Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Australia {Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary}

I'm traveling to Cincinnati this week for my BFF's wedding!  While I'm out of town, I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite vacations that I somehow never blogged about before now.  Enjoy!

Our second major stop in Australia was Brisbane.  We stayed in the cutest, although poorly run, B&B.  I wanted to transport this room to my house!

Most people associate Brisbane with the Australia Zoo, home of Steve Irwin, but we decided to go a different route and check out the the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

We paid some exorbitant price to hold, and have our photos taken with, a variety of animals.  It was totally worth it!

Holding this eucalyptus loving creature was a dream come true and a moment I'll never forget!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Australia {Road Signs}

I'm traveling to Cincinnati this week for my BFF's wedding!  While I'm out of town, I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite vacations that I somehow never blogged about before now.  Enjoy!

The thing that stood out to me the most while driving down the East coast of Australia, other than the amount of round-abouts (or rotaries, or traffic circles, or whatever you call them), is the road signs on their highways.  They were so creative and catchy.

There were trivia questions ever so often, then several miles kilometers down the road they would post the answer.  I wish I could remember what they were.

"Don't sleep and drive"

"Break the drive.  Stay alive"

"Pull over mate.  Your eyes are shot"

"Stop. Revive. Survive"

So much more creative than any road signs I've ever seen in America, or any other country for that matter.  They definitely caught, and kept, our attention on our 1600 km drive.  Too bad we saw all the really funny ones at night when I couldn't get a decent photo, and now, 4 years later, I can't remember any of them, but I assure you, they were good.  If you ever find yourself in Australia, take a drive and see for yourself.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Australia {Cairns}

I'm traveling to Cincinnati this week for my BFF's wedding!  While I'm out of town, I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite vacations that I somehow never blogged about before now.  Enjoy!

Once upon a time Almost 3 years ago, Jason and I were able to take a trip of a lifetime.  Why it took me this long to blog about it is beyond me.  Never the less, here is the beginning of my Australia recap.  Jason was sent to Australia on a TDY (temporary duty) assignment and after 2 weeks in the Outback, we met in Cairns to start our 2 week vacation.

I arrived early in the morning and had some time to kill before Jason joined me.  That early in the morning, the beach was deserted so I found a little spot to watch the sun rise.  I'm quite certain this is my ultimate, symmetrically beautiful, happy place!

Seriously, I knew instantly that I was going to love Australia.

 Once Jason arrived, we hopped on a gondola and rode up to the Daintree Rainforest.

Jason insisted we stop when he saw this sign.  I was less than excited but obliged.

Fruit bats are the creepiest little creatures ever but oddly adorable at the same time...from a distance!

After a fun day of exploring Daintree, we caught a ride on this fun, old train, back down the mountain to Cairns.

We're suckers for a rugby match and this Cairns Northern Pride game did not disappoint!  Their fans were very welcoming and friendly and helped us learn some rules that were unfamiliar to us.

Our second day in Cairns was spent on the Great Barrier Reef.  It was "winter" there meaning highs in the mid 70's which was the perfect break from the sweltering Japanese summer heat but it was slightly chilly out on the water.

That sure didn't stop us though.  We suited up and jumped in.


While I spent most of the excursion bent over the side of the boat (not the best time to discover you've developed motion sickness with age) it was still one of the coolest things I've ever done.  I also discovered on that trip that I'm not a fan of open water.  I hung on to the guide's float for dear life, along with all the little kids.  Jason was so far out that I couldn't see him but me, I stayed as close to the boat as possible.

The next day we picked up this beauty and hit the road.  We went against all the advice we had received and decided to drive the 1600 miles from Cairns to Sydney.  That's essentially the same distance as driving from Bangor, Maine to Miami, Florida, you know, the entire east coast of America!

Because we chose to drive, we were able to stop along the way in some smaller towns, areas that most tourists skip right over when they fly.

Our 1st pit stop was at Cape Byron Lighthouse where we did a little whale watching.

Along the way, I also ate one of the best meals of my life in a little town called Lennox Head.  It doesn't look like much but this buckwheat crepe stuffed with cheese and ratatouille was one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth.  I think about it all the time.

We also got to see views like these while we drove!

Driving in Australia was...interesting.  They drive on the left side, just like in Japan, so that wasn't anything unusual for us but the signs on the side of the highway were so interesting that they'll get their own post tomorrow...I hope you come back!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Carlsbad Flower Fields

Now that our time here in San Diego has been drastically shortened, it's time to get a move on all those things I want to do while living in SoCal.  1st up on the list was a trip to the Flower Fields in Carslbad.  The entrance fee was a bit extreme and I doubt I'll ever return but it was a beautiful spot to spend a half an hour or so.  I don't have much else to say about it, I hope enjoy the photos!