Sunday Gratitudes

A few things that are making me happy this week and that I’m grateful for:

Great Movies

I’m a movie buff. It was $50 to go see “The Avengers” this week (just the tickets, no snacks), but it was worth it. (Subliminal message: Joss Whedon is a god. Buffy lives!) I love slipping into the big, dark theatre with semi-comfortable chairs, and letting myself be transported to a space where there is nothing else, just entertainment, sometimes insight, laughter, or tears. I enjoy watching movies at home too, but there are always more distractions there – the phone, the computer, the dog, external noises, etc. Nothing beats the big screen.

My Health

My dad once said that I was born wrong. He didn’t mean it in a cruel way, but rather in a lamenting and self-blaming kind of way. He said because I was born with a funky spine and will have back pain all my life, because my eyesight was so poor that I was almost legally blind, and because I have psoriasis. But my back pain is such a part of me now that it no longer hurts, I had Lasik to correct my vision, and my psoriasis is mild, almost non-existent when my stress is low. I have weight to lose and would benefit from more exercise, but I’m not unhealthy. Currently, a few family, friends, and coworkers are in pain or recovering from various illnesses and undergoing surgery. I’m very, very fortunate.

Roasted Potatoes

Seriously, Theo makes awesome potatoes. I especially like roasted sweet potato.

My Family

They make me laugh. Last week I sent my nephew and nieces a couple of boomerangs. My sister said they all immediately ran outside, instructions in hand, to throw them. She sent a photo and my eldest niece was holding the boomerang, about to throw it, in a way that looked like she was going to kill someone. Meanwhile, nearly two-and-a-half months since I’ve arrived in Australia, my mother has finally learned (sort of) how to call me on Skype. Unfortunately, she has not learned the time zone difference.

Luna Park

We went to Luna Park Saturday night and it was awesome.

There have been dozens of amusement parks all over the world named Luna Park since 1903. Melbourne’s own opened December 13, 1912. A huge smiling clown face (aka the Hellmouth) greets you as you enter these fairgrounds with traditional amusements rather than high-tech rides. We’re talking simple roller coasters, a carousel, bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, a maze of mirrors, a not-so-scary haunted train ride, and so forth.

Luna Park is small and admission is free, but the rides are not, and it can be pretty costly to ride. A single-ride ticket for adults (13+) is $9.50 and a pass for unlimited rides is $43.95. I strongly encourage visitors to walk around the park and have a look at the rides before making ticket decisions. You may find that some rides are closed and others don’t interest you. Also, opening times vary so be sure to check the website. I think school holidays are the best time to go. Even then, you won’t find Luna Park crowded. To be honest, I’m kind of amazed this old-fashioned park manages to remain open.

It’s simple and small, but I really enjoyed Luna Park perhaps mostly for the nostalgia factor. I hadn’t been to a theme park in many years and it’s been longer since I rode those kind of rides. The Twin Dragon still made my stomach drop and the Scenic Railway made me squeal more than once. I stuffed myself with cotton candy, or fairy floss as the Aussies call it, but sadly there were no elephant ears to be found. When I mention these, I get blank stares.

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne