World Travels by Casey

Port Macquarie Trip

Sam had decided before I arrived that he was going to take some time off work so we could go on a road trip. So on Thursday we left his house and headed up the coast,
not sure where we were going, just somewhere warmer!

It's not freezing here, it's actually been about 60 to 65 degrees on most days and cooler in the evenings. So it's basically like spring time in Oregon except I just went from a very hot summer right into spring. You could say it's been a little chilly for me to get used to. 

We thought about originally going to drive the great Ocean Road but there was some confusion regarding exactly where that was located. Sam thought it was only an hour to an hour and a half away from his home and somebody else told me it was further away. When we finally got around to looking it up we realized it's actually below Sydney and closer to Melbourne. So that would mean it would be colder there and much further away so we are saving that trip for another time closer to summer (mid October/ early November).

We started our drive out of town after Sam got his hair cut- 

Entertaining conversation for me to listen to during the haircut. The guys that own and work in the shop where Lebanese I think. Sam has been going to the same place for a while now so you think they would be able to have a normal conversation. But what I noticed was that they often didn't know what the other one was talking about. So Sam would be talking to his barber and the barber wouldn't understand what the conversation was about but he would answer based on what HE (the barber) thought was being talked about. Do you follow?

and we had a big breaky at Foti's. Sam knows the owners very well. The guys behind the counter were worried what I ordered would be to big for me but I was pretty sure I could handle it. It was $25 Australian and they didn't charge Sam or I for the added on smoked salmon.

Yeah $25 for this in Australia seems crazy. I would pay $12-$14 in Oregon for something like this.

While we were sitting just inside the café Sam noticed that several people outside on the patio were looking at me. He thought it was because I looked like Cameron Diaz and he's mentioned that a few other times to me when we have gone out and he catches people looking at me. I on the other hand figured it was because I was eating such a large breakfast compared to most Australians. 
I usually tend to eat a bigger breakfast medium size lunch and a smaller dinner, it just works better with my active lifestyle and workouts. 

There was this one guy in particular who had a really goofy grin on his face and he kept looking at me. We made eye contact a couple times and then I just had to ignore him as he was starting to creep me out.

We got on the motorway which is basically like the interstates/ freeways of the USA. After driving a little bit Sam pulled over and switch seats with me. It was my turn and to start practicing driving on the left side of the road… Again! He thought it would be safer for me to drive on the motorway versus around town. I'm not sure if there was a safer spot, myself. 

Yikes! American on the road! 

Let's just say I'm really heavy on the left side of the road but if you don't understand what that means I basically drive on the line of the left side of the road. So on the motorway it was all bumpy lines. You know, like those roads we have in the states that are designed to wake you up as you start to cross over the line and head towards the ditch!? Yeah those ones! So Sam is giving me a lot of crap since the car was in constant vibration bumping along. It was kind of funny but also frustrating as I tried so hard to say in the middle or on the right.

Road trip scenery.

As we drove along the conversation with Sam was mostly back to discussing any making fun of the different words we use being from different countries. For example, 
Uti - Australian for truck 
Bakkie- South African for truck

We also laughed about the way a South African/ Ireland/ Australian influenced guy talks and how the American understands him. Trust me this has made for some hilarious conversations!   
Sam kept saying plond and I thought it was some new word but he was actually saying, plant. Then he's also been saying Island and it didn't make sense in the conversation but I just decided to smile and nod. On the road trip he did it again and it finally occurred to me (literally like a light bulb went off!) that he was saying "Ireland!" 
Biltong is another word he used several times and I thought he was saying bull tongue. Then he bought some (basically jerky) and I realized what he was saying. 

In the South African section at woolworths grocery store. 


Pete, a friend of Sam's from the gym called us on the drive and suggested we go to Port Macquarie. It sounded like kind of a tourist place but I had never heard of it. It took us about 4.5 to 5 hours to drive there I think. Definitely not longer but maybe slightly less, regardless it was dark when we rolled into town. There was one stop we needed to make before looking for a place to sleep. The  owner of the kitchen remodel company Sam works for lives in Port Mac. and he and his wife run an antique shop there. We had some paper work to drop off to him from the shop back in Sydney. 

When we arrived Tony was outside the front of the building hauling items into the shop so that he could lock up for the night. 

Taken the next day outside of the shop. 

His wife was sitting in the car when we pulled in. She got out to say hello and then Sam and Tony talked a bit of buisness before the couple invited us to come back to the shop tomorrow. We agreed to it and then headed off to find ourselves a hotel. 

I don't know if you recall from the last time I was in Australia but Sam is not the type to stay in a hostel or couch surf. Any travels with Sam will pretty much be on his terms of what is comfortable. Thats okay with me if he's willing to pay for it because I'm on a budget backpacking adventure! I was and always do offer to split the cost with him but he always turns my offers down. I'm not so much of a jerk that I wouldn't at least offer. 

So we found ourselves a room at a pretty nice hotel that we got a fairly good deal on and very close to the ocean. As we were checking in Sam joked with the lady and said, "I believe we had an upgrade to the penthouse". The supervisor walked over and laughed, saying "no unfortunately not the penthouse but I do see an upgrade for you." The funny thing is that when we got to our room there was no couch only a queen size bed. 

Playfully slapping Sam on the back I laughed and said well it looks like we'll be sleeping in the same bed tonight! He had a slight look of panic on his face. I assured him it was completely fine however I might talk in my sleep and sometimes ill through my arm and it's been known to hit a friend in the head before. 

To those who have slept in the same bed with me and are reading this right now, I'm sure you are already laughing. 

It's not on a regular basis that I do any of this but hey sometimes I just need to do my thing! Oh! And I told him that I sometimes I snore but it's not loud and it only lasts for about 15 to 20 min and then its over. He was laughing and confused, I could tell. "How do you know this!? How!?" 
"Because I've recorded myself sleeping before! I couldn't just let others tell me what I was doing and be happy with that!"

Our fancy room upgrade! Not sure how it was an upgrade but the bathroom WAS  big! 

We went out to Indian food for dinner that night and when we were almost finished in walked 3 guys who sat somewhat near us. One of those guys looked EXACTLY like the guy who started to creep me out that morning at breakfast. I noticed him but didn't say a word. Sam noticed him as well and commented on him possibly being the same guy. It just didn't make sense to us how we ate at the same place for breakfast, drove about five hours away and now we are all back at the same place for dinner!? No way! 
We finished dinner and left. I couldn't bring myself to look in the direction of that guy as I walked outside. Creeper! Haha! 

We explored town a little bit and at some point I decided to hitch a ride. 

Piggy back style! It didn't last long, I was laughing to hard to stay on. 

We went to move Sam's car into hotel parking after dinner but it wouldn't start. I asked him if this happened often and he said it just started happening but he thinks he knows what the problem is. It probably would've been nicer known this before we drove so far away but at least Sam is fairly mechanical. So I wasn't too worried about our situation. 

The next morning I woke up and got on my phone to start writing down notes for the next blog post (this one). When Sam finally woke up he rolled over to see if I was awake and greeted me with a good morning and his phone in my face. He started to pull up an audio clip when I realized what he was doing! 

"I told you I had already recorded myself! What makes you think I needed to hear it again!?" 
I was laughing and so was he but seriously! What a punk! He agreed that I was right, it was quite snoring but it was funny and he couldn't resist. 

After my shower and being fully ready for the day I said something to Sam that ended with me getting fully dosed with Calvin Klein cologne and then attacked with a banana! He assured me he was just filling in for my brothers while we were apart from each other. I assured him that my brothers wouldn't do that to me. 

After the cologne attack and right before the banana attack! 

A very GQ photo opp of Sam and his banana. Notice the banana strip on his shirt? 

We went to breakfast where I tried fennel and maple sausage which Sam said was kind of an Australian thing they are known for. I ordered a few other things ala cart in order to keep the cost down and the waiter didn't think it'd be enough for me. 

I'm having an interesting time around here with my breakfast orders. Some places think its to much and apparently some think its to little. Mine on this day was perfect! 

View from the hotel and the cafe we had breakfast at. 

Then to the Antique shop- 

"crap! If you got lost you'd never be found!" - Sam Tierney

It was literally crap! There were a few things I saw in there that reminded me of home and things family members have. But overall it looked like they had brought in loads of dump trucks and dumped them on top of each other. Or as my dad would say, "it looks like a goodwill truck crashed into a value village store!" 

See what I mean!? 

This place had me in tears! Silent tears! Talk about a way to be a horder and get away with it in a socially exceptiable way. 

My grandma (tutu) used to buy these for us kids, growing up. 

More crap but with some Australian memorabilia. 

Welcome to the world of anything and everything! This photo kind of reminds me of a scene from The Little Mermaid. Do you know the one I'm talking about, under the sea with Ariel? 

A painting tutu has in her house. 

The entrance into the shop, where Sam is.

And some floats that reminded me of my dad. 

After an almost 2 hours of our lives were sucked away in the antique shop, Sam and I decided to head to Shelly beach. One of the more popular beaches in the area. We had lunch on a picnic table while wild turkeys trotted around us waiting for scraps. One even jumped up on the table while I sat there eating and Sam had walked off to the toilet. 

Picnic lunch. 

We didn't know we could have had fresh turkey for lunch instead of tuna and salmon. Those little buggers! 

There was some great whales and dolphins watching as well as lots of surfers out. Sam swore he saw a shark surface and he could have. There had been some shark sittings earlier that week and the night of our first stay there was a man who somehow fell into the ocean and was missing all day. 

Shelly beach. 

Hiking around the beaches. 

There was a hike from Shelly beach that went both directions so we went one way as far as we could go. We ended at Nobbys beach (an off leash beach for dogs) and then started in the other direction towards a light house that we couldn't see tell the very end of the trail.

 Hiking to a look out point where a memorial sits for someone who fell or jumped off into the ocean. 

Photo opp.! 

Keep up Sam! There's a surprise ahead, on a beach just around the corner! 

Beach walk.

This was a nude beach with (I'm not kidding!) only a few nude 
people but they were creepin around the edges of the vegetation and sunbathing in hidden spots. Sam freaked out when we accidently stumbled across it. I had read about it but didn't know we had reached it. He was in such a state of panic that he had me on the ground laughing so hard my stomach was hurting. Im a bit more open to the hippie way of life, coming from Portland. Sam is definitely more conservative. 

The trails occasionally gave us a bit of a break from the warm sun. 

What is this!? It caught my eye as I walked by it and I turned back in a hurrying see what it was. 
After Sam poked it with a stick (as seen here) we determined it was a fire ant nest! 

The light house finally came into view. 

Beach view from the light house.

See the stairs going up the hillside to the right of the lighthouse? Well, I used them to take advantage of an afternoon workout. 
Finally made it to the light house! 

Now to head back! The highlight of the walk back was when Sam and I were so involved in a conversation that we almost stepped on a sleeping nudiest sunbathing at the edge of the foliage. 

drove again, this time in town. Does this photo look weird to any of the Americans reading this!? I mean... That's the passenger side and my hands are on a steering wheel!  

We drove from Shelly beach in search of a new place to stay for the night. We went to a place Pete had recommended but as we pulled up so did the cops. It seemed there was an issue between a customer and the front desk so we landed ourselves at a best western on the ocean. 

When I pulled into the best western hotel parking lot there was instantly a 3 car fender bender behind me. Opps! Someone wasn't paying attention but I can't help but feel somewhat responsible for that, either. Especially because Sam was laughing and said it was the Americans fault, to me! 

I waited in the car while Sam ran in to make sure there was a room available. 
When I walked in with him I noticed right away that this room came with 2 beds! I laughed and I asked him if he requested this so that he could get some better shut eye! The answer was yes! 

The shorter building (blue and gray colored) closest to the camera was the best western hotel we stayed at. 

According to him he couldn't get used to sleeping next to someone and with every turn he was very gentle not to wake me. Oh! and NOW he decides to mention to me that at one point during the last night I was right up at his back breathing on him! LOL! And "it wasnt the romantic type of breathing either" he said. Oh and I guess I said something in my sleep to him but he was to asleep to remember. 

We went to dinner at an Irish pub in town that was clearly a local favorite. 

Beef cheecks & broccoli with 2 fried ham mac and cheese rolls. My dinner. 

Then back to the hotel soon after as I was already starting to fade into sleepy night night land. 

Nate KComment