Friday, December 11, 2009

Australia Day 5, Sunshine Coast.

After we had seen Sydney, we flew to Brisbane and drove over to the Sunshine Coast. We got into our hotel pretty late... and I was so sad I couldn't see the water! But, at 5:30 am the next day, we rolled straight out of bed and out onto the beach!
There were huge shells everywhere (and jellyfish too!)

I almost touched this thing... Jeff talked me out of it!
I loved watching the surf schools!

We walked for MILES and MILES!
After a while, we picked a spot to sit a while and relax.
The smells, the sights, the sand... it was wonderful.
We braved the cold water.
Body surfing.
Even though I was so afraid of the jellyfish!
And, before I knew it-- it was time to leave! On to the next destination.
I kissed our lovely view goodbye.
Goodbye pretty hotel by the ocean.

Adventure awaits!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Australia day 4&5! Bondi Beach.

The pictures say it all. Bondi Beach was a blast. Can I just live there?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

sydney, day three.

On day three, we took the ferry to Manly Beach.

Jeff once asked me why I always take photos of my feet.
I couldn't come up with an answer.
I think I like to look back and see where my feet have trod.
That's what sounds good to me anyway.

The low clouds were rolling through quick. Every so often, the blue sky would break through and the sun would beam down on the water causing it to glow crystal blue and green. And then, the breeze would pick back up and the clouds were sent dancing across the sky, covering the sun and causing the water to change back into it's sleepy grey.
After our walk on the beach, we put our shoes back on and hiked up the rocky coastline.

As we climbed around, the sun would peek out and we would catch our breath on a view like this:
or this:

Per the Australian code of shell collecting, I'm saying in my mind "If it's a cone, leave it alone" because of the fatal stinging cone shells. I saw one, and it was gorgeous, but I passed it by.

I was trying to pick up these little shells that were stuck on all of the rocks...

There was still a little animal living inside so I didn't bring it home--
I just filled my pockets with all the pretty purple shell fragments and polished rocks and left 3 pounds heavier than when I came. My pockets rattled all the way back to the ferry.

I like to collect things. I still have bits of Manly Beach at the bottom of my purse, in my wallet, and my suitcase.

Free souvenirs!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

sydney, day two.

For my whole married life I have heard about "A burger with the lot".

"There is nothing like a burger with the lot!" Jeff would exclaim whenever we would have hamburgers. "Beets... they must have beets! And pineapple! Don't forget the pineapple!"

So, I decided that I had better try one of these burgers for myself while I was in Australia.
Sadly, we could not find a good take away shop in the city-- so we had to do the next best thing...
Burger King's Australian brother, Hungry Jacks. And lucky me, the Aussie Burger was on the menu!

There was a whole breakfast and salad bar in mine!

Beet root, a fried egg, ham, pineapple... the list goes on and on.
Afterward, we headed down to the harbor for a cruise with Captain Cook Cruises. We knew it was the place to stop because of the old duffer dressed up like Captain Cook and beckoning us into the line.
"And what fine cruise are you looking into today?" Captain Cook smiled and bobbed his bushy white eyebrows up and down.
"What do you recommend?" Jeff said, as he made the number one mistake of all tourists, asking for recommendations!
"Ohhhhhhhhhh, I recommend the GOLD DINNER!" Captain Cook prodded, "It's a fine meal, for a fine couple like yourselves... 10 courses! It starts at 6 o' clock... It's only $170 per person!"
"Oh wow, that sounds nice..." Said Jeff, sweating. "But we are looking for something... er... sooner!"
Before we knew it, it was our turn next. We went with the $30 cruise around the harbor. It didn't have a 10 course dinner, but there were these cool plastic chairs on the top deck that scooted a little bit back and forth when the ship would sway. Exciting!

Letting Captain Cook show us around the harbor.
We sat in the back of the boat, and let the wind whip through our hair. It was a nice vantage point for photos, and we were closest to the life boat just in case of an emergency. I'm just thinking ahead, people.
It was a perfect day for admiring the sights.
Passing the hundreds of sail boats.
Going under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
This is my favorite shot. Since the Opera House is fashioned after sails, I think that it is fitting that it is surrounded by them.
By the time we got there, the Royal Botanical Gardens were to the point of almost closing (everything shuts down at 5 in this town! Even the grocery stores!) But we found a nice little trail called the rain forest walk and decided to try it out. We could smell the tea tree in the air, and the breeze was so nice and peaceful. For a second it felt like we were not even in the middle of the city.
The vines and moss covered everything. In parts, the foliage was so overgrown the sunlight was almost non existent.
While we were walking through this mini rain forest, I kept hearing chattering and squeaking. It was the strangest sound, unfamiliar and creepy almost. We could not figure out where the noise was coming from, until we happened to look UP---
BATS! Thousands of them! Bats everywhere! Flying above our heads, hanging in the trees, stretching their wings, making little squeaky noises! (do you see them??) It was frightening and amazing all at the same time. I was a little less freaked when Jeff said that they were fruit bats.
As we walked we noticed a sky writing airplane scripting messages in the sky about Jesus, hope, love and faith. It was surreal and made me smile.
We found some interesting things along the way, like these old architectural pieces broken off of old buildings and the such and scattered in this park--

"Jeff, Jeff... take my picture standing on that old cement thing."

Now ladies and gentleman, for the Pièce de résistance...
I LOVE this city.
On our way back to our hotel, we passed the Sydney Art Museum and decided that we had not walked enough that day (even though I am sure our round trip was over 10 miles, easy!) After passing through the modern art section, Jeff was sure that his photography skillz could warrant a quality piece of modern art. He grabbed my camera and worked his new found talent:

It's titled "waiting for the toilet"
Because in Australia, you don't call it a BATHROOM, or a RESTROOM-- it's a toilet. (As Jeff would correct me "It's not a room to go and rest!") And here I am, waiting for it at the Sydney Art Museum.
"Now that's art!" Jeff proclaimed.
And then we hobbled back to our hotel.