Try as much to be wholly alive with all your might. And when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.’
The last month (or maybe my entire life) I have been abiding by Mr. Hemingway’s advice above. And as my American visitors arrived one by one, we proceeded to do every and anything frolicking around Australia. Surprisingly enough, the first to arrive was John Smith, and we set off for Melbourne (pronounced Melbin, clarification for any of you with silly American accents).
Upon landing in Melbourne, we were immediately enthralled by all of the side street cafes, rooftop bars, funky stores, and hipster vibes. Our first pit-stop was to the cutest place called Chuckle Park Bar, which is the most adorable lane way cafe. Naked for Satan had the best deals $1 tapas, and their rooftop bar, Naked in the Sky, was my favorite. I’m a sucker for rooftop bars, I just think they’re so sexy, and the rooftop bar scene in Melbourne was absolutely amazing.
After a couple nights of roof-top bar crawling, exploring the Melbourne staples such as the Brighton Beach Huts, and strolling through the graffiti-filled Hozier lane, we rented our mini-white car and were off to explore The Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road winds around 150+ miles of pristine Australian coastline, sea-side towns, sheep-infused farm lands, leading to some of the most impressive limestone rock faces in the world, the 12 apostles.
The adventure started in Torquay, the town where we rented our surfboards, and watched the surf at the infamous Bell’s Beach. We proceeded to take our time exploring all the coast had to offer, such as Nutella-filled donuts in Lorne, koala’s hanging in trees, secluded beaches for surfing, a 12 apostles sunset, snacks in Port Campell, and a 12 apostles sunrise. My first Christmas away from home was spent along the Great Ocean Road, and as much as I missed all my loved ones at home, I could not have asked for a better way to spend a Christmas away.
BACK TO SYDNEY. LET THE GAMES BEGIN. OH BABY.
After an unforgettable Melbourne trip, we were back to Sydney to greet the next two American arrivals, Al & Bradley. We randomly were on the same train back to Cronulla, and were happily greeted by Nels who hosted the best Aussie-style Christmas-leftover’s dinner.
BOXING DAY SHENANIGANS: 12/26
Australians have this amazing post-Christmas, drinking-infused, bargain-shopping, messy, National holiday called Boxing Day. It is the absolute best, and Mr. Frank N. Stein himself arrived for the champagne-campaign on the Cronulla rocks to kick off the madness.
We proceeded to Joey’s house where we arrived to a backyard full of Aussies, an eskie (cooler) full of SUPPA DRY’s, backyard cricket games, one Karli Defillipis, shirtless dance-offs, & a very loose, eventful, and amazing boxing day.
Bondi Bliss. After a morning of secret-santa gift exchanges, Jesse’s birthday brunch, and John’s infamous brekkie sandwiches, we were on our way to Bondi. Life was great besides the fact that our airbnb reservation called us as we were boarding the train and cancelled. Six stray Americans in Bondi over New Years, there was no way we were going to find a place. But, the bottom line is that life is crazy, Aussies are incredibly accommodating, and Craig is the man. So we ended up meeting Craig, taking Grey-goose water-pulls in his living room, moving into Agnus’ true-detective style apartment in North Bondi, having a couple of candle parties, and calling it a very successful first day in Bondi.
The next few days in Bondi were simply unforgettable. From the vintage Bondi markets, to sushi train, to Wisconsin-hill sunsets overlooking Bondi Beach, heads-up madness, the Bondi-Coogee walk, and finishing off with a bang on Craig’s boat party. I am so lucky to have such amazing, relaxed, and positive souls in my life.
NEW YEARS EVE: 2014 ended with Ronan’s backyard jungle party, featuring Aussie v. American flip cup games (of course American domination), bonfires, beer pong, champagne showers, fire-sticks, an amazing blend of new & old friends, street-sleep parties, and ringing in the new year with my favorite humans to date.
Despite our melting skin, and the beating sun, every act at Field Day was more incredible than I had expected. From wheel-chair crowd surfing during Milky Chance, and front-row bliss at Rufus, to the cruisy alt-J intro, and ending with Dillon Francis-drops, I think we all enjoyed ourselves way too much.
Always save the best for last. The final American to make her way was Miss Briana Thompson. After a little mix-up, we finally found each other, just two scrats reunited in Sydney! We then all made the venture into the city to our Paddington Family Oasis.
Our Adelaide-born Aussie friends Dan, Macca, and adorable Canadian Anna, patiently awaited our arrival on their privately chartered airbnb sailboat. We spent the afternoon cruising around the Harbour, Opera House, Darling Harbour, & taking in all the Sydney sights from a different point of view. Our days in Paddington were filled with activities on activities such as the Torronga Zoo, which grants some of the best city views and is well worth the $50 ferry and entrance fee. We walked all over the city, played tennis for hours at Rushcutter’s bay, sadly said goodbye to Brad and Jesse, killed multiple huntsman spiders, and had an entourage marathon. We spent the nights devouring indian kebabs, dancing the night away in the velevet-roomed walls of the Golden Schief, and taking full advantage of our beautiful Paddington Pad.
We ended the trip where it all began, in good ol’ Cronulla. We stayed in another airbnb (our third of the trip!) and had a wonderful night filled with RSL cheese plates, sushi, classic white, and a game of superlatives intensified by a large sac of goon (boxed wine). It was so sad saying bye to Nels & John, but it didn’t really feel real. I’ve found that usually the best moments never feel real until they are over, until you are able to shed light on them and define them as part of your intricate past. I’ve found that these incredible getaways and holidays all pass the same, feeling like an eternity and a single moment of bliss all at once.
We fit so much fun, so much love, so many great humans, yummy meals, bottles of wine, and experiences into such a short period of time, its overwhelming. But its the most exquisite kind of overwhelming, the kind that makes you feel truly alive, and forever wanting more. And I want to thank everyone who was a part of it, and still is, because you all make me so damn happy.