Apparently I procrastinated making this post for too long, because the place has now closed. Lol whoops. Well they still have some locations in NSW.

My friend Cris really likes Nutella so we met up at Melbourne Central for a choco hazelnut feast.

This was a KIDS MEAL. O_O

It came with a Nutella milkshake, Nutella doughnut, and doughnut chips with a Nutella dipping sauce. The doughnut was LOADED with Nutella.

Cris got the Nutella “pasta” (crepes with ice cream and Nutella). It was amusing.

Maybe the place closed because everyone got diabetes.

Tella Balls Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

And now I will attempt to catch up on the last THREE months in one giant post because I am sick of being behind.

  • Natasha’s old bosses took us all out for a sunset punt picnic before she left the country. It was very serene and lovely, and Scott even got to try punting (until he was heading directly towards the one thing in the lake that you’re not supposed to touch exactly like Tina learning to drive… my all-time favourite Bob’s Burgers scene btw).

  • Jess popped in for a quick visit! I hadn’t seen her since our old brunch club in Vancouver before her and Zsofi moved back to Ontario. We did a little wandering through the Queen Vic Markets and alleyways, and shared a pitcher of margarita on a floating barge bar on the Yarra.

  • I was sailing again on a fairly regular basis until work got in the way. I was getting more and more jobs to do which was fun. But now it’s impossible for me to get to the sailing club in time. :(

  • We found out our apartment is for sale. :( The real estate agents tried to schedule viewings at all times of the day and night, and got mad at us for not meeting them half way with preparing the apartment for sale but I was not having it. I’m not meeting them anywhere tbh. I managed to get them to give us a free week of rent, but now that it’s been three months of limbo and viewings I think I should have negotiated differently. Bah. Anyway no one has been coming to even look at the apartment lately so at the moment we’re just waiting to see what will happen, and keeping an eye on other rentals, but not looking seriously yet.
  • I started full time work. Same job, same hospital. I’m covering a mat leave. It’s been quite an adjustment working every day, especially because I hadn’t really done it since like… 2011… and that was just data entry. LOL. Between work and commuting and weightlifting I pretty much have zero time at home. But the money is fantastic!!!
  • To make life even more tiring… I have been getting called into work ridiculously often. So I am actually working way more than full time. Since Christmas my coworkers have been called in around 2-5 times. I have been called in… EIGHTEEN TIMES. 18!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t even understand how it is statistically possible. Again, the money is fantastic, however I would also like to actually have a weekend!! I’m just waiting for the opposite side of this balance where I don’t get called in at all for like three months.

  • Perogies are not a thing in this country. I attempted to make a sort of quick perogie meal using gnocchi, bacon, caramelised onions, cheese, and sour cream. It was.. ok. A bit dry. I think it needs some kind of sauce… maybe with the caramelised onions. Any ideas?
  • A guy from my weightlifting gym competed in the Commonwealth Games. That was cool. We had a BBQ to send him off. I watched quite a lot of the games this year. There are some weird sports in it… like lawn bowling, netball and pistol shooting!
  • Cristoforo came to Melbourne and we ate a ridiculous Nutella feast. Pictures later.
  • Thanks to Scott’s work perks I got to try a fancy Endota spa package. It included a massage, facial and pedicure. Was very nice, although it was an extremely weird sensation to get your toes painted while your eyes are covered. I didn’t know if she was just about to start painting so I had to use all my willpower to not move my feet. I think if I got to do it again I wouldn’t choose one with a pedicure.

  • Friends who not only pick you up to drive you to the city, but also provide ciders and snacks for the ride get a FIVE STAR review!
  • We went to see Urzila Carlson at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. She was funny! That was my first time going to a MCF show, despite it being a HUGE thing here every year. Maybe next year we’ll go to more.
  • Still been doing Monday night trivia, although a bit less often lately. And monthly stitch n bitch, and Phoenix ladies night dinners. Yay frands.
  • Scott’s been keeping up with planning something for us to do each month. In March we went out for fancy ultra hipster hot chocolate, April we saw Isle of Dogs and ate dumplings, and in May we went to a really nice Spanish tapas restaurant in the city called Bomba.

  • Scott’s work did a private trivia night thing. I came too and joined the IT team. We thought we weren’t doing that well because of how loud the other tables were cheering when they read out the answers but then we won!!!

  • I lifted in the Victoria Weightlifting Open. I made 4 out of 6 of my lifts, and got a 1 kg PB on each lift. I guess that’s ok but I was hoping for more considering all of the good training I had been doing. It was my first real competition and I had a really fun time. I found it much less stressful than skeleton comps… I guess because there is less fear of death?? My coach was able to give me his full attention and he told me exactly when and what to lift to warm up, made all the decisions, and counted others attempts so all I had to do was go out when he told me to and lift the bar.

  • I’m smiling because I felt my arm bend a little bit when receiving the bar and knew that it was going to be a no-lift. I got in trouble from my coach afterwards for making a face… have to work on my poker face. Two red lights. Anyway this was disappointing because I was able to stand up and everything and if not for the tiny bit of arm bend it would have been a great PB.

  • Third attempt clean and jerk. I made the clean, but didn’t quite get under the jerk. Three red lights.

  • I’m so happy I joined Phoenix Weightlifting Club. I’ve made a lot of new friends and it’s been so fun challenging myself with the Olympic lifts. I don’t think I can ever go back to regular gym-ing. I stuck around to be a weights loader for the session after me. Holy moly that was more work than actually lifting in my session!! Didn’t help that it was a big boy session and they were using all the plates.
  • I finally redeemed my free float voucher that we got as a thank you for putting up with the noise while they built the place directly below our apartment. It was for one hour in one of those sensory deprivation tanks. I scheduled it for right after my weightlifting comp because I knew my legs would be sore and the magnesium salt is supposed to help with recovery. I guess it worked pretty well for that, but I didn’t really like it in general. I was slightly too hot, and my neck started to hurt from my fat head hanging down? I’ve never been great at meditating or relaxing or anything so I was just awake the whole time too and just aware of how hot I was. I tried sitting up for a bit to cool down and rest my neck a bit which was better but then the super salty water dripped down into my eyes and stung a lot, lol. I was pretty happy when it was over, tbh. The next day my neck was sooo sore. In the future I would much rather just get a massage I think.

  • Scott and I competed in a Ticket To Ride tournament. It was run by the same people that did the Carcassonne tournament we did last year.┬áThere were four rounds (USA, Europe, India, Asia). I won the first game, then finished 3rd in the next two games. I knew that I needed to win the last game to make the finals. I took tickets on my last turn for the win and actually had two of them. We did the final count and I ended up tied for the win. The tie-breaker is number of tickets completed, which we were also tied on. The second tie-breaker was number of mountain routes finished, which I lost. Bummer. Then the host read out the names of the top 4 people who would be in the finals and I was tied for fourth!!!!! The tie-breaker was number of points earned over the day which I lost. :((((( Such a bummer. I can’t believe I missed the finals by so little. Scott on the other hand did not do so well and finished second last. :( It was fun though. We do love board games.
  • Scott has a cracked rib. Someone head butted him at basketball (accidentally) and now he has to take it easy for a couple weeks. Poor dude.
  • He also just got Employee of the Month though! Go Scott!!

OK! Whew! I think that’s about it. All caught up!!!

MEP and Paul finished their trip with a few days in Melbourne with us. We did a lot of things but apparently did not take a lot of pictures.

We went out to the Yarra Valley for chocolate, cheese, and wine tasting. It rained a lot. We popped in at Scott’s parents house on the way back so the two sides of the family could meet. Pat even let Paul try one of his VBs. :D Rosemarie was the only other person who was met a Jorna before that!

I took them into the city for a wander through arcades and alleyways. We checked off a bunch of touristy sites, and had a drink on a rooftop patio. Totes Melbs.

Scott picked us up and we headed to St Kilda to look for penguins! Penguins are Paul’s favourite animal so we were originally planning on going to Philip Island to do the penguin parade thing, but the weather was horrible down there so we decided to try St Kilda first.

Sorry for the terrible photo. It was dark and you can’t use flash.

I’d seen a penguin there before, but only one, and it was pretty deep inside the rocks so you couldn’t really see it. I thought it would be like that again but we actually got to see a whole bunch, and they were standing up on the rocks and crossing the path and everything. There were volunteers there to help spot them, give information, and keep the penguins safe. Pretty neat, and freeeee!

The next day we went to Lune Croissanterie for the bestest most expensivest croissants ever. And Costco to stock up my pantry. And then to my regular Monday night trivia for the mediocriest cheapests parmas (another Aus bucket list item ticked). We won too.

I had to work the last day so they went out on their own to meet a distant relative, and do a little last minute shopping. They made us steaks for dinner and we squeezed in a few more games of 7 Wonders.

All in all it was great to see them and we did a lot of fun things together. I hope they still had a nice time in Australia even though the weather ruined quite a few things. We look forward to their next visit!

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING CUTER THAN A WOMBAT ON A LEASH???

Why is that wallaby glaring at me??

Various Irwin’s and a croc.

We stopped at the Australia Zoo on the way from Brisbane to Noosa so MEP and Paul could see lots of Aussie animals. I liked the koalas a lot.

We went to the famous bird and croc show in the big arena. It was cheesy but entertaining. Bindi Irwin is a surprisingly bad public speaker though? I would have thought she would be better considering she does it every day…

Anyway the zoo is massive!! They don’t have platypus though. Minus one star.

Great view from our apartment in Noosa too.

Of course I had to go for a swim. The ocean was soooo nice and warm. It was so crowded at the main beach though! Easter weekend was over but I guess a lot of people were sticking around for the week.

Scott and I went for a hike around Noosa National Park. We didn’t see any koalas or whales, but we did see dolphins!

We walked all the way from Noosa Main Beach to Sunshine Beach, had lunch at the RSL and then caught the bus back to town.

We all went on a super cheap sunset river cruise that was actually great. $10! The captain pointed out all sorts of things along the way and we ended up at the lake just in time to see a beautiful sunset over the water. He also got some kites to dive and snatch bits of meat in mid-air. It was relaxing and just great value compared to most touristy things in Australia.

We had a bit of extra time on the last day so we took the scenic route back to the Brisbane Airport via a couple lookouts and a cheesery. WILL U-TURN FOR CHEESE. We all had these extremely intense cheese tarts, which probably took two days to fully digest. So much cheese.

Noosa is nice but maybe a bit too fancy for me. I think there are other places along the Sunshine Coast that aren’t as busy or expensive that would be just as good.

After one last game of Ticket To Ride at the airport, Scott and I flew back to Melbourne, and MEP and Paul flew directly into a hurricane, but we would see them again in a couple weeks.

A thousand years ago Scott and I flew to Brisbane to meet MEP and Paul.

Our Airbnb was right by the botanic gardens. The view was amazing!

They asked if there was anything I would like from Canada and I said MINI EGGS!! Paul delivered!! They are just as great as I remembered. The Mini Eggs in Australia are gross… the shell is really thick and kind of gummy, not very nice.

So actually a big part of the reason we decided to go to Brisbane was because this year’s Lions-Demons game was IN Brisbane, on the same weekend. Scott and I love going to watch that game every year and tbh if it’s in Brisbane again next year I will consider going again haha.

Anyway we dragged MEP and Paul out the very same day as they arrived from their super long flights. What troopers. MEP decided to nap before the game, Paul decided to nap AT the game. :D :D

Which was amusing because it was LOUD!! And exciting!!

Melbourne dominated for the first half of the game, then like Paul, decided to fall asleep in the 3rd quarter. Brisbane had a HUGE comeback, which obviously re-invigorated the crowd a lot, and made me extremely extremely stressed. Thankfully Melbourne pulled themselves together and got a few more goals at the end and the win.

Overall it was a great game, especially to watch in Brisbane. MEP liked it a lot!

Nice views on the walk back to the apartment.

We walked a bit too much that first day, so the next day we decided to see the city by Segway. It was Scott and my first time trying them. It’s fun!!! It didn’t take long to master. The company runs out of a storage locker. They did a quick lesson with each of us individually, and then we set out on a tour of the city. Minus one star because they didn’t really give us any information about any of the things we were zooming past, but plus one star because we got to go really far and fast, haha.

I’M NEVER WALKING ANYWHERE AGAIN!!!!

That night we went out for dinner by the river, and the next morning we headed North to Noosa via the Australia Zoo. To be continued.