For background on this series of blogs, see this intro post.
Driving in a foreign country can be a little bit of a terrifying thought, but if you are able to do a road trip with a few people, I would highly recommend it. It’s a great way to spend some time with new friends and see some things you may not otherwise see. This was one of my favorite days while in Australia. Driving on the left wasn’t as difficult to get used to as I thought it would be, although there were definitely moments where habit came through (such as hitting the windshield wipers instead of the blinker).
The Journal Entry
Today was an amazing day. I got up at 7, ate breakfast, and got ready. At 8:30 I went to the ups office to meet everybody to walk to the car rental place. Vivien, Vicky, Elizabeth, Erin, and I all went. The car rental place was down Blackburn Road a little ways. It was about a 20 minute walk, which wasn’t too bad. When I was getting the car, the guy asked me if I had any sort of proof I was living at the halls, and I didn’t. Luckily he let it slide. He said if his boss was there that wouldn’t have happened, but luckily that didn’t happen. We got pretty much a brand new car. It was a blue Holden Cruzer. The guy said they had only had it for about 2-3 weeks. That was pretty sweet. It was a nice car. I was very impressed. Anyway, I drove first. The first time I had to use the blinker I hit the windshield wipers. Haha. I was even thinking when I got into the car not to do it and I still did. It was pretty funny. The actual driving part wasn’t too bad. It was actually pretty easy. It wasn’t near as weird as I thought it was going to be. We took the freeway for a little while and then got on a highway. I had to do a couple roundabouts which weren’t too bad. It took about an hour to get to the animal park. We went to Maru Animal Park. It was a little ways before Phillip Island. That was really cool. We got to feed kangaroos, and even pet them. We got to see wallabies, dingoes, koala bears, a Tasmanian devil, and more. It was definitely worth it to go there. After that Elizabeth drove onto the Island and to The Nobbies. We ate lunch after we got to The Nobbies. There were some really cool views from there. After we ate we went into the gift shop and then did a short boardwalk thing. That was really neat. After we had finished there Elizabeth drove to the chocolate factory. They had so many different kinds of chocolate bars and stuff you could get there. We all had a really hard time deciding what to get. I ended up getting a milk caramel cream bar, a milk peppermint cream bar, and a milk strawberry cream bar. It was $9.60 just for the 3 bars. I ate the peppermint one as soon as we left. It was really good. Erin drove after we left the chocolate factory. She was kind of freaking out after she got behind the wheel. It was pretty funny. She just drove to a game place called Amaze n Things. It was pretty close to the chocolate factory. We stopped there, went into a candy shop for a couple minutes, then walked around the place a little bit. We then came back to the store to get some ice cream until we found out how expensive it was. It was $4.00 for a really small cup, so we decided not to get any. After that I drove up to Cowes. We were gonna try to get to a viewpoint, but ended up driving on all these narrow residential streets. We ended up parking on a dead-end street and walking on a short path to the beach. After that we walked along the beach for a while picking up shells and visiting. It was fun. After we had walked a while we turned around and walked back to the car. After that I drove to a place called Red Rock Point. It was another beach. It was pretty neat. We just hung out there for a while and visited. At about 4:30 we left and Elizabeth drove back into Cowes. We parked in the downtown area and walked around a little bit looking at places to eat. After we had found where we all wanted to eat, we used some public restrooms and then all got our food. Vivien and Elizabeth got fish and chips, Vicky got noodles, Erin got chicken nuggets, and I got a Hawaiian chicken parm sandwich thing with chips. It was pretty good. While we were eating we saw some of the kids from Loyola and visited with them. They had come with Monash Sport. That was cool. After we had finished eating, we walked to an ice cream place. I got some boysenberry swirl ice cream. It was really good. Once again a little overpriced, but it was good. After that we went back to the car and Elizabeth drove to the penguin parade place. It was raining on the way there. After we got into the main building we looked through a couple of the shops. Erin, Elizabeth, and Vicky bought ponchos. By the time we headed out to the viewing area it wasn’t raining anymore. We went and sat down at about 7:40. The penguins were so cute. They were so small. They would come to shore in groups and then walk up the beach as groups. There was one group that kept going back and forth from the water to the beach. It was so funny. It was like they couldn’t decide whether to go up the beach or not. Finally all of them but one did. That one stayed in the water. Towards the time we left it started to sprinkle. By the time we had left it was pretty empty already. It was really cool to see that. After we left there Elizabeth drove back to Melbourne. We came back to the halls and everybody went to their rooms to put stuff up. We then all met back at the car and I drove to Pinewood to go to Coles. This was at about 10:45 I believe. We all did some shopping, and then drove back to the halls. It was so nice not to have to take public transport to go shopping. It was so much quicker and easier. As we were dropping off Erin and Vivien, we realized we needed to fill the car up with gas. So Vicky, Elizabeth, and I went to do that. We went to the 7-11 on North Rd. I went and asked the cashier if I needed to leave my credit card with him before I started pumping, and he said I didn’t have to. He then asked me if the car was gas, and I said yes, and he told me we needed to move to a different pump. I went back to the car and told Vicky and Elizabeth that, and Vicky pointed out that “gas” means like “propane gas,” while the gas in the United States is referred to as petrol here. When I opened the tank cap, it was unleaded fuel only, so we were at the right pump. The cashier came out after I started pumping, and I had to explain to him I got the terminology mixed up. It was pretty funny. Anyway, I paid for gas, and then we came back to the halls. I came back to my room, got groceries put up, made some chocolate milk, and then started writing this. It is now 1:17 A.M. There is probably so much more I could write about today, but I’m really tired and need to get to bed. It was a really fun day. I’m really glad we got to do it. It was awesome having our own vehicle and being able to do whatever we wanted. It was so funny because everybody was so nice about where they wanted to sit and who wanted to drive that it was always a long process deciding who was going to drive and where everybody was going to sit. Some funny things about driving here was that both Elizabeth and I hit the windshield wipers and we both reached to the wrong side for seat belts. That’s really all I can remember right now. Tomorrow I may spend a little while seeing if I can think of anything else, but for not it’s off to bed.