The Noodle Market in Birrarung Marr is long over but I still wanted to show you stuff. I’m sure it will be back next year anyway.

We went early (around 6pm) on a drizzly day and there were almost no crowds. This was very good because I wanted to check out all the options before I decided what to buy. And there were A LOT of options!

KFC Cheese Puffle: Korean Fried Chicken stuffed inside a cheese puffle topped with Japanese mayo and shallots

I ended up choosing a very Instagramable puffle from Puffle. It was yum. Cost $17 though!! It was very hefty at least. Plenty of chicken.

Scott had a Chicken Satay Roti from Shallot Thai, which had chicken satay, salad and peanut sauce in a roti wrap. And Natasha had veggie noodles.

Scott and I also shared a It’s Sher-Berth-Day cone from Gelato Messina. It was a white chocolate lined cone filled with mango sherbet, vanilla cream and mango jellies, and dipped in more white chocolate. It was very very nice. I really liked the mango ice cream and all the white chocolate.

Scott hasn’t actually had a drink in nearly 18 months. He’s so thirsty.

This gonna be LONG. I’m just going to post about ERRYTHANG.

Natasha finished her lap around Australia and came back to Melbourne to spend the rest of her trip. She stayed with us while she found a job and a sharehouse, which I liked because I barely had to do any dishes. :D She ended up getting a job as a punter, and a room not too far away (if you use the ‘subtract 15 minutes because Melbourne’ formula). Pretty sweet.

We did some fun stuff all together like play lots of games and make a giant batch of perogies. So much work! But perogies don’t exist here so you gotta do what you gotta do!

PS here is the crappy cartoon I finally drew of our Fraser Island cliff driving adventure. Wow drawing cartoons is hard. It looked way better in my imagination!!!

We went to an epic cheese festival at Prahran Market. I have never seen so many free cheese samples in my life, it was amazing. I ate SO MUCH CHEESE. Will definitely try to go again next year.

After some extreme procrastination I finally got back in touch with my old sailing crew from 2009. They were very welcoming and invited me back for a sail a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a great race. Actually we won!

Home stretch means you can have a bevvie! Look at all those boats in our dust!!!

They said I’m welcome to join them again any time but it’s been hard to organize on my end. This month is just so busy. Hopefully I can get back into it in the new year.

My coworker Sonny (left) got married and invited the whooooole department. It was a fun wedding, although since I am the newest staff member, I had to be on call. However this stopped me from going too crazy and having a repeat of the pre-Mexico-barfing-20-times wedding experience so that’s actually fine, haha. No pictures of Scott because he was doing Movember and looked gross.

I ran a 30% off sale for the Black Friday weekend in my Etsy shop and ended up selling a whole bunch of patterns! Even though I wasn’t making much profit at all on some listings I still managed to make about 3x what I usually make in a month. Sweet! Plus I hope some of these people will post pictures of their WIPs and do my advertising for me. Next year I will make sure I’m much more prepared for the sale with lots more stuff to offer because I think it’s the perfect timing for Christmas gift sales.

I had known that Sia was coming to Melbourne for months, but tickets were $179+ so I didn’t organize anything. Even though she is one of my favourite singers ever, my budget was like… $75 (why are concerts soooo expensive in this country). I decided to check Ebay the day before the show and saw a few pairs of tickets that were going for about $120 but my budget was still $75. Finally, ONE HOUR before the show started there was a single ticket available for $70 so I bought it and literally ran out of the house. I was in the middle of preparing dinner and everything but just left it on the counter hahaha. Poor Scott. (But he was the one telling me to BUY IT!!!! when I was waffling.)

I didn’t get there in time for Amy Shark (which was really too bad, because I like her a lot), but got there in time for Charlie XCX (who was good, very pop, entertaining), and MØ (who dances very strange and I only recognized her last two songs).

Then came Sia. That blob with a bow on her head.

I didn’t actually like the show. Yes I know that Sia doesn’t really perform any more and that she would stand at the back of the stage the whole time. But I would never have guessed they’d use pre-recorded video screens at an enormous stadium show. They had dancers on stage that were matching what was on the video screens but what was even the point?? Most of us were too far away to actually see what was happening on stage. I can watch music videos at home.

To make it worse, she didn’t interact with the audience at all. She didn’t say a single word until 90% through the show when she sang Titanium she changed it to “I am Australiaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnn” and said “I know that’s not how the song goes but I just had to do it” and that was it. I’m not even entirely convinced it was her on stage and/or she was actually even singing (it all sounded good… TOO good).

I left disappointed. Good thing I didn’t pay full price at least. I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t use live video?! The other people around me seemed pretty underwhelmed as well, although no one was really saying anything so I wasn’t sure. But she got annihilated in the press the next day so I guess I wasn’t alone.

(Side note, Scott and I went to Sia’s last show that she ever showed her face, in Vancouver in 2011, and she chatted with the audience a lot back then!! That was a really fun concert and I’m just going to think about that one and not this recent experience.)

Elevator selfie post-concert. My shirt has bananas, watermelons, and pears on it. PS so happy I found a new sport to give me tons of bruises. :P

Scott made me a cider advent calendar!! I enjoyed the one last year so much but didn’t want to get it again if it had a lot of the same ciders, so Scott organized one himself! I guess this only works in places where you can buy things one bottle a time, but I asked him last night how difficult it was to get 24 different ciders here and he said only 4/10 difficulty, so not bad! It’s been great so far, already a few ones that I have never heard of before.

Scott has a Star Wars Lego advent calendar this year, but next year I think I will make him a comic book advent calendar. I just have to be more organized.

My lime tree is liming!! I am iksidid. Will they be ready before summer is over?

We’ve been eating out a lot lately. Too much, tbh, but it’s full blown Christmas Party Season. Wowzers. I went out for a ladies dinner with all the girls from weightlifting, which was really really nice. It’s always great to cross that barrier and hang out with people outside of where you usually see them, like work or the gym or whatever.

Scott and I also went out for dinner at Hellenic Republic for my work Christmas dinner. We all had the banquet meal and it was very nice. The lamb was fantastic.. tender and sticky, and the grain salad was another highlight. We also had saganaki, chicken, kingfish sashimi, pita and dips, and more. And rice pudding for dessert, which I have never had before. I think I can make that in my pressure cooker? Need to investigate.

It rained REALLY hard last weekend. They were hyping it up sooooo much in the media and so many things got cancelled, including a dumpling dinner we were supposed to have with my internet friends, but I was kinda relieved because we were already eating out so much. Anyway there was flooding and power outages and I even got to leave work early. Our windows started leaking after several hours of constant heavy rain. I collected about 3 litres of water in jars before we went to bed. Thankfully it slowed down overnight.

I brought Scott with me to trivia last week and he won the jillpot!! The question was “What country produces the most almonds?”

Rosemarie is now on our side of the International Date Line! She is doing a ski season in Niseko, on the North Island of Japan. That will be an adventure!! She is blogging again, which is great.

Dis is a skillet cookie, and our nephew Myles. He’s much bigger now. Time for another skillet cookie.

On Saturday I am doing my first weightlifting competition. It’s just a casual club comp and I’m lifting less than what other girls use as their warmups but WHATEVS. I miss competing, and I always ended up surprising myself in skeleton races, even after the extreme anxiety and sleep deprivation. So I’m doing it. My training personal bests at the moment are 32 kg snatch and 42 kg clean and jerk. I will be happy if I get any kind of total at all (you get three attempts at each lift) and very very happy if I get a new PBs. But we shall see. I trust my coach and will do what he tells me on the day.

OK I’m all caught up! Byeeee.

 

It’s probably a good thing that Fitzroy is not the easiest place to get to from our house because otherwise we’d probably be broke and fat from getting too many Lune croissants. They are so good though, like what you can get in France.

We were doing some outlet shopping in the area last weekend so we stopped in. I got a Yo Yo cruffin, and Scott picked a pear and burnt butter cruffin, and we split them 75%-25%, haha.

The Yo Yo Cruffin: passionfruit custard, yo-yo sugar and passionfruit gel, finished with yo-yo biscuit and fresh passionfruit.

Pear & Burnt Butter Cruffin: pear, apple and burnt butter custard, pear gel

As usual they were both fantastic. Mine was tart and vibrant, and Scott’s was more subtle and… sumptuous. And of course the pastry was super rich and buttery, and the custards were silky smooth. A+++ WOULD EAT AGAIN. I don’t even like pears that much but I looooved Scott’s.

We also got a kouign amann to eat later but I forgot to take a picture of it. It was also great, but the one we had in Montreal was slightly better/stickier.

Lune Croissanterie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So a couple weeks ago I was messaging with Natasha about things that I thought were awesome on the East coast since she was working her way down the coast from Cairns at the time. I kept saying over and over that Fraser Island was SO FUN and SO COOL and then I realized “Hey wait a minute, I have four days off… maybe… I COULD COME!?!?!?!”.

After some furious flight/rental/accommodation research it all came together and a few days later I was flying to Hervey Bay to meet Nat so we could go on an XXXXXXTREME 4WD adventure on Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world.

Last time I went to Fraser (2008) I did the normal backpacker thing where they put you in groups of 10 people and give you a 4WD and an itinerary and set you free. It was an awesome adventure and I made great friends, several of which I am still in contact with. Turns out they don’t even offer that anymore, I guess too many people got into trouble? Now you can still go in groups of 8ish people, but you have to drive in convoys where the lead car has an actual experienced guide. Zzzzz. But all those groups were full by the time we were organized so instead we just rented our own 4WD just the two of us. :D ADVENTURE!!! The rental place did a briefing and made us an itinerary anyway, so actually it was pretty much the same thing, you just have to arrange it more yourself now.

I wasn’t too nervous about the sand or track driving, because we are both good drivers with snow experience (similar to sand), but I WAS legit worried about getting stuck, because how were we supposed to push ourselves out with only ONE PUSHER!? Thankfully it had rained a lot a few days before we got there so the sand was quite moist and getting bogged was not an issue.

So yeah, the entire 120 km x 24 km island is made of sand. The main “highway” is the beach along the Eastern side, which you can drive on around low tide, dodging waves, deep sand, and washouts (**more about this in a minute). There are also some very rough tracks inland through the forest to get to the extremely beautiful lakes. There are tons of things to look at, walks to do, places to swim, but no towns or anything, just a few little shops and resorts in a few places. It’s a cool place.

So the first morning we drove as far up the beach as we were allowed with our two day itinerary, and back, stopping at all the interesting things, like this shipwreck! It’s been there for almost 100 years.

The pinnacles look like rocks, but they’re just sand! I wanted to pick at it so bad.

Eli Creek was one of my favourite things last time, and it did not disappoint this time. (Because, spirit animal). It’s a freshwater stream where you can run up the boardwalk and then float down. It looks murky in the pictures, but actually that’s the sandy bottom, the water is actually super clear. We did it twice. Lots of giggling ensued.

Oh yeah you also have to keep an eye out for PLANES, who use the beach as a runway as well.

We also hiked into Lake Wabby, a bright green lake at the end of a giant sand dune. More prepared people bring sandboards which you can ride right into the lake. We didn’t have much time to spend here though because we had to drive to our campsite well before sunset.

We camped on the beach that night. Didn’t get eaten by dingos. FIST BUMP.

The next day we went on a long hike into a “secret lake”. I had low expectations but we actually did have the whole lake to ourselves! Cool! Well actually we had to share it with a giant goana who was doing laps on the beach. We thought we might be lost on the hike back to the car because we didn’t recognize anything, but turns out we’re both just super unobservant I guess.

Last stop was beautiful Lake McKenzie. So photogenic. So clear.

The best part about all of these lakes is that the sand is just pure soft sand. No rocks to stub your toe on. It’s so fun to run your hands through the sand underwater and on the beach because it’s so smooth. Also they’re freshwater lakes, so no stinging eyes or jellyfish or anything. Perfection.

Natasha and our 4WD Pink Betty. (Bam ba lam.)

** STORY TIME! My nickname from 2008 was Crazy Katrina because of the group’s assessment of my driving on Fraser. Well, the torch has been passed to Natasha, because she kinda… DROVE OFF A CLIFF!! HAHAHA. We’re not actually sure exactly how big the washout was, (reports vary between 10 cm and 2 metres) but it was extremely shocking and made everything in our car go flying from the trunk into the front seats, including 1) a camp stove, 2) a loose knife, and 3) a dozen eggs. I remember yelling WATCH OUT! and then turning around and seeing the knife flying through the air in slow motion hahahaaaaaaa. Anyway, we were fine, and the car passed the inspection at the end, so all is well. XXXXXXXTREME!! Cartoon coming soon.

View of Fraser Island from my plane home! The thin strip of beach along the ocean is the road, the big lake is Lake McKenzie, and the small lake is Basin Lake (the secret lake). You can also see a bunch of the dunes. Pretty neat.

All in all it was an excellent trip. 10/10, and I can’t wait to go back again some day. Next time for a bit longer though, because we didn’t have enough time to get up to the champagne pools or Indian Head, where you can very often see whales. I’m so glad it worked out at all though. Thank you Scott for letting me hashtag YOLO and go.

Things have been pretty routine lately, over here.

I’m still only working two days a week (plus occasional on call). I’m hoping I get full time, at least temporarily, early next year. Cross your fingers for me, because I really do like the hospital.

I’m still training at Phoenix weightlifting club three days a week. Things are starting to feel slightly less awkward (but still terribly awkward). My best snatch so far is 31 kg, and best clean and jerk is 40 kg. It’s so hard though, like one time I decided to count up every single thing I thought about or checked in one skeleton run, which is about 60 seconds long.. and it was like 180 things or some ridiculously high number like that. But now each lift is like 2 seconds long and there are DOZENS and DOZENS of things to think about!! I guess I just have to keep doing it and doing it until most of the things become ingrained. Luckily that’s easier to do than with skeleton.

And I’m still making the occasional sale in my Etsy shop. Those are my favourite emails to get ever.

Exciting things coming soon though…

I’m going on a spontaneous trip to Queensland this weekend to visit Natasha, which is going to be SO FUN. We’ve got an XXXXXXXXTREME adventure organized, and the weather is looking fantastic. I hope to spend a significant part of the trip submerged in water. Fingers crossed we don’t spend too much time submerged in sand in our 4WD.

And Scott and I finally bought our flights to Korea for the Olympics! We are going for two weeks in February. We’ve got tickets to mens and womens skeleton, and mens super G so far, and are hoping to watch hockey and curling as well. The rest of the time we’ll stay in Seoul, and explore (/eat) from there. Rosemarie is planning on popping over for a visit as well, which will be super cool.