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.

Garlic basil basa skillet with tomato butter sauce and white beans

No-knead olive focaccia

Pinch of Yum and Serious Eats… both very trustworthy food blogs. The fish dish was very tasty, and will be even better once we can get nice summer quality tomatoes. I’m definitely cooking it again. And the focaccia was super easy to make, you just have to remember to start it the day before. I didn’t use pistachios, and only used about half the oil. Scott and I finished the whole loaf in less than 24 hours hahahaha.

Basa rice bowl with corn and avocado salsa, black beans, cheese, sour cream and lime

I was very inspired by a Salsas Mex Club email promoting their bowls. Again I used basa (why is it so cheap?? Wait maybe I don’t want to know…), and made a quick ‘salsa’ with avocado, tomato, corn, red pepper, lots of lime juice, and salt. PS I love my pressure cooker. ~45 minutes for black beans straight from dry, YES.

Lamb korma and sag aloo

I cheated a bit and used a jar of korma sauce from Aldi. But I added a tin of diced tomato to bulk it up. Simmered lamb chunks for about 45 minutes, then added green beans for about 10 minutes. Yum. I don’t cook lamb often, because I’m not very familiar with it, but this one came out super tender and nice. The sag aloo wasn’t great though, which is why I haven’t linked a recipe. I should have parboiled the potato before frying it with the onion and spinach, I think.

Scott has begun experimenting with macarons. The first picture is his first batch. They were vanilla with white chocolate ganache. They got nice feet and lift, but had hollow shells. That can be from over OR under mixing apparently. :/ They tasted very nice. Second batch was lemon flavoured with lemon icing. There were no hollow parts, but they’re kinda flat and funny looking. They were much chewier and denser. Again, taste was very nice.

We’ve watched a couple videos for tips, and have some better recipes to try, so hopefully each batch comes out better and better! Good thing we got a nice big bag of almond meal from Costco. :D

Whoops I forgot to actually publish this post.

ANYWAY. The other weekend we took April for a day. We took the train in to the city, which April really enjoyed. She liked the wobbles and the funny sounds and going under bridges. There were weird art seesaws in Fed Square.

Then we went to the Wallace and Gromit exhibit at ACMI.

The exhibit was very cool. They had lots of of models from all the movies and short films. I thought the ones where you can see the guts are cool.

They also had lots of original sets. They were smaller than I expected! It’d be hard to get their hands in there to change things sometimes I bet.

So many cool details. I love it, especially the stuff from the old short films like The Wrong Trousers.

There were also lots of cool drawings and sketches. Character studies.

And lots of sketches, notes, and story boarding which I found very interesting. It makes me very happy that they kept all that stuff.

I wish I was that creative and talented!!

April got a bit bored after a while, but there were lots of cartoons for her to watch (I had already seen all the clips). And then at the end we were given lumps of plasticine to make our own stop motion clips, which was pretty fun.


Afterwards we took the tram back to our house, stopping at the playground for a good play. We watched some movies, did some colouring, played the hand a foot game (Twister), and then headed back to Boronia for family dinner.

It was a fun day!