Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So, I’m sitting here in front of the computer and reflecting on the past few months. A good bit has happened including our trip to Port Douglas and our visit back home. Port Douglas was like no other and I really hope we get the opportunity to go back before we leave Australia. I highly doubt it though since we are planning other trips. Our trip back home was much needed and everything I could have expected. I got to see my friends and more importantly, my family. These two trips back to back have really made me understand how lucky we are to be given this opportunity. Not only has it allowed us to experience different things such as snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef and feeding kangaroos but it’s also given us the opportunity to grow as a couple and individually. It’s amazing how close Matt and I have gotten while being over here. We depend on each other so much and it’s an incredible feeling knowing that we share something that not very many couples can/will share. If ever you are given the opportunity to live abroad, do not pass it up. There are times that it will be tough and all you want to do is move back home but in the end, it’s 100% worth it. You’ll grow mentally, physically, and emotionally. New cultures, new languages, new experiences! It’s unreal. It’s surreal.

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Port Douglas is a fabulous little resort town near the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. We got to snorkel, hike, explore, and sunbathe all weekend long! Words cannot describe how beautiful Northern Queensland is and how much there is to see and do! I think we probably took about 500 pictures while visiting and definitely could have taken more. Here’s a slideshow of just a few pictures that we took.

Port Douglas!! from Erica Mabe on Vimeo.

I would have to say that the best thing there is snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. Granted, Matt and I got 100% sunburned but it was totally worth it. We visited 3 different reefs and snorkeled the WHOLE time while visiting each reef. Guess that’s why we were so sunburned. Out of the entire boat, we were the only ones that stayed in the water the full time. We just couldn’t get enough! I was so amazed at all of the different coral formations! I felt like I was filming my own little nature documentary. Quite cool! On a side note, my bathing suit top broke right when we were leaving! Luckily, Grandma MacGyver was there to help me out. She had a few little pink rubber bands and tied me into my top. Not sure what I would have done if she didn’t come to my rescue! I’m pretty sure that snorkeling topless is not permitted.
The Daintree Rainforest is so beautiful. Just driving through it was a major highlight of our trip. The vegetation is so lush and thick and just knowing that it’s the oldest rainforest in the world with the largest range of plants and animals on earth makes it that much more mystical. We even got to see a Cassowary, the strangest prehistoric-looking bird ever, while driving through the forest.
Other places we visited that I don’t want to leave unnoted are: Mosman Gorge, The Wetlands, Barron Falls, Cow Bay, 4 mile beach, Mt Hypipamee Crater, Dinner Falls, and Millaa Millaa waterfall circuit.
Even though all places that we visited were absolutely beautiful, our resort was the icing on the cake. We truly felt like we were in a postcard. We typically had the entire beach to ourselves and what an amazing beach it was. I would describe it as a posh Gilligan’s Island beach with all the bells and whistles yet the majority of it was untouched. Thala Beach Lodge could not have been any more perfect. Our self-contained bungalow was situated in the rainforest any only a short walk to the beach. What a perfect combination! There were times that we woke up to frogs bellowing or birds chirping but we just rolled over with a smile on our faces and fell back to sleep. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it.
Our trip back home to Atlanta flew by way too fast! We packed it full of meals out with friends, shopping, and hanging out with family. We are so lucky to have such an amazing support group back home. Everything seemed just as we left it. The best part about the trip was meeting my new nephew, Owen. He is such a happy, healthy little boy and I am so happy for my sister and her husband. Emma, their 3 yr old is super smart, energetic, and has grown heaps since April! She is so much fun and I love running against her! I think we have a track star on our hands!
Another few highlights of our trip back home was going to a cabin with our close friends and celebrating Thanksgiving with family! Like I said before, we are so fortunate and lucky to have amazing people in our lives.

As far as our jobs are concerned, lululemon is still amazing and I love the people I work with. Everyone is so supportive of each other and very likeminded. The great thing about my job is that I continue to learn new things every day. Not many people can say that that are in the retail world.
Matt does enjoy his work and still seems to maintain a good work/life balance. It’s rare that he’s working past 5:30pm on weekdays. I think that the entire time that we’ve been here he’s only worked twice from home on the weekends.
We continue to make friends and love the culture. The only thing that we find something to complain about is the weather. Since I started writing this blog, the weather shifted from a beautiful sunny morning to torrential downpour! Of course we had to move to Melbourne when it’s had record rainfall! This winter/spring has been the wettest seasons for the past 14 yrs. Other than the dodgy weather, we have nothing to complain about. We have our health, Jackson, and each other.
We love you all and will make sure to update this blog more frequently. A month and a half is a little ridiculous! Hugs and kisses from Aussie world!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

It was a wonderful weekend in Surfers Paradise. Even though the weather wasn’t the best, we still filled our days with beach, exploring, eating, and drinking. We got up each morning and took a long walk on the beach with freshly brewed skinny lattes in our hands and then found a lovely place to eat brekky before we hit the beach. From 9am to noon the sun seemed to come out from behind the clouds and grace us with enough warmth to layout. Come lunch time, the sky was covered in a blanket of clouds which forced us to cover up and go eat lunch. It was probably a blessing in disguise since both of us have not seen the sun in quite some time. I even made a comment to Matt while looking down at my legs “I don’t think that I’ve EVER been this pale. I would bet that I’m paler now than I was the day that I was born!” One may think that I’m over exaggerating but trust me when I say that I could blind you with my whiteness! We did get some color but definitely not the desired skin tone that Matt and I are typically used to this time of year!

After lunch on Friday, we decided to take a trip to the casino. Not only did I win money on the slots but Matt also won some playing Black Jack! Needless to say, we had a great time! I suppose if we lost money that would be a different story. All of our winnings went to a beautiful dinner that night companied with a few bottles of Aussie wine. Oh how we love Australian wine! I know that’s one thing that we will miss when we move back home – the abundance of tasty, fairly cheap wine.

Saturday was pretty much a replay of Friday without the casino bit. We didn’t want to challenge the odds and go back. Instead, we just walked around and soaked up all that the street shops had to offer. At the end of the day, we didn’t actually buy anything except delicious Irish beers and food. Our spending habits seem to focus on what we are going to consume. I absolutely love it. We have become such foodies. Yay for full bellies and extra pounds! Here's a short slideshow of our pictures from Surfers Paradise - enjoy!

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast from Erica Mabe on Vimeo.

Sunday was a bit off due to the fact that it was my Birthday and I wasn’t around my family and friends. Plus, our flight was super delayed but oh well… what can you do. I was able to talk to my family and Holly so that made me happy. I still can’t believe that I’m 28 yrs old. Time sure does fly by so fast. No more wishing the weekdays away. I’ve got to cherish every moment, regardless if it’s a Monday or a Friday.

In just a few weeks, Matt and I will be visiting Port Douglas! We really can’t wait. This is the trip that we have truly been looking forward to for quite some time. Port Douglas is the closest town to the Great Barrier Reef and it’s absolutely beautiful. Half of it is in the rainforest and the other half is beach. How amazing is that?! Don’t worry; there will be heaps of pictures and stories to share. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

Speaking of sharing stories, I haven’t heard from a lot of you in quite some time! Please keep in contact with us. We love hearing about the happenings back in GA. It really brightens our day to get an email from one of our friends. It makes us feel as though we are still there, hanging out, and livin’ the ATL life. November 6th can’t get here any quicker but until then, try to keep us entertained with your life stories via email.

Love you all and be on the look out for our Port Douglas blog. Take care and we’ll see you soon!!!! Just 30 days!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Great Ocean Road

“A trip unlike any other” is how I would describe the Great Ocean Road drive. Many of our friends here recommended us to explore the scenic route as soon as possible. Not only is it extremely close to Melbourne but it also runs through a lot of little maritime towns that are just as picturesque as the drive itself. I would have to say that our weekend exploration along the coast of Victoria was by far my most favorite trip since we’ve moved here. We got to see so many things in just two days and if I had to do it all over again, I think tourists could easily make the drive into something a lot longer. I think a week is recommended and I completely agree. We did get to see heaps of things along the way but if we had more time, we could have backpacked and slept on the beach and ventured off of the road a little bit more to actually experience all that the coastline has to offer. Unfortunately, Matt doesn’t have much time left of vacation so we restricted the trip to a weekend. From Portland to Geelong, we experienced the following: a hike along the highest coastal cliff in Victoria (Cape Bridgewater), a petrified forest, the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere, blow holes, a seal colony, wallabies, Bay of Islands, The Grotto, The Arch, London Bridge, The Loch Ard Gorge, 12 Apostles, Johanna Beach, Otway National Rainforest, Otway Fly treetop walk, waterfalls, whale watching, and a beautiful lighthouse. Everything we saw seemed so surreal. It was as if I was thrown into Mother Nature’s calendar of the most beautiful landscapes of all time. I think that Australia is fortunate to be so secluded from the rest of the world. If it was at all convenient, the landscape would change from open pastures and rolling hills to high-rise condos and touristy death traps. Everyone would want to see and take advantage of Australia’s beauty. Thank God for those long expensive flights. If it wasn’t for them, the land Down Under would change drastically. Check out my 12 min slideshow of our weekend! It’s quite long but just know that the original slideshow was 24 min!

Great Ocean Road Trip from Erica Mabe on Vimeo.

It’s only been a few weeks since I’ve written in the blog so not a lot has happened. I continue to enjoy my job at lulu and the people I work with are great. I am sad to say that some of the people I have gotten the closest with are leaving lulu but I’m sure that we will remain in contact after they leave. I hate to see them go but a new adventure awaits for them and that’s exciting to say the least. Hey, I’m all about seizing the moment these days!

Matt is starting to put in longer hours like the good ole ATL days. He is trying so hard to prove himself in the Melbourne office and it’ll just take some learning and being comfortable with the procedures before he will feel like he’s progressing. Like I’ve said many times before, I have no doubt that he will become one of the best Seniors/Managers in the office by the end of the year.

Jackson continues to put on weight even though we have been very rigid with his 30+ min walk a day plan. I truly believe that it has everything to do with his food. Within the next few weeks, we’ll change his diet and see if that helps. I can’t wait for the warm, sunny weather. Hopefully, that 30 min cold, wet, and windy walk will turn in to a beautiful, bird-chirping, sun filled walk!

Today is officially the first day of Spring but you honestly couldn’t tell. It’s been in the low 50’s (teens in C) with continuous clouds and rain. I think next week will be much better but we’ll see. The weather is so unpredictable here. If you think you could be a meteorologist in the States, you DEFINITELY could be one in Melbourne. Just slap on a “Partly Cloudy with a 40% chance of rain” and you’ve described 90% of the days we’ve experienced since we’ve moved here.

Anywho, Matt and I love and miss you all! Just a few more months and we’ll be back home to visit! November 6th couldn’t get here any faster!!!

P.S. Here's a slideshow I've put together for Emma's 3yr Birthday! I can't believe how quickly she's grown. Isn't my niece so beautiful?!

Emma Grace Turns 3! from Erica Mabe on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Over the past few weeks, I have been challenged with not only our 30 classes in 30 days competition (which I completed by the way) at lululemon but also writing out my goals for the next 10 years! I have spent hours trying to figure out my 10 year plan and to be honest, it has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am still working on it and I think it will always be a work in progress but it’s pretty amazing to have written goals! It almost gives you a glimpse in to the future! As you can tell, I am still really enjoying my job. I work with some amazing people and the company is just so inspiring. Obviously, it isn’t your average retail store. Oh, and on a side note, I got Educator of the Month last week! WAHOO!

Matt is still in the bulk of busy season but it doesn’t even equate to the hrs that he would be required to work back in the states. He does seem a little bit more stressed now than he was a few weeks ago but I think it has everything to do with the client and the new accounting format that he just hasn’t gotten used to yet. He is amazing at what he does. I have full confidence that he’ll make it through another busy season without any issues.

I do have to say that things are getting a little bit easier emotionally but I definitely have my moments. My biggest thing is the feeling of being in a temporary location. This place just isn’t home and it will never feel like home. Everyone is great and the things that we have experienced here have been fantastic but I truly can’t wait until the day when we are settled back in Atlanta with both of our pups under one roof and family nearby. Speaking of dogs, Matt misses Savanna tremendously. He tries so hard to talk to her via Skype when he’s on with his mom but Savanna gets so confused and ends up ignoring Matt all together. I would have to say that 90% of our dinner conversations mention our little girl and how we both can’t wait to play fetch with her and hug her.

Jackson, on the other hand, seems to be retaining a bunch of water weight – hahaha! He has put on a few pounds but it’s our goal to walk him at least 30 min a day from here on out. We have been kind of lax with exercising him and it shows. Poor little guy needs to see the outside world too! I’m not worried though. Once the weather heats up, we will be taking him down to the park or beach all the time, shock collar on and everything. Yep, that’s right. He still is quite feisty toward strangers. We’ve both come to terms that that’s the way that he is and we just have to accept him, psycho tendencies and all! We do love him so much and are so thankful that he’s here with us.

Lets see… what else has happened recently. Matt and I recently discovered a little restaurant called Misty’s Diner! It’s absolutely AH-MAZ-ING! The owner is from Arizona and 99.9% of the waiters are American. They serve the best, and I mean THE BEST ranch dressing I have ever tasted along with real mayonnaise and BBQ sauce. Aussies do love them some mayo but it tastes absolutely disgusting. It’s sweet and tangy and well lets just say it, it ain’t Hellmann’s! Plus, it’s yellow. The grocery stores do carry Hellmann’s but it tastes weird. Needless to say, I have an entire jar of Australian Hellmann’s mayo in the frig and I’ll probably never eat it. Speaking of never eating something… vegemite is nasty! Try eating straight yeast extract mixed with salt as a spread! Once again, we have a tiny little jar of it in our cupboard and it will NEVER be eaten by us. I think I’m going to hold on to it so that when friends and family decide to visit, they’ll have the opportunity to try it. Heck, the shelf life has to be at least 20 yrs since the 2nd ingredient is salt!

Outside of their dodgy condiments, Australians really do have amazing food. We have yet to have a bad experience dining out and the variety is outstanding. Melbourne is a melting pot of all nationalities which means that the food is truly authentic. When we go out for Italian, it’s REAL Italian food. When we go out for Greek, it’s REAL Greek food. There is one exception to the rule…. We have yet to find a good Mexican restaurant! I know, what Americans call Mexican food truly isn’t Mexican but at least we have other options outside of Taco Bill’s or Mad Mex! Both of which are fast food and blah! I’m not worried though. I’m sure that Matt and I will eat plenty of Mexican food during our visit back to the states to last us for an entire year!

As most of you know, Matt and I have a goal to travel somewhere new every month. For the month of August, we are going to take a weekend drive along the Great Ocean Road! We’ll be bringing Jackson along so hotel arrangements should be interesting! I can’t wait to take breath-taking pictures and just get away for a weekend.

For the month of September, we are going to visit Surfers Paradise, near Brisbane. It’ll be a relaxing weekend full of sun and daiquiris! What a great way to celebrate my 28th Birthday... Wow, that sounds old!

The trip that we are both looking forward to the most (other than visiting home) is our holiday to Port Douglas in October. We are staying at a boutique style resort nestled in the rainforest and only a short drive from the Great Barrier Reef! I get the goose bumps just thinking of it! Now that’s going to be a great photo album!

Before I sign off, I just want to say Happy Anniversary to my best friend. Matt, I still can’t believe that we’ve been married for almost 4 yrs! You are such an amazing person and I am so grateful to call you my husband. I love you.

…. Until the next blog! Love you all! Make sure you continue to send emails and letters!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just a few weeks have passed since the last blog but a lot has happened! I am settling in more at lululemon and really enjoying my fellow "educators." We are currently doing a 30 day challenge of 30 classes in 30 days! I am a little behind right now but I have no doubt that I will exceed my 30 class goal : ) If we do complete a total of 30 classes (yoga, spin, aerobics, etc), we all get a wonderful reward of a day at a spa! How cool is that?!

PwC officially started their busy season this week but Matt is still home by 6pm! It's just amazing the difference between the Australian mindset and the American mindset when it comes to work/life balance. They truly stand by their "no worries" mentality and what will get done, will get done. Matt, on the other hand, doesn't quite grasp that concept. It's as if he is mentally tied to working longer days. He's worried that he's not doing enough even though all the managers and partners that he has worked with continues to praise him and his work ethic. It'll take some time getting used to the normal 8 hr day but I'm sure that he'll get there :)

A few weekends ago we took a day trip to Mornington Peninsula, another wine region near Melbourne. It reminded me of Dahlonega but with 10 times more wineries and well, much better tasting wine! I never got tired of seeing rolling hills covered with grape vines. After purchasing five bottles of wine, we decided to stop at a local microbrewery called Red Hill Brewery. Needless to say, Matt was in heaven and to be honest, so was I! The beer was delicious but expensive so we weren't able to have but a few. I'm sure that we'll be back in the near future to taste the rest of the beers they have to offer.

Now, on to SYDNEY! Over the 4th of July weekend, we decided to celebrate the birth of America's independence by visiting the birthplace of Australia! We took a ferry ride to Manly Beach, walked around downtown Sydney, walked to Paddington Market, did a bike tour and pub tour, and visited the Blue Mountains in just three days! It was a fantastic weekend that went by way too quick. Sydney is absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend anyone to visit if they can. It reminded me a lot of LA with the beautiful weather and "beachy" feel.

On a side note, I do have to say that I enjoy Melbourne a bit more but that could just be because I'm biased :)

Well, wish me luck in my 30 day challenge and Matt in his busy season! We miss and love you all and can't wait to visit home in November! It'll be here before we know it! Cheers!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another Month Down... under!

I can't believe that it's been almost an entire month since I've posted a blog entry! To be honest, I have let it slip off of my "to do" list on the weekends but I'll be sure to pick it back up moving forward.

As most of you know, I have officially started working at lululemon athletica as a part-time employee. Everyone on the team is terrific and very down-to-earth. I have only gone to 2 yoga classes but plan on attending two more before the week is over! I've been slack on participation but I'm looking forward to challenging myself in the weeks to come. There's a friendly competition going on in the store to get us involved in various yoga studios and to also check out all the different types of yoga practices. This week I plan to attend a barkan and a hatha yoga class. I'm nervous to start something completely foreign to me but that's what growth is all about right? Heck - if I can move all the way across the world, I sure as hell can participate in a few yoga classes right?!? RIGHT. Anywho, enough about work and more about me :)

This past week was emotionally tough. I had my first REAL dose of homesickness. The newness of this place has finally worn off and it just hit me - I'm living in Australia. Not New York, not Seattle, not even London... AUSTRALIA! On the other side of the world, Australia! A 23 hr flight to get home, Australia! I ain't no where near America, Australia! It definitely didn't help that my sister just had her second baby. I love that I've been able to skype with her often and to see that new mommy glow all over again but it just isn't the same. I'm so looking forward to our visit home in November. I'll get to hug all of my friends and family and finally be able to hold baby Owen! Every now and then I get sad but I'm sure that will continue while we are abroad. Hats off to my wonderful partner that knows how to deal with my tantrums! Matt - you're just gorgeous inside and out. Thanks for putting up with me.

One other thing before I move to a different topic other than myself! I have officially signed up for the Melbourne Marathon. It's Oct 10th (Oct 9th in the States) so write it in your calendar and make sure that you're up to satellite in on me winning first place :) Ta (aka thanks)!

Matt is still enjoying his "new job" and seems to really be liking all of his colleagues. The past few weekends, he played golf with 3 other blokes from work. It's nice to see him get excited about playing again. I think the majority of his excitement comes from the fact that it only costs him approximately $25 to play 18 holes but shhh, don't tell him I told you that :) We all know Matt truly gets a high on a good deal! Coupons are his cocaine!

I guess since there were a few paragraphs about me, I need to say something else about Matt! Ever since we've arrived, he has become more in tune with working out frequently and eating healthy. I would say that he goes to the gym six to seven times a week and eats at least two apples a day! Not that he wasn't healthy before but lets just say that I've noticed a good change in his eating habits and an influx in his workout schedule. Needless to say, he is really taking care of himself!

Jackson is still feisty as ever but we just can't help but love him. We have bought all kinds of dog restraints: choke collar, muzzle, bark collar, and shock collar! Don't worry folks - they are not used simultaneously. It's just crazy that a 10 kilo dog could be so out of control! We are continuously taking him for walks and forcing him to be around people. One of these days, we'll be able to knock the timidness out of him! He has gotten better around other dogs so there is some hope :)

Gramps, our '97 Daewoo Cielo, isn't feeling well. He has the car flu and has to take a break from running for a bit. This past weekend, we were on our way to Mornington Peninsula for another wine tour but Gramps wasn't in the mood. To make a long story short, he stopped in the middle of the highway and is currently at John's Autobody Shop. I'll have to keep you all posted on the final outcome. The picture you see is me and the tow truck man!

I guess that's us in a nutshell! We love you all and miss home tons and tons! Please send us emails or letters to keep us posted on things that you all are involved in. Remember - we are missing out on your lives as well!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Phillip Island and More...

I still can’t believe how wonderful everything is falling into place. I accepted a job as an Educator at Lululemon and officially start my first real shift June 3rd. I have already scheduled a few yoga classes at nearby yoga studios and love the fact that I am continuing to challenge myself physically. My ankle is still on the mend but should be ready within the next week or so to start my Melbourne Marathon training!
Matt is still enjoying his job and coworkers. Everyone is really low key and accommodating in every way. This past Thursday, he went out after work and was able to let loose and throw a few back with his colleagues. The moment he got home I knew that he really enjoyed himself by the huge smile plastered across his face. I truly think that he is getting the hang of the Aussie lifestyle - business and pleasure.
On May 19th, we welcomed a new member into our family – a 1997 Daewoo Cielo! Gramps, the loving name we have gifted to our motor vehicle, is old but young at heart. He’s our little ‘Thomas the Train’! We just hope that he will survive until May 2012!
We have continued our weekly dinner outings with Jeremy and Stephanie and really enjoy their company. Each week they expose us to new types of cuisines. We went to an authentic Chinese restaurant a few weeks ago and this week we had the pleasure of consuming spicy Indian food! Matt and I loved the Indian Restaurant, curry and everything!
Jeremy and Clara, our neighbors, are fabulous cooks and have fed our bellies a few times as well. Jeremy knows how to make mean baked pumpkin bites (butternut pumpkin) and lamb roast. One of these days, we will make them dinner but will have to carry it over to their place since we only have a dinette set with two chairs!
Since I haven’t really started working, I have dedicated my time to planning our Aussie trips for 2010! I have already planned all the trips that we are going to take for the rest of the year (Sydney in July and Port Douglas in October), including our trip back to Atlanta (Nov 6th – 19th). I’m hoping that for my Birthday weekend, we can go to Mornington Peninsula, Tasmania, or Adelaide.
This weekend, we visited Phillip Island and had a blast! We took some amazing pictures, tasted some local wines, and experienced the wilderness at its best! Here are a few pictures of Phillip Island coastline and the animals we got to see. I would have to say that the highlight of the weekend was going to see the Penguin Parade. Every night, the local penguins come back from fishing all day to socialize and chill out in their boroughs. We were able to see them up close and personal by hiring a tour guide. Sitting on the beach at dusk with night goggles and a personal tour guide was the ‘ultimate’ experience. Did you know that the penguin colony at Phillip Island represents the smallest penguins in the world?! These foot tall “Fairy Penguins” were absolutely adorable. I couldn’t help but giggle as they waddled up the beach.

Even though we are enjoying ourselves tremendously, Matt and I really miss everyone back home. If you have time, send us an email or letter! It’s always nice to hear from our friends! Here’s our email addresses and physical address: Erica.Mabe@gmail.com , Mabe3183@gmail.com and 12/20 Princes Street St Kilda VIC 3182 Australia Looking forward to hearing from you soon! Cheers!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another Week In Melbourne

Within the past few days a lot has happened! On Monday, Matt started his first day at PwC Melbourne. Of course, the high anticipation led to nervousness but after he got acclimated, he really got to enjoy his new location and colleagues. Everyone that he has met professionally, coworkers or clients, have been extremely welcoming and accommodating. He even had his first after hr drinks on Friday with a few of his new PwC friends.

I have also been fortunate in the business world. On Wednesday, I had my 2nd interview with Rachel, the store manager, at Lululemon. She was so impressed with me that she invited me back the very next day to do a 2 hr trial run on the floor. I showed up with my Lululemon attire on Thursday and was ready to show them my retail skills. I got wonderful feedback from all of the Educators as well as the Managers working. Yep, Educators… that’s what they call all sales associates. One of the reasons why they are called Educators is because they are required to take a 30hr training course before starting the job and to also participate in continuing education throughout his/her job at Lululemon. To make a long story short, I am now officially employed with Lululemon as an Educator! I am super thrilled and can’t wait to start my new career in the next few weeks.

On a side note, Lululemon is a yoga inspired retail store that sells running, yoga, and leisure apparel. The company works interactively as an organization to encourage goals setting and excellence in both the personal and professional lives of everyone involved. Just screams Erica doesn’t it?!?!

Last night, Matt and I joined some of his colleagues and PwC clients at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds (MCG) to watch Collingwood play North Melbourne in Australian League Football or “footy”. His company rented out a box and provided us with food, beverage, and a great time. I got to meet some of his new friends and enjoyed them tremendously. Matt and I even won some money betting on the game! Us “newbies” showed the Aussies how it’s done back in the states J I tell you what, AFL is extremely fun to watch! Maybe some day, the US will pick up the sport! I highly recommend everyone checking it out. It combines soccer, football, basketball, lacrosse, and even UFC. It’s unreal.

Now, I’ve saved the best for last! Today, we got to take our baby home from puppy prison! Jackson has officially settled in to our apartment in St Kilda and seems to feel right at home. He has lost a few pounds but no worries; he has probably gained it all back today. We have both felt so guilty putting him through the 30 days of quarantine that we pleasured him with various treats and toys once he got home.

Well, off to take Jackson for a long walk! I hope everyone is doing well! I would love to hear from you all too! Send me an email or message on Facebook. Cheers!

P.S. Happy Mum’s Day to all those Mummy’s out there!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


G'day mates! The very first entry to our Australian blog! Matt and I have been here for almost 2 weeks and absolutely love it. The city is beautiful, the people are beautiful, and the food is beautiful. We feel so lucky and fortunate to have this opportunity. Now, to find a job! I've put my resume in a few places but still am hoping that Lululemon will work out. My interview last Wednesday went well and it seemed as though they were impressed with my customer service/retail background. Heck! I'm impressed with my retail background. You name it, I've worked there :)

Today is Matt's first official day in the office. He was so nervous but I know that he will fit in just fine. The only thing that will make him stand out like a sore thumb is his southern accent. A good ole GA boy in Aussieland! Interesting fact: In Americans Moving to Australia, the author stated that Australians will ask if we are Canadians first due to the fact that Canadians hate it when they are mistaken as Americans. Well, that's so true. It's quite hilarious. Not sure what Canadians have against Americans, but anywho....

Jackson is doing well and has lost about a kilo so he's very spritely and just chock-full of energy! It's also good to know that when we visit, he doesn't seem to mind the quarantine facility. Just a week left and we will have him with us in our St Kilda apartment.

The weather has been just as we expected - warm on some days and a bit cold and overcast on others. It's pretty much like Atlanta weather - a crapshoot! The good thing is, it will never get below 0 degrees celcius so the winter isn't as brutal as what we are used to in Georgia.

The food is good here but pretty expensive. I think it has a lot to do with the lack of preservatives and the type of ingredients used in all of their products. For instance, every type of bread that I've picked up only has whole wheat flour - nothing enriched! Corn syrup doesn't really exist so that means there aren't yummy sweets like skittles and twizzlers! We are trying to get familar with Australian brands so that imported prices aren't reflected on our grocery bill. There are about 3 markets that are very accessible to us and we plan on doing the majority of our shopping there. Matt and I have never seen anything like it! There are cuts of meat and types of fruit/veggies that we have never heard of before. We look forward to trying all of it!

We have met a few couples and can't wait to learn more about our new friends. Stepanie and Jeremy met us for dinner a few days after we arrived in Melbourne. Stephanie and I have a similar friend and connected us a few months ago. Matt and I had a blast with them and plan on having another dinner date in the near future.

We met Joyce and Alex while visiting Jackson in quaratine. Their dog, Tiny, was placed in the yard right next to Jack. We got to chatting and have kept in contact ever since. We have not only met them for drinks one night but they also drove Matt and me to the Yarra Valley wine country two days ago! We had so much fun and the scenery was straight out of a picture. Absolutely beautiful!

Clara and Jeremy are our neighbors. They had a party at our apartment complex this past Friday and invited us to join. They were very easy to talk with and I am sure we will make an effort to keep in touch with them. The two of them remind us of our friends back home. Young and ready to party!

Our apartment location is fabulous. We are across the street from a huge park, Albert Park, and down the the street from the beach. We can ride our bikes and walk everywhere. I am still a bit uncomfortable on the bike but I'll get it. I have two years to practice! As all of you probably know, Matt and I love being outside and active so this area is like our playground! Here's a website about St Kilda, Victoria: www.stkildavillage.org.au

Signing off now... gotta start my day! Yep, even the unemployed have things to do :) Cheers!