Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Land Down Under

My sister, Keely, and I just got back from an amazing trip to Australia. Tyler, being the awesome husband that he is, told me to plan a trip (using my passport) and get away for a little while. He would stay home and take care of the children. Really?? Who could pass up that offer? So Keely and I planned a trip to Australia. We went October 12-22.

This is going to be a VERY brief summary of our trip. I have made a book on Blurb that describes my whole trip. I don’t really want to type it out twice and I am not going to load 1000 pictures onto my blog.

We started our trip out in Sydney. We rented a car but took it right back because driving in Sydney is absolutely crazy and we didn’t want to die. We spend our first day walking around the city checking out all the sights. We went and saw the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge then we went to the Hyde Park Barracks for a history lesson. 
October is international food month in Sydney. They have a celebration every day/night celebrating a different culture/type of food. It was noodle night when we were there. We joined the locals and enjoyed sampling some different foods from the different vendors that were there.
Next we were off to the Blue Mountains for a couple of days of hiking. Beautiful! is the only way to describe this place. 
The Three Sisters. The rain let up just enough for this rainbow to appear right behind The Three Sisters.
The next day in the Blue Mountains was absolutely freezing!! It snowed on us all day long. Good thing we had good gear to keep us warm. We went on a nice long hike down into the Jamison valley.
Can you see the snow coming down? To get back up out of the valley we had to hike up 861 very steep steps. It was a killer workout.

We were then on our way back to Sydney for a good nights sleep so we could catch our early morning flight up to Cairns.
Upon arriving in Cairns we hired (rented) a car and drove up to Cape Tribulation. Driving here was 1000 times better than driving in Sydney. The roads are wider and there are less people. I have been on a lot of road trips but I can say that the drive from Cairns up to Cape Trib is probably one of the most beautiful drives I have ever been on. You have the ocean on one side and the rainforest on the other side. The drive through the Daintree rainforest made it feel like you were in Jurassic Park. 
 We enjoyed some kayaking. Of course our luck with bad weather continued. It rained on us and it was super windy. We had 4-5 foot waves the whole time. Sometimes the waves were even bigger. Keely got tossed into the drink when we were hit by back to back 7 foot waves.
Good thing we didn't let the bad weather bother us. We still had a blast. 
Climbing up to get a coconut. Pretty sure they were 100 feet up there so we decided to just grab one off the ground. SUPER YUMMY!
The amazing coastline of Cape Trib. Where 2 world heritage sites meet. Right behind where I was sitting in this picture the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef.
Next we were off for a day of snorkeling. This was our 2nd (and last) day without rain or snow. Right when we jumped in the water there was a black-tipped reef shark right underneath us. Too bad we had to hear about it from the girl next to us. Some how both Keely and I missed it.
I think I'd rather swim with this fellow anyway.
 Mr. Turtle and a huge bat fish.
After snorkeling we went and grabbed some ice cream and went on a walk along one of the many boardwalks they have there. As we rounded the corner we came up this guy (actually this one is a girl). It is a cassowary. A flightless bird related to the emu and ostrich. It is endangered. There are only about 1200 in all of Australia and 65 up in the Cape Trib area where we were. It is very rare to come across one in the wild. Keely had always joked about running into one. Although joking might be the wrong word. Keely was terrified of running into one. You see they can kill you with just one kick. Kind of scary, eh? 
The Cairns Night Zoo was a great adventure. First they fed us some super yummo food. Then we were off to check out the animals. We were able to pet some koalas!
 And feed kangaroos. I have dreamt about this day since I was a little kid. My bed was littered with stuffed animal kangaroos and koalas. I have always wanted to be able to pet a kangaroo or koala and I was finally able to.
Our last day in Australia we spent at a croc farm. We learned about how they raise crocodiles there and use them for clothing, purses and the like. They farm them so that people don't hunt them out in the wild, which is illegal. While we were there they asked for a volunteer to help them feed a quoll. My hand quickly shot up. A quoll is a relative of the Tasmanian devil. They are feisty little things and aren't afraid to attack people. If they bite you will you have to be on a plethora of antibiotics because of all the bacteria in their mouth. They are carnivores. I got to feed this quoll some dead baby chicks. It was pretty cool. Keely was jealous that I got to be the one to do it I think everyone else there was glad they weren't.

We only had 29 hours of flights and airport time before we got home. SOOO long. We flew from Cairns to Guam to Hawaii to Texas to Utah. On the flight from Hawaii to Texas a guy who was sitting 2 seats in front of me got up to go to the bathroom and got dizzy passed out and hit his head as he fell to the ground. And wouldn't you know there was no doctor on the flight so I had to play nurse. Maybe I should mention he did it a second time. Seriously? Oh, well! Glad I could help. I was even more glad when that flight was over.

I had a great trip. It was a nice break from everything. It was nice to come home though. I missed my husband and kids. Thanks Toque for letting me get away from it all for a little while. You are the greatest husband ever! Now lets go on a trip together!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fire Station Fieldtrip

Emily had her first kindergarten fieldtrip. They walked across the street to the firestation. Tyler was able to go on the fieldtrip with her.
They went on a tour of the fire station and the firemen taught them how to stop, drop and roll. They then were able to check out the fire trucks and ambulances. 
Emily's whole kindergarten class and her teacher, Mrs. Hinckley.

Emily said her favorite part of the fieldtrip was learning about how to be safe.