Monday, September 15, 2014


Well…I am sick with the flu! No, I’m not trying to gain your sympathy or ‘well wishes’, but to explain why I have been on a television and movie feeding frenzy! At first, body aches were so bad, all I could do was cuddle up with my heating pad in bed or in my recliner (yes, I have one of those!) and sleep the day away while wishing my mom was here. Seems, it doesn’t matter how old you are, when you’re sick, you still wish you had your mother to take care of you!

As the sick days passed by and my body aches began to subside, I realized I needed something to do to entertain myself while I lay in my recliner for days. Funny, this is something so many working people dream of…laying around the house with absolutely nothing to do for days, but to tell you the truth…it gets quite boring and makes me long for the days of going out for a dreaded dental appointment…at least I’d be getting out of the house!

Anyway, there I sat with absolutely nothing to do, except blow my nose so much that I was creating an enormous mountain of Kleenex that would give Mt. Everest a run for its’ money! So in my boredom, I decided to look through my PVR (in the U.S. it’s a DVR…in Australia it’s a PVR) for movies and T.V. shows I recorded but have never watched.
This is an example of what you'll find on my Facebook page

As I proceeded through ‘East of Eden’ starring James Dean and ‘Secretariat’ (a movie I really wanted to see in the theaters when it came out, but never got a chance to), I eventually made my way to ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’. Yes, I’m probably the only one in the world who hasn’t seen it! And what a perfect day to do so, while laying around sick looking like Bridget did in the opening segment of the movie. All I needed was the soundtrack to “All By Myself” and I could have recreated the scene in my living room!

So as I was watching this adorable movie, I kept hearing familiar ‘Australian’ words such as ‘full stop’ and ‘barrister’. Not to mention the fact that they ate ‘beet root’ and anything curried. They even celebrated Christmas with paper crowns from ‘poppers’ (you’re lucky if you get the gold crown!) As the movie continued, I began to see so many similarities of my life here in Australia when it dawned on me…I had been right all along! I hurriedly got up…well…maybe more like stammered in my weakened condition and hollered up the stairs toward my husband in my, squeaky, frog-like tones, “Honey!”

My dear, sweet husband, out of sight in his man cave upstairs, raised his head from his Saturday morning, newspaper-reading ritual and responded, “Yeeeeees,” his deep voice resonating from above.

“I’ve been right all along…you really ARE a Pom!” (This is what Australians call someone from England.) It’s probably good to know at this point that to call an Australian a Brit is a form of insult. Not that being British is bad, but they don’t like to be called anything than what they are…Australian!

To appreciate my comment, you need to understand that my husband and I have had long-running banters between us, teasing each other incessantly about how we say things, our accents and the different words we use, (hence my 'Yank In Australia' Facebook page with the 'Aussie Word of the Day'). One of the things I tease him about is his accent. It’s not a round Aussie accent that you’d hear from Paul Hogan when he tells us he'll throw another shrimp on the barbie. No…my husband’s Australian accent is a little more refined than that…rather British sounding, I think. Could it be because Adelaide was founded by the British? Maybe. Of course, my husband always argues that he sounds Australian and that I'm crazy...well, maybe... but if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck then...I'll let you decide!

So now, here I am, 6 days into my flu with no end in sight, looking as lovely as Bridget Jones in her Christmas-red, penguin flannel pajamas. I think I need to Youtube All By Myself. I feel a lip sync coming on!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


I blurred out the obvious. You can thank me later!
This was my mother’s first time to visit me since moving to Australia, so I decided to show her around a bit. Instead of flying directly to Adelaide where I live, I drove to meet her at the Melbourne airport so we could drive back along the Great Ocean Road. It was during this trip that we saw…well…let’s just say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”…or at least it does until I take a picture!

After spending our first night in Torquay, (pronounced 'tor-kee') we awoke in the morning, grabbed some breakfast, took some quick photos, and then headed out for another day on the road, stopping where ever our hearts wandered. The sun was shining, wind blowing through the sunroof, and Mom and I singing along to the country music playing through my sound system. Life was good until...sound effects please! (dun dun dunnnn!!!!) we stopped at Bells Beach!

I was excited about taking Mom there. It was definitely one of the highlights of the road trip I had planned for her because Bells Beach is a surfing mecca and Bucket List destination for surfers around the world; and home of the world’s longest-running surfing competition. Every time you arrive at Bells Beach, you are surrounded by surfers, not only from Australia, but those who have traveled from the far reaches of the world in order to surf their dream beach. What you don’t typically see is someone exposing their nether regions! My eyes! My eyes!

All I can say is, “What is seen, cannot be un-seen!” My poor mother! I took her on this road trip so she could see the gorgeous Australian coast line that runs along the Great Ocean Road. 
Well, she definitely got an eye-full!

I went to grab my camera to discretely take a photo of him because there was NO WAY I was going to miss this moment MADE for blogging! Fortunately, we only saw his backside, which he wasn’t in a hurry to hide, giving me ample time to take my photo. I pointed my camera in his direction while looking in another direction, in hopes that others in the parking lot wouldn’t take notice. I was so afraid I would be mistaken for a pervert! Miraculously, I got the shot, he was none the wiser, and I wasn't arrested for taking pornographic photography! Maybe I should get a job as a private investigator, since I obviously have nerves of steel when picture-taking! ‘Yank In Australia P.I.’ I like the sound of that!

Ah...Australia, where men wear budgie smugglers and change in public. Obviously a country full of men who aren’t afraid to show off their junk! 

At least he did us a favor not having a hairy back! 

Saturday, May 31, 2014


So, after driving from Adelaide to the Melbourne Airport to pick up my mother who was visiting from the U.S., we headed out to our first stop of our 'Thelma and Louise' road trip…Costco! Yes, that’s right! Costco! Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE Costco! When I lived in the States it was part of my regular shopping pattern, so being able to visit the Costco in Melbourne is almost like visiting home for me because it’s so familiar. Now that I live in Adelaide, to my dismay, the nearest Costco is an 8-hour road trip to Melbourne! I so miss some of my favorite American must-haves that I can’t get anywhere else…like Kirkland salsa (I purchase it by the bucket load!) “orange” cheddar cheese, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…not to mention a Costco hotdog (which is different in Australia than the U.S.) and a berry smoothie. Mmmmm…my mouth is watering just thinking of it!

Won't find meat pies on the menu in the U.S.!
My poor husband! I know I drive him absolutely crazy at times when we are on vacation. Being relatively new to Australia, I don’t have a great sense of where things are in relation to another. You know, the way you can estimate in your head how long it takes you to get from home to a nearby city. For instance, I know that it takes about 3 hours to drive from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. I even know the roads and highways to get there without having to use a GPS.
Anyway, when my husband and I are on vacation even remotely close to Melbourne, I ask him, “Are we close enough to stop by Costco?” To which he’ll reply, “Costco is 5-hours out of our way.” And then he knows what’s coming next. In a voice reminiscent to a little girl asking her daddy for a pony, I reply, “Five hours? That’s not too bad, is it?” Believe it or not, sometimes my adorable husband gives in because he knows how important it is to me to stock up on my Kirkland salsa supply and get my berry smoothie fix. What a guy!

So now that Mom is here, and we find ourselves in Melbourne, I insist that we make a detour to Costco before heading out to our final destination of the day...beautiful Torquay, (pronounced “tor-kee”). My poor Mom, having just traveled about 19 hours across the Pacific, is now having to traipse around Costco, even though there is one just minutes from her home! She’s a real trouper willing to do so because she loves me. And besides…we need food for our road trip!
Lifeguard bollards tower over my Mom in Geelong, Victoria
After about an hour in Costco we were very hungry, but decided to skip the Costco hotdogs and hustled over to Geelong for a quick bite to eat. Was THAT a mistake! We arrived there hungry and ready for a late lunch (around 2:30pm), with our stomachs rumbling like Mt. St. Helens before it erupted! (A volcano where we live, that erupted in 1980.) To our dismay, we found that all the restaurants along the waterfront were CLOSED! What??? Is that possible? Apparently so! Turns out they all close down after lunch for a few hours and re-open for dinner. We had hit Geelong at precisely the wrong time of day. It was a bit hard to comprehend because in the States nothing closes like that, so it took us by surprise.

Disappointed, we quickly looked at the adorable and whimsical statues (bollards) that dot the waterfront of Geelong. These statues are actually quite historical having been made out of huge wooden pylons recovered from the Yarra Street Pier which was destroyed by a fire in the 1980’s, and depict historical icons of the area. All I know is they make great photo-ops and tower over my mother!

Hungry and tired, Mom and I quickly headed to the surfing capitol of Australia, Torquay, home of brands like Rip Curl, Roxy and Quicksilver. There, we stayed at the luxurious Wyndham Resort with crisp, clean white sheets and room service. Is anything sweeter? 

After enjoying our dinner (called ‘tea’ in Australia) and showering off the travel of the day, we sipped on mojitos over ice which we purchased earlier at Costco and reminisced over our day. We had both traveled long distances and enjoyed our reunion at the Melbourne airport before heading to Costco. We learned that we can’t always count on restaurants being open when we are hungry. And we discovered that we really like mojitos!

 Now where did I put my sombrero?