Cory U of CUExperiments

A Canadian traveling. Currently blogging about my adventure stories, hobbies & inspiring finds.


I can be bribed with coffee...

CUExperiments is a collective of experimental projects I've personally designed & created. Each experiment is fabricated through the inspirations of everyday living.

-Cory U
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Posts tagged "melbourne"

Starting Adventure 2012 in Australia’s summer, you’d think I’d find the time to wander through the Botanical Gardens before the dead of winter. Instead, I only got the chance to go in the last weeks of Melbourne. Before hitting the final destination, somehow I came across a statue of Hercules & couldn’t help but pose for a random photo.

Although being Australia’s winter, I still enjoyed the wander through the gardens. My favourite was the “volcano” displaying various desert plants. Up at the top, there was a pretty nice view of the city skyscrapers through the garden trees.

Coolest part was viewing a pond that just looked like a giant green field! You’d think it was dirty disgusting algae, but it was really a plant growing on the surface of the water… Dana couldn’t help but poke a stick through it to prove there was really water below.

-Cory U

PS Dana & I laugh at the photo of us together since it totally looks like we could be holding hands…

Speaking of Dana’s Aussie family, I have never been so beautifully taken care of by a “stranger” family before. Far from strangers now, they took us both in so wonderfully & made us feel at home so well. To thank them for their help & support in those 6 months, we took them out for dinner before saying our final goodbyes.

Thanks to Sylvia, Mimo, & their girls Melanie & Natalie for making that time in Melbourne even more wonderful.

-Cory U

PS I love how it looks like the only meal we could afford to buy them was pizza… The restaurant was known for their wood oven pizzas, that’s all.

Diving into some Aussie culture, I spent a little time surfing the tv channels. Over the six+ months together, both me & Dana got hooked on watching a few Aussie reality shows that stole a good 5 hours of our lives each week. (Yes, they aired every single week night.) Arguably, we both watched these shows on a day to day basis but we still had different favourites. Dana got really hooked on “My Kitchen Rules” where regular Aussies compete to make amazing food dishes to ultimately win money. I got hooked on “The Block" where more regular Aussies renovated completely run down historic homes on a block room- by- room each week to ultimately earn themselves money from the sale of the homes.

(I also got a little hooked on a show called “Please Marry My Boy” where the mothers ended up picking the final match for their sons after getting to know the women & watching them date their sons. The drama between the mum’s & potential daughter-in-laws was hilarious!)

When I found out that “The Block” was Melbourne-based this year & that there was an open house weekend there was no doubt that I was going. Course, I had no clue how insanely popular it would be to go & families were lined up wayyy before the sun was up to get a look through all four houses on the block. With friends still visiting, there was no way I was spending an entire day waiting in line to get a look at the rooms first hand. So unfortunately I didn’t get to see the interiors, but I did get some pretty awesome free hats… & Dana did some celebrity gushing meeting the host, Scotty.

The night that followed, I wore my new “CHUMP” hat out to dinner on a crazy hat night. Each week, the losing room renovation couple had to wear a silly chump hat for 24 hours… After wearing mine for the night, I don’t think I’d mind losing to wear a fun hat like that.

"The Block" also allowed me to finally see an Aussie auction; a common way to sell homes in Australia, but not back in Canada. I got nervous just watching the entire process happen & was glued to my seat the entire episode. It makes house purchasing & selling seem like an intense sport!

-Cory U

Much to some of my friends’ amazement, the aquarium was the first time I had encountered jellyfish in Australia. (I have friends that fear I’ll die here from some poisonous animal & never come home… Hasn’t happend… Yet! Haha.)

Focusing on the jellyfish, & not the photos of me with fish, this is what I found was most interesting: The top left photo is of Threadfin Trevally’s that are said to mimic sea jellies to keep predators away. Their long fins look like jelly tentacles to other fish. To me, they were just really mesmerizing to watch. Also mesmerizing were the jellyfish themselves; it’s bizarre watching them float around & think how such an empty looking creature can give off such a deadly sting. Here’s hoping I don’t ever get to experience that pain in the next few months of still being here in OZ.

-Cory U

Like I said before, my favourite part of the aquarium was definitely sitting around & watching the fish swim around us. The Sea turtles were the most fun to watch as it seemed like they were wanting to clean their shells & kept wedging themselves between rocks & tight spaces. Either that, or they really just wanted to hide away real bad.

Creatures that were really cool to see? The Mexican Walking fish that can regenerate practically every part of its body (talk about super powers!) & the Sting Rays that seemed to always smile as they swam by. Oh ya, & I found out a Rock Lobster is not just a song but an actual lobster! (Yes, I’m admitting to not really knowing that.) Cue cheesy B52’s music now.

-Cory U

From penguins to sharks, we saw almost every water creature that we could’ve missed on out Reef & Rainforest trip at the Melbourne Aquarium. The strange part was seeing penguins from the Antarctic even though there are penguins roaming Melbourne’s “backyard” so-to-speak. Also strange, was finally seeing the commonly served Barramundi fish before being caught & cooked… That fish is BIG! My favourite was probably sitting inside the large circular fish tank watching the sharks & sea creatures swim around us.

Funny moments: A little Asain girl mistaking me for her mommy. & a little curly haired 2-ish yr old boy taking a liking to me & joining me in pointing out different fish even though he spoke a completely different language. Still not sure where they were visiting from but he was literally running across the room to his mum, turning around & shouting hello to me through a crowd of people. What a cutie.

-Cory U

More photos walking down the graffiti laneways. You could really crank your neck trying to spot all the tags & designs. One of the coolest things was walking through a group that looked almost like a class for graffiti artists. They all had their own section, masks, & variety of cans to choose from; they even pyloned the area! I can’t think of a city I’ve been in that doesn’t publicly tag their laneways like Melbourne.

A week after our main walk down the laneways & closer to the opening of the newest Dark Knight release, we spotted the Joker near Fed Square. I have a feeling since he’d already been tagged by the time we spotted him, he’s already painted over & won’t be seen there again.

-Cory U

PS The strangest thing to come across down the laneways was a posting infront of a clean drug facility that was closed up for the day due to a brawl. If you still needed your meth fix, there was a number to call. Somehow I forgot to take of picture of it, but I’ll probably always remember the note… Still one of the safest-feeling cities I’ve ever been in though.

One thing that makes Melbourne such a colourful & unique place is its graffiti. Laneways such as Hosier & AC/DC make just some of the alleys to tour through & see a whole other world of design. The fun thing is, you could walk down every single day & find new graffiti appear each time. I think it’s rumored that Banksy made his mark here too, only for it to be covered up by someone else who didn’t realize.

My favourites to see we’re the rodent/marsupial? (not sure which creature exactly) in the “diabetes” soda cup & “LOST”, since it reminded me once again that the crash in the series LOST all started in Australia. Dun dun dunnn.

-Cory U

Just to add to the whole experience or Skydeck88 there was a nicely fenced off outdoor viewing spot to feel how cold it was 80-something stories up on an autumn/winter day in Melbourne. There was a nice view of the more southern parts of Melbourne from there in the direction of areas like St.Kilda, my favourite Penguin viewing spot!

-Cory U

Still at Skydeck88 of Eureka tower. It was real fun playing with the angles of windows & sunlight reflections. I spoke to a local photographer later in the month when I recognized his tower photos from the tower view. He wished they’d hold evenings for photographers where they’d turn off the level’s lights so you could get nice clean shots of the city at night from above. Nothing of a photographer myself, I enjoyed how the windows acted like cool angled mirrors. Come to think of it, I’d be able to cut my hair fairly well with those…

-Cory U

Eureka!

Cheesy jokes aside, the Eureka tower is the tallest in Melbourne & showcases a great 360 view of the entire city from Skydeck88.

The fun part was being able to spot all the places I’ve been from every corner. I could spot the different neighbourhoods I explored, my random work locations & even my “home”. I found it really cool that depending where you were facing, the windows displayed different distance markings to main landmarks like the Great Ocean Road & Sydney.

I did however, find it anything but cool that the CN Tower wasn’t listed in their information exhibition of the tallest structures in the world. The CN Tower is still in the top 5 of the tallest freestanding structures after all & got no recognition! This proud Canadian wasn’t very impressed by that.

-Cory U

No matter how many times I walked through Melbourne there was always something to find that I didn’t spot before. Look up at the buildings & there’s always something new to notice. From strange shaped windows to people popping out of walls, there was never a building that seemed to look like another. & four straight walls never seem to be an option.

Walking to Eureka tower for the day, we ended up finally a bubbly & colourful building to I hadn’t seen before. Coolest was spotting it later on as we hovered above the city in the Eureka Tower.

Funniest part: Taking a photo along the Yarra river only to find it got photo bombed by a clever stranger.

-Cory U

After the big east coast trip, I had the privilege of continuing my adventures with some great girls & fellow travelers. It was fun having some more friends to goof around with & even better fun showing them around the city I was calling home: Melbourne.

So in the last months of Melbourne (June & July), there were more people to do all those last minute tourist outings with & just have a good time with.

So even though I find myself in Brisbane as I share these stories, here are a bunch more stories from my days in Melbourne…

-Cory U

"Just a few good things we’ve done here in Melbourne (so far):

The ACMI, Random Entertainment, Celebrity Stalking, Volunteering & audience to The XFactor AU.

-Cory U”

oot & aboot Melbourne (by Connect3hree)

There are SO many reality shows going on in Australia. With the magic of the internet, we landed tickets to the audience auditions for X Factor Australia. Most of the entertainment should’ve stayed home for the day but we did hear a few good potential winners.

They were real sticklers against cameras & phones for the day but we did sneak a few indoors.

The best part was finding out Mel B from the Spice Girls was one of the judges. Grew up listening to their music constantly & I had a few jealous friends back home. It’s real fun listening to her banter live.

-Cory U