Jessica in Australia

Jessica is a senior majoring in marketing in the Cox School of Business. During summer and fall 2011, Jessica is studying abroad with SMU-in-Australia. She’s eager to learn about new cultures, meet new people and experience life outside the United States.

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Brooke’s Visit

This has been one of the most fun weekends I’ve had since I’ve been here! My friend Brooke from Colorado flew in on Friday night for the week. Friday was just mellow, time to settle in and catch up. We made an awesome dinner, and decided this week will be spent teaching me how to cook. Probably a skill I should have learned before I arrived here.

Oh, I forgot to add that during the day on Friday a few of us went back to Cottosloe beach. It was still pretty cool, but we sucked it up and stripped down to our bathers (swimsuits) for only a bit. It was nice to enjoy the sound of the waves and the beauty of the ocean.

We woke up early on Saturday and made the long trek to the Cohunu Koala Wildlife Park all the way in Armadale. It was about as boring of a town as you could possibly imagine. Of course, since it was Saturday the bus we wanted to take there barely ran, so we had to wait ages for a cab to come around. To add onto the difficulties we had 5 people, so we had to take 2 cabs. So much difficulty, but once we arrived it was all worth it! We splurged and spent the extra $25 per person to hold a koala and take pictures. Australia dream come true! Oh and of course to add to this day my camera decided it wanted to break the night before… bad timing.

 

The koala was so cute and fuzzy. Softer than you would expect even. His keeper constantly replenished the branch of eucalyptus leaves in his hand to keep him happy and occupied. Wow did that Koala eat a lot, and when he ran out of leaves (or at least the good leaves) he would reach for his keeper who would replace the branch. When I happened to be holding him the keeper had to go into the other room and when the Koala ran out of leaves he decided he would crawl over my shoulder. Hello scratches! If you ever get the opportunity, you have to check out the claws on Koalas. They are insanely long and quite sharp! In the next few minutes of struggling with my newfound koala friend, I managed to get him some fresh leaves and came away with scratches all over my shoulder, one on my face, and some hilarious photographs. (I also came away with a sore bicep from holding him, but that is a bit embarrassing admitting to how weak my arm muscles are).

When koala holding time was over we decided to explore the rest of the wildlife park. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time since it took us ages to get there in the first place. We saw just about everything though! Beautiful peacocks, llamas, miniature ponies, emus, ostrich, kangaroo, wallaby, deer, exotic birds and others that I don’t even know the names to. We had almost the entire park to ourselves so we were free to explore. We went into the kangaroo/wallaby/dear area and were able hand feed them.

They were so cute and much softer than I expected. We even saw some joeys in their pouches.

After a few pictures with the dinosaur sculptures, it was time to head back into the human world. We were hoping to get back in time to watch Kerri’s brother’s rugby game, but we missed it and decided food was our next priority. We stopped in Subiaco for our favorite Jus Burger. So delicious we just don’t get sick of that place. Kerri picked us up from there and took us to her house. Being the incredible hostess she is, she continued to feed us snacks even though we were all so stuffed, yet we couldn’t resist them. After a few hours of catching up, we all cabbed to the rugby club nearby. It was definitely an experience the typical Australia tourist doesn’t get to experience. The best I could compare it to would be an old classic yacht club, but with the majority of people male and young. It was quite the entertainment.

The next day we made our way to Leaderville for brunch at Sayres. Yum so delicious! It gets better each time we eat there. We came back to campus for the evening, and Brooke gave me my second cooking lesson.

Yesterday Brooke and I woke up early again to go on a vineyard tour in Swan Valley. We were out of the house before 9am and at our first wine tasting by 10:30. My first purchase was already made before noon. I would call that a successful morning. On our tour we went to 5 different vineyards, a brewery and a chocolate factory. It was quite windy and a bit rainy so it was the perfect thing to do all day. We tasted wines at each vineyard, and many were paired with either cheese or bread and oil/vinegar or chocolate covered coffee beans at one location. We had a nice lunch at the third vineyard as well. 

By the time we finally got back home it was time for cooking lesson number 3. Today’s lesson was overcoming my fear of raw chicken! We went to the store where we picked out our food for the night, and Brooke insisted on setting me up with a nice knife and spices. She said you just can’t cook properly without them. It was quite terrifying dealing with the raw chicken, but she insisted and I managed to cut, stuff and bread all 4 pieces! I was so proud of myself, but I have to admit I wouldn’t mind someone else doing it for me if I have the choice.

Today it was time to get back to reality and Uni was awaiting. Of course, instead of doing my studies I’m here writing to you all, but after this incredible weekend I just had, I had to spill all the details.

Remember to feel free to email me if you want. I can always go into more detail about any of my adventures.

To finish off I will leave you with a word of the day:
Bub
It is short for babe. Why you would ever need to shorten babe, I’m not quite sure.

Cheers!

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