Tag Archives: FoodieTravel

What goes downriver must come up

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Today we awoke to the sun shining in Noosa. We didn’t have to catch our bus to Brisbane until that afternoon, so we headed to Noosaville, which sits along the beautiful Noosa river, in search of paddle board rentals. A bus ride and AUD 30 later we were the proud renters of two stand up paddle boards for the next two hours.

Noosa River
Noosa River
We were told to go up river against the current, so that our way back would be easier, which makes perfect sense. However, up the river was home to the damn yacht club it seemed – we were actually almost killed by a jet ski tour of about twenty fucking idiots who looked like the only thing they’d ever driven was a mario cart. Since anything that goes faster than a kayak is no bueno when you are on a SUP, we switch directions, made it across the the veritable nautical autobahn, and headed for the lovely and quiet section of the river. Stina had a bit of a wobble while trying to admire her lovely surroundings (or a big ass catamaran with lust in her eyes) and took the best fall off a paddle board I have ever seen. Homegirl went down like a starfish, face first, a full frontal flop. She recovered nicely and I resisted the urge to fall of my board in a fit of laughter. It was gorgeous and peaceful, nothing but a few house boats, lots of nature, and us. I was in heaven. Until we turned around. Holy shit. Apparently once you start paddling upstream the river is no longer filled with water – It is now peanut butter. We sounded like the damn Williams sisters at Wimbledon with each stroke we took. It took about five minutes for me to drop to my knees like a choir boy on Sunday. I later conferred with Stina and apparently we both employed the “count to ten strokes on each side, then switch” routine. I contemplated playing dead on my board until someone took pity on my pathetic ass, but then I remembered that Aussie’s only give half a fuck, and Rory in a bikini is not half a fucks worthy, despite my great tan, so I better just keep paddling. And paddle I did. My little heart out. The only thing that could be heard above the gale force winds was the occasional whimper from Stina or I. By the time we made it back to the rental place, we were near tears. I tried to bribe a few 10 year old boys into carrying my board back. Apparently they had better sources of income. So Stina and I lay on our boards like beach wales and slowly swam our way in.

After this, our millionth failed attempt at a workout, we lazed around by the lake and ate our 45th hand-packed salami sandwiches of the trip before it was time to head back to grab our shit and catch our bus. Some chicks on the bus found out there was no wifi and threw a fit. I tried to explain to them that their ticket clearly states that greyhound would ATTEMPT to provide wifi on all buses and that was therefore not a guarantee for which they could seek reimbursement. But my words fell on the deaf ears of fucking morons, so I gave up. Sorry Greyhound, those fuck faces are your problem. Stina kept quiet and rolled her eyes. I am starting to suspect she has an even lower tolerance for stupidity than I do, which is a feat. Only difference is that I can fake nice really well (a trait I acquired during childhood – long story) whereas Stina will wear her contempt for you on her face at all times. It’s kind of amazing. When Rory is nice cop, you need to reassess your life. And enroll in Rory Boston’s “How not be a loser” seminar. For the low, low price of [something I have not yet figured out, but it ain’t low].

We contemplated spending the night watching TV in our room. After all, we had been through a traumatic paddle board experience. But since we only had a few hours in Brissy we decided to get off our fat, lazy asses and go to dinner. Dinner was fab. Stina adopted a goat cheese and spinach croquette as her child (she is registered at fatties-r-us), we through back at pitcher of Sangria, and then off to bed. I dreamt that I lost all my bathings suits the day before our Whitsundays boat trip. I am a pessimist even when unconscious.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The search for a decent boozy brunch continues…this time in Brissy. We headed down to Southbank in search of a little beach time at the lagoon and peeps getting trashed. We found neither, as the sun didn’t come out and I’m convinced this “Sunday Session” thing is a myth. All people talk about is how Aussies know a good Sunday Session. I’m calling bullshit on this right now. These morons don’t even know what a mimosa is. And the restaurant we went to, with a full bar, wasn’t licensed to serve booze before 10am, which is a problem we have run into before. These people think they party on Sundays when you can’t even get a drink before 10am? I’ve been roofied before 10am in Hermosa. Get your game together Australia.

Bisbane Southbank
Bisbane Southbank
Looking back, it would have made more sense to pose between the B and the R....
Looking back, it would have made more sense to pose between the B and the R….
A gloomy Brisbane
A gloomy Brisbane

I will give Australia one thing – the most amazing breakfast called “avo mash”. Our Canadian friends from Fraser told us about it so we sought it out today. Basically it consists of sourdough toast topped with avocado mashed with chunks of feta cheese, arugula, onion, and lemon. It’s heaven on bread. Not that bread needs any help. We headed back to catch the noon train to the airport for our flight to Airlie Beach (Gateway to the Whitsundays!!!). On the train there was a child crying. I gave the kid a stern look at shook my head. This littler girl shut up so fast you would have thought I was holding her barbies ransom. On the plane, Stina was sitting next to the most horrid child on the face of the earth. I did the same thing and it totally worked until her dumb ass mother moved her to the window seat and I could no longer put the fear of god in her. So it’s official, children are silenced by their fear of me. That will come in handy one day, mark my words.

We arrived in Airlie Beach, caught our transfer into town and checked in to our hostel. Our “deluxe” room looks like the jail cell that is given to mobsters who bribe the warden – large and roomy with the poor folk in another wing, but you are still in jail. We headed down to check
out the lagoon, which rocks, and the back to the room for showers and off to beers around 6pm. I think we shot our wad a bit too quickly, because by 8:30 we were ready for bed. And so that is what we did. We went to bed. No one wants to be hungover on a boat anyway. Oh, guess who is saying at our hostel? B+ team America from Fraser Island! The name of the game is AVOIDANCE. Especially since we now know that Stina won’t be able to conceal her disgust. Me on the other hand, I could walk right up to them and say “omg where did you get that bracelet, I love it!”. When in actuality it is the ugliest effing bracelet I have ever seen. See what I did there?

We won’t have any wifi on our boat, so it’ll be a few days before the next post. But that post will include sailing the whitsundays, so it’ll be worth the wait for the pictures alone.

Not Your Mama’s Christmas Eve

I’m currently sitting on my balcony in Queenstown with a view of the Skyline Gondola and about 10 Christmas morning hang gliders trying to figure out where to even begin. Probably due to my hangover. Let me focus. Ok. In the morning we went to Puzzling World, which is basically a grown up version of the McDonalds play place. So Puzzleword has a bunch of rooms with crazy optical illusions and puzzles. In one room you feel like the room is slanted at a crazy incline and can barely walk across it, but when you roll a ball, up is down and down is up.

The gang at Puzzleworld in the slanted room
The gang at Puzzleworld in the slanted room

It’s hard to explain and that probably didn’t quite do it. There is also a giant outdoor human maze. We decided to tackle the Maze with our bus husbands. We figured between two doctors, a lawyer and an accountant (low man on the totem pole) how long could it possibly take? A long fucking time. I can’t believe they put mice through that shit.

In the maze with our bus husbands
In the maze with our bus husbands

I thought Stina was going to break down a wall to get us out. I tried to cheat like 12 times.

Then we were off to Queenstown! The adventure capital of the world. AKA, Rory’s paradise. We passed some beautiful lakes and crystal blue rivers on the way. Fairly standard for South Island. We also passed the 45th parallel, if that is cool to anyone. Doubtful. And then we arrived at AJ Hackett on the outskirts of the city for someone on our bus to jump off a bridge. We were at the famous “K Bridge”, which is the site of the world’s first commercial bungy (AJ Hackett and Co spells it this way, I do actually know how to spell bungee, just not much else).

K-bridge Bungy!
K-bridge Bungy!

We didn’t jump, as we were doing the canyon swing in about an hour, but suffice to say we signed up for a jump as soon as we got to our hostel. So pics in a few days! Then we were off to our Canyon Swing! A canyon swing is basically a bungee jump on crack. You are driven up into a canyon and then thrown off a ledge suspended in the canyon and swing through said canyon. Stina and I did a backwards tandem jump together first, to warm up. Then we each did a second swing where you hang upside down and the jumpmaster drops you…when you least expect it. Fucking amazing. Apparently if you jump topless its free. I told the guy 29 year olds can’t do shit like that, and frankly, no one wants to see 29 year old boobies flopping around in a canyon anyway. He asked if I was married. I said no. And he said “oh, then you are fucked. It’s ok for a guy to be old and unmarried, but not a girl”. I told him I was aware and why did he think I was throwing myself off a cliff? Ass hole. Later that night I became 25 again, so no worries.

The Canyon...and what you jump off of
The Canyon…and what you jump off of
Stina and I about to jump backwards off the ledge
Stina and I about to jump backwards off the ledge
Stina being reeled back up after her second jump
Stina being reeled back up after her second jump

After our canyon swings we picked up our bags and had to find our hostel. We stopped on the street and asked a girl working in a fish and chips stall where Church Street was. She said she didn’t know and would google it for us. It was the next street over. Literally, the cross street of her place of fucking employment. Stina could not handle the stupidity. I thought she was going to perform an impromptu sterilization right there at the stall. So I must repeat my question from the other day’s post: how the hell do these morons get themselves to work? I wanted to give her a card for my “how to not be loser” seminar, but I haven’t gotten around to printing them up. Bad for business, I know. I’ve been a little busy. We arrive at our hostel to find a lovely private room that basically looks like a hotel room. A little Christmas present I booked for Stina a few months ago. She looked like she was going to wet herself. We then bought a shit load of booze, as they don’t sell any on Christmas day here, and everyone knows that provisioning is always the key to a good holiday. $20 says half our bus will have no booze and be crying about it on Christmas day. The half that are losers.

And then it was FERGBERGER time. If you have not heard of a Fergberger, google it. It’s basically Queenstown’s In-n-out. Their claim to burger fame. The end-all, be-all of food in this fair little city. So we met up with some of our bus mates, queued for about 20 minutes, and settle into burger bliss by the lake. We fully expected to be disappointed, especially after the sad excuse for Mexican food we had the other night. Oh, that reminds me, we have two Mexican girls on the bus, and everyone just calls them “the Mexicans”. When they are late, our bus driver goes “Where are those damn Mexicans?”. She is totally serious. I laugh my ass off every time. There are two other girls who are not Mexican but are really tan and no one can tell the four apart, so we just refer to all of them them as “The Mexicans”. But I digress. Fergberger was the shit. They are literally as big as your head. They do breakfast burgers as well, so naturally that is now on the itinerary. Later at the bar I was so full I had to have one of our bus husbands rub my belly.

Belly rub from one of our hubbies
Belly rub from one of our hubbies

It sounds weird…but I’ve had him do it before, after all-you-can-eat pizza night. To a 29 year old overeater, a belly rub is better than foreplay. I can’t possibly be alone is this, can I?

And then it was bar crawl time. Also known as “7pm” here in NZ. And you people wonder why I pass out at midnight every night. 5 hours of drinking is like a marathon for this old bitch. We started at Loco’s where we did our secret santa gift exchange. Thank god one of the A-team people got me, and I was rewarded with rings that you can blow bubbles from ($5 max on the gift – I’m not sure how you can do better than bubble rings for $5, honestly. She outdid herself). These would come in handy later in the night…I’ll get there. Stina got this one girl, Sofie (who we like) a mini nerf gun that you can shoot people with. Basically, the best present ever. Sofie did not agree and was very disappointed. When we were shopping we must have forgotten that Sofie is a real girl and hates all things fun. More for show than go, if you know what I mean. So I gave her one my bubble rings in exchange for the gun and proceeded to put the gun to people’s heads and threaten to shoot them for about an hour. Doesn’t sound funny now. But vodka makes a lot of weird shit funny.

Mushache maddess
Mushache maddess

Oh, and someone got stick-on mustaches. Stina and I spent about an hour just fucking around with all the lame presents laughing our asses off. People were confused.

We then moved on to another bar which played non-stop Christmas music and we all danced our asses off for about 2 hours until normal, non-backpacker bus folk started to accumulate. We had a limbo competition using a string of tinsle as the pole. The DJ put up a $50 bar tab to the winner, so you know it was on. Stina, myself, and horse face (not sure I’ve mentioned her before, but her face looks like a horse and her voice is super manly – yes, more manly than mine!) came in second and some no-fun nancy skinny bitch took first. Games like that need to be scored on a sliding scale that take into account your weight-to-height-to-age-to-awesomeness ratio. The bar tab was wasted on this bitch. Later that night there was a competition for who could look the most Christmasy. As the only Jew in the room, I was naturally the obvious choice for our group of friends to thrown their support behind. It was clear that the boring bitch (who already won a game!!) was going to win, as the B-team decorated her, and they are FAR more numerous in number than the A-team and therefore had more Christmas shit at their disposal. So Stina literally stole the Christmas tree from behind the bar and I danced around holding it on my head. It was for sure a winner. But I was basically disqualified for theft.

The Jew that stole Christmas
The Jew that stole Christmas

The one time Kiwis actually give a fuck is when you put a tree on your head?! Come the fuck on! I demanded a recount. My plea fell of the deaf ears of the grinch working the bar. Bastards.

But our luck was about to turn. Because upon returning from the ladies room (where I pissed on a Santa Hat that someone had put in the toilet – zero fucks!!) Stina informed me she had found the hottest guys in the bar. So I did what any 25 year old gal would do…I went up behind them and blew bubbles at their (very tall) heads. As that did not illicit the response I was looking for (which was eternal love) I pushed my way to the bar next to them…the classic whoo girl move, been doing it for years ladies. Works just about every time until you turn 25, and then the effectiveness drops exponentially, much the like viability of your eggs. But it was my lucky night, because it worked. Stina got the hotter one, but I got the younger one. If we are being honest, the younger one got stuck with me. But 29 year olds who pretend to be 25 at bars take whatever scraps they can get. So bring on the 26 year old Sweedish wing-men! Did I mention these hot men were both about 6’8 and BROTHERS. It was a Christmas miracle. The bar closed so we spilled onto the streets and loitered about for a while. The extremely tall and good looking Sweedish men wondered how we knew everyone in town. We mumbled something about a bus but kept the explanation short, as we preferred them to think we were kind of a big deal.

Tall, beautiful Sweedish boyfriends. Merry X-mas to us..
Tall, beautiful Sweedish boyfriends. Merry X-mas to us..

Then, as you all well know, after the party is the after-party. We went back to our luxurious flashpacker suite to pop bottles. Yes, I actually said “lets go pop some bottles”, and yes, the Sweeds thought it was hilarious. So we spend the next few hours drinking Rose Sparking wine, dancing to the Jammy pack, and introducing the Sweeds to the baby dino. No, that is not secret lingo for some weird sexual move. It is literally where I just talk in a high pitched voice as a baby dinosaur. A Pterodactyl, to be exact. At one point my boo decided he also wanted to be a baby dino, so I made him get in the fetal position and then declared him re-born a Velociraptor Dino and instructed him to make whatever noise he thinks a baby raptor would make. It’s about as weird as it sounds. Keep in mind it was 2am and I had already drank every vodka tonic in town. After sufficiently scaring these boys, we sent them home to their parents. Yes, they were on Holiday with their parents. We also invited ourselves to (1) Christmas dinner with their parents, and (2) Their NYE party in Sydney. They don’t want us at either one. Shocker.

So Auckland has dillas and beer…thats about it

I arrive at the airport about half an hour before Stina, as my anxiety will now allow me to wait. I peruse the lovely remodeled Tom Bradley terminal (there is a damn champs & caviar bar….hold the caviar, but wow). And then I realize I forgot my kindle. Panic attack ensues. I call my brother, he finds it in the daypack I was planning to take before I changed my mind and switched to another one. Those little fuckers are just so small…a blessing and a curse. Stina arrives and calms me down. We decide Brett will mail it to me in Queenstown and I’ll get it upon arrival Christmas even – so now even this little jew gets a Christmas present! See, this is a good thing (glass half full soooooo does not suit me). I am still slightly depressed, so naturally I rationalize that I deserve panda express for all my troubles. I mean, poor me, forgetting my kindle for my two month vacation. Someone should start a charity in my name, really. Stina gets us two very large plastic cups full of wine. If you ever have a sad Rory on your hands, panda and wine will fix her right up. Lets be honest here, any form of booze and food should do the trick.

We arrived yesterday after a lovely 13 direct flight to Auckland via Air New Zealand. Apparently it was rated the #1 airline of 2014. And it was pretty fabulous, especially compared to some of the other shit airlines I have flown in my day. Also a United partner, go points! I will cover the highlights:

1. In flight entertainment. Holy shit this was amazing. There are so many movies you can create a “playlist” as you go through them so you have a short list from which to pick. I did not figure this out as I was not kidding about being technologically challenged. But Stina informed me of this while we were drinking beers in Auckland, and I’m impressed.
2. The flight attendants were half male. Sounds like a random fact, but male flight attendants are just less bitchy. However, when I declined dinner (after the panda express incident) the very nice Kiwi flight attendant informed me that the tray minus the hot meal involved cheese and crackers….so I gratefully accepted. Who turns downs cheese?
3. They don’t cut you off after 3 glasses of wine. Very generous with the wine in fact. And good wine! Good NZ wine! They just kept it a flowin’.
4. Real blankets. Not that paper thin itchy excuse for a blanket that other airlines pawn off on you. This shit was the real deal. Usually I need about 4 airline blankets to survive the arctic weather of an airplane, but I was good with my one.

So we arrive in Auckland at 8am. Stina gets randomly selected to go through the customs interrogation line. I think their customs officials need some profiling classes, as cute little Stina does not exactly scream to me “sneaking bio-hazard materials into a foreign country”. But alas we make it to the airport bus counter, where the old man at the counter proceeds to give us a brief tour of the entire city in map form before giving us our tickets, even though all I asked him was which line we need to take. It is apparently to me I am going to have to take my bitchy resting fact off autopilot, as these people are just so damn nice.

We arrive at our hostel around 9am. We took one look around the place and decided we would henceforth refer to ourselves as the Bougie Backpackers. Definitely an interesting crowd to say the least. Our room is not ready. So we do what any normal Southbay girl would do without a place to shower on Saturday morning would do, we inquire about brunch…preferably bottomless. We quickly realize brunch is not their thing here (a shame, really). Perhaps I could start a foundation bringing brunch to developed countries that clearly need the help. I am in the market for a job… Everyone is very excited about a racecar “drift” competition that is happening in Auckland today. For those of you confused, just think Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. Yeah, that shit. But since its just down the street and these people can’t even spell “mimosa” we head down to the harbor to see what all the excitement is about. Turns out, there is a reason Paul Walker (RIP) opted out of the Tokyo Drift movie…drifting is basically an excuse to burn rubber and slam into shit. It’s basically race car driving for men with very small penises….or just short attention spans, I suppose. We did get some free ear plugs out of it though. And found a lovely farmers market where we ate every free sample to be found.

We had been warned that Auckland sucks. We quickly realized that is true. With our room still not ready, we went to a bar and got a pitcher. And another. And then maybe one more. I asked to sample a few of the beers before ordering, as I had no idea what beers they have down here. The bartender then made a joke about how I was trying to get free beer. I thought about educating him on his excellent sales tactics, but thought better of it and giggled along. No bitchy resting face here people! Stina then got us dillas while I checked us in. I am typically skeptical of Mexican food in all foreign countries, but it was actually pretty damn good. Or maybe that was the three pitchers talking. Long story short, because I’m sick of typing, we took a 4 hour nap after which we planned to go out and rage. Woke up at 9pm and immediately went back to bed for another 9 hours. We are party animals.

I don’t have any pictures for you today, because really nothing that interesting happened. No, I did not take a picture of the drift competition. You’re welcome. Today is wine tasting day!! And happiness ensues….

My first official trip picture - Stina getting down on dillas in our hostel room
My first official trip picture – Stina getting down on dillas in our hostel room