Watched Some Tennis. It Was Ace.

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It’s not everyday you are in Australia to catch the Australian Open.  Lucky for me, I was able to attend days six and nine of the Grand Slam.

On day six, I started my day meeting Australia’s first Bachelorette, Sam Frost, and her beau, Sasha.  Upon entering Melbourne Park tennis grounds, I witnessed the following Round Two games:

Annika Beck (GER) defeat Laura Siegemund (GER)

Daniel Nestor (CAN) and Radek Stepanek (CZE) defeat Lukasz Kubot (POL) and Marian Matkowsh (POL)

Jocelyn Rae (GBR) and Anna Smith (GBR) defeat Johanna Konta (GBR) and Heather Watson (GBR)

On day nine, I watched Men’s Legends Jonas Bjorkman (SWE) and Thomas Johansson (SWE) defeat Wayne Ferreira (RSA) and Mats Wilander (SWE) in a no-pressure, rather comedic, no-ad game.  Following their game, Adrian Mannerino (FRA) and Lucas Pouille (FRA) defeated Jean-Juhen Rojer (NED) and Horia Tecau (ROU) in the Men’s Doubles Quarterfinals.

Although we did not have tickets to enter Rod Laver Arena to witness the Women’s and Men’s Quarterfinals first-hand, big screens located around the tennis grounds were airing the matches.  Much like sports fan gather outside Madison Square Garden to watch the NHL playoffs, we spent the rest of the afternoon gathered on the lawn outside Rod Laver with hundreds of tennis fans, celebrating Australia Day (equivalent to America’s Independance Day) and Serena Williams’ (USA) and Roger Federer’s (SUI) defeats over Maria Sharapova (RUS) and Thomas Berdych (CZE).

New Heights, New games, New Friends

 

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Located 285 meters above Melbourne is the Eureka Tower Skydeck.  You travel via lift 88 floors at a speed of 9 m/s for a total ride time of 32 seconds.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Never have I ever had my ears pop while on an elevator, until visiting the Skydeck.  I would much prefer my ears to pop than to have to conquer the 1,642 stair climb to the top.  No, thank you!

The 365 degree view is absolutely breathtaking.  You can see all of the city and beyond–MCG, Parliament, the Botanical Gardens, St. Kilda Pier, and more!  Definitely worth the ear pressuring trip to the top.

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Not quite sure I am sold on Australian Football, or footy.  I attended my first game and can say that I left more confused than when I arrived.  I thought I understood the basic gist of things… wrong!  And the same whistle tone/length/etc is used for at least five actions/fouls/etc (none of which are a stoppage of play).  At least the atmosphere was great and the beer was cheap.  Here’s to that!

Now, I have met several people during my first month here (yeah, where did that time go?) and there seems to be a general consensus:  all Americans are rednecks who drink beer, wear cowboy hats, and chant “‘Merica” at every opportunity.  I hate to break it to you, Australia, you’re wrong.  I am from Virginia, not Texas; therefore, I most certainly do not chant any variation of “‘Merica”.  Ever.

xo