(December 4th, 2017)

Does anyone else have that terrible Timehop feature on their facebook that insists on reminding them of the utterly cringeworthy status updates they felt the need to share with the world “on this day five years ago?” I made this mistake and it has certainly provided a few mid morning chuckles at my own expense. Seriously, 7 years ago I posted a status at 4:37pm stating “tired.” Then my best friend at the time hacked my profile (because I guess that was the cool thing to do back then) and posted something along the lines of “I have explosive diarrhea and no friends.” Now I may be paraphrasing, but only for your benefit. Gross! Needless to say said hacker is no longer my facebook friend. He's lucky I still regard him as my in-real-life-friend after the humiliation this caused me 7 years ago and each year that it pops back up. As much as I enjoy the daily reminders of how lame I was, I have to admit my jokes have only gotten worse. So now I try to stick to twitter for my one liners that I get the sudden urge to share with anyone who has made the mistake of following me.


            Last week I was time bopping around and came across a rare status I posted about The Grounds of Alexandria where I checked in. Let me preface this by saying this cafe is one of the most insta-worthy garden type flowery paradise I'd ever seen and I only “check in my location” because it granted me a free coffee. I still can say for certain that I have not become my father who MUST “check in” at EVERY. SINGLE. LOCATION! he goes to. I'm positive nobody cares that he is at some new rock formation in Colorado, or this restaurant or that movie theater. Seriously I get a notification every time I get a chance to go home and spend some QT with dear old dad. Like clockwork the whole world soon knows that we are at Waffle House on Sunday morning and I'm tagged in his status. Do I want to be? No. Have I told him he spends too much time on social media either “checking in” or stalking me? Yes. Is it still worth going to WH with him? Duh! Have you had their hashbrowns...yum. Oh and dad is cool too I guess. But anyways..(sorry my ADD kicks in when I get to rant about pet peeves that I'm sure I'll emulate soon enough as I undoubtedly become my father).

            I happened to take the 3 hour train from Newcastle to Sydney on the same day, a year after my original status. Of course I wound up crushing some smashed avo next to the Grounds famous pig Kevin Bacon. I love me a good pun, flowery ambiance, and arvo enjoying avo so I was beside myself  beside Kevin the footloose pig. I also got to catch up with a few other American exports-Aubrey Bledsoe, Emily Sonnett, and Kristen McNabb on our bye weekend so that was a great little trip. And one I won't look back shamefully on as I timehop next year. Instead, all of my Australian adventures have been fun reminders on Facebook because I'm still in awe of the beauty of this country. Whether it's over at Manly Beach (my favorite Sydney spot and recommendation for any visitor) or sitting in an ocean bath in Newcastle, this place is stunning. Speaking of ocean baths, let me just say these little manmade stone pools sit adjacent to the ocean so the saltwater splashes you as you're swimming laps AND you don't get pulled out by the current. Genius.

            My other newfound routine here has been watching the sunsets. Right after practice I ride my bike over to the closest beach and enjoy a natural ice bath a la ocean. The water is frigid!! At least to me, a Floridian, who is used to warm bath water temped oceans and who didn't own a winter coat 'til college. So I last about 37 seconds before I assume the ice bath has done its job in recovering me. Then I find a spot along the beach to watch the surfers as the sun dips below the horizon. The sun does the same thing, but for some reason I could watch it every day and swear it's different. It gets me thinking so philosophically about nature and seasons of life and all that stuff. Then I realize I'm getting a little too deep for a kid sitting by herself so instead I whip out my iphone and get pictures of the whole event. The sky starts out with this hazy pink and purply cotton candy look and then transforms into  splashes of every shade of red, orange, and a golden yellow with the sun glistening off the ocean. Nature is incredible. (And free!) Between the rhythmic waves, the artsy sky, and soft sand I just sit as peaceful as can be. Until these annoying {with a capital A!!} seagulls come gawking at my towel. They have zero concept of personal space and invade my bubble, destroying my eardrums with their obnoxious squawk! No joke I would punt one straight into the ocean if I could. They are everywhere and just stomp around with their annoying necks jolting from some concave pecking motion to this convex shape where they stick out their beaks and cry out in the most high pitch disturbing sound. If you couldn't tell, I am not very fond of these creatures. They may as well be those birds chanting Mine, Mine, Mine at poor little Nemo just trying to find Dory. In this case, I'm innocent little special finned Nemo just trying to enjoy my evening. So once I forget about the seagulls and the flies (another standard summer in 'stralia struggle), I find peace and quiet during the sunsets. I can forget any shots I may have missed during training, or errant passes, or even the embarrassing timehop memories from before. Life in Australia has been amazing and I am looking forward to enjoying even more summer sunsets with my friends (who I will be inviting so that I can ask them nicely to go chase off the seagulls for me). Oh and if you do that typical millennial thing like me and capture the sunsets, I know Jo Lohmann enjoys them as much as anyone so be sure to share them with her too!


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