Just Being Frank: I Come From the Land Down Under

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    Pop and Rock fans of the 80's probably remember Colin Hay of Men at Work  singing of vegemite sandwiches in a place where women glow and men plunder.  Contrary to the belief of some, Australia is a bit more than "g'day"s" and "Shrimp on the barbies."  In fact, there are a plethora of fun facts about Australia that probably go unnoticed.  For example, no part of the country is more than 621 miles from the ocean or a beach. Conversely, the Australian Alps, also known as the Snowy Mountains, receive more snow than Switzerland.  Australia is home to the largest cattle ranch (station) in the world at 30,028 sq. kilometers, roughly the size of the entire country of Belgium. 

    If you happen to be an animal lover take note that Australia has the world's largest population of wild camels with one hump, the Tasmanian Devil does exist, and it has the jaw strength of a crocodile, and according to Science Blog.com, you can find at least 5 of the world's 8 most poisonous animals on the continent. 

    An initial visit to Surfer's Paradise, Queensland, Australia back in 1999 sold me for life on this one of a kind country!  The people are as laid back and down to earth as any you can imagine.  "No worries" is not just an expression but a way of life for many citizens as drama free is the way to be in the Land of Plenty. (although disguised,  there was just an additional reference to the Colin Hay song . . . kudos to those of you who know your '80's Men at Work!)  Over the years, my appreciation has continued to grow for all things Australian and as such, you're likely to notice a bit of a connection between Australia and our Bulldog basketball program. 

    As we get ready to embark on the 2010-11 school year and basketball season, we will proudly be sending 5 Aussies dressed in Bulldog red and blue to compete against some of the top competition in the nation.  Emma Andrews, Hayley Munro, Ali Drennan, Rosie Moult, and Bree Farley have all made their way to Fresno, CA for an opportunity to further their academic and athletic careers here at Fresno State.  As luck (and incredibly discounted airfares) would have it, I was able to sneak away, for a quick (not sure if a one-way flight in excess of 14 hrs can be called quick, but I digress . . .) visit to see our Aussie Bulldogs prior to the beginning of our fall semester.  Here's how it went:


    Day 1:

    Welcome to Melbourne!  I was able to see some friends I've made over the years and hang out St. Kilda way for a few hours.

    Day 2:

    Lunch at Grill'd and dinner at The Meat and Wine Co. with our 1st Aussie Fresno State Women's Basketball players Faith Probst ('06) and Chantella Perera ('07).  Caught some footy on the box at Crown.

    Day 3:

    Ken and Lynne Drennan cook (well I'm pretty sure we know who cooked, but Ken make a mean espresso) a masterpiece meal followed by an official Drennan footy training session at the park.  Later, meet a great friend and head to the Collingwood/Geelong footy match at the MCG.  GO PIES!

    Day 4:

    Breakie on the coast and footy on the box summed up Sunday.

    Day 5:

    Headed Olinda way for some QT with Rosie, Sue, Bree, and Julie.  A walk in the park and along the dam provided incredible views!  Sue hosted an amazing Thai feast complete with superb conversation of tons of laughter thanks primarily to Julie, Zach, and Josh! 

    Day 6:

    Tapas with the Andrews was the perfect morning to mid-afternoon remedy for my departure day blues! 

    Day 7:

    Return to California!

         I've enclose some pics so you can check it out for yourself.  Hopefully you all take my advice and check it out for yourself.  I think you'll find it well worth your while.  In case you doubt me, I've asked our Aussie Bulldogs the following:

    "Outside of family and friends, what do you miss most about Australia and what do you look forward to most about returning to Fresno."

    La Emma Jaynique: "The thing I miss most is the footy games.  The thing I love most about Fresno and America is its reality tv!!!  Haha!

    H: Definitely miss mom's cooking!  My favorite part of the return is the warm weather and basketball.

    Drenno:  I miss the footy and my mum's cooking.  The best bit coming back is getting to start another year with the team.

    Ro: "I miss the food, sport, and Australia summers.  I look forward to the basketball most upon my return!

    Breezy: The food is what I'll miss most.  Since this is my first semester, I'm not quite sure what the best part will be about my return.

    Me:  (with the same rules as above) the things I miss most about Australia are Grill'd burgers and Aussie Rules Football!  In particular watching the Collingwood Magpies and my favorite player Alan Didak dominate the AFL!!!  What I enjoy most about returning is the feeling that another school year is starting and basketball is just around the corner!

     Hope you enjoyed this segment of "Just Being Frank."  Keep in mind I'm open to the requests of my loyal readers.  That said; let me sign off by giving an official "Just Being Frank" shout out to Kenya and Erica for submitting the best official nickname responses from the previous blog.  GO DOG! 

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