Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Home sweet home!

I have been home for a few weeks now and a lot has been going on!

The flights back were so long and tiring and i was so anxious to just get to the airport to see my amazing boyfriend, sisters and grandma and grandpa who came to pick me up! My parents had to work so i had to wait and see them. I cried tears of joy i was so happy to be able to hug Baden and see everyone in person again! Finally! I stared out the window like i was in a foreign place, every thing here looked so weird i can't explain it! I got very excited about little things like normal bacon at breakfast and American money that looks weird! But i didn't enjoy the heat and humidity, it was hard to breathe, i'll love it again soon but i got used to the winter weather there haha I had jet lag for a while sleeping until 3 pm staying up until 4 or 5 am eating way to early in the morning. I felt like a zombie for a full week i think. I got to give everyone the souvenirs i was so eager to give them and show some more pictures.

And shortly after i got back my boyfriend treated me to a trip to one of my favorite places of all time... SEAWORLD! I fed the dolphins and he did also for the first time and it was so much fun, now he really knows why i love them so much. :) It was so much fun and a great end to the summer. I ran to get us 3rd row back, very center, in the soak zone for the Shamu Believe show! The water was...refreshing lol We even got to stay for the Shamu rocks show at night which was awesome! Thanks babe for everything!

It took me going to spirit week for my sorority ZTA to get me back into some kind of routine and normal schedule. I was so excited to see all the girls and these past few weeks have become so close with girls i hardly knew last year and i love being part of it all again. It's keeping me very busy which is great so i really never had time to sit and really be sad and miss New Zealand, i talk about it when people ask but it's hard trying not too, the program told us we would be annoying and not shut up about it and things would remind us about something there and we'd mention it all the time, i have been some but i am also trying not to so i'm not a broken record. lol

Even though everything has been great i still really miss New Zealand and the friends i made there, luckily i have Lara here with me and guess who came to visit the other day... Phil! He is finally back from New Zealand and drove from his hometown of Fort Lauderdale very close to us!

This week is recruitment for ZTA and it is my last one, i am officially a senior this year and trying to do as much as i can to live up this last year! I have a feeling it is going to be such a great school year and i am very excited! I am still undecided about keeping another blog because i am not sure if my life is as adventurous and exciting as it was in New Zealand lol, i know nothing can compare to bungy, or climbing mountains and such, but this year is important to me so i would like to share it with all of you!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wrapping things up...

At work this week we finished sorting sediment and the other day Steve gave us some results! 5 pages of graphs that we have to figure out what they even mean by using books and resources, after we figure it out they said for practice writing up a scientific paper. So we’re trying to put something together, it is hard though with not that much time left. Also the research is not completely over; AUT is going to continue to get data for each season to compare if the diversity changes over the seasons.

Yesterday we had a huge pizza party that our boss Steve let us invite our other Australearn friends interning here at other places! And it made us marine biologists here feel so important because he gave a speech! It started with how the last interns left a bad taste in his mouth and how WE (Nigeen, Lara, Hannah, Sabrina, Moriah and I) have been excellent!! He thanked us so much for everything we have done and said that the amount of data and work that we have done over the last 2 months is a little less than a PhD. He also said that they were very frantic all day because Clara had to create a poster with everything to present and they will now possibly get a $400,000 dollar GRANT!!!!! He said that without us they wouldn’t have been able to make the tender, he even said if we ever wanted to come back and sort more sediment we would have a real job here! Even Clara who didn’t want to give a speech admits she lovesssss us! I felt so proud of myself that I was part of real science, I still have a lot to learn but I’m getting there one day at a time!

Now that it’s getting towards the end I keep having flashbacks from the first week and how we all just met and everything was so new, things have changed so much since then and everything has been so remarkable! This is not going to be my last visit to New Zealand and it won’t be the last time I see the friends I’ve become so attached to here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Wednesday the 29th we went to work until lunch break and sorted as fast as we could! I got to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little sister Jennifer who was in New York with the cousins! I hope you had a great birthday jenny! I had to call the 29th since it’s your real birthday the 28th back in the states! Lol Wish I could have been there with you! I owe you birthday punches! Just kidding! Love you sis! Then I grabbed my luggage and Lara and I met the others to go to the airport! For someone who hardly ever travels, I have been on so many flights this summer its crazy! We flew to Queensland, the Gold Coast and stayed in surfer’s paradise!!!!!! We had a luxurious stay at the Marriott hotel thanks to Lara’s dad who hooked us up! It made us go “WOW.” once we saw it, that’s all I can say! The pool was salt water and had over 400 tropical fish you could snorkel to see and a lazy river that led to another pool then a huge hot tub in a cave! What a resort! Now I won’t want to go back to the apartment in the city! All of us enjoyed the hot tub and passed out early because the time difference is 2 hours earlier there so it felt late to us.

Thursday the 30th
We planned on sleeping in and woke up at 7am! The few hour time change really through us off, but we didn’t mind we had breakfast and were all soooo energetic and excited to get bathing suits on for the beach! Finally it feels like summer after a winter in NZ! The sun was so hot I have missed it so much! We ran down the beach, into the water, climbed up sand dunes, did cartwheels, Baywatch running and took tons of jumping pictures! After all of that…we passed out on our towels and baked in the sun! The tide came up and we laughed as Hannah and Courtney got soaked and looked so confused! Hannah’s purse started floating away haha It got cool once the sun went behind the tall buildings so we walked 4 minutes back to the resort and used the hot tub again! After everyone took showers we all napped for a while and Hannah, Sabrina, Courtney and I decided to go out! It was such a fun night! It had the best music to dance to and the entire road was extremely busy with people!

Surfer's paradise= HEAVEN

I love Baden! Australia!

Our balcony view was of the city and some of my dream homes! lol

Friday the 31st
We slept in some but went to the beach early again! Some of my friends rented surf boards and boogie boards and I watched them struggle to stand! Another hot day under the Australian sun. Surfer’s paradise is definitely paradise! We layed out all day until the sun went behind the buildings again and we all went to the hot tub, I love this routine! We all tried going out at night, even Lara and Phil but since it was the weekend it was too expensive to get in so we had New York pizza (not the same but so yummy) then went to bed!

Saturday the 1st of August- I can’t believe its August already!
Today is the day I get to see Kangaroos and Koalas!! Everyone woke up and we walked downstairs for breakfast and I had the most delicious chocolate pancakes! Then we hopped on the bus to take us to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. (my friends just told me I use too many exclamation marks but I feel like everything is exciting so it sounds boring if I don’t haha) The first thing we ran to was the Koala’s and they were adorable. Usually they aren’t as active and just sleep but the first group we saw hopped on the branches, chewed their food and looked at us. I loved them! After we admired the Koala’s with our Ooo’s and Ahh’s we went into the gate where all the Kangaroos! I pet them and fed them! They hop right up to me and it was the cutest thing ever. There were wallabies in there too. We stayed with them for a while until we walked around and found even more Australian animals like Wombats and Dingo’s! The Australian Aboriginal dancers had a show so we got to watch them play instruments and dance their traditional dances. One was a bird pecking the ground! After we met them and got a picture. The day ended with my favorite part… I held a Koala bear! His name was River and he is 5 years old! Funny story… I waited in line with Hannah and Courtney and usually I don’t rub things in but I turned and go “haha I get to go first!” Then she puts him down because he started peeing!!!! Ew. I was a little hesitant after that but still wanted to hold him…then he pooped while each of us held him and she goes its “okay they do hundreds a day just leave a space it’ll fall to the ground.” It made the experience very entertaining! I went to the NY pizza place for the third time with Hannah, Court and Sabs and it was still good! Then we went home to eat Tim Tams (best cookies ever, I hope the states gets them!) and listen to the music channel all night.


This video is of me feeding a couple of Kangaroos! I loved them, so cute!

This video shows the funniest Kangaroo ever, slow motion hops... and an itch haha

This is known more as a New Zealand symbol, it's the first step to the fern plant!
The Dingo!
The Wombat!

Us with the Aboriginal Dancers!

He wins the BEST face award! :)

Feeding Kangaroos in Australia! So amazing!
Me holding River... he really was adorable!
Sunday the 2nd of August
We woke up in time to see the fish feeding at the pool and saw the Doris up close. Then the girls and I went to the cafĂ© by the beach for some yummy eggs and bacon. We souvenir browsed on our way to the surf board rentals booth and then I watched them try surfing again. Today was the day they each stood up at least once or twice! I was so proud of them! We had to go back to the hotel and change to catch the taxi to the airport. None of us wanted to leave at all. But we ate some Hungry Jacks (their burger king!) and got on a flight back to Auckland. Now it’s back to work, Australia was my last vacation within my vacation! It’s kind of sad but I have really done so much that I am so thankful for. I’ll never forget my adventures this summer!
Fish in the Marriott pool!

Courtney catching a wave! haha

mermaid! lol
Goodbye for now Australia! I'll be back soon!!!!!