Well, I just cannot stay away from blogging. 🙂 My newest blog, because “going aussie” is no longer appropriate, is http://www.aliciagoeshaywire.wordpress.com.
My bags are officially 100% packed and much heavier than last time, which must mean that I’m bringing home some cool stuff 🙂 off to the airport We go! Thank you to everyone who has made my AliciaGoesAussie adventure better than I could have ever, ever imagined. I am so lucky!!
(And Mom, I can’t wait to hug you soon!)
Technically, this exact time (6:45AM) ill be landing in the US, even though I board the plane at 11:20AM! Time travel!! 😀
Last night, dinner at Alli’s was amazing. Before we ate, we opened bonbons, which are tradition around the holidays in Australia. Essentially they are presents where you hold one side and the person next to you at the table holds the other. Then, both pull wish-bone-style, and boom! The bonbon pops open and inside is a little present (I got a rubber lizard), a paper crown, and a riddle. It was great!
We ate Moussaka, a traditional Greek dish. Alli is half Greek (I believe), has Greek citizenship, and even played water polo in Greece for a while. Basically, this girl is amazing, and dinner last night was delicious. Moussaka is similar lasagna, with potato on the bottom and sheets of eggplant rather than pasta. MMMM it was so good! Additionally, we had Greek salad and garlic bread. It was a great dinner with even better company of Alli and her boyfriend, Chels, Nic, and Trav. I truly have made some friends for life in Australia!
This morning, one of our players and friends, Amelia, came by to drop off a goodbye cake! She made us a Pavlova, a meringue-based dessert filled with cream. She topped ours off with mint. What could be better?! It is absolutely delicious. 🙂 I was also able to give her my UCD caps to pass on to all of the other girls.
Today is my last Australia day. 🙂 We’re headed off to the Queen Vic Market in a bit and are going to go to Electric Lady Land tonight to celebrate! Cheers!
Alicia’s Aussie Phrase of the Day: can’t be bothered. Meaning the person doesn’t care the do the assigned task. Usage: I can’t be bothered to go on a run today. 😉
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” -Helen Keller
Everything in AUS is coming to a quick, screeching halt. We blinked twice and the past five months passed before our eyes. However, it has been such an amazing trip and I have become a much better, more worldly, and more well rounded person because of this experience, and I am so thankful for the opportunity. I have improved my water polo skills and coaching techniques, along with discovering a love for “everyday writing” and blogging, making “mates for life,” and having a blast. 🙂
Yesterday, the three of us drove out to the airport to meet Nicole’s college coach, Barry, who was flying from the US to Perth to watch and recruit at the Junior World Champs. It was so great to see him and to learn that he remains very up to date on our AUS activities through reading my blog. (Hi Barry! 🙂 ) Also, I received UCD swim caps in the mail from Kandance! I can’t wait to give them to all of my players. As she said in her note with the caps, my 16s and 18s players will truly be swaggied out. 😉
Today was my last AUS lunch with Perry and Steve. We had a great season debriefing and I ate a delicious bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, and avocado sandwich. Yum. It’s so awesome to see how far the MC women’s program has come over the past few years, and to know that I am a large part of it. The Summer 2010 season, MC had a 16s, 18s, and SL2 team. Last year, they were able to create a SL1 team with the help of the first round of American girls. This year, we had four teams, 16s, 18s, SL2, and SL1, all four team teams made it to finals, three teams played in Grand Finals, and 16s won. That is amazing, if you ask me! I am excited to say that Steve invited us back to play for MC and hopefully National League next year! It will be fun to see what 2013 brings and to explore the option of returning to good ol’ Kingsley Street.
Tonight, we are going over to Alli’s house for a Christmas dinner! I am so excited, but sad at the same time, because it will be the last time that I see her for a while. However, that is how all goodbyes are. It is cliche, but I like to think that it is not a goodbye, but a see you later, because I really will see everyone later. It will be fun to show everyone around CA at some point or another and to come back to Melbourne to visit in the future.
As for now, the three of us are off to sit down for coffee at Jimmi Jamz, our favorite (and cheapest) coffee shop with the most delicious muffins! 🙂 I am enjoying every second that I have left!!
Alicia’s Aussie Phrase of the Day: fair enough. Meaning that the topic of conversation makes sense and is neither a huge positive or negative. Usage:
Alicia: “On my return flight, I will have to pay for 2 overweight bags, but it is cheaper than paying for a third bag”
Chelsea: “oh, fair enough“
A handful of months back, I tried to explain hash tagging phases to Ben. Essentially, it’s popularity is linearly related to that of Twitter and the # symbol is a way to bookmark important phrases. So, my title today is #yoliao or #youonlyliveinaustraliaonce, and #yolo goes back to a popular song called The Motto by the rapper Drake. And this is quickly becoming way too complicated for a six letter title. Whew.
The past six days, including our Grand Final game, Presentation Night, and our trip to Sorrento, have passed so rapidly that I am not sure that they even happened. I think that it might give me metaphorical whiplash to recount these days, but here it goes.
Thursday, Grand Final day: Our first true Australian summer day where it was too hot to stand outside in the shade. It was the first time that I really appreciated that our apartment seems to remain several degrees cooler than the outside air temperature. (Trust me, when we first arrived in July, it was the pits.) I believe that the day reached 40 degrees at one point, and that’s HOT! Chelsea had to work during the day, so Nicole and I ventured to the beach to catch a few rays for a limited forty minutes. It was so hot that I did not want to be outside for much longer than that anyway.
Our 16s team played first against Essendon. They were winning the entire game, but the other team tied it within the last minute. So, they played Golden Goal overtime, where the first goal scored wins the game. Emily, a player who plays for our 16s and 18s team and with us in SL1, scored a beautiful center forward shot on the third overtime possession. Chelsea and I did not even have time to properly celebrate with them. Instead, we dashed into the team room to change into our bathers and hopped into the pool to start our game.
Our SL1 game was a rough and tough match. Footscray did not by any means roll over and allow us to trample them. In fact, they scored the first goal. After that though, we remained up for the rest of the game and were up by a goal going into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the final score was 11-12 and we lost by one goal.
Our 18s team, nor the men’s SL1 team did not fare any better than us, with both teams also losing by one goal.
I cannot believe that water polo is over. How did the season go by so fast??
Friday, Presentation Night: On Friday, I had the pleasure of joining Nicole and going to her last school aged boys coaching gig. These twelve year old boys simply adore her and love her accent. They played two short games, and it was fun to see the boys, who could hardly swim just a few weeks ago, win both games, and pass and shoot very successfully.
Presentation Night was very enjoyable. I’m pleased to report that Nicole (bottom right in the picture) won Best and Fairest (AUS version of MVP) for SL1; Asher (to my right) won the award for SL2; Emily (second from the right, top) won the award for U18; Tess (not present at Presentation Night) won the award for U16; Katie (not pictured) won Best Junior Player; Amelia (not pictured) won Most Determined Player.
It was a great night! The three of us gave short summaries on our teams and were able to hand out the MVP awards to our players. The club president and several other important MC figures, including Steve, talked about the program, and we were given MC History books as a thank you for coming to play with them. I’m really going to miss the team and everyone involved in the MC club.
Saturday-Monday, Sorrento: We had a very lazy start to our day and did not do much before 2 PM. Sometimes you just need those days. 🙂 We eventually rallied and walked down to a new restaurant, Turtle Cafe, in Elwood in search of brekky. However, by the time that we walked down, it was 3 PM and the kitchen stopped serving breakfast. Fail. We still got food and then hit the road to drive to the Stott’s beach house in Sorrento.
The Stott’s house was absolutely lovely. It was so good to simply get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and trade it for the calm of the sleepy beach town waiting for true summer to come out. While there, we ate delicious food, jumped off of rocks, went hiking along the beach to the old military base at the entrance to the bay, and just relaxed. Charles, Ellie’s dad, introduced us to the game Liar’s Dice, which is a specialized dice version of a game that I’ve played with my Dad at our lake house. It was so, so much fun, and I can’t wait to play it some more when I return stateside.
It is crazy to me that my trip is coming to a rapid, screeching halt. The three of us have made a list of things to do before I leave and hopefully we accomplish most of the items on the list, including eat at Elwood Food and Wine (check!), eat at Dining Haul, have lunch with Steve, visit the Queen Vic Market for last minute souvenirs, have a night out at the Ice Bar, eat at Grill’d one last time, and a few other miscellaneous items. After all, #yoliao. 🙂
Alicia’s Aussie Word of the Day: windscreen. Meaning windshield. Usage: When it rains, make sure you turn on your windscreen wipers, or you will not be able to see the road through the windscreen.