Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sydney and Easter

So a few weekends ago we went to Sydney to visit Royal Easter Show which is kind of like the state fair in a highly populated state like Ohio or California. Here are some of the pictures from the show.  It was great to finally see some cattle!

Cute little Angora goat

Well groomed Angus cattle and their 'home' for the week

The Charolais show

We also got to go to the Blue Mountains and see the 3 Sisters (unfortunately, the 3 Frobose sisters weren't there)

Got to see the Big Merino in Goulburn

and his big backside, too.

Sydney was a blast - we're going back in June and I'm definitely going to make sure my cameras are charged so I can get pictures of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Easter was fun - we went to church (will eventually write a post about our church), I made engagement chicken for dinner and then Dean, Maree and their daughters Olivia and Bridget took us to our first Australian footy game!
Engagement chicken - that's a lemon sticking out, btw.

In front of Etihad stadium before the game

 Hyatt and Dean talking footy

Hyatt and I with the North Melbourne mascot, the Kangaroo

The footy field in Etihad Stadium

We had a pretty eventful holiday weekend.

~ FroBuzz ~

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Starting to Enjoy the City

Don't freak out - even though I'm starting to like city life we are still definitely coming back. Can't take the country out of the girl (or something like that).

Why am I liking it so much? Let me count the ways...

-- I can walk to the grocery store in 10 minutes
-- There are tons of GREAT boutiques and shops within a few short blocks.
-- I have never seen so many restaurants in such a few short blocks (bars, yes. restaurants, no). Greek, Italian, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese - it's all just a 10 minutes from our comfy apartment. There is actually a shortage of fast food here - only McDonald's (Macca's), KFC and Hungry Jack (Burger King).

I guess the best thing about city life is that it's just so much quicker to walk somewhere than drive.

We're so excited that quite a few of our friends are coming to visit soon! Mandy, Kristen and Andy are coming in June and Lenny, Candace and Jenny are coming in July! On top of that Doug Albright is probably coming in the fall, just not sure of the date yet. And last, but not least, Hyatt's parents are coming in late October - the rest of the year is going to fly by!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Queen Victoria Market

I may have mentioned that fresh produce is a really big deal here so we buy fresh fruits and veggies about 2x a week. Our most recent shopping trip was to the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) which is gigantic and not only has produce but meats, veggies and lots of bakeries for fresh breads.

Most of the produce is cheaper and fresher than what we could buy at a grocery store so this will probably become a weekly event. Check out these pics of our first Queen Vic Market experience.

Hyatt examining some kiwi - we bought 10 for $2!

The nut stand

My favorite - fresh strawberries!

~ FroBuzz ~

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hyatt is actually in Australia too.....

Dedicated readers,

This is Hyatt, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Brandi's elusive husband who hasn't contributed to this blog at all up until this point. However, I can now put those claims to rest.

As the main driver and navigator of "Lois the Lantra" (See previous post), I thought it may be valuable to describe driving in Australia. Two words = It Sucks. Sure, getting used to driving on the left hand side of the road is easy enough, until you lose focus for some reason and your driving instinct kicks in, say in a Woolworths parking lot where you confuse and anger any driver around you. I may or may not have done that at one point, Brandi was really impressed.

Another example would be when I decided to pass a car going an anemic 100km/hr, 10km below the speed limit, however once I passed him in the other lane, I forgot to get into the original lane until I almost collided with the cars going the opposite direction. Although I will say that although I have been the one doing most of the driving, my lovely wife did drive for a few hours down the Hume highway back to Melbourne on Monday. She did really well, except for the times she ran over the rumble strips to wake me up, because apparently I've done that once or twice since we've been dating.

However, driving in general is not all that bad, especially in the country. Getting to see the countryside by our own car somehow reminds me of home. I get to feel like a good old American again, although when I go to the fuel stop I have to remember to buy petrol or ULP instead of 'gas', which here means pressurized natural gas that only certain cars can drive. I imagine most of you reading this in the US are also pissed off that gas prices are flirting with $4.00 in the States... well here it costs about $1.50 a liter, which comes out to about $6.00 a gallon!

All in all, I am very glad we have a car and we're definitely getting the hang of driving it, plus it gives us the freedom we haven't had to go to the store and not have to carry groceries home for 30 minutes. We could actually buy a watermelon if it would fit in our fridge, whereas before it was just too much weight to have to carry home.

Well, that's all I have to contribute for now, hope everyone back home is doing well......

Until next time, if there is one,



Today I received several reminders of just how truly blessed I am to have such amazing family and friends.

When I checked our mail today I found not one, but two, packages waiting for me (none for Hyatt, just me). Inside was a wealth of goodies, momentos and cards from so many people!

Double the fun!

MJ sent me a new book to further strengthen Hyatt and I's marriage (she's the best), cheetos, gummi worms and Crystal Light!  I am so spoiled!

Movies, Peeps, Crystal Light and a photo album from my Aunt Jody in Logan, KS. 

Also in the same box was a Target giftcard, McD's gift card and picture frames!

The Easter Bunny doesn't know jack about treats - look at all the great stuff my family and friends sent me!
I'm going to have to ration all these wonderful goodies.

Probably the best thing I've received in the mail yet - yay! I love getting mail!

I also got a ton of birthday and Easter cards - you guys rock!

Hyatt and I are so truly blessed. Thanks so much to everyone who has sent us cards and goodies. You have absolutely no idea how much it means to us that you are keeping us in your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Rental Saga Continues...

When we last spoke of renting and landlords, we were in the process of taking our 'landlord' of the ML to court.

The latest update is that since we moved is that we were waiting on the form from the court system to inform us of the date.
We waited. and waited and waited - finally, we got sick of waiting and Hyatt called the office yesterday while we were driving back from Sydney. Our meeting was Monday. The notice was mailed on March 30 - we left for Sydney on the 12th. We got back this evening (19th) and it's still not here. Never got the notice! Crap. Can we just catch one break while we are here? just one?
We are applying for a review of the case so we can have 'our day in court.' I'll let you all know how that goes.

The worst part is probably that Hyatt emailed our 'landlord' on April 13th to let her know that we hadn't yet found out when we'd be going to court but we'd let her know when we did.  She knew and didn't tell us. Awesome.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pleased to Introduce.... Lois

This is Lois. Lois the Lantra

Lois is our sweeeeet ride - she gets 8 km/liter (if you figure out the m2g pat yourself on the back). She hauled us all the way to Sydney and back this past weekend (SEVERAL POSTS ABOUT THE PAST 5 DAYS ARE COMING UP- get pumped).

This is a disgruntled Australian driver

Much more content to come - like I said. get pumped.


UPDATE: Lois gets 13 km/liter. I'll let you do the math on the mpg yourself.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cast of Characters

I realized I've been going on about different people we've met here in Australia but haven't really given any background or indication as to who they are. My bad. Consider this your dictionary of Australia character's that play a role in the 'saga down unda'.

Dr. Frank Dunshea - Professor who Hyatt will be conducting his research with
Fahri Fahri - yes, his first name is the same as his last. He is a post-doc at the Uni and helped us move (twice). We also lived with him last week during this whole housing catastrophe. He is super helpful and super nice.
Vickey Russo -  new friend who I work with in the animal houses. She and her pal Kristy introduced me to a lot of Australia vocabulary, culture and how to have a good time.
Kristy DiGiacomo - See above. PhD student in Animal Production and all around great gal
Maree Cox - Manager of the animal houses where I work. Helped us get hooked up with our new car (pictures coming), gave me a job and her and her husband Dean helped Hyatt out in a pinch when the new car died.
Grattan and Glenda Savage - Pastors at the church we attend - Salvation Army Corps, Thornbury. They're the pastors but the Corp calls the 'Majors'. Are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to know, are giving us a TV (woot woot) and fed us a homecooked meal.
Natalie, Sally, Henny, Anna, Sarah, Shannon, Alex, Michelle - all current or past graduate students in animal science and have been very nice and accomodating in showing us around, inviting us to dinner and letting us help on their projects.

If I have forgotten anyone, I am truly sorry - there may be a 2nd cast post later after we've been here awhile.


Friday, April 8, 2011


Hope you don't mind the Charlie Sheen quote title....

As it turns out, I've been doing a lot of #winning lately.

I won a game of Scrabble against Hyatt
I beat him at Monopoly AND gin rummy over the honeymoon in Fiji


I WON THE MARCH MADNESS BRACKET CHALLENGE! If you forgot about that challenge, you should read this first. Go do it, I'll wait for you.

Ok - back now - great.

So, I won the bracket challenge and by my right, I should be getting a pair of these

but it turns out they're pretty pricey. So we'll see.


p.s. - I think I might be pestering Hyatt about writing a blog post so much that it's actually starting to work.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Living with Wildlife

As you can imagine, Australia boasts a different cornucopia of wildlife - some which are a bit scary and some are a bit fantastic. Check out these pics of the beasts we've encountered thus far.

First up - some pretty birdies!

Sick - I didn't take this picture because I HATE SPIDERS

An Australian possum

More birds - big emus!

Cute little blue-ish bird

And da da da da da da DAHHHHH......


I was only about 10 feet away from this one!

A joey - either trying to hide or eating

A big male lounging under a tree

Eventually, I WILL see a koala!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Good and Bad

Bad news: car still not fixed

Good news: we went to the Grampians (small mountain-ish range 4 hours from Melbourne) and they were super awesome neato! Hiking in the country, controlled burning of some forests, wildlife and lunch in a small town. It was a busy day (a long one too the trip was 7am to 8 pm) but well worth the views!

The 'waterfall' - hadn't run dry but it wasn't gushing!

Aboriginal art

~ FroBuzz ~

Sunday, April 3, 2011


We recently got our first package from home! Thanks so much Mom for sending me my thesis materials, POST-IT notes, our wedding announcement, some mail and some other fun stuff.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Clearing the Air

First off -we're not pregnant - thank God. And honestly, I'm a little disappointed at the lack of name suggestions on the part of you all. Thanks for nothing. Except Emily, who suggested Fred.

Other than that we had a fairly mild AFD - although the drama of moving to Australia continues in the next chapter titled:

Our New Car....That Died

That's right folks - we finally got a car so we don't have to walk all over this town. A brand new (to us) Hyundai Elantra and we were very excited to be rolling the streets of Melbourne in style.....and then Hyatt called to tell me that the car died after only driving 20km (12.5 miles) away from the dealership. Not a joke and not cool.

Awesome friends Maree and Dean picked Hyatt up and brought him back to the house and promised they would sort out the car problems with Tony, the car dealership owner (Maree and Dean suggested this guy so they were more than happy to jump in and make sure we were treated fairly).

So we left the car locked in a parking lot and went hiking in the Grampians today. Will find out more about the car tomorrow.

~ FroBuzz ~

Friday, April 1, 2011

You all jinxed us

I'll be coming home to KS, permanently in October. Hyatt and I are both sad that my time in Australia will end sooner than planned but it's best not to fly after 33 weeks of pregnancy or something like that. I dunno, it was on Web MD and I figure they know what they're talking about.

So, I'm looking forward to seeing you all in October! Hyatt and I are excited for the new Joey, I mean addition, to our family although we wish that this could have waited about 3 or 4 more years. Oh well, they say if you want to make God laugh - tell him your plans!

We're accepting baby name ideas - nothing ridiculous, please.

~ FroBuzz ~