small shy porcupine.

The drought is very apparent when you get out into the country. The dead brown dry leaves and grass made me thirsty for a heavy rainstorm. On Xmas eve, I broke a record getting all my shopping done in 1.5 hours flat. Then it was just a matter of keeping my mouth shut about what I had bought everyone…”Don`t you want just a little hint?” I knew I was really into the Christmas spirit when I thrust a bag of cashews out the window into the parking lot attendants face, “Want a nut?” I think he thought I was a nut.

We all went for a family haircut and they had the sweet old Italian grandmother believing that I lived next door to Celine Dion. Oh the Canadian stereotypes…still alive and well in Australia.

Christmas day, we slept in until past noon then did presents and brunch followed by a very lax day until it was time for more presents then dinner or “tea” as they call it. We enjoyed a delicious BBQ of kangaroo, lamb, salmon on a table covered in flower petals. We had much fun playing with the digital cameras that were circulating the table. I am not sure when I have laughed that hard. Beauty Mate!

I have spent the rest of the time between then and now mostly reading (I have 3 books on the go) and practicing sleeping in. We went to a few bars in Melbourne city center where they give out Chupa Chups to appease the waiting queue. Then we took an extended walking tour back to Richmond….ouch say my poor feet.

We attended a 21st birthday bash which I have learned are quite a big deal in some parts of the world. My new friend Bruno took me to the beach then to St. Kilda where we had some really yum Malaysian food. I learned that I am ambidextrous with chopsticks. Next we attempted to watch Blade 2.

We went to another birthday celebration at a bar where a great band called Wonder Pants were playing. I liked their name a lot. We all danced and partied before shutting the place down then heading back to Sarah’s for an after bar pool party. Cool as!

I went to a BBQ soiree at my mate Paul’s house where I got to share some travel advice. Then we all went swimming in Brads pool at 2am in the rain. Sweet as! Spent the next day waiting for my tennis lesson. It never came due to the pouring rain hammering the court in Paul’s backyard. We ended up catching up on old times and laughing to tears all day.

I trained it back to Sarah’s to get ready for New Years Eve festivities. The sparkle fairy attacked me good! I watched the sky clear up just in time for the parties. We met up with Kristin and donned strobe pins then spent the night near Federation Square listening to music and dancing. They played some very touching music and had some World Vision presentations on the big screens which reminded me to be grateful as I reflected on the past year. We watched the fireworks then made our way into the ocean of people crowding the streets.

All of a sudden out of nowhere, I got a severe stabbing pain in my side and had a hard time walking. So unfortunately I spent the first hours of 2003 in the hospital emergency room…ug. A special thanks to Sarah and her mom (lucky for me she is a medical scientist) for taking such good care of me during a scary time. I am fine but need to take it easy for the next few days as I am still a bit sore.

So Goodbye 2002~ Welcome 2003! I reckon that the past year has to be my favorite so far. I have met the most amazing people in the world who have helped me along the way. My life has been forever changed by the experiences I have had. Kangaroo hugs and koala kisses to you all as we enter into a fantastical year filled with dreams being realized and love being discovered. May a thick haze of peace and harmony blanket the earth lifting us to a higher state of tranquility and serenity.

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