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Beaches, Bars, and Wine, Oh my!

I’m on the bus from Hunter Valley enjoying the sounds of Taking Back Sunday and Four Year Strong, writing poetry, and trying to work on my essay due Friday. I just had yet another amazing weekend in Australia. Lets go back – to Thursday. Thursday I only had class from 5:30-8 which is a great class about Aborigines in Australia. A real Aboriginal person teaches us and she is (abet weird) extremely entertaining. We have learned tons about the habits and patterns of the Aboriginal people. This paper I’m trying to write is about how the worst thing that could happen to the Aborigines was the ‘Stolen Generation’ – a group of children that were taken from their families to assimilate into Australian society.  The name of my paper is going to be “The Stolen Generation: The ‘Civilized’ Genocide” because the Australians were trying to civilize these children by taking them away from their families. I think it’s appropriate.  (I think once I get my wine paper back on Coonawarra wine region I’ll post it on the blog just so everyone can see that yes, I am learning stuff).

Thursday we went to the Ivy, a great place, with good friends. Kayl, Ally and I had a great McDonalds session at 1am which is always a good time. Friday night Sydney, Leah, and I went to Hugos, which is a great lounge and discovered they have a great dance floor. A night is exponentially better when there is a dance floor, as I love to break it down. Saturday I had an amazing time doing the Bondi to Bronte beach cliff walk with incredible views as seen here:

On Saturday night we headed to the Ivy again which I left early. Although I do enjoy dressing up and going out I’m sadden by the (disclaimer: even by me at times) emphasis at clubs to find boys. As said above, even I do it. This night (combined with other factors) it left me feeling sad. Good thing I had Kayl and Ally (late nighters) to help me feel better at 2am.

On Sunday morning we left for the Hunter Valley wine region. We got on a nice coach bus with beautiful leather seats and departed. It was about a 2 hour and a half ride and through most of the ride I noticed a ton of trees. Australia really isn’t inhabited half as much as America. Its beautiful how many areas free of humans there are. We arrived at our first vineyard, Draytons. It was our first official tasting at a vineyard. After two more tastings (which in the next post I’ll go into my favorite wines from each vineyard) and a yummy bbq pizza we headed to the hotel. It was drop dead gorgeous and each room had two large beds and a terrace. Katie, Ally, Kayl and I decided to go to the vineyard behind our hotel (yes, I know) and try some more wines. It ended up being one of my favorite vineyards and I bought a bottle of Shiraz mixed with Grenache and Kayl, Ally, and I split a bottle of a Sparkling 2011 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc that we split later on the terrace. We also went to an amazing cheese shop on the same vineyard.

We headed to the rooms to get ready and look pretty for our dinner. At our hotel we drank more – first champagne, then a white with bread, and a red with our meal – and feasted on steak, fries, and veggies (one of my favorite meals thus far – maybe because I was starved). It really is nice to hang out with just 25 people from our program and I do feel like we are all getting closer and just having a great time with each other. After dessert (something coconut I didn’t enjoy) we headed (exhausted) back to our rooms. We collapsed on our soft queen beds and fell asleep by 10:30 – one of my earliest nights surprisingly enough. It was a magical day filled with wine and I slept like a baby.

The next morning we started off with a huge breakfast of toast, eggs, cereals, etc. It was also nice to get coffee, as I had been coffee free because I try not to spend much money. We headed off to my favorite winery, the sparkling winery. In a gorgeous area we tried many types of champagne including a delicious sparkling dessert wine and a yummy sparkling Shiraz. It was a great set up and I enjoyed it very much. Two tastings and lunch later, we are back on the bus. Almost everyone is sleeping as I look back but I’m not the type to sleep on the bus, that is why I brought my computer.

I took around 400 photos this weekend – mostly at the vineyards. It was just a gorgeous and beautiful weekend that I couldn’t resist being photo happy. While it was very nice to get away for a weekend I’m ready to take a break from drinking wine and save my liver. This week is busy with a paper to write and a presentation but I have a rugby game Friday night, surf competition on Saturday, Sunday we leave for Melbourne for four days and then surf camp! These last four weeks, and next two, are FLYING by. I love Australia.

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