G’day from Down Under! On Thursday I flew into Australia to surprise my parents, but the trip itself was actually a surprise for
me too. On my birthday last week Kevin surprised me with tickets home to see my family for a few weeks before st
arting my new job mid-April. Because I only found out about the trip four days before I flew out of the U.S, I decided to keep the trip a secret from my parents and surprise them too.
I left Phoenix on Tuesday afternoon (U.S time), landing in L.A about 6.30pm. My international flight wasn’t due to depart until 11.30pm so I arranged to have dinner and catch up with my bestie from college, Nikki. Nikki picked me up from the domestic terminal, we had a quick girly dinner date at P.F Changs before she dropped me off back at the international terminal.
I was lucky enough to score a window seat on the international flight with a spare seat next to me – a bonus for someone with long legs like mine . While settling into the plane and waiting for take-off I browsed through the in-flight entertainment, looking over the movie selection that was offered. To me, this is one my favorite parts of the trip. The 747 plane I was on was a newer one, the entertainment system was all touch screen with the light and call buttons both on the screen instead of being overhead. Pretty fancy if you ask me!
I have always been able to sleep pretty well on the airplane, and I proved this once more – the flight is 13 hours straight through from L.A to Brisbane and I slept for the first 11 hours!! So needless to say, I didn’t watch any movies or listen to any of the music on the plane. I think I felt more rested landing in Brisbane at 6am Thursday morning (Aus time) than I would have had I not just flown half way around the world; it felt great! After clearing customs and immigration I headed to the Brisbane domestic terminal to wait for the third and final flight of my trip. Flying into Townsville, I couldn’t believe how green the landscape was from all the recent rain
When I first found out about the trip I arranged with one of my Mum’s good friends Kim to set up lunch with my Mum as they both had the day off work. That way I knew my Mum would be home when I arrived in Townsville around 11.30am. Kim picked me up from the airport and we headed home. Once we got there, I stayed in the car while Kim went inside. Kim then returned to the car to get a homemade quiche she had cooked, only I walked back inside with the quiche instead. My Mum turned around in the kitchen and there I was, standing there with the quiche! It was SOO fun to see my Mum so surprised and happy. She had absolutely no idea I was coming! Kim got it all on video and once I get it I will try and post it on here, it’s definitely a good one
After jumping around in excitement and lots of hugs and laughter, the three of us sat down to enjoy some quiche and salad. Home cooked meals are always pretty darn good, but this one tasted especially good after all that travelling.
Kim left, I spent some time unpacking and settling in. My Mum and I then devised a plan for how to surprise my Dad. My parents had already arranged to meet for coffee for their regular Thursday night date night once my dad finished work. When he arrived my Mum said she was going inside to use the bathroom and then walked back out with me. My Dad also got the surprise of his life when I sat down at the table! Unfortunately, my Mum’s phone camera didn’t switch over to video so we weren’t able to capture his reaction like we were with Mum’s.
This was hands down the best birthday present ever, I haven’t stopped thanking Kevin for giving me the chance to be home for two whole weeks with my parents! My older brother is also flying up for Easter, it will be the first time all four of us have been home together since 2009, I can’t wait!!
Birthdays only come around once a year, and when you wake to a box of Sprinkles cupcakes on the kitchen counter there is no question what’s for breakfast: a cupcake of course!
The cupcakes were from Kevin’s parents. They know my big love of cupcakes, red velvet especially. I had never tried the cream filled chocolate one that I enjoyed for breakfast and after eating it I decided there probably won’t be a Sprinkles cupcake I won’t enjoy I still don’t know what it is about the Sprinkles kind that are so gosh darn good!
Before I ventured out into the kitchen I woke at about 6am to Skype with my Mum back in Australia. She stayed up late
and I woke early so she could watch me open my presents. I had absolutely no idea what was in all the boxes that arrived earlier in the week but promised my Mum I wouldn’t peak until we could open them together.
I got quite a surprise!
I have always enjoyed scrapbooking and card making, but since I have been in the U.S I haven’t been able to do any as all my tools, stamps, die-cuts etc. have been back home. I fell in love with the Big Shot die-cut machine last summer when I was home visiting and my Mum had a scrapbooking party where her friend brought over her Big Shot. My Mum thought that now I am done with the internship I will have more time for hobbies such as scrapbooking. I cannot wait to bust this thing open and start playing with all the different die-cuts!
The surprises kept on coming throughout the day, with a bouquet of flowers being delivered from Kevin
For Dinner I went to a local winecafé called Postino with a friend I met during the Internship. Heather is a local Phoenix gal and knows some great restaurants that I have never heard of. I love locally owned, unique restaurants that aren’t the normal chain
restaurant type as I feel they provide such a different dining experience.
We decided on the bruschetta plate and chose four different options to share
We went with
- Brie & apple with fig spread
- Ricotta with dates and pistachios
- Roasted peppers with goat cheese
- Prosciutto with Figs and Mascarpone
They were all equally delicious but Heather and I both agreed the Brie & apples with fig spread was our favorite.
After enjoying lots of girl talk with a little wine (Riesling for me, Rose for Heather) we headed to pick up some frozen yogurt from Mojo’s.
My birthday was filled with so many surprises and lots of love and laughter from family and friends, I know there are great things ahead!
Last week I was tagged by my Swanky friend Kristen in a post called 11 Random Things. I was fortunate enough to meet up with Kristen just before Christmas la
st year and had a great time chit-chatting with her over lunch.
The rules of the post are as follows:
1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this.” You legitimately have to tag people.
So although I am supposed to abide by the rules, nearly every blogger I follow has already been tagged and posted their “11 Random Things”, so I will just do steps #2 and #3. Anyways, sometimes it’s good to break the rules, ya know?!
11 Random Things About Me!
- I like long road trips but hate daily traffic and commuting. Driving 30 minutes to work seems like an eternity for me – this was one of the hardest things to get used when I moved to a big city.
- When I applied for university in Australia I applied and was accepted into Law. It wasn’t until I was recruited to play in the U.S that I decided I wanted to study nutrition/dietetics. I love my field of work and couldn’t imagine studying anything else.
- I have to shower as soon as I get done at the gym. I sweat buckets while working out and can’t even stop off at the store on the way home, I just hate the feeling of having cold sweat on me!
- I like to refer to pinterest as ‘productive procrastination’
- If I could wish for a talent, it would be to sing, or at least carry a tune
- My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. I can’t even make it to brunch without having a snack first, otherwise my cranky pants come on and usually stay on for most of the day.
- I am a worrier and stress pot. I’m working on this though.
- I’m a sucker for American Reality TV, especially Real Housewives
- I am moving in two days and haven’t even begun packing up most of my bedroom. Usually this would stress me out like crazy. Apparently I’m doing pretty well with #8!
- I love the spirit in the air around Christmas, it is by far my favorite holiday.
- I love getting all girly and dressed up for a night out, but give me sweats and a movie at home and I’m just as happy
Kristen’s 11 questions for me:
- What is your favorite color? Pink of
- Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? No pets!
- What’s your most embarrassing story? I snapped the high jump bar in high school. When I was in 7th grade I was doing high jump at the school sports carnival. I ran up, jumped, one side of the bar stayed up on the pole while the other side fell down to the mat with me coming down on top of it. It even ripped a small hole in my shorts
- What is your favorite season? Hmm… Probably summer because I love warm balmy nights. I love when seasons are shifting from one to the next though. You can still feel one season while getting a taste for what’s coming.
- Are you a morning or night person? Definitely morning! I have no problem waking up at 4.30-5am, but by 10pm I am a zombie.
- What is your biggest pet peeve? Fakeness and lying
- What is one of the favorite things you love about blogging? Connecting with others and continually interacting with people from all over the world with amazing stories to share
- Black or white? I’d have to say both. Although I always think black provides the perfect canvas for anything.
- What is one of your favorite blogs? Why? J’s Everyday Fashion. I love the outfits she puts together and how she makes you think about what you already have in your closet to create outfits. I think it’s also one of the only blogs I read that isn’t aren’t health/food/fitness related.
- What is your favorite joke? This is one of the only jokes I remember from childhood and for some reason it still makes me giggle: What do you call a donkey with 3 legs? Wonkey!
- What was the last good movie you watched? They weren’t too recent but I loved The Help
and Water for Elephants
So there you have it! Hope you learned a little bit more about this Aussie