Operation Lose America’s Gain

August 30, 2010

Location: Melbourne, Australia

It came as no surprise that after living in the USA for 14 months, I came back to Australia weighing more than when I left. It wasn’t a hard gain; late breaks at work led to late dinners; we’d eat out a couple of times per week; we’d drink at our local on Wednesday and Saturday nights  after work as well as pre-gaming and drinking when we’d hit the clubs on either Sunday or Tuesday nights.

It’s not exactly the best feeling in the world when your favourite old pair of jeans can’t zip or button up anymore. And no, it’s not exactly something I’m proud of, but hey, it’s life and I lived those 14 months to the best of my ability and enjoyed every second of it; no regrets.

I’ve never been that skinny girl nor will I ever be that skinny girl. I can however, do myself a favour and attempt to lose the weight I gained while in the USA, plus some. This will begin tomorrow.

Today I signed up at my local gym. I’ve worked out there before, many a time, and once I get myself into routine, I actually enjoy going there quite a bit. They had a deal going on; purchase three months membership for $349 and receive three months free. Six months should be ample time to reach my goals, or at least I hope.

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A Final Hurrah in Sin City

August 14, 2010

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Location:
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
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Vegas in summary:

Airport Hotel Booze Vegas Strip Booze Booze Girls Girls Girls Vegas Strip Pool Booze Hotel Cirque du Soleil Booze Buffet Girls Girls Girls Buffet Vegas Strip Booze Vegas Strip Pool Booze Buffet Thunder from Downunder Vegas Strip Booze Cirque du Soleil Booze Clubbing Vegas Strip Booze Pool Booze Cirque du Soleil Booze Clubbing Booze Airport Tears.

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Phew. What a mouthful. After an amazing 14 month run, my last five days in the USA were to be spent in no place other than Las Vegas. I am by no means a Sin City virgin but on this particular trip, we were going to be popping Ali’s Vegas virginity.

It was tough saying farewell to Bryan at the airport on Tuesday morning; probably the toughest of them all. This was the one good bye I was least looking forward to. We had pretty much spent every single day of the entire last year together; grocery shopping, working, drinking, cooking, cleaning, hanging out, going to the Disney parks, vacationing together; literally everything. He pulled up curb side at the Southwest Terminal and helped remove our luggage from the car. After it was all out there was a hesitant pause. Ali and Kellen would be seeing Bryan again so it was all up to me. I took a step towards him and leaned in for a hug. I failed at trying not to cry. I didn’t wear any make up for this particular reason; it was inevitable. We said our good byes while I cried all over his shoulder. I didn’t want to let go of him. Bryan handed me a letter and told me to read it a little later on. He hopped back into the car and like that, he was gone. I’m going to miss him so much.

I check all 130lbs of my luggage in. It’s hard to believe how much crap I’ve accumulated over the last 14 months. Thank God for Southwest Airlines two free checked pieces of luggage policy. While sitting at our gate waiting to board, I decide to read the letter Bryan left me with. I’m not even two lines in before I start to cry again. I’m an emotional mess. His words are so sweet and it pains me to imagine my days without him. My sleeve becomes my tissue; good thing I didn’t wear any eye liner. I get a grip of myself right before it is time to board the plane.

We touch down in Vegas at 10am with hopes The Mirage will let us check in this early and sure enough, it does. Score. Our room is gorgeous and we’ve conveniently been given a room with a strip view at no extra cost! Double score.

Twenty minutes is by far too much time to spend in a hotel room in Vegas so off we go to introduce Ali to the strip. We are only walking for

maybe five minutes before Ali realises you can legally roam the streets with booze in hand. This is way to exciting for Ali to handle so we make our way into the nearest hotel to purchase ourselves our first drink. Never mind that it is only 11am, it is 5pm somewhere, right? I’m glad you agree. Our first drink is down the hatch within minutes. There’s nothing like an ice cold Bud Light in 108°F heat while walking down the Las Vegas strip. As we make out way towards the Paris Hotel our taste buds are tingling for another alcoholic beverage. Ali suggest a beverage of the frothy kind and Kellen and I agree. We come across a little place called Evening Call and purchase a cup each that has refills available for only $5; insane. The cup is white, but when a freezing cold substance is poured into it, it turns red! Pretty cool. I order a coffee slushy with baileys in it. As I bring the straw up to my mouth for my first sip, I start to wonder if I should have ordered this; My stomach doesn’t usually have a great reaction to milk-based products. This is quickly forgotten upon having my first sip. The drink is heavenly; absolutely bloody delicious.

More drinks are consumed as we walk the Vegas strip. Kellen and Ali decide it is fun to collect the cards of nakey girls that the GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS guys are handing out on the side of the road (if you’ve ever been to Vegas you know exactly what I’m talking about). It is not even 2pm and we are already best friend with intoxication. We head back to the hotel to sober up and get ready for tonight.

We have tickets to the 7:30pm session of Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere at Treasure Island. After having seen La Nouba 1047982 times while working there on the Disney College Program, I decided it was time to venture out into the world of Cirque du Soleil and see as many resident shows as possible while in Vegas. I lost my Cirque virginity to La Nouba, so in a sense, I felt like I was cheating on it tonight with Mystere. I tried to convince myself this was probably for the best; after all, I was on a mission to find bigger and better… than La Nouba, of course. Get your mind out of the gutter! Mystere had many similarities to La Nouba in that it was the imaginable being brought to life on stage to provide the ultimate discovery that life itself is a mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed the show probably a little bit more than La Nouba, although the first time I ever saw La Nouba, I was blown away by it all too. After Mystere we eat dinner at the Paris buffet which is absolutely delicious.

Day two is just another day of drinking down the strip only today we are rather excited because we find a place by the name of Bill’s that serves 99c margaritas and beer. Needless to say we make out way on it and indulge in a few. I must take advantage of as much cheap booze as possible now because God knows, once I get back to Australia, I’ll be paying insane prices for it. We lay out by the pool while drinking more beer and frothy beverages before it is time to go in and gussy up for tonight’s adventure.

We head to Planet Hollywood for dinner which is insanely crowded due to The Expendables movie premier going on there. It was a nice surprise to see Sylvester Stallone standing around just before we went into eat. The buffets was amazing and had food from many different countries. One of the better buffets I’ve been to in Vegas for sure. We only have a small time frame which to consume as much food as possible because tonight we are heading to… drum roll please…

Thunder from Downunder

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at The Excalibur hotel. We have been waiting patiently for this day for a few weeks now and are beyond excited to see my home boys represent. The show was absolutely insanely amazing! The boys were hotter than I can even explain. At one point, the MC asked if anyone had ever touched anything Australian before. Of course, Ali and Kellen start screaming at the top of their lungs and pointing to me. I  may have slightly blushed. The show they put on really is phenomenal and I highly recommend it to any one who’s in Vegas for a bachelorette party or just to have a good time like we were.

Best. Photo. Ever.

Ali and I wake up early on day three to head to the Cirque du Soleil ‘LOVE box office which is located inside The Mirage. This particular Cirque show was coming off a seven day dark week which meant it was more than likely going to be sold out but thought we’d try our luck. The lady selling tickets at the box office tells us the same thing we tell all the guests “We are coming back from a short break, we are sold out, only single seats left, we’re not releasing any more, yada yada yada”. I knew she was lying because this is what we use to tell everyone too even when we had seats on hold. Conveniently, as we are standing there, two seats magically appear. The only catch, they are $172.40 each. Ouch. I wasn’t planning on spending this much on a ticket but tonight is the only night we can see this show. I tell Ali I’m fine with paying it as long as she is too. We both hand over our credit cards and slightly cringe as they get swiped. This better be a good show!

So after watching LOVE I don’t feel bad about dropping the $172.40 on my ticket. It was, hands down, the best show I’ve ever seen. LOVE celebrates the musical legacy of The Beatles. Drawn from the poetry of  their lyrics, LOVE explores the content of the songs in a series of scenes inhabited by real and imaginary people. There was always so much happening I didn’t know where to look which is why I think I’ll have to see this show for a second time on my next visit back to Vegas. Incredible! While still high on energy from LOVE, we head to Jet Nightclub at The Mirage. Being Mirage guests, we get free entry; excellent, more to spend on alcohol. We drink and dance the night away.

Day four is our last full day in Vegas and also my last night in the USA before heading home. Sadness bestows me which means it is time for a drink. We make our way back to the Evening Call in Paris and refill our cups. Kellen doesn’t feel the best so I decide to take advantage of this situation and double fist. I get the Bacardi flavoured rum mixed with tropical flavoured slushy. Delicious. The best part is, I can’t even taste any alcohol so I’m just slurping these babies down as if they’re a regular 7/11 slushy. We head back to the pool for our last day of sunshine and tanning. For me, this will probably be the last time I see sun for the next few months. I have a horrible, cold winter to look forward to after tomorrow.

Tonight we have tickets to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity at New York New York. Zumanity has claimed to be the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil. It is a seductive twist on reality, making the provocative playful and the forbidden electrifying. You are asked to leave all inhibitions at the door and let loose as this Cirque production takes you on a sexy thrill ride full of sensational acrobatics and naughty fun. The show is part burlesque and part cabaret and only viewable to those 18 years and over. Again, another amazing show.

We head to Studio 54 at the MGM. There is a huge line up at the door. Tonight Lady Gaga performed at the MGM and Studio 54 is home to her official after party so the crowds are insane. It doesn’t help that she is due to walk out any minute to do a press conference and pose for the paparazzi right by the front of the club and admissions line. The security guard calls Kellen and I in right before she comes out. Bummer.

Kellen has never been to Studio 54 before but I had told him several times how it is my favourite club in Vegas because the music they play is amazing. After a few drinks, he was quick to agree. We buy each other round after round after round and after a while, I lose count as to how much we’ve consumed. We’re having such an amazing time just dancing the night away. It reaches 3am and we agree that if the next song is crappy, we will leave. Lucky for us, it isn’t, so we continue dancing like it’s nobodies business. Everywhere we look, there are girls dressed up as Lady Gaga. Once Kellen reaches his height of intoxication, he starts asking them all for photos and they kindly pose with him. Too funny. We stumble out of Studio 54 sometime after 4am and make it back to the room exactly at 5am. What a night.

The next morning is like a depressive blur. Ali and Kellen help me carry my bags out to catch a cab. I have an earlier flight out than they do so of course, I have to say my good byes to them. The cab driver finishes loading my bags into his trunk. I turn to Ali, before I even reach out to hug her I’m already crying. She starts crying too. I look over to Kellen to give him a hug and I start crying even more. I know I will be seeing them again so this makes it a little easier. I say good bye one last time then hop into the cab and cry all the way to the airport.

Good bye Las Vegas, until next time…


Twelve Hours Left in Orlando…

August 9, 2010


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Location:
Orlando, Florida, USA
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Sadly, after spending the last 13 months of my life in Orlando, Florida, it is time to depart.

Leaving for the airport at 5:30am and getting a flight out to Las Vegas at 7:55am where I will spend the next five days before flying back home to Australia.

The worst part; saying good bye to a friend I have become so close with at the airport in the morning.

Good bye, Orlando, I’ll forever cherish all the memories I’ve made here. You hold a special place in my heart ♥.

See you soon.

xo


Case Of The Diminishing Australian Accent…

February 25, 2010

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…. Here at Disney, I make the magic....

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♥ Today I got asked if my accent came from Boston.
Lady: Is that a Boston accent you have there?
Me: No, it’s Australian.
Lady:
Weird, I could have sworn you were from Boston.
Me:
Boston, Melbourne, kind of close.
Lady: *Nods in agreement.*
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On Saturday a lady yelled out to her husband, “Come check this out, this girl is from New York but her name tag says she’s from Australia!”
Lady: Why does your name tag say Australia?
Me: Because I am Australian.
Lady: You sound like you’re from New York.
Me: Pretty sure I’m Australian.
Lady: Odd.
Me: Yes, very.
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On Friday I was talking to a family, all of which had Australian accents:
Me: You guys are from Australia?
Daughter: Yes.
Me: Me too! What part?
Mum: Canberra, you?
Me: Melbourne.
Dad: YOU SOUND LIKE A BLOODY YANK!
Me: Thank you. No tickets for you.
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Last week some British couple were amazed that I said ‘cheers’…
Man: *Laughing* You said cheers, that’s funny (thinking that I’m making fun of him).
Me: Why wouldn’t I? I’m Australian.
Lady: You’re Australian?
Me: Yes *points to name tag that says Melbourne, Australia*
Man: How long have you been in the U.S. for?
Me: Seven months.
Lady/Man: Woah, sounds like you’ve been here for seven years.
Me: Thank you. No tickets for you.
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Some random day a few weeks back…
Lady: Are you really Australian?
Me: No, I just wear this name tag for fun.
Lady: Oh, OK!
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Another wonderful couple making my day…
Man: Wow, you’re a long way from home!
Me: Yes, nothing a 25 hour plane ride can’t fix.
Lady: Funny, you sound like you’re right at home though.
Me: I get that all the time.
Lady: I’m not surprised.
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And one more time just because American’s make me laugh…
Lady: Are you from Boston?
Me: Only on Wednesdays.
Lady: Good thing today is Wednesday then!
Me: Yes.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

December 31, 2009

It is such an odd concept to grasp; it is already 5:24am on January 1, 2010 back home in Melbourne, Australia.

Right now it is currently 1:24pm on December 31, 2009. Odd.

Each year I sit at home texting my mates here in the U.S. wishing them a Happy New Year almost a whole day before they actually reach it, but now that I am here, stuck in 2009, it is such a puzzling thought. Oh well. Stuck in the past it is… well, at least for the next 10.5 hours.

Oh, by the way, I’d like to thank you all for the wonderful ‘Happy New Year’ texts at 8am this morning. I was all snuggling in my blankets, sleeping and dreaming away ever so soundly when my cell phone crazily started buzzing away. Nice gesture, only I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Happy New Year to every one back home in Australia.
I hope you have a safe and prosperous 2010 and
that all your wishes and dreams come true…
and let’s be honest, they will come true because
you will all get to see me again in 2010. Ha!

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Ringing in the New Year in Australia…

Pretty much the only thing Sydney is good for.

Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks spectacular.

This year has been one of the best years of my life. There is just simply too much to mention, but if I tried to sum it up it would go something like this…

New job. New friends. Life changes. Responsibility.
Bushfires. Australians unite together.
Hating on
old job.
Excitement and good news. Stress. Quit new
job.
Quit old job (finally). Stress. Left my friends.
Left my family. Emotions. Canada. Visit old friends.
Moved my entire life. America.  Disney. Started a new life.

Overwhelmed.
New experiences. New responsibilities.
New friends. New job. New culture. New learnings.
New place in life. New outlook on life. More travels.
Old friends.
Kelly Clarkson. Missing family.
Missing friends. Missing my cat. Lonely Christmas.

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Here’s to 2010. I hope it’s an amazing year for all. I know I’m damn well looking forward to it!

xo


What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas…

November 11, 2009

Therefore this is just a blog of nothingness to let you all know that I went to Vegas for a few days. Done and done.

Haha. No, just kidding. Kidding on sparing you the details, not kidding on the actual going to Vegas part. Ah, Vegas, where to begin?

Beer #1 at Harrahs

Sharing Beer #2 with the Blue Man Group at The Venetian

Hydrating our Lion friend with Beer #3 at Treasure Island

A few mates and I flew in a couple of hours before the next set of mates arrived, so we made it our mission to drink as many beers in the short time frame we had, at as many different casinos and hotels as possible. We caught the monorail down to Harrahs and began our beer-binge there with a wonderfully cheap bottle of Bud Lime. Mmmm delicious. While walking through and observing the casino, I chugged my beer as fast as possible, only stopping for air  in between every few chugs to ensure survival. I knew I only had a short amount of time remaining before our arrival at casino number two; The Venetian.

The Venetian is so beautiful. It is like a little piece of Italy, only in the middle of the desert. The ceilings are painted with a blue sky and clouds and there is a river that runs through the middle of the hotel with several gondolas passing by. It really is spectacular. After admiring the beauty that is The Venetian for a few minutes, it was time for Beer #2. This time is was my personal favourite, a Bud Light. It was my turn to buy and conveniently, it just so happened to be happy hour at the bar we wound up at. Sweet deal; $2.25 for a bottle of Bud Light. Please, tell me where I can get beer this cheap in Australia… ummm, that’s right… NO WHERE! Another reason to add to the list of ‘why I want to move to the U.S.A.’

Chug, chug, chug. We walked as fast as our legs could carry us to Treasure Island. This is where Beer #3 was purchased. I wish I knew the name of the beer we bought, but unfortunately I have no recollection. And no, this isn’t because I was drunk (yet), but because I’ve never seen this type of beer before in my life!  I was going off Nicole and Kelly’s recommendations and, needless to say, it tasted amazing haha. By this point, the rest of our tribe had called to tell us they had landed and were on the way to the MGM (our hotel) so we started walking back down the strip to meet them there.

View of part of the Vegas strip on the walk back to the MGM

While walking back, I guess you could say the beers started to ‘take affect‘ and we got a little sidetracked by the amazingness that is the Bellagio sound and water show. I’m not sure if this happens every half hour or every hour on the hour, but what ever time it was when we were passing by,  people were crowding around so we figured it was about to start and decided to stay and watch it.  Let me tell you, it really is something. One of the prettiest sights I think I’ve seen in my life. Watching the water move so gracefully to the music is extremely calming and relaxing. I could have sat there for hours waiting and admiring, but there was no time for that, we had to get back to the hotel to meet the others.

The sound and water show out the front of The Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Ugly Sticks for everyone!

We met up with the rest of the clan at the MGM and decided it was time for more wonderful alcoholic beverages… Off to New York, New York to get Ugly Sticks from Coyote Ugly! Mmmm, Ugly Stick, I have been longing for you since we first laid eyes on each other back in 2007. I’ve spent endless nights dreaming about the day we would meet again. Today would be that day and you did not disappoint! I ordered the slushy fruit punch Ugly Stick with Bacardi 151… Now, not sure if you know your alcohol, but Bacardi 151 Rum is a high proof (75.5% alc/volume) dark rum. It is a form of over-proof rum which is not available in several countries due to its excessive alcohol content. Haha. Needless to say that, along with the beers, this went down a treat and not before too long, we were all nicely buzzed and decided it would be a great idea to have a photo with the CSI promoters. Some how after this we ended up at Wendy’s and Subway which was rather epic, and that is all I remember! Haha.

Yay for CSI Promoters and Ugly Sticks in Vegas!

A new day and new arrival. Ick, sounds like we’re in the maternity ward at a hospital. Nooooo! Just a new day in Vegas and yet another mate arriving in. Today was the day we picked up our mini van, which we later named Jan; Jan the Van haha. Jan would be our wise accomplice for the next 48 hours, however, I prefered to think of her as more a best friend forever, and by forever, I mean only two days. Before heading back to the airport, we stopped to stuff our faces with In-N-Out which is a burger joint that is really only available in California and Nevada. We had to have a group photo taken out from of In-N-Out, because, I mean, who doesn’t do that? Haha.

Jess, Don, Me, Kelly, Nicole & Kristi at In-N-Out in Las Vegas.

The hallway that never ends at the MGM!

After picking Crys up from the airport, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the nights events. Sidenote: Did I mention how bloody long the hallway leading to our hotel room at the MGM was? From our end looking down, it appeared there was no ending! Of course it was just our luck that we were literally right down the end of it! Tonight was going to be super fun and I was soooooo pumped up for it. It started with a buffet dinner at the Bellagio. Oh My God. I have never seen a buffet so amazing before in my life. The meat was delectably superb, if you are a seafood fan, then you’ve just hit the jackpot and the dessert bar was out of this world! I didn’t know what to do with myself. I wanted to eat the entire place but my stomach wouldn’t allow it! I managed maybe three main servings then some fruit and chocolate covered strawberries and I was done. My poor belly looked like I was pregnant with quads on the way but I couldn’t care less! Best buffet ever to grace this planet! I’m drooling now just sitting here and thinking about it. Do yourself a favour and go and check it out; $36 for dinner, good deal. Included non-alcoholic beverages too.

Kelly Clarkson @ The Hard Rock Hotel

Next stop was The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel to see the one and only Miss. Kelly Clarkson perform on her All I Ever Wanted Tour. Just quietly, this was our reason for going to Vegas… but don’t tell anyone that *pinky swear*. I was beyond excited for this show. We weren’t too sure about our seats but upon checking them out, we realised they were amazing and a lot closer than what the seating chart made them seem to be. Excellent. We went and chatted to some other friends at the concert before getting told to go back to our seats, boooo. The lights went down and ACDC’s You Shook Me All Night Long started blasting over the sound system. It was time. EEEEEEEEEE! My GOD! She was AMAZING! Best I’ve heard her sound in a very, very long time! She blew me away and I fell in love all over again with her voice. She performed a cover of Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes which left me speechless. It was phenominal. I could say the same words over and over again to describe how amazing this woman is, but they could never do her justice. You just have to see her live to appreciate what a talented artist Miss. Clarkson is.

And if you thought the night couldn’t get any better… you were wrong! Free entry and guest list to Studio 54 for Jess’ birthday! Wooohooo. We drank, we danced, we drank some more… I wish I could write more here but I really don’t remember much of the night hahaha. Here, maybe this photo can sum it up for you…

Extreme close up of my face. What am I doing? I will never know...

Drunk glassy eyes haha 🙂

The next morning we had to be up at 6:30 am to drive to Phoenix in Jan the Van. I thought I’d hate myself at that point but I was first up, first showered and super cheery that morning haha. Weird, I know. I guess it’s cause I learned my lesson of never mixing beer with liquor and just stuck to the beer… all seven of them 🙂 haha.

Stay tuned for our Phoenix adventures.


Dear Melbourne…

October 7, 2009

I you, really, I do. You are one of the most beautiful cities this world has to offer (Bias? Who, Me? Never!). You will always be home… BUT… and Melbourne, promise you wont hate on me, buttttt…

… I want to move to the U.S.A. on an E3 visa after my J1 visa expires and I’m done with the Disney International College Program.

Anyone know of any U.S. companies that sponsor E3 visas? Better yet… anyone want to employ me when I’m done? *cough* Marketing Travel/Tourism position *cough*

Pretty please?

LOVE this country

HOME: Melbourne, Australia

HOME: Melbourne, Australia