Thursday, November 21, 2013

                       Just spent two glorious weeks "down under" with my best friend and her family.  It was a whirlwind of a vacation spent cramming in as much as possible in a short period of time.  The day after I arrived, we took a trip along the Great Ocean Road going as far as the 12 Apostles.  Of course there are only about eight of them now, but they are magnificent sculptures that the water and wind have created over hundreds of thousands of years.  Most impressive!

We also took a drive to Maru where we spent much of the day petting Koalas and Roos, Dingos and Ostrich as well as sundry other animals indigenous to the area.  It was great fun for all, especially me and the kiddies!  From there we went to Phillip's Island were we went to the seal lookout (if they were there they were blending with the dark rocks).  I did see a penguin, or rather a penguin's feet...he was hiding under the board walk and wouldn't come out for viewing.  There were lots of gulls and the wind was swift with a real bite.

The big day was CUP DAY, a day in which all of Melbourne take off to attend the big Cup Races (horse races in case you didn't know).  Tezza and Barney had a big bbq in which all of Oz was invited (or so it seemed).  We spent the day eating and socializing and watching the big race.  Imagine my surprise when these people threw me a surprise birthday party right after the race.  I was awestruck, especially considering 1) it wasn't my birthday and 2) it wasn't my birthday!  Tezza etal said it was for all the birthday parties I didn't have growing up (Tezza knew I'd only had 4 birthday parties my whole life).  So it was a wonderful day for me.

Another day was spent walking around and about Melbourne with two very serious guides (Mark and Jeff).  It was a lovely day though by the time it ended (about 11 hours of walking) my legs were barely holding me up...and poor Leanne's heel spurs were giving her fits.  But we saw so much!  And the food was delicious, everything from the cakes in the morning to the italian pasta at night.  YUM!

Spent some pretty fabulous days with the sisters and Carol.  We went up into the Dandenongs and fed the wild birds (even though there were signs everywhere not to do it).  These birds were so tame they flew right to you and took the bird seed out of your hands.  Saw and heard Kookaburrahs the wild, which was wonderful.  Ate in a fun little pub and had ourselves a terrific time. 

Also spent time with friends of Tezza's, which was great.  We read cards and talked until we were blue in the face.

So many memories....the foreign birdsong that awakened me every morning, the upside down moon and the Southern Cross, the nights spent watching the stars and looking for possum in the trees, taking Beau for a walk, horsing around with Ashlee and Kate, everything so wonderful.  Hopefully one day I'll get back because I believe I made some good friends for life plus adopted another family.  It's too bad Australia is halfway around the world!