REMEMBER // Kinglake, Australia

And another long weekend is over. And another month is almost over too. I feel like I am constantly saying this online/in person/to anyone who will listen but time really seems to be flying away this year. I mean, I am still coming to terms with it being 2016 and my first semester of university is over in a month!

All the more reason to make the most of the time that we do have I guess! This past weekend commemorated ANZAC Day on Monday. Chris and I spent the day hiking at Kinglake National Park, which was the site of terribly bushfires that essentially wiped out the nearby township in 2009. It was certainly a day for remembering, both those affected by the bushfires, and those who serve Australia in the armed forces.

Kinglake was only an hour north-east of Melbourne, and was a relatively easy drive. In terms of hiking, we parked at Masons Falls Picnic Ground, before heading down to Masons Falls (the first photo in this post – the weather has been a bit fry lately so the falls were not in their full glory). We then headed up along Wallaby track, eventually turning off and following signs to the peak of Mount Sugarloaf. There were some great views from the top – which can also be accessed by car – however it could have done with a higher viewing platform so one could see over the treetops! You can even see the CBD.

All up we would have hiked between 8 and 10 kilometres, which took us a little over two hours. The weather was absolutely perfect! Given the shorter daylight hours and working full-time in an office, Chris is always extra keen on getting outside and into fresh air on his days off.

When I was researching coming here, Chris and I both thought the name ‘Mount Sugarloaf’ sounded familiar. A quick google search revealed that there is a mere 450 mountains/hills named Sugarloaf in Australia – it seems it is a style of mountain in itself!

The area was very beautiful and lush, considering the destruction of the bushfires. I am always awed and amazed by the power and resistance of the Australian bushland to fires. Many trees were still black from the bushfire, but were regenerating with fresh new branches and leaves. It is truly an amazing phenomenon, something I find to be quite symbolic.

– Reanna

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EVIDENTLY NOT BEACH WEATHER // Rye, Australia

Two weekends away in a row? I can hardly believe it myself, but needless to say I am looking forward to spending this upcoming (long!) weekend at home. There is a lot of study to catch up on…

These few photos are from a quick trip Chris and I took to stay with his family in a rental house in Rye. The weather was certainly not up to the hot Summer days we had earlier in the year when we were down on the Mornington Peninsula in Sorrento! This weekend was more about relaxing and catching up (and shopping), so the only photos I took were when Chris and I wandered down the main jetty after lunch.

Despite the gloomy and cold weather, there was actually a large group of scuba divers under the jetty. We were happy to watch, keeping ourselves warm and dry!

I honestly thought I took more than five photos, but apparently I was too busy eating cheese all weekend to take a photo of anything else!

Chris and I are beginning to work on booking a short overseas holiday mid year, which I cannot contain my excitement for. I haven’t been overseas since I went to China last July, and I am getting the itch to go again! Bali might be on the cards, due to its accessibility and cheap flights. Perhaps I will finally have something a bit more exciting to post!

– Reanna

IS THIS ADULTHOOD? // Perth, Australia

I don’t think I have had such a whirlwind weekend since the days of three day trips to other countries to meet Chris in Europe. Sure, it is tiring and you spend a lot of time traveling, but it is also somewhat fun hightailing off somewhere for a short amount of time.

This past weekend Chris and I flew over to Perth for two nights for a wedding. Chris’ cousin had invited us a few months earlier, but we were initially unsure about attending due to Chris generally working weekends. Fast forward a few months and Chris has a full time job (with weekends and office hours and all!) so we booked our flights and jetted off on a Friday afternoon. I kept saying it felt like we were real ‘adults’ flying off interstate for a weekend wedding. Even though we have technically been ‘adults’ for five years…

Perth is two hours behind Melbourne, so we ended up arriving at 5:30pm Perth time. We were tired and hungry, so we checked in to our hotel before eating dinner at the first half decent restaurant we saw. Actually, it looked pretty dismal, but the food was delicious, fresh and quick so we didn’t complain. Afterwards it was a quick walk around the all too quiet CBD before heading to bed. The next morning we set about for more walking. We passed the Perth Mint (above) on our travels. But seeing as it was about 8am in the morning, it was certainly not open!

We only had a few hours in the morning before we had to head off to the wedding, so we entertained ourselves walking around the city. I dragged Chris through London Court, having remembered it from a trip to Perth a few years previously.

Next we walked down around the water. The weather looked ominous, but the rain held off enough for us to enjoy walking around the Bell Tower and some city views.

Being from Melbourne, we found the CBD to be very small, and quiet! Opening hours are regulated by the government in the city, which we found strange compared to Melbourne’s 24/7 lifestyle.

The wedding itself was actually in Bunbury (or more precisely, Australind, a suburb of Bunbury), about two hours south of Perth. We hired a car with Chris’ sister and partner, which worked out a lot easier than public transport. I took approximately zero photos of the wedding and the area, so enjoy the above photo of the view out of our accommodation at the reception venue. We were upgraded from a studio suite to a two-bedroom suite! Excessive for the two of us for our one night stay, but totally a novelty.

The reception was at a local golf course, which provided for a nice walk in the morning before we jumped back in the car to return to Perth.

I entertained myself on the car trip home by trying to take photos of the aftermath of recent bush fires in the area.

Seeing as Chris and I had a return flight home that evening, we took the afternoon pretty easy by heading out to Cottesloe for lunch. We followed a recommendation to the local pub, which provided delicious lunch and nice views of the beach, before discovering the giant beer garden out the back. I would have happily stayed there rather than endure the flight back home (flight anxiety is so much fun for all parties involved).

Overall, a quick and busy trip, with not much sightseeing. But it was fun to travel over the weekend! Now that we have done it, it is exciting to think of all the other trips we could have over weekends. Tasmania, Adelaide, camping. The possibilities are endless, though Chris and I have the tendency to talk about doing these things and never following through! Not to mention study is still an all too real reality on my end. We shall see!

Any good ideas for weekend trips from Melbourne?

– Reanna.

LONG TIME COMING // Melbourne, Australia

Well this has been quite the extended hiatus. As my luck would have it – conveniently at the beginning of what everyone tells me will be my hardest year at university – my dear old Macbook has given up on life. To make matters even worse, this happened about three years and one month after I purchased it, so my Apple Care had just expired. Sure, my Macbook still turns on, but it crashes constantly. Thankfully all my university work is on Dropbox, and I can use Chris’ computer in the mean time. Stupidly I uploaded the photos for this post onto my Macbook, and then it crashed (again) so I have been putting off trying to get them back for a couple of weeks now. I managed to scrounge a few off yesterday in the two minutes my computer stayed on!

Luckily the photos weren’t overly exciting – they are from the open day of the Victorian State Parliament House. Despite having lived in Victoria my entire life, I had never gotten around to visiting parliament (I missed Grade 5 Camp). I have been mentioning to Chris over our years living in Melbourne that we really ought to visit, then as our luck would have it we found out about the open day they day before it was on.

It was a hot day, and the building was absolutely packed with other tourists. I imagine it would be much nicer to visit on a private tour, but we made do with following the crowds and desperately trying take photos that didn’t include other people taking photos! Selfie sticks were not seen.

Possibly my favourite room in the building was the library, but unfortunately I seem to have lost all of those photos. It was one of the more crowded rooms, but there is something about perfectly organised books in a grand room that really appeals to me.

The main building was quite grand (always great to see where tax payer money goes), however as we followed the stairs down the basement we found the MP offices continued. Again, I lost those photos, but it was quite odd going from regal wooden doors to modern glass ones in the dank old basement. I wonder how they decide who gets an office where…

The gardens of Parliament were also quite beautiful, but you guessed it, I lost the photos.

Things are certainly gearing up in terms of university around here, and we have a few weekends away lined up. We are off the Perth next weekend for a whirlwind three days. I feel very ‘adult’ flying interstate for a wedding, if that is such a thing!

Today’s lesson: fix my computer.

– Reanna