last Australian day

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There are a few more vacations days with pictures that I want to remember that I have not posted. I’m going to retro-post the entries. This post is written on 14 August.  I do miss the loveliness of an Australian winter day.

086DC97A-78F3-4719-8223-0965A701034EThis was our last full day in Australia and we packed in as much as humanly possible into our hours.  We started our morning at Taronga Zoo.  It was so easy to hop onto the bus a few steps from our cousin’s house, we could have been home. One of the sweetest things about re-visiting a travel city is that each time we returned to Sydney–we had three stays of varying lengths–we grew more comfortable.  Certainly, there was still lots of the city and surrounds that we did not experience, but because of our cousins’ and friend’s personal tours and our own wandering, by the end of our travels, we moved around the city easily. Continue reading

brisbane & the gold coast

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9B3F17E7-BD5E-4691-96DB-4C34A7BF80B2Saturday, 28 July

Is there more perfection than writing on a white sand beach while Julia plays in the surf and people occasionally pass by?  A few days ago, I was convinced that I had totally messed up our last few days before returning to Sydney. I had planned to rent a car for the day to get to a highly recommended nature park and then spend a quick night on the Gold Coast before jumping on a plane tomorrow, but the day and a half in Townsville with quick trip to Magnetic island, day and a half in Brisbane and Day on the Gold Coast have felt somewhat rushed and I didn’t really want another adventure.  And I didn’t want to go to another wildlife park. But this day, sitting on a perfect beach listening to the tide come in could not have been better chosen. Continue reading

port douglas 2

22 July 2018. Sunday 

“Wherever you go, there you are.” ~Jon Kabasa-Zinn

And so are the mosquitoes. ~Me  

I’ve carried the bug spray and Sarna on trips where we never took them out of the bag.  In Sydney and Uluru, I thought it would be the same this time.  In the tropical north of Australia, we are thankful to have carried both.  I swear if there is one mosquito on a continent, it finds us.  We have been found by more than one. Continue reading

cairns, kuranda & port douglas

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92F93BB8-2780-4F0E-A923-A6781D67B57820 July 2018 Friday

Port Douglas.  I need to be putting days of the week with dates because we’ve traveled long enough to lose those connections.

We left Sydney on the 18th and struck out on our own.  No more cousins or friends whose counsel we could depend upon. Flying to Cairns and picking up a car.  Driving on the other side of the road!  Big deal for me.  I’ve wanted to explore the UK for years and didn’t dare for fear.  Friends and public transport got me to enough places, but in Australia . . . This is a big country.  There is some public transport but what I want to see is not necessarily close to anything.  Transfers via private buses and vans are pricey and constraining.  And so, it was time. Continue reading

sydney fish market

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0F168454-ADA7-47FC-8B57-83EBB5DD85C8(Written 26 August 2018). 

On Monday, we visited the Sydney Fish Market and just typing those words, my mouth begins to water.  It isn’t that I haven’t been to wonderful fresh fish markets on the east and west coasts of the US but midwesterner that I am, my trips are few are far between.  Reminding me somewhat of Seattle’s Pike Place Market but the Sydney Market was all about the fish.  Busloads of Asian tourists pulled up and emptied out ready for lunch.  So were we!  We ate outside on a deck overlooking the water.  Sea gulls competed for our sushi which drove Julia a bit nuts.  After our sushi, Steph suggested we get some very big shrimp, cooked and ready to peel.  I didn’t think we could eat any more but more than a dozen of the shrimp disappeared very quickly.  Continue reading

family

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CE4317A0-AACB-42C3-8317-DDFEA0460A30(Written 28 August)

Sunday with cousins.

Sunday morning Scott picked us up for a drive and more Sydney views.  Writing a month later, I don’t remember the interesting walk but perhaps I can impose on Scott to remind me.  The cliffs are wild and beautiful.  It was a spot where people trying to end their lives pondered jumping, but nearby the top of the cliffs a solitary man lives in a small house.  When he saw people contemplating their final decision, he would come out and speak with them, invite them in for a cup of tea and somehow I imagine, a slice of cake.  Life the story of the boy throwing starfish back into the sea, the kind man managed to turn many people away from the sea. Continue reading

friday the 13th

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0FBCA4D8-9DDD-4190-A90D-41D4AA905A0B

Steph, cousin and hostess extraordinaire, has been showing us bits and pieces of this glorious city that we might not have spent time in on our own. As much as I love exploring places on my own, it is always possible to miss the gem in front of my face because as a first time visitor, I lack context. Steph and Scott, the cousins we are meeting through them, and my friend Marianne, have provided so much rich context for which I am so thankful. Yesterday, Scott and I talked a bit about how we connected- his meeting David’s folks when he was a high school exchange student, David getting in touch with him as his interest in family grew just before his death, Cheshire meeting Scott when he was traveling in NYC, our meeting at Rita’s wedding, and the larger faceboook family group.  Serendipity played no small part, small pieces of a moving puzzle that needed some magic to connect. And then, here we are!

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beach day

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CB9901CD-F456-4DEF-9854-01F110B7B6F4

Time is crazy.  I’ve been chatting with Cheshire and some friends back home.  I think it is last night.  I look at the dates on this blog and they are not necessarily reflective of when I posted.  Not exactly.  I acknowledge how tied I am to clock and calendar.  How would I do in a Star Trek universe? Jumping galaxies, condensing and expanding time. I’m overthinking.  I am inclined to hold the time differences in my head—it doesn’t work.  I write, I post, I text.  I just hope I haven’t woken anyone up. Continue reading

Travel challenges

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2FEE176F-2829-4F02-91AE-FC2715000860On the train from Umina Beach to Sidney Central and then Randwick, traveling from a quite northern suburb of Sydney to the center.  There is a lot of water to see, quiet water and surf beaches.  I am enjoying the water. Marianne took us up Mount Ettalong to view the beaches that flank it—Pearl Beach and Umina Beach.  Later, we walked one of the beaches. So much of what we will see in the next weeks hugs the coast!  I need time to just sit and stare at waves. Continue reading