DSC_9866.jpg

hello! i’m juli!

welcome to design to explore! I document my adventures in travel, design, and food.

Birthday Radius!!!!

Birthday Radius!!!!

After an exhausting week in Thailand, it took all of us a bit of time to recover. We spent most of Sunday and Monday doing homework and taking naps periodically. And by the end of the week we were all rested up and ready to be tour guides to our two friends visiting from Melbourne and Gold Coast! Lindsay and Nick arrived on Friday afternoon and we had quite the weekend showing them around ~our~ city. 4.28tourist for the evening

Once Nick and Lindsay arrived, we took them to the Sydney Harbor to see the Opera House and Bridge. It was exciting taking someone else there, because they were so excited to see everything and take pictures. We hung out for a while before meeting up with the rest of our roommates to get dinner.

DSC_2949.jpg

DSC_2949.jpg

DSC_2901.jpg

DSC_2901.jpg

Our initial plan was to go to a restaurant called Bar Luca, but the wait was over an hour, so we used google maps and found this insane hole-in-the-wall basement restaurant called Contrabando. It was quite the hard fine, as the entrance to the restaurant was a small graffiti door with a sign the size of a piece of normal paper. So once we found it, we all sat and got tacos and quesadillas. I got a hamburger quesadilla and it was amazing, the combination of my two favorite things, Mexican and cheeseburgers.

That night, we all went out to Scary Canary, it’s a backpacking bar downtown and it’s a lot of fun because the music is amazing and we spent the whole night dancing which was a ton of fun.

scary_edited2.jpg

scary_edited2.jpg

4.29 thrifting

We all woke up on the later side this morning, but once we were all alive and coherent, we headed to the Glebe Markets. It’s a 40 minute bus ride into downtown Sydney area, but once we got there it was so cool. It’s a market but most of the shops are vintage and second hand clothing thrift shops selling clothes, so all the pieces are pretty unique and cool. Some booths have super expensive clothes (like who are you asking for $70 for a smelly shirt) but then other booths have $10 racks where you can get some pretty cool clothes. I ended up purchasing a cool floral dress (which I wore on my birthday J)

Since we had a dude with us, we didn’t wanna spend too much shopping and bore him out of his mind, so once I was satisfied, we went to the food truck area where we got the best nachos I’ve ever eaten. They were so damn good, but the meal was quickly ruined as a bird pooped on me as soon as I finished. Luckily Eva, our resident mom, had some wet wipes in her bag and I was able to get most of the poop out of my hair. Needless to say, that was a good enough reason to start heading home.

IMG_3709.JPG

IMG_3709.JPG

We were all pretty exhausted from the night before, so we all took some power naps before heading out to a nice dinner. We went to a small restaurant around the corner from our apartment called Zebra Green Hotel, where we had the MOST delicious meal of our lives. I got wings and corn fritters and it was yum delish.

On the way home is where it starts to get really exciting though. We stopped at the liquor store to get drinks and when I got home, I was absolutely shocked to walk into the apartment to a surprise birthday party for me. I had no clue at all, and all my friends from the other neighborhood came down and I cannot explain how shocked and happy I was, I even cried….

IMG_3805.JPG

IMG_3805.JPG

IMG_3792.JPG

IMG_3792.JPG

IMG_3827.JPG

IMG_3827.JPG

IMG_3735.JPG

IMG_3735.JPG

FullSizeRender.jpg

FullSizeRender.jpg

We played some drinking games, and ate some cake before we headed to the bar El Topo for a fun night. We had to get there before 10, which is always pretty lame so that we wouldn’t have to pay cover to get into the bar. But it was a good time, I got Eva to take her first tequila shot and her first jagerbomb throughout the night. We spent the night dancing, and Monica spent the night shouting at people that “ITS HER BIRTHDAY” so it felt like the whole bar was aware.

4.30naps around Sydney

Today we officially were all pretty exhausted from two long nights out. At the end of the day, we coined today as the “Napping Tour of Sydney”. We took our guests Nick and Lindsay to Manly Beach in the morning, it’s quite a hike where you need to take a nice scenic ferry across the harbor, but once you get there it’s a cute beach town that is so quaint. We got some smoothie bowls before having our first nap of the day.

Once we were overheating from the sun, we headed back on the ferry and we all kinda took naps again on the ferry since we got the un-scenic seats on the boat ride there wasn’t much to see. Once we were back in downtown Sydney, we walked through the Royal Botanical Gardens and found a nice little park with a really cool view of the opera house and the bridge, so again we sat and hung out and we didn’t necessarily nap, but we definitely could have if we wanted since it was so peaceful. Eva and I are planning on returning here for a picnic one day.

IMG_3847.JPG

IMG_3847.JPG

5.1 + 5.2class

school isn’t great. This weekend everyone at Michigan finished up the school year and we still got a month left. Oh well… im in Australia so I definitely got the better end of the deal

5.3 MY BIRTHDAY AKA THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR

Today was my birthday!!!!!!!! I am officially 21 and legally able to drink in the whole wide world. The day started with Monica christening my room with balloons while do an early morning rendition of happy birthday, we then got a simple breakfast at the diner in Bondi Junction.

Afterwards, I decided to treat myself to a nice pedicure before heading to class to do a presentation. 3 hours later, I was back home and getting ready for the night. All my roommates, except Nina who was MIA, joined me for a nice dinner back at the Zebra Green Hotel again, it was easy, close, and the food was delicious so we figured why not return. Eva even gave them a five-star rating on Yelp, so we know it's gonna be worth it.

We started the celebration with some sparkling sangria which was delicious, and the kind waiter gave us a jug on the house. We enjoyed our amazing meals, yet again, before heading home. We had some cupcakes and vodka for dessert, we all got to witness Eva take her first ever vodka shot which was a true honor. Then we headed off to World Bar for a night out on the town.

DSC_3056.jpg

DSC_3056.jpg

DSC_3211.jpg

DSC_3211.jpg

DSC_3230.jpg

DSC_3230.jpg

DSC_3087.jpg

DSC_3087.jpg

DSC_3175.jpg

DSC_3175.jpg

I must say the day was fun but bittersweet as it was my first birthday ever away from home. Special shoutout to Monica for organizing a surprise party and making sure I was happy every hour of the day, to Eva, for ensuring Monica had a plan, to Bashon and Nick for buying the tequila and jagerbombs at the bar – you guys are the true MVPs, and to all my friends here in Sydney who I’ve only known for two months, but made the birthday radius an amazing time.

5.4hungover n lazy

Spent the morning basically in bed, did not realize how much alcohol I had consumed the night before until I was laying in bed and the room was spinning, whoops, but im 21 now so its okay (right?). That day was pretty lazy, I accompanied Monica to Bondi because she wanted to so surfing, but that didn’t really work out as the surf stands were closed (because its winter here aka 60 degrees).

We ended up just relaxing on the beach for a while and hanging out. Even though it was cold, I actually wore jeans and a sweatshirt, it was pleasant. The beach was empty, which is always nice since Bondi is always packed and you literally have to sit on people when its sunny. We got some smoothie bowls before heading home.

Everyone was exhausted from the birthday week, we had gone out way more nights that usual, so we all hung out at home and had a chill chill much needed night.

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

5.5 Cinco de Drinko!

Cinco de Mayo, my favorite holiday after my birthday.

Today we went to Luna Park, TEAN provided us with tickets and meal vouchers so we hiked our way over, it’s a small amusement park on the water across from the Opera House. It reminded me of a smaller Coney Island type of place, the rides were not Six Flags grade by any means, this was just your classic, sketchy carnival rides. The park was also completely empty which was so nice, so we started on the carousel, and it was fun, but I mean I enjoy six flags better.

IMG_3944.JPG

IMG_3944.JPG

IMG_3959.JPG

IMG_3959.JPG

IMG_4031.JPG

IMG_4031.JPG

IMG_4012.JPG

IMG_4012.JPG

IMG_4036.JPG

IMG_4036.JPG

We hit basically every ride in the park, even the bumper cars, where some rando slammed me into a wall giving me whiplash, which made every other ride extremely unpleasant. But as the sun started to set all the lights went on and it was really cool.

IMG_4026 2.JPG

IMG_4026 2.JPG

IMG_4014.JPG

IMG_4014.JPG

When we went to get food, we met a guy named Nathan working at the food stand and he was hilarious. We ordered hot dogs, hamburgers, and fries (he gave them to us for free even though they weren’t included in the voucher), and each time he would imitate our American accent pretty terribly. While we waited for our food, we talked to him about study abroad and he said we were his new favorite friends and to come back and get more food so that we can hang out more. Later we did, because my hot dog was literally terrible, so I had to get more fries. Nathan hooked me up with free fries so that was pretty awesome.

We headed home, and then we actually decided to go out to a cool club/bar place that night. Who are we? Going out so much? The place we went was called the Argyle and it was Uni Night so there was no cover to what otherwise is a higher class bar. The place was really cool, it was outdoors and hip, with that exposed brick. We had a fun night dancing but have really decided we need a long break from alcohol after this past week……

IMG_4045.JPG

IMG_4045.JPG

5.6 Saturday markets

We seem to have made a trend of visiting different markets on Saturdays since there are so many in Sydney. Today Eva and I headed to the Sydney Markets. They were absolutely beautiful, all the carts were so quaint with food and the buildings were old abandoned warehouse types that were now just open spaces for these markets. There were also florals and fauna all over the arches and everything, just overall a beautiful space to be in.

IMG_4055.JPG

IMG_4055.JPG

IMG_4059.JPG

IMG_4059.JPG

IMG_4062.JPG

IMG_4062.JPG

IMG_4072.JPG

IMG_4072.JPG

IMG_4087.JPG

IMG_4087.JPG

We grabbed lunch at the Coffee Grounds and it was absolutely delicious. Eva got some deconstructed mocha, because its one of those hipster type places that puts your food and drinks in test tubes.

Instead of taking the bus home, we decided to take a scenic walk to the train station. We stumbled upon another large warehouse that was holding some antique markets, so we walked in and just had a browse. There were lots of cool things I wish I could have bought, but it was also things not easily transportable back to the states, so that dream had to die.

It was an action packed week, and now I need to rest up as the parentals will be down unda this friday!!!!!!

parentals down under

parentals down under

Thailand

Thailand