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. :) )