Down Under Diairies - Lauren Pedersen


Today I celebrated a very eventful 19th birthday down under in Sydney with my extended family. Every day seems to fly by faster than the one before, as we are usually out the door bright and early in the morning, ready to explore what the city has to offer. After I opened the huge pile of gifts I received from my friends Shaina and Nikki, it was time to hop on the ferry to Manly Beach. Manly Beach was not exactly what I expected. I did not see much of a beach amongst the row of shops, and I suppose that was okay with me because I would not have gotten much of a tan in the rain, but I did manage to purchase a few birthday gifts for myself and eat some of Consuelo's tiramisu gelato. That stuff was pretty good.

On that note, I don't know if it is just me, but I think the best part about team trips would have to be the meals. Besides the fact that we get to eat ribs at Tony Roma's for lunch and pancakes with ice cream late at night (what could be better?), I feel that our team bonds the most during meals because they take a long time, so we have to figure out ways to entertain ourselves. Plus, I just really enjoy eating good food. The combination of my cool teammates and good food pretty much makes my day.

When we aren't eating or shopping, we also like to play a little basketball, and tonight we faced, who else, but the Bruins of Bankstown. The Aussies are pretty fierce, I must say, but we pulled out the win despite our tired legs. After the game, the girls from the other team actually invited us up to the little meeting room above the courts to enjoy a pleasant potluck. At first, I'll admit we were not too enthusiastic about the social gathering, but the food was good and so was the company. I learned a lot about the other team by asking twenty questions. One of the girls was actually pregnant (eek!), some were as old as 26, and the point guard is coming to the States to play at an NAIA school in Florida. Also it would be helpful to know that the older folk in Australia call pies 'dogs eyes', and the Aussie women also enjoy playing a little game called netball in lycra skirts (it's similar to basketball, but with no dribbling). I never thought I could learn so much at a potluck; it truly was a cultural experience. The Aussies are a lot of fun!

Well, I could write a lot more because there is so much to tell ... but I will save it for another time. I think it's past my bedtime. I need the energy, as We have plenty more adventures to come ... stay tuned.

Lauren Pedersen

P.S. Hello to dad and moms, and the brother jon. prepare the house, I will be home soon enough.

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