I am fairly certain no one reads this blog anymore.  I obviously didn’t become the obnoxious wedding blogger that I said I might – not that I didn’t become the obnoxious (obnoxious might not be the right word – how ’bout more like, spirited? orrrr…involved? whatever, I had fun! ;) ) wedding planner outside of this blog. :)  Maybe one day in the near future – or the far off future – I’ll start blogging again.  About what?  I have no idea.  Lachlan and I have thrown around the idea of starting a cooking blog, but we’ll see.  For now, on the off-chance that someone is still out there checking in, here are some photos from our August wedding.  It was truly one of the best days of my life – and looking back on this blog and my entries – I never could have imagined just how much my life would change and how lucky I would become because of my decision to move to Australia.  I love you, Lachlan! <3 

All photos with the exception of the first three taken by Meredith Perdue – www.meredithperdue.com

The following was written on June 2, 2011.  I never got around to posting it, but at the urging of my mom and fiancé :), I am now.  I hope to get back to blogging very soon.  Can’t wait to be one of those annoying wedding planning blogs… ;)

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the only person left checking this site on a regular basis is my mother. :) Therefore, this one’s for you, mommy!

I have about three months left in the land down under, and while there have been amazingly high ups and a couple of super low downs, I still wouldn’t change a moment I’ve spent here for anything.  My decision to come to Australia for a year was one I’ll never regret!  Unfortunately, my back issues have come around again to haunt me, and I’m dealing with yet another herniated disc in my lower back.  Most of my days recently have been spent reading blogs online, watching Australian television and reading some good books, because I’m not able to do much else!  Luckily, I have found love in Melbourne, and my boyfriend (Lachlan) has been incredibly patient with me and helpful in every way possible.  There have, of course, been some fun things I’ve gotten up to – a couple of weeks spent on Phillip Island, a trip to Sydney, a trip to the Gold Coast, a ride down half of the Great Ocean Road, days in the city, a million and one concerts, and countless walks/hikes around our neighborhood and the Dandenong Ranges – probably a highlight of my months here. (Mostly because of the wildlife – especially the birds!)

I’ve learned quite a few things while on this working holiday.  I plan to write an entire blog on the subject, but a running theme this year has been one of overindulgence – overindulgence in things ranging from the simple and quite frankly, understandable, (being that I’m in a new place) like foods and drinks, to things more complicated and regrettable, such as attention and compliments from others.  I’ve discovered a lot about myself and others, but perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned what I really want in life.  I love traveling and I plan on doing it for the rest of my time on this earth – there is just so much to see! – as often as my finances will allow, but I’m ready to settle down.  I want a cute little house, a garden with flowers and one with vegetables, a couple of dogs, a porch and a bbq, and a bunch of bird feeders…and Lachlan, who can’t legally live in my home country! That’s a bit of a problem, but I’m sure we’ll work it out. :)  I also think I have realized just how important it is for me to be near my family.  I know lots of people say they have the best family ever, but I REALLY do.  Like, really, I do. :)

Anyway, I am rambling on and on.  There really wasn’t much of a point to this post and it’s definitely not my best piece of writing, but it’s real and it’s me and at least you know I’m still here!

And with that, I give you photos.



Hi!  It’s me, Phoebe!  The girl that writes posts on this blog!  Or used to write posts on this blog!  Do you remember me?? I understand fully if you don’t.

Sorry I have been absolutely terrible about updating this site.  I guess I have just been too busy…living. 

I love Australia.  I have become comfortable here so quickly, and I have to say thank you to the three guys I am living with for playing a huge role in that.  I couldn’t have found a better group of people to stay with and while I don’t know that they themselves believe this to be true, I believe they’re of a much higher quality than most human beings.  And while these almost two months haven’t been without their “downs,” there have been far more “ups,” and I think I can say I am happier now than I have ever been at any given time since being maybe, 10. :)  I promise to write a proper blog or two, or 10, in the next couple of weeks so I can share with anyone who may still be out there following me everything that I’ve been up to.  I know I said this in my last post but I will also respond to anyone who has commented and e-mailed recently!

Here are a few photos to entertain you until I return again. :)

 

Point Nepean

 

Late night beach going on Phillip Island.

Buried in the sand...

Feeding Kangaroos. :)

Petting a Kangaroo...

The boys...er...men?? nah...guys...I am living with.

No longer buried in the sand...

Hiking/Camping - Cathedral Ranges

Point Nepean again

Mas Point Nepean

I’ve now been in Australia for 10 full days.  I’m definitely still adjusting to everything here – not only to living in a new country but also to living with people!  And not just people, but strangers! I had been living alone for the last 9 years, with the exception of the last month with my family, and now I’m living with three guys I don’t really know all that well…in a place I don’t know at all. It’s a bit overwhelming.  They have been amazingly nice and accommodating but I can’t help but feel a tiny bit like I’m cramping their style.  Yes, I’m on a year-long holiday but they have normal every day lives to get on with.  I hate being dependent on other people but at the same time I almost have to be in a place I am so unfamiliar with! Super whine fest from me today, I know.  Shush Phoebe, you’re in a foreign country for a year with basically no responsibilities! I sound like a spoiled brat.  MOVING ON.

I saw a Kookaburra the other day and it was so freakin’ cute.  And I saw a few Crimson Rosellas that are really beautiful.  Ah, what else…I ate pizza with egg on it and it really wasn’t that bad at all.  And I’ve (sort of) mastered the art of ordering coffee here.  So far I have only had what they call a “Flat White,” which I think is basically like a latte/cappuccino without the foam?  Whatever it is, it’s awesome.  I am slowly getting used to being on the left side of the road in a car and I’ve even gotten a lot better at remembering to walk to the left.

Enough of an update for now.  I’m hoping to find a job or at least find a place to volunteer sometime soon so I can expand my social circle and not have to rely on the same people to hang out with me. :)  Back to watching baseball on television – a little slice of home.

There.  I said it.  I have been a bad blogger.  Sorry I have been M.I.A. for so long, but I was caught up in spending time with my family and friends before leaving the U.S. Probably 70% of the people who read this blog are people I was hanging out with anyway and I think they were okay with going without new blog entries for a few weeks in exchange for the chance to experience my thoughts in real-time. :)

But back to the whole point of this internet site of ramblings – I am now in Melbourne!  I arrived in Sydney on Saturday at 6 am and landed in Melbourne just a little before 11 am.  So, I have now been here almost…2 whole days? (I really have to think hard to figure out what day it is.)  It’s almost 4 am by the way – I still have not gotten used to the time change!  While I haven’t done a whole lot yet, I am so far very impressed with this country and with the city of Melbourne.  Every person I’ve encountered has been so friendly and helpful, and while I realize that’s usually the case in airports and hotels – more so than in everyday life anyway – the level of friendliness just seems to be extra high.

A few things I’ve noticed/ things I am having trouble getting used to/stories I have from the trip:

- Walking on the left side.  I was a big snob when it came to walking to the right back home.  I would get so angry when people would walk right into me or go to the left – and now I’m the one walking into people because I keep forgetting to go to the opposite side!

- Immigration took my almonds and trail mix away. :(  I was so bummed, mostly because it was about $500 at LAX.

- I was pleasantly surprised to be put in Premium Economy for my Virgin Blue flight from Sydney to Melbourne.  Free television, headphones, food, drink, newspapers…chocolates!  Can I please fly that way always??  I also had a very nice chat with one of the flight attendants and he offered me his e-mail address in case I “get into trouble.”  I wonder if that’s a typical PE perk? :)

- Palm trees!  I know there are palm trees in the U.S. but even so, I am psyched to be living in a city that has them.

-My hotel room is AWESOME.  I absolutely love hotels anyway, but this one has a full kitchen, living area, bedroom, nice bathroom (with like, half a shower door…what is up with that?) and a huge balcony.

Yesterday I caught up with one of my Melbourne contacts I’d “met” on the internet months ago and he and his brother gave me a quick little tour of the city.  It was nice to get a general idea of the layout of the place and get my bearings.  As far as I can tell, Melbourne is much more spread out than Boston – but I think Boston is one of the most compact cities ever.  I don’t want to be all comparing and contrasting the U.S. and Australia on a constant basis, but Melbourne sort of reminds me of a mix between NYC and San Diego?  And there are houses with porches that remind me of something you’d see in New Orleans, even though I have never been there. The plan for Monday is to find a grocery store to purchase some food so I stop spending my every dollar on minibar/room service goodies.  Not to mention the fact that I can’t really remember the last time I ate a vegetable?  I think it was in LA. (EDIT: I actually had spinach in my omelette yesterday!) I’m also going to try to find the gym in this hotel since I’ve been doing a whole lot of sitting on my butt for the past 3 or so days. I am really looking forward to just walking around the city for a bit and exploring though.

I have recently received a few e-mails from blog readers and I promise I will get back to you all soon! The cost for internet in the hotel is kind of outrageous so I’ve been limiting myself…or at least attempting to. :)

While I can’t be sure yet, I have a feeling that I made a great decision in choosing to move here. Back to sleep now! (EDIT: First time I went back to sleep it was 4:30.  This is now my second “back to sleep” because I keep waking up and adding things to this.  I need to stop! and now I hear that darn bird outside that sounds like a duck!)

(The photo is so far the only one I’ve taken in Australia.  It’s one of the views from my hotel balcony.  The shitty quality can be attributed to the fact that it was taken with my piece of junk prepaid Nokia I purchased at Sydney Airport. :) )

Well, there was no cash windfall for this girl in Las Vegas.  No, not because I went and drunkenly gambled away my money on slot machines or because I’m a bad poker player (although, I am), but because I never even made it to the sweltering 105 degree city of sin. Thanks to a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad tooth infection, I’ve had a pretty shit month of July so far and therefore, a pretty shit vacation, which began on July 2nd.  I am so upset over the fact that I had to cancel my trip to Vegas- a trip that was 100% for my best friend – my best friend whose WEDDING I can’t attend! :(  I feel so bad and even though I know she understands and she knows if there was any way at all I could have been there, I would have, I can’t help but want to come up with some way to make it up to her.  Not sure what I’ll do or how I’ll do it but I’m going to make it happen somehow.  I realize of course that there are many worse things which occur that then cause the derailing of plans, and I am glad in this case it was only (I hope anyway) a curable tooth infection, but I am still so sad for my friend whose party I wasn’t able to attend.

Off to soothe my tooth by sipping on peppermint herbal(that there “h”…it’s silent.=P)tea, my back by relaxing in my comfy (this adjective is debatable) bed, and my mind/heart with a little chick flick action via Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Even though I know I have only 20 more nights left in this apartment, it still hasn’t truly sunk in that I’m leaving.

Today is the first of July which means beginning with today, and for the following 30 days, I can say “NEXT MONTH I am leaving for Australia.”  That freaks me out a bit. :)

Sometimes I feel the desire to write fluff posts on here; posts without any deep meaning and profound words of wisdom, but I tend not to because so many of my entries on here ARE so introspective and filled with all of these (I hope anyway) great life lessons.  I feel like the fluff will seem stupid in comparison, which it will.  But, I am not going to hold back the meaningless banter any longer!  I want to be able to post more often and so there will be a slight change in the blog in that some of my entries will be filled with…stupidity.  Also, I am sure when I get to Australia and start to blog more often, there will be some days when I just want to share silly stories, etc.

Moving on – Yes, today starts my final month in Boston.  I am taking some vacation time starting today, and won’t be returning to work until July 13th, the day I plan to give notice to my boss that my final day will be July 30th.  I am going to miss the people I’ve worked with here in my department, but I can’t say I will miss the actual work!  My vacation this month will consist of my parents coming to visit tomorrow through Saturday or Sunday, a couple of days to myself, and then on the 8th I am off to LAS VEGAS!!! until the 11th for my best friend’s bachelorette party.  She is getting married in December, and since I will be on the other side of the world, I am unable to attend. :(  To make up for that as much as possible, we decided to go all out with the bachelorette party and have it in Vegas.  I have only been to Vegas once before, but I surprisingly (I thought I would hate the place), had a blast, so I’m really looking forward to this trip.

After returning from Vegas, I’ll have 3 weeks left in Boston.  I know July is going to fly by.  In early August, I’ll be going to Gloucester, MA for my family’s annual girls vacation.  The girls on my mom’s side of the family – my grandmother, my mom, 3 or 4 of my aunts and 4 of my cousins – all stay in Gloucester near the beach for 3 nights in the summertime.  It’s a great little tradition we’ve started and I’m especially excited this year because my youngest cousin Henri will be in attendance, all the way from Seattle!  Yes, he is “breaking the rules,” as he’s a boy, but we forgive him because he’s so darn cute and because some of us have yet to meet him.  Then, I plan on spending the remainder of my time before leaving for Australia in Westfield, MA with my parents.  Western Massachusetts is beaaaaaaautiful, especially in the summer and fall.  There will be lots of farmer’s markets, long walks in parks, feeding of the baby goats at the petting zoo, farm stand homemade ice cream, picking of fresh flowers, iced coffees on the patio, and lazing around at my parents’ house. :)  I am very, very excited for the month of August.  My birthday will be in there as well, and even though I’ll be 28, I still get giddy like a little kid for my birthday.  I’ve always been a fairly healthy eater, but lately I’ve been trending toward a vegetarian/organic lifestyle and I plan on making this cake for my birthday. I’ll be sure to give an honest review of it!

I think this is a sufficiently fluff filled blog post. Basically, I am really looking forward to the coming months and the big change of moving. I’d also like to thank all of the people who have recently commented on here – it’s so nice to know that there are people out there reading and relating to what I’ve written – and it’s also awesome to learn that there are more blogs out there for me to read. My Google Reader has about a million of ‘em now, and I say keep ‘em comin’. Thank you also to those of you reading who don’t comment – I’m a silent reader of a bunch of blogs myself and that’s great too. :)

Hope all of my American (and Aussie in America) readers have a wonderful 3 day, 4th of July weekend.  I’ll be celebrating in my own little way, by munching on a veggie burger (this kind is so good and no soy!!) while watching the fireworks over the Charles from my apartment window for the last time!

I have received this same sheet of paper in the mail every June for the last eight years and each time prior to this one I’d feign deep thought (for about 20 seconds) over the decision of whether or not I should renew my lease, and then I’d throw a check mark above the top short line and call it a day.  Even the three times the rental company upped the rate by $25, I never truly considered moving out.  For the first time when faced with this letter of intent, I sincerely hesitated…however, not about my decision to renew, but about the decision I made months ago that I was going to reject the offer of a new 12 month lease.  You can clearly see in the photo above what I chose to do, but for a good 15 minutes I really considered closing out a decade in Boston in my Beacon Hill digs.

I can’t believe after eight years in my teeny, tiny, downtown Boston studio apartment (and almost nine years in Boston), I am really moving out. :(  No, I don’t think I’m making the wrong choice, and it is absolutely time for me to move on to bigger and better different things (see: Australia, a place with a kitchen maybe?, etc.) but that doesn’t mean a small part of me won’t BAWL over the thought that this amazingly important and wonderful chapter of my life is coming to an end.

I’ve always prided myself on being fairly open minded.  I like to think I give the benefit of the doubt more often than not and I try my best to trust new people in my life until they do something that gives me reason not to.  However, I’ve recently learned a bit of a lesson relating to this subject.  It’s one thing to give someone a chance, to get to know someone before passing judgment, but it’s another to continue to allow someone chances just because you don’t have tangible proof something is awry, and despite the fact that there are hints in the form of huge red flags and bright, flashing neon signs around every corner warning that you ought to run quickly in the other direction.

As, “it is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust,” I’m going to continue to trust people and to even allow people to sometimes screw me over after I’ve put my trust in them. I don’t think it’s smart to become bitter and jaded and go around the world thinking everyone I meet has an agenda or ulterior motives in getting to know me.  That will only cause me to become a nasty, unfriendly human being, and I have no interest in being that sort of person.  If Anne Frank could feel that “…in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart,” surely I can continue to believe it as well.

You might think after this “revelation” I wouldn’t feel as I’ve stated above and I’d instead feel the opposite and decide to remove all trust from my life. No, I actually plan on adding more of it…this time in myself; my instincts.  Sometimes your gut tells you something is off, whether it’s referring to a situation or another person or whatever, and often times I think I ignore that gut instinct because I think I should be that super trusting, open minded, blah blah blah person.  I wait until there’s some concrete proof that the situation or person is shady, creepy, conniving…whatever the case may be, and I shouldn’t do that.  There’s something to be said for that little voice in the back of your head, often times it really knows the deal, and occasionally it’s better to simply listen to it, and without factual evidence, turn in the opposite direction, and never look back.

The universe likes to throw things or folks at us to shake things up, challenge us or just see how we’ll react (at least, it likes doing that to me) and this is how I’d like to respond…Universe, cheers for this most recent lesson you have taught me.  At this time, kindly take your shady people and your silly shenanigans and shove ‘em.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a trip to Australia to plan and enjoy.

Four months from this day I will be landing in Australia. I’ve booked a hotel room in Melbourne for the first five nights I’m there, but where I go and how I get there after that is wide open.

Today, I took somewhere around a six-mile walk (which was huge for me considering my injury.  I’m happy to report that a few hours after getting home, I’m feeling great!) around the Charles River and was reminded how much I love venturing into unknown territory.  I’ve walked near the Charles many times, but I followed a slightly different route for this journey (partially by choice, partially thanks to road construction) and while it only took me to unfamiliar sections of Boston and Cambridge, and not an entirely new city or country, it was liberating nonetheless. When I was faced with the road work detour, I thought about my future trip to Australia and how excited I’ll be to just get out and explore.

Sometimes I find it hard to resist the feeling of complete security in Boston.  It is relatively safe, and living here for many years, having my little routine, often allows me to forget that it is a major city, but obviously you have to take precautions when roaming about any city or some foreign land.  There is a very fine line between bravery and stupidity.  My year in Australia will be filled with moments where I should remind myself to be careful and cautious, and I will, but that won’t stop me from doing one of the things I love most, setting off into a strange place, discovering both its marked, well-known aspects and its off the beaten path, hidden gems, and reveling in that great feeling I experience once I have conquered a new locale all on my own.

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