Self Portrait in Three Colours

Archive for February 2012

Wow, what a weekend!

So on Wednesday Aaron and I made the split decision to travel up to Sydney for four days. Well, there was a little bit of coaxing on my part, but it was because two of perhaps my most favourite things in the world were coinciding on this weekend and I would most likely have regretted it if I hadn’t have gone.

Firstly, Cassey Ho of Blogilates was making an appearance in Mosman on Sunday. I have written about her a few times (can’t remember if it was on this blog or my Tumblr or both) – pretty much she got me into Pilates when I never ever thought I would and she is amazing. I’ve been doing her videos on and off now for a few months and absolutely love the idea of a no-equipment, costless workout that really focusses on loving your body while absolutely working it to the bone (in a good way!!) I never ever thought I would get a chance to meet her as she lives in the states, and when she announced her Australia trip I hardly thought twice about it because she wasn’t coming to Melbourne…

Secondly, the Harry Potter exhibition has been in Sydney since November and I made Aaron promise me we would get there before it finishes in March. The realisation that it’s now almost mid-Feb and that we’d better start thinking about getting up there, coupled with the fact that the experience of meeting Cassey and doing a Pilates class with her would be incredible, AND the fact that I’m about to start uni and would have less time to drive up to Sydney, made us think, screw it, let’s just do it.

So on Wednesday we called Kate & Brad to see if it was alright to stay with them this weekend. Thankfully all the stars aligned and it was, so on Saturday morning we drove up to their place in Dee Why.

The Pilates class on Sunday morning was such an amazing experience. It was so surreal to meet this inspirational girl in real life, who had motivated me to take a different approach to exercise and health, if only through the internet and YouTube. Suddenly I was having a conversation with her, and she was hugging me because I was from Melbourne and had driven all that way for the class, and then it was her and me and 24 other POP Pilates ladies all pushing ourselves to the extreme! It was an hour long class – over half an hour longer than what I had ever done – and because she was right there in front of me I couldn’t pause her to take a break!! Plus the class was being streamed live on the internet and, as my family in Melbourne informed me, I was centre stage, so I couldn’t really give up half way through.

After the workout finished (I was shaking so hard from exhaustion!!) we all had a morning tea and got the chance to get pictures and have a chat. I love the photo I got with Cassey! There were loads more photos taken as well, which will apparently be up online soon, so I can’t wait to check them out too. I came home from the class with a huge smile on my face, wanting to relive the whole morning over and over (except I think my muscles would hate me). It was so super awesome and I am so glad we made the effort to come up to do it.

After resting my poor muscles back at Brad & Kate’s during the middle of the day, we went for a drive, aiming to get to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and walk it. We didn’t end up doing the walk because it started raining, but we did stop at a place called Sirius Cove and walked a track that backed onto the Taronga Zoo. It was right next to the water but up high and surrounded by bush. We got down to a little beach and watched a huge ship pull out, then headed back. We did get to the Sydney Harbour Bridge after a bit of detouring, but we didn’t stay long because of the rain (and because we were hungry!)

Sirius Cove

The beach we ended up at!

For dinner we went to a beautiful Lebanese restaurant down at the Dee Why beach, called Wood & Stove. We ordered dips and bread and mixed grills and shared it all. Great service and great food! I was so full I could hardly walk home πŸ™‚

On Monday morning Aaron & I got up, walked down to Pittwater Rd and caught a bus into the city where we went to see the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum! It was so good to have this to look forward to after my awesome morning on Sunday. The exhibition itself was great. The people working for the exhibit all had beautiful English accents, which made it feel really authentic. I just loved how they made it feel real, the extra effort they put into it. Not only great for huge Harry Potter fans (meeeeee!) but also for children experiencing the exhibit – it didn’t just feel like a museum, it felt like a magical world, and that’s so special.

The Sorting was hilarious – the guy playing that role did it really well. And I loved walking past the Hogwarts Express with all the smoke and the girl with the lantern. Walking into the start of the exhibition, it was so cool seeing the moving portraits, especially the Fat Lady! And then started the different exhibits, highlighting different characters, classes, rooms and scenes. All of it was better than what I expected – the detail that went into every prop and costume, and the fact that the actual items that the actors had used and been around were sitting right in front of me, and the few interactive settings they had (Quidditch, Herbology) – I just loved the whole experience. We were in there for about an hour and half – I had the audio tour so I took a little longer than Aaron to go through the exhibits – and then spent about half an hour in the gift shop just trying to find out what we were going to blow our money on!! In the end I got a Ravenclaw scarf, a beautiful Ravenclaw pen (far too expensive but totally worth it), a Chocolate frog and a pack of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. Aaron bought Voldemort’s wand!! He’s going to use it to conduct our primary school band, they are going to LOVE it!

We both had a really great time. I was surprised how much Aaron enjoyed himself – he’s listened to me blab about Potter and been dragged along to the movies for four years and although he’s been totally awesome about it, he was never a HUGE fan. But I think he’s getting into it! He wants to watch all the Harry Potter movies again so he can practice holding his wand like Voldemort πŸ™‚

We had a quick lunch at a takeaway-style restaurant before we hopped back on the bus to go back to Dee Why. We met Kate & Brad at their new office – very nice! – then walked home to chill out for the rest of the day. We watched part of The Bodyguard before forcing ourselves into bed cos we had to get up at 5am for our drive home!

Aaron was really clever with our drive home. He refused to just do the Hume the whole way home (I agree, it’s so boring) so we actually decided to take Lawrence Hargrave Drive through to Wollongong. It was beautiful, right along the ocean – it was a little bit like the Great Ocean Road actually!

Sea Cliff Bridge

Looking over to Wollongong

We had breakfast at a cafe in Austinmer overlooking the beach and took the Macquarie Pass up to Roberston, past the road we went down to get to Fitzroy Falls and back on to the Hume north of Goulburn. A really enjoyable detour and didn’t cost us heaps of time either!

Our view from the cafe in Austinmer

We were able to stop a couple of times and we still made it home by 6. It was just such an awesome trip and I’m really glad we made the effort to go up. It set us back a little bit financially but the experience was so worth it!

On another note, I promise to write a bit more in the next little while. We’re already back to school and orientation for uni is this Wednesday! (It’s a little scary how that’s crept up on me, haha). So there will be lots to report. Until next tiiiime!


I'm Monica - a 21 year old Aussie girl trying to understand life. Teaching music and studying to be a primary school teacher. Blogging about everything and nothing!


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