Saturday, January 18, 2014

Oh the weather outside is weather...

Today was the first day it was actually comfortable to be outside.  While the US has been suffering through a "Polar Vortex" (I'm still massively annoyed by that term.  It's not a hurricane or anything, why does it have to be named?), down here in Australia there's been a serious 5-day heat wave.  Back in KS, I've had summers with 100F days, but we had four days in row with temps reaching as high as 113F.  113 - do you have any idea how hot that feels?  Massively miserable... especially since the place I'm staying doesn't have air conditioning.

Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately depending on how you look at it), I'm inside at work during the hottest parts of the day.  And yes, there is air conditioning at work (thank God).  Still, it's been blazingly hot in the mornings and evenings, and today was the first break in the heat.  Looks like we'll be able to enjoy at least a week of comfortable temps.

Daily projected highs were about 100F but it surpassed 110F every single day!

During a heat wave, what is there to do to escape?  Go to the beach!  The beach was pretty busy in the evenings, and I had a blast with a few of the PhD students enjoying the cool water after work.  It's nuts - it's summer, so of course the sun sets later, but the sun is much more intense here than back home.  There is a SERIOUS hole in the ozone layer, so you don't just get a sunburn, you pretty much get instant skin cancer.  So when we get off work and hit the beach at 6pm, we're still lathering up with 50+SPF to enjoy the water.

That pelican was so cool

In other news, I enjoyed the Portarlington Mussel Festival last weekend with one of my co-PhDs.  They had a ton of booths set up with crafty things for sale, lots of ethnic food to try, and of course: mussels!!  I had coconut chili mussels - deeelish!  They were cooked up fresh off the boat.  The seafood has been a big part of why I was looking forward to living in Australia, so we can mark that one off the 'to-do' list!

The mussels tasted extra-delicious once we got them because there was a long wait before they were ready.  We decided to hasten the wait by enjoying pints of craft beer.  Hooray beer!

They had an old-masted ship at the dock as part of the festival - that was pretty dang cool too.  I kept calling it a pirate ship because, I mean, look at it - it looks like it needs a few pirates on board to make it complete.  All in all, a fun afternoon near the water.

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