Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi! Yesterday, we celebrated Australia Day (or as I like to call it – Straya Day)! It happens every year on January 26th to mark the anniversary of the first fleet of British ships arriving here in Australia (which happened in 1788), so it’s sort of like the ‘founding day’ of the country and is celebrated nationwide by all Australians, residents, and those becoming citizens. The build up to the holiday was unmatched – people wearing Australian flags as capes, wearing funky hats and dressed in the iconic green/bold Aussie soccer/cricket jerseys. There was also plenty to do in the city, including the International Street Food Festival that I mentioned briefly in my last post, picnics all over town, fireworks at the Docklands, and the annual, traditional Australia Day – Melbourne parade on Swanston Street in the city. We live close to Swanston, so we could hear all the festivities from our window, including the national anthem, and the announcer talking about several special populations who make up this beautiful nation! Church was also very festive, giving out giant blow up Australian flag flip flops (for the pool), beach chairs, and a cricket bat; they also had some people come up on stage who had never tried Vegemite before, and they were truly squirming in discomfort haha! I’ve never had Vegemite before, but I have had Marmite, and that alone has scarred me for life – ack!
Despite having only lived here for six months, we really got into the spirit of Australia Day! It’s hard not to love this country and all it has to offer, and I consider us adopted Aussies, as we certainly feel right at home and have never felt out of place (since so many people here are from all over the world)! This country has afforded us such incredible opportunities, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and has caused us to grow in so many ways. We continue to learn on a daily basis, and I feel like I could never learn enough in this wonderfully diverse city and nation. I may have gone a bit overboard, but I got really excited and decorated our apartment in Aussie flags, and our dining table with Aussie napkins, toothpicks, stuffed Aussie animals — you name it! I also lined up a menu of dishes for the occasion, and sought out help from some of my Aussie friends on traditional foods to make for the day and settled on the following:
Brunch: sourdough toast with smashed avocado, poached egg on top, feta cheese sprinkled on top (very common brunch food at restaurants around the area) with bacon on the side!
Dessert/snacks: pavlova (very Aussie dessert, although its origin is contested between here and New Zealand, but either way, it’s delish! see above // recipe from A Sweet Muddle) + Tim Tams (of course!)
Dinner: lamb (of course!), roasted broccoli, mango salsa and a feta/pomegranate/walnut salad
We had such a relaxing day and watched TV shows at home while snacking on delicious food! It was uncharacteristically cool yesterday (but then again, not really for Melbourne, lol), which made us want to stay in even more. We talked about how Australia has so quickly become like home for us, and how much we love it, and how that love and adoration grows on a daily basis. We are getting more and more excited about sharing that love with family members and friends who plan on visiting us soon (my mom comes in March, YAY!), and we hope they fall in love with it and stay with us forever ;-) haha. Again, we are so grateful for this beautiful journey we’ve been blessed with, and to be able to specifically mark our half year point with such a joyous and fun occasion yesterday! #Straya!