School, Vacation

My Trip to Sydney

When I was in high school I liked to sing. I still like to sing, but now I just do it in my car. I was involved in my school’s choir and we were competitive to say the least. Each year we traveled around the globe touring and competing. The last trip of my high school career was in Sydney Australia. The last venue that I ever sang in was the Sydney Opera House.

Props to me for thinking I could pull off a horizontal striped shirt.

Props to me for thinking I could pull off a horizontal striped shirt.

That year there were three different trips. I remember because I got to go on all three. I was one of the lucky ones. The most popular trip was obviously Sydney. Who wants to go to stupid old Austria and dumb old Italy when you can go down under? There was always a down side to these exciting trips and that was practicing. Every day during and after school we had to attend practice for hours on end. Even in the airport we would get into formation and sing our hearts out. For some reason I had no shame in high school.

Our days were filled with practice even when we arrived in Australia. We would gather and sing for four hours and then we were allowed to go explore. My teacher was a bit of a bully and she would threaten us not to sleep even when we were overcome with jet lag. We couldn’t play games or do anything crazy in case we got hurt and couldn’t sing. It was super Nazi style.

There was always some kind of activity planned during the day that we were forced to do but it was never anything super cool. Like, instead of climbing the Darling Harbour bridge, we went to the Featherdale Wildlife Park. Don’t get me wrong, I love little animals, especially little Australian animals, but I feel like we could’ve spent our time doing other, cooler things.

Me and a drugged wallaby. I think they drugged them so they would say still and not hop around.

Me and a drugged wallaby. I think they drugged them so they would say still and not hop around.

Me with the butt of an emu. I think they can be really mean, but he didn't mine me touching his butt.

Me with the butt of an emu. I think they can be really mean, but he didn’t mind me touching his butt.

I remember we were there on a Sunday night and my choir teacher forced us to go to mass with her and it was the most boring moment of my life. Every other night though, we got to roam around Sydney. Luckily, Australia’s drinking age was 18 and we happened to be 18 so we went into bars and danced in clubs and drank Smirnoff Ices. Super hardcore. Our choir teacher said we had to get a note from our parents saying that we could drink otherwise we couldn’t go out. I emailed my mom and she said no. I promptly changed the email to say yes, printed it out and handed it to my teacher.

We were also given a small amount of free time which my friend and I spent at the mall. Other people in our group took surfing lessons at Bondi Beach and we went to the mall. That’s how an 18 year old brain works I guess. We also went to the Sydney Aquarium which was the best aquarium that I’ve ever been to. I swear all of the animals there are on steroids. They have a sting ray that’s triple the size of me.

I’m pretty sure there was a moment when we went to an opal mine and I was super stoked because opals are my birth stone. I bought myself some tiny opal studs because that’s what you do when you’re traveling. You buy gifts for yourself and not for other people.

I remember one day they took us to a farm and I was convinced they were going to kill us. That year I had seen (and walked out of because I was so scared) the movie Wolf Creek which takes place in Australia. It’s about this group of kids that trust this guy to fix their flat tire and he takes them to his house and tortures them. I couldn’t handle it. In a way I was tortured that day because I had to watch a guy sheer a sheep in under a minute. We also learned how to crack a whip and throw a boomerang. Useful skills. Lastly, we watched Australian sheep dogs climb on the backs of sheep to wrangle them all together. It was one of those moments where I was thinking, “What am I doing here?”

Lily in high school. Complete spaz.

Lily in high school. Complete spaz.

Finally came the day when we got to perform in the Opera House. There wasn’t a lot of pressure because there was a total of 40 people watching us. The Opera House was cool, but it was slightly dated. It has a maroon color scheme which wouldn’t be my first choice in decorating, but who am I? I think we finished off the night by eating in a rotating restaurant at the top of the tallest building in Sydney.

You could say that I conquered that city. Actually no, you couldn’t really say that. But you could say that I conquered it’s mall.

Favorites, Feelings


If you think this post is going to be me bragging about my blog, you’re totally right. But it’s also going to serve as a big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me get this far in the blogging world. I’m really proud of my blog, it’s like my child. My child that I sometimes get bored with and don’t look at for weeks at a time.

A big thank you to everyone on my blog roll and everyone that follows me. I wouldn’t be here without you, obvs. Thanks for listening to my rants and pretending to laugh at all my bad jokes.

Thanks to mi madre, A Gripping Life for always commenting and encouraging me and telling me that I’m a good writer. Can we all agree that I have the best mom?

Recently, I’ve taken an interest in my blog’s stats. I like to see which countries view my blog the most. I only thought people from Illinois and Canada could relate to my life, but it turns out that people all over the world can! In the past 30 days the top countries that have viewed my blog are:

USA-9,911 viewers (ugh it WOULD end in 9/11. Can we just stop with 9/11?)










The list goes on and on. Like, 2 people from Uganda viewed my blog. It could’ve been an accident (I’m guessing the average view is an accident, actually), but I like to think that Ugandans totally understand me and think I’m hilarious.

So thank you USA, for being my home country and supporting me the most. Oh and happy birthday yesterday! Not to be weird, but you’re getting super old!

Thank you United Kingdom for being Canada’s biggest influence and for being so royal and everything. I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t compare myself to Kate Middleton and cry, so thanks for that too.

She knows that she’s perfect and it’s bothering me.

Canada–what a bada** country you are. Thanks for adopting me and loving me and letting me make fun of you. I still haven’t met a beaver or a moose yet, so lets work on that.

G’day Australia! Thanks for supporting my blog. Even though there were more people in my graduating class than viewers from your country, BUT WHATEVS. Hopefully I can return to Sydney and have some shrimp on the barbie. Or maybe just some shrimp in the shape of Barbie?

Muchas gracias Mexico! I actually expected more than 382 views because I recently visited Cancun and I felt like I totally bonded with your country, but I guess not? I’ll try harder next time. And maybe I should learn more Spanish than “Hola”?

Thanks Brazil. I mean, your meager effort in views is alright. I just had high expectations from a country whose population totals 192 million…! That doesn’t seem right. Maybe it does. I watched the movie Rio on an airplane and it wasn’t that good, so I guess we’re even?

The only thing more annoying than a parrot is a parrot with Jesse Eisenberg’s voice.

Danke Germs. To be totally honest I didn’t expect much from you schnitzel-eating lederhosen wearing folks. But I’m impressed! And clearly stereotyping because I know close to nothing about Germany.

Thanks Netherlands. I honestly never think about your country, but you clearly think about me, which is weird. Is this what it’s like to be famous?

Namaste, India.  I went to an Indian buffet like 2 days ago and it was amazing. Thank you for your food and for those bollywood music videos that were on in the background. They made me want to be a slumdog millionaire. Okay, just a millionaire.

Lastly, grazie mille, Italy! Only 221 of you came to my blog, but I’m still impressed. If I lived in Italy I would be jumping off a pizza diving board into a pool of pasta while sipping on my gelato smoothie. I don’t understand why all Italians aren’t doing that 24/7?

My swimming pool. Pure class.

Okay so that was annoying. Consider this the last time I say thank you ever again. Here’s to the next 100,000 views!


Lumberjack Competition

What a manly sport.

I wish that I was making this up. Yesterday I was on my computer while Paul was looking at the different sports that were on  TV. I looked up from all of the super important stuff that I was doing and I glanced at the screen. I read Football, Soccer, Rugby, Soccer, Lumberjack Competition, Soccer. What. What. What is that.

We turned it on for a bit. Its basically Canadians, Australians and Kiwis putting nicks in wooden poles, inserting a plank into the groove they created, standing on the inserted plank, and repeating the process. As J’amie King would say, “It’s so random!” If you don’t know who that is, I suggest you watch Summer Heights High RIGHT NOW.

Ahhh this one has some quality background music.

I think Lumberjack Competitions are my new favorite “sport” to watch. It’s kind of like a Strong Man Competition without people named Magnus ver Magnusson. But it’s also kind of like that Ninja Warrior show because the competitors really have to possess a set of sweet skills. By the way, if you’ve never watched a Strong Man Competition or Ninja Warrior, what are you doing with your life?

In conclusion, the Lumberjack Competitish is a smart idea. I think it’s a great way to celebrate Canada’s roots and heritage. They should be proud of the one skill that they have been blessed with. As for the Australians and Kiwis–You’re better than that.



The Majestic Maple

In all it's glory.

The other day my mom decided that it was about time to talk about the Canadian maple leaf. And when my mom decides something, it will happen.

She inquired about how the maple leaf is often used as a logo more than a symbol. It is (as I have recently found out) used on many restaurant chains, fliers, websites, etc. Paul was saying that the maple leaf makes people happy. Its the equivalent of saying “American Made”. I don’t know about you, but I prefer all of my goods  custom made in Chile. But that’s just a personal preference.

My mom also made another good observation–a maple leaf is really hard to draw. I’m not sure aboot Canada, but in the US, elementary schools force kids to draw American flags every year for one reason or another. Stars and stripes are pretty straight forward. A maple leaf though? Forgettaboutit.

Although, my mom said that she admires the simplicity that is the Canadian flag. She described the red as “bold and crisp”. And, while I do agree with her, I think saying that is super gay.

Let us not forget the many flags that include the color blue: USA, U.K., France, Australia, Norway, Cambodia, Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, Faroe Islands (obvi), Iceland, North Korea, Laos, Luxembourg, Nepal, Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico, Russia, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Thailand. To name a few.

How many flags are only red and white? Canada, Austria, Bahrain, Denmark, Georgia, Greenland, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, Singapore, Tonga, Turkey, and Peru. These countries may all have life and liberty, but they are missing the pursuit of happiness. And I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.

Lastly, my mom asked what kind of leaf the USA would have on their flag. Lets just be clear–the USA would not pull that kind of ridiculousness with something as permanent and symbolic as a national flag. But if I had to choose, it would probably be an Oak leaf because that’s our national tree apparently.

And now it's perfectly clear why our founding fathers decided against the whole leaf idea.