Friday, 29 January 2016

Melbourne Holiday: The Pancake Parlour and Melbourne Museum

Monday on my little Melbourne holiday meant the last full day in Melbourne and it was bittersweet.  I adore my family and couldn't wait to get home to tell them about everything but I also never wanted to leave Melbourne!  It's one of my favourite places to be and I'd have no problems if I was told I had to live there.

For breakfast we went to The Pancake Parlour and I was keen!  I love pancakes and was looking forward to eating there!  We'd found where is was on a previous day when we were just walking around town so it didn't take us very long to get there. Because we had coupons we ended up getting a Short Stack which included 2 pancakes and then you got to select a topping.  I opted for whipped cream and also asked for some bacon which was yum!  I also picked up an orange juice as well because I felt like something other than water!

The pancakes were delicious and the staff were also amazing!  I nearly said they were delicious but no we're going to stick with amazing hahaha  I loved that you could partially see into the kitchen and see the meals being prepared!  I do wish we hadn't stuck to what was on offer with the coupons.  Sure they saved you money but it also really limited what you could buy and also I never really get to go to Melbourne and I can have normal pancakes any day at home so next time I'm there, I'm going to pay a bit extra and get something different!

After breakfast we had a look around a few stores and walked our breakfast off before going to get a free tram to the museum.  Free trams are great because you don't have to pay for them but it also means every other tourist is thinking this way so they do get a little squishy.  If you're not cool with people being in your personal space then the ride isn't the most comfortable.

It was a short walk from where the tram dropped us off to the museum and being a student who has studied architectural history, I was in awe walking around looking at the buildings.  They were just stunning.  There must have been a uni graduation ceremony happening because there were some students posing in front of the Royal Exhibition Building and I don't blame them!  Was an absolutely stunning backdrop!  Walking through the Carlton Gardens was also beautiful.  I love tree lined road and walking beneath the trees along the path was just so nice!

After taking just enough photos of the buildings we finally went into the museum and again managed to go to a place where a school would be also having a look around.  I was hoping that seeing as they were older than primary school kids, their manners would be a little bit better but I was wrong sadly.  It's just annoying sometimes, people can be annoying but you just have to grin and bear it.

Ever since I've been at uni, I have been a lover of museum and art galleries.  Might have something to do with my uni being right next to a museum and I'd go over there to whenever I had time to waste, but I do have a greater appreciation or art, artifacts, installations - I just love wandering through the spaces.  I've never been the biggest fans of dinosaurs, growing up, but it's interesting to stand beside the skeleton of them.  Like being up in the sky in a plane, you really see how small you are.  Some of their bones were nearly the size of me and I'm going, man I am TINY!  I don't know how I'd feel if scientists somehow manage to do their science stuff and bring dinosaurs to walk on earth again...  I personally liked looking to see what interesting shadows their skeletons could make!

As a book lover, Cole's Book Arcade was just magical and I spent quite a lot of time just admiring this bit of the museum.  I waited til everyone also left just so I could take a video to show mum!

The Milarri Garden Walk was such a nice area.  If you could smell what I was, oh my goodness it was amazing.  It was also nice to go to an area of the museum where no one else had ventured too yet and so I got to experience it all without any distractions.

I love rocks and minerals and was honestly devastated when the annoying message popped up on my phone saying that my phone had run out of memory!  My phone normally only wants to keep maybe 300 photos on a good day but for some reason, it was still going strong with nearly over a thousand photos and just as we got into the rocks and mineral part of the museum, I get that annoying message!  Well I deleted apps, messages, anything that was taking up space!  Mum said later on that I should have deleted music off my phone as well!  There was also a set of scales which told you how much you would weigh in gold, so I was like why not.  And apparently I'm worth $37,020.00 per kilo...


We had lunch at the museum as well and that was an interesting experience!  We got some vegetarian sushi and kept up our water drinking because when in Melbourne you just drink water, water and nothing other than water!  I do love me some sushi and was chuffed with myself that I'm not gagging or anything when I eat avocado however wasabi.  I have a bone to pick with you wasabi.  Why you feel like you need to look like a blob of avocado?  Because I saw what I thought was a nice dollop of avocado and so I was like right, time to eat this.  But was it avocado?  No, no it was not.  It was a massive dollop of wasabi.  Next few minutes were painful for me, funny for others, but I was not laughing!  Seriously wasabi, what did I ever do to you??!?!

Minus the wasabi incident, I really loved my time at the museum.  The building itself was incredible and I walked around looking at the details of the building, the materials, how it flowed, as well as what was on show.  If you're ever in Melbourne and have time to spare, I urge you to visit the museum!

We caught the free tram back and ended up going on a loop that the free tram takes.  Now it was a little cosy taking the tram in the morning but it was very squishy and hot and stinky on the way back.  I was barely on the seat and had someones butt in my face which was provided an interesting ride.  When the tram emptied, I moved to sit where there was a little breeze because I was uncomfortable and wanted some space!  And it was so nice!  Our little tram tour of Melbourne was nice and I regret not getting off to to the Melbourne Star!  I've seen it so many times and it's something which I wish I had actually just gone and seen even if it meant going on my own!

We have one last day of my little Melbourne holiday and then I have a blog post coming up on what I purchased and then that's it!  Going to be weird to not be writing out traveling and everything that I discovered and loved, think this means I'm going to have to save up some money and hop on a plane again!

Until next time, keep smiling :)  Em xx

PS!! Come and say hello!!! :) x

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Finding Comfort In Gloomy Days

The weather definitely has an influence on my mood.  But sometimes not in the way people would usually expect.  Normally thunderstorms aren't something that I'll find comfort in but today I'm currently feeling the most relaxed I have in a long time.

It's summer currently in Australia and I'll be honest, summer isn't my favourite season.  I don't cool down very well and no matter how hydrated I stay I'll just feel blah!  And going outside isn't really an option either - sun and heat stroke and getting burnt isn't how I like to spend my days!  Also the hot weather also brings the fires and Tasmania has had under a hundred fires within a short space of time and that is just terrifying!  I'm a bit biased because autumn is my favourite season..  Has nothing to do that my birthday falls within it!  I can warm up easier and there is nothing I love more than to cosy up inside and either read a book or be productive on my laptop.  Ok I'm never really productive on my laptop but it's the thought that counts!

I used to be terrified of thunderstorms and really I still am on the fence about them.  During the night and when they're mental and the lightening literally lights up my room - Emma is not happy.  Also when I can feel our home shaking, yeah I don't like that.  But nice gentle rolls of thunder at night is nice and peaceful.  And during the day time as well, a thunderstorm can bring peace and calm which I fully welcome.

It has been quite a gloomy day and without turning lights on, home is dark and dull.  But oddly enough I am enjoying it.  I'm sitting with a nice view of the outside and have my laptop with me.  I've had a warm drink and spoke to one of my closest friends from the mainland.  Sorting through photos for future blog posts, watching YouTube videos and listening to music on Spotify has been nice and comforting.  I have also been playing the Kim Kardashian Hollywood game on my laptop which isn't the most productive thing in the world but oh well!

The smell of the rain is easily one of my favourite smells.  Petrichor.  Fancy bit of word for you haha!  And also listening to the rain, it was so nice.  It's just started up again and seems heavier this time but the smell is back!  I really wish I could find a fragrance of when rain hits the earth but I highly doubt it'd be anything like what I'm smelling right now.

Hope you're having a wonderful time wherever you are in the world

Until next time, keep smiling :)  Em xx

PS!! Come and say hello!!! :) x

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Melbourne Holiday: Melbourne Zoo

Sunday on my little Melbourne holiday started with a slow start.  We didn't get back to our apartment until the early hours of the morning and sleep was in order!  I know it was a holiday and people would say "get out and do stuff!" but I'd much rather do stuff and be wide awake!

I don't think we anticipated how long the walk would be to get to the zoo.  Also the humidity didn't help either!  What I did love about walking there though was you got to see so much more.  When you're in a taxi or tram you're not going at a walking pace and although you'll arrive at your destination faster you miss out on taking the surroundings.  We walked past where the University of Melbourne and it was nice to see the buildings and architecture, and also where I might be studying if I do another degree after my current one!

Maybe over half an hour later we arrived and I was buggered!  Seeing as we slept through breakfast time, the only thing on my mind was getting something to eat!  So once we paid for our entry and was helped out by one of the zoo staff (who was an absolute sweetheart!) we went straight to a cafe!  I got a spinach and feta roll and also a thing of freckle lollies because I felt like it!  I made some new friends while eating as well...  A few pigeons, who were so lovely and friendly, pecked around at my feet while I ate!

Having never been to the zoo before we followed the map we were given and sorted out a route we'd take and off we went.  Like with the aquarium is was an awesome experience seeing animals I'd never usually get to see.  I LOVE meerkats and would have spent hours watching them.  They are just the cutest!  Some of the animals I have to say weren't that cooperative with having their photos taken.  You could just see them with your own eyes but trying to get a photo of them was near impossible!  Sumatran Tiger I am talking to you!!

It's funny trying to also take photos and have to deal with tourists..  If I see people trying to take photos I'll walk behind and not straight through their shot.  Half of my photos were full of people walking through and I'm going "can't you see I'm taking a photo?!?!?!" and then I'd normally give up from that spot and move to another area!  Was also funny seeing the squabbles that broke out over how photos looked.  One half of a duo was complaining the photo taker didn't capture the atmosphere of the zoo and the poor photo taker was looking awfully confused!

I also let my inner kid be free when I saw there was a maze.  The Wombat's Secret Maze or 'Loos Yourself' was a refreshing change to being bumped into by tourists!  I found the centre bit quite easily but if I was a lot shorter things would have been different!  There was also a toilet seat with a mirror - perfect opportunities for photos!  And also who can resist a tunnel slide?!  Was a bit awkward when I got slightly stuck but fun nonetheless!

Growing up I've seen hundreds of photos of elephants and have seen them on the tv and I'd be thinking yeah they're quite big..  It was totally surreal to see one in person.  It was feeding time for some of the elephants and I was just in awe.  They have the most gorgeous eyes I have ever seen.  And they are huge.  I honestly felt like a mouse or maybe a meerkat.

One thing I loved about the zoo was watching the other people.  This goes for any place really, but I just love watching people.  Not in a stalkerish way but it's just so nice to see how everyone reacts to seeing an elephant or monkey.  Or the people who try to not look interested but inside they're probably jumping up and down!  Little kids also provided some chuckles.  You'd have parents trying to get a reaction for adorable photos but the kid would just stand there with a blank face probably thinking "mum you are so embarrassing, it's a big cat, wow."!!

The people who work here were also awesome!  The lady we initially spoke to was amazing and everyone we came across seemed completely genuine which was so nice to see.  If you had a question, no matter how big or small, they'd be more than happy to answer and no one ever looked at you weirdly when you told them you'd walked all the way from the city to get here instead of taking the sensible option of getting a taxi or taking the tram!

Has anyone ever been to the Melbourne Zoo or any other zoos?  I'd love to go and visit more in the future :)

Until next time, keep smiling :)  Em xx

PS!! Come and say hello!!! :) x

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

That One Time I Crashed A Spaceship

Ok before anyone thinks I've managed to get up to space and crash and actual spaceship let me explain!

You may or may not know, but I play the clarinet and this is my 13th year of playing!  For the past 10 years around the start of January (normally while it is stinking hot) there has been a performing arts summer school and for the last few years I've been lucky enough to be a tutor which I have absolutely loved.

The week is pretty full on and I am normally buggered by the end of the first day!  I was a bit absent from social media the other week - I'd have a full day of music, come home, exercise and eat, sleep!  Being a tutor allowed me to work with the younger players during the day and then after lunch I'd go and play with the symphonic people.  This year I got to work with kids who had been playing for less then a year and they were so lovely!  I worked with the clarinets as that is my best instrument and goodness they were the sweetest kids!  They asked questions and didn't interrupt while you were explaining - they were amazing!

One of the pieces they were playing was called Teachers From Outer Space and this required four of the tutors to do some acting.  There was one reporter and 3 teachers from outer space and I landed the coveted role of teacher from outer space 1!  My lines were quite easy to learn as I didn't really have that many but I think I scored the best part!  I was responsible for the spaceship crashing as well which goes pretty well with my actual self!  Driving isn't my strong point, but I've never crashed a car or anything!!!  There were some cracking jokes, most of which the little kids didn't understand but when we went through it in rehearsals and they loved it!

The day of the concert, myself and the two other ladies who would be teachers raided the costume and props department and we struck gold!  One of the parents had brought in this bright red bob cut wig for me to wear and paired with what we found with props and costumes we looks AMAZING!  Gold and feathers and halos and a weird jacket with spoons sewn onto them and matching sunglasses - we looked fabulous.

Because there wasn't enough space for everyone to sit and watch the actual concert, we had a little matinee one where we'd be able to see the vocal ensemble and everyone else would be able to see Teachers From Outer Space.  Even though I'm not the most outgoing person around I had so much fun!  Everyone got the jokes and I'm honestly waiting to find a video online of it...  That's actually a little scary.  So many people had their phone up while we were up there!

The concert itself went really well!  I was so proud of the little kids and can't wait to see what they get up to this year!  Our performance again for Teacher From Outer Space I loved!  We ended up putting makeup on terribly as well...  Bright pink lipstick to clash with my red hair, red and orange lip crayons as contour - we were stylish!  When we went to change and make ourselves look presentable for the rest of the performances, Alex, who played the reporter said one of his friends was there and it was already making the rounds on Snapchat...  Oh the joys of the internet and social media!

I was buggered when the Symphonic Band finished playing.  We were right at the end and I also had to play with the intermediate group so composers hardly like to give clarinet players a break!  Also the hall was a bit hot inside so that didn't help anything!  We all joked that I would be retiring from music and starting my new career in acting - Tom Hiddleston here I come!!!

As much as my lips hurt by the end of the week I absolutely had an amazing time!  Music and clarinet will always be one of my passions and I am looking forward to whatever we get up to in music this year!  Going to be a busy year ahead but I am keen!

Anyone else crashed a spaceship?  Would be nice to know that I'm not along hahaah ;)

Until next time, keep smiling :)  Em xx

PS!! Come and say hello!!! :) x