Sunday, June 19, 2011

Australian Tid Bit's

I just wanted to jot down a few of the things I learned about Australia before I forgot.......
1-There are a few things they say that are different:
No Worries.......They say this all the time. In place of your welcome, or where we would probably say No problem, or that's ok.
Righty O..... for ok, or alright.
How you goin? ......For How are you?
Mate......for man, or dude.
I know there are more but they have slipped my mind at the moment :)
2- They LOVE roundabouts! They are everywhere!
3-They don't tip here.
4- Things are very expensive! It was pretty normal for us to spend $100 feeding our family of 5.
5- They don't have fast food restaurants everywhere you look. In fact, it was pretty hard to find one. They do have McDonalds, KFC, Subway, and Hungry Jacks (which is Burger King to us) but they aren't on every exit like in Utah.
6- I think the most popular thing to eat here is Fish and Chips. I don't think I went to one restaurant where that wasn't served and you see signs for it everywhere!
7-You can't use your U.S. hairdryer with just an adapter, you have to use a transformer. WHOOPS! I now have an Australian hairdryer that I will be having to use with an adapter at home, lol.
8-Driving is the least convenient way to get around the city. The tram, train, or walking is the way to go.'s just too busy and scary, two.....there is little to no parking, and three....the parking that they do have is ridiculously expensive.
9-There is still ridiculous amounts of laundry to do, even when you are on the opposite side of the world.
10- Keeping a two bedroom apartment clean is much easier than keeping my house clean!
11-I am one lucky girl! I have an amazing and hardworking husband that made it possible for us to have the experience of a lifetime. And I have amazing parents that will follow us across the world and help with our kids! I could NOT have done it without them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Australian Adventure, Part 2!

The next part of our trip was a favorite for everyone. Once again I took a zillion pictures. This is probably going to be overload but since this blog is mostly for my records I don't want to leave anything out. So if you're brave, or just bored, read on!
After a few fun filled, but rainy days in Sydney we were looking forward to some warmer weather. We jumped on yet another plane and flew to Cairns. It is up towards the very top on the North East side of Australia. We were only there long enough to get our rental car and then started our drive to Port Douglas. We had been told that it's a beautaiful drive along the coast but unfortunately it got dark right as we were leaving so we weren't able to enjoy it that night. It was extremely curvy though which made it plenty interesting! We got to Port Douglas at about 7 or so and got settled in the house and then grabbed a quick bite to eat at a fabulous restraunt called Zinc which we went to a couple more times while we were there because it was so good. In the morning we woke up and got aquatinted with the town. It wasn't
long before we had all fallen in love. It's a tiny little town and has the best feel to it. It's the closest town to the barrier reef. The weather while we were there was around 80 degrees the whole time and was perfect!
This is the house that we stayed in. It was called the Garrick house. We had an apartment style place with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a big living space. My mom and Kelly had their own apartment. It was perfect! We also had a big balcony at the front of the house that we spent a lot of time on first thing in the morning, listening to the cool birds.
A picture of my cute boys enjoying the view from our balcony.
This picture is taken from our balcony. We had a swimming pool in the front yard as well but only went their once. The beach is much more exciting :)
This is a picture of the beach just one street over from our house. It's called 4 mile beach, and it's amazing. It's absolutely beautiful, but the sand is compact enough to comfortably walk or jog on, but also great for playing in and making sand castles. We could have spends days on end here!
Aidan and Baylee sharing a smoothie the first morning we were there.
This was Mason's very first experience with the beach. I think he loved it more than anyone. He loved the water! He also loved the sand though, and just kept picking up handfuls of it and taking it to the water and throwing it and then doing that over and over. It was so fun to watch the kids experience and fall in love with the beach.
As soon as the kids started making sand castles Mason would run over and knock them over, and anytime he saw a hole in the sand he would climb into it and start filling it up. So stinking cute!
The only time he cried on the beach was when we had to leave and this time. He had face planted. Such a sad, but cute face! lol
I didn't think it was possible but Mason has become even more attached to Nanny on this trip. He went from a mommy's boy to a Nanny's boy. If she is around he insists that she hold him. He just can't get enough of her. Luck for him, the feeling is mutual :)
We found a super cute Gelato shop and it became an almost nightly treat to stop in for a scoop. So yummy!
The second day we were there we went on a snorkeling trip! We took this big boat over to an Island called the Lower Isles, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef.
Miss sassy pants was pouting about something on the boat ride over.
The ride out was a littel over an hour. Mason definitely worked on getting his "sea legs." He wanted to walk aroudn constantly, but the boat was pretty bouncy so it was pretty entertaining to watch him try to get around.
This is the beautiful island. It has this cute little Lighthouse on it. By the time we left the tide had dropped so much that a lot of the reef surrounding it was exposed and it was connected to anouther island by a sand bar.
Aidan did really good snorkeling for his first time! He loved it as long as he was near the shore. When is started getting a little deeper and murkier he got nervous which is understandable, but there was still a lot of fish and coral to see close to shore.
Mason was a good spectator. He was just happy to be back on the beach and in the sand.
Baylee actually did pretty good too, but eventually hitched a ride on dad's back and was able to see things from there.

Barry and I went out with Kelly for a little bit while my mom watched the kids and we were able to see a bunch of turtles. It was so fun! Such a cool expretience, and we all had a great time!
The next day we traveled back towards Cairns. This time we were able to enjoy the shoreline drive and it was awesome. We also saw quite a few fields of wallabies. We went to an aboriginal village call Tjapukai (Jap a ky). We watched some performances, and got to learn how to throw boomerangs and spears. Aidan says this was one of his favorite things we did.
When we got there someone painted all of the kids faces.
Then we watched them do some dances and songs to didgeridoo music.
Aidan and Baylee even got to get up on the stage and dance with them. So cute!
This is Baylee throwing the boomerang.
And Aidan throwing the spear.
Then the kids each got to paint their own boomerangs to bring home with them. They loved it!
It was so fun and so fascinating to learn about some of the aboriginal's history.
A couple hours later we went took a sky rail over the top of the rainforest. It was about a forty five minute ride total and was AMAZING!! So beautiful!
These pictures don't even do it justice but it is huge! It is the oldest rainforest in the world. That river you see in the background is the Barron river.
We got dropped off at a little town in the middle of the village called Kuranda. We had lunch there and walked around all the little shops.
Cute little Mugger waiting for his lunch.
He found a fountain and entertained himself for quite a while.

My little Crocodile Dundee!
We got off the tram at a lookout spot and got to walk through the rainforest. It was so beautiful We had a great day.
The next morning my mom and I went for a long walk on the beach and got to watch the sunrise.
Afterwards, we all decided to spend our last day in Port Douglas doing our favorite thing......playing on the beach!

We had to stop and get gelato one more time before leaving. We were all really sad to leave Port Douglas. Luckily we still had two weeks of vacation left and we had so much more fun ahead of us in Melbourne and more!
I am actually typing this on June 19th and we head to the airport to go home first thing in the morning. We are soooo sad to be leaving, especially since Barry won't be joining us for a couple weeks, but we have had the most amazing time! We have made so many memories and experienced things that we will remember forever! I have so much more to post about but will have to do it once we get home. See you soon Mates!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Australian Adventure, Part One!

Hello!! We are still in Australia! We have been here for about two weeks now. We have already seen and done so much that I don't want to forget any of it so I thought I better blog about it in chunks, plus I know some of our family would like to see what we have been up to. I have taken over 700 pictures so far so it was hard to narrow them down. Fair warning.....this is a long post! SO if you are still interested, grab a snack and get comfortable :)
We flew out of Salt Lake on May 25th and had a layover in LA. We finally flew out of LA at 11:40 p.m. so by the time we got all situated we were all pooped and still had a 16 hour flight ahead of us. We were on a Quantas Air Bus and flew Premium Economy so it was pretty sweet! We had plenty room, lots to eat, and our own personal entertainment systems. The two older kids did amazing!! I think they actually enjoyed it! They slept for a good chunk of it and then just enjoyed movies the rest of the time. Such good little travelers. Mason was a slightly different story, lol. He fell asleep right as we got on the plane but that didn't last long. He screamed for a good little while and then woudl sleep for little spurts here and there which made it hard for me to get much sleep. Overall, he did fine though and it wasn't nearly as traumatic as I thought it was going to be.
By the time we got to Melbourne and got through customs and gathered our crazy amounts of luggage we were all more than excited to see Barry. We have missed him soo bad! My mom and Kelly stayed at a hotel near the airport and the kids and I went back with Barry to his apartment.
This is a cool tunnel you drive through on the freeway in Melbourne. It's such a fun city with lot's of colorful buildings and random art and statues everywhere you look. We were all exhausted so we took a short nap, but Barry woke us up before too long so that we would have an easier time adjusting to the time difference. (They are 16 hours ahead of us!)
Barry has a great apartment right outside the city at a place called the Docklands. It's got fabulous views!We went on a tram ride around the city and ended up at a park not too far from the apartment and then walked home. I love this building.
There are little bike stations like this one all over where you can rent a bike for a couple hours. Hardly anyone drives in the city and it is easy to understand why. It's crazy!!! There are trams all over the place, tons of traffic, people that cross the street wherever and whenever they want, and what little parking they do have is ridiculously expensive. As in $2o an hour!!
This is an odd little sculpture of a cow stuck up in a tree. Our apartment building is the second one from the left in the background.
These little sculptures are on the dock right outside our apartment. The kids have a good time running around and climbing on them.
We just stayed one night in Melbourne and then left the next morning for Sydney. Getting adjusted to the time difference took a while. I still don't think we are all all the way there, lol. The first week though, we had to fight to stay awake until 7 p.m. and we were all wide awake and ready to go by 4 a.m. YUCK!
This is the view from our hotel in Sydney when we first arrived. We stayed on Darling Harbor and it was awesome!
The next morning we walked across the bridge and went to the most amazing aquarium. Unfortunately most of the pictures I took are less than impressive because of the flash or lighting but it was something I don't think we will forget. It was HUGE! There were a couple sections with tunnels that you would walk through and it felt like you were right inside with the sharks or Manta Rays, and Dugongs. IT really was incredible and the kids loved it!
This is inside a shark cage in the aquarium. After spending the morning there Mason and my mom and Kelly were exhausted and wanted to go back to the hotel. Barry and I took the kids on a ferry ride over to Sydney Harbor where the Sydney Harbor bridge and the opera house are. Then we spent a couple hours walking around little shops and markets and just enjoying all that there is to see.
This is a little set up right on the harbor where they play the didgeridoo, and do aboriginal dances.
This guy had very little teeth but one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. He feeds the birds and actually does a little choreography :)

It had been a long day for Baylee and she ended up crashing on Barry's shoulders, lol.
We stopped and got some delicious corn on the cob for a snack. It was pretty entertaining watching Aidan try to eat it with so few front teeth :)
I got teary a couple times as I was looking out at the harbor and the opera bouse. I seriously can't believe how lucky I am to be here and experiencing such an amazing place with my family! The Opera House and Bridge are a couple of those places that I have seen pictures of my whole life and I never would have dreamed that I would get to experience them with my kids. We are so lucky.

Barry and I as we head under the Sydney Harbor bridge.
My mom and Kelly in front of the Opera house.
I can truely say that this building is even more impressive in real life than it is in pictures and movies.
Me and my lucky family in front of the bridge the next morning on our way to Taronga zoo. This zoo is the most incredible zoo I have ever seen. You can see the opera house and bridge in the background and it is nestled up in a hill and not visible from the outside. The kangaroos walk free in their habitat and were so fun to see.

I already loved Koalas but I fell even more in love with them after this visit. We got to get right up close to them and take pictures with them. They are sooooo cute! They sleep 20 hours out of the day and just curl up in little balls and rest their little noses on the trees.

Unfortunately about an hour after we got their it turned into a downpour. We tried to stick it out as long as we could but it was just too wet. We did get to see the elephants put on a little show, but you can see in this picture just how hard it was raining. After the zoo we went back to the hotel and had some dinner and called it a night. We left the next morning (Tues) for Port Douglas. I will post about that next time, but it was AMAZING! Definitely a favorite for everyone.
These are a couple pics of Darling Harbor at night. I am pretty sure that is required that all the buildings turn on EVERY light at nigbht because there are never this many lights on until late evening. It sure is pretty though!
Well if you made it this far congratulations! I will try to do the next recap soon.