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: , 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:

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