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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Just got back from CHA...but did I mention Australia?

I just got back from CHA, and came home to a nasty bug. I don't know if it was sheer exhaustion from back to back trips, or what...but the "girl who never naps" took two over the past two days. I'm feeling much better this moring...enough to blog about my fabulous month of January. Yes, I did say back to back travel. I think I forgot to mention...I snuck away to Australia with my family, a week and a half before CHA.
We took our oldest child, Talon, with us for the week, while the other two got spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa.  I don't think Talon had a clue what he was in for...traveling standby, getting the last three seats scattered all over a 777... sitting in a middle seat by himself during 16 hours of travel...falling asleep in a stranger's shoulder (I was jealous...I didn't sleep the entire flight), jet lag...but so worth it, when we got out on the other side of the world with excitement at every turn.



Our first discovery, was that my brother's apartment is a little fancy. Okay...very fancy. From his 11th story balcony view, we overlooked the Sydney Botanical gardens, the Harbor and the Opera House--which were all conveniently walking distance from his front door. Convenient, and then some!

My brother travels a lot, and he put us on a strict schedule the first day in order to avoid jet-lag during the remainder of our trip. We got there, and within 1 hour of unloading our things, he had us walking down to Circular Quay to see the sights.  Nevermind I hadn't slept in 36 hours. My 2-year-old niece was so glad to get visitors. She was the perfect little hostess the entire time, and always wondering, "where dis da wittle guy?" Referring to her cousin, Talon, whose not so little anymore.

Talon was a trooper that day considering he had never traveled overseas before nor drooled on a strangers shoulder mid flight.  Kids have a remarkable way of adapting to a new time zone.
After trapsing around Sydney in a whirlwind trot...seeing the Opera House, eating lunch, and shopping The Rocks...my brother said it was time for our "1 hour nap." David insisted the time of day and length of the nap were both imperative to his "avoid jet-lag scheme." When my brother David came in to wake us...we were all in such deep sleep we could have gone down for the rest of the night. But David said that would be a bad thing to do at 4:00 in the afternoon. I didn't think it was such a bad idea as I reached for toothpicks to prop open my eyes.
After coming to our senses somewhat, he got us outside to walk around and enjoy the botanical gardens...just in time to see the bats take flight. See those things circled in red...yup...huge yucky fruit bats. We came back to a wonderful meal of Cashew Chicken and white rice, that my sister in law, Carey, had cooked. Yum!

Now it was time to snooze, for real, for a full night...thank goodness...long, oh so very long, but wonderful day!




































We did a lot of walking on the trip as most of the main sights were walking distance from where we were staying. Can I just say that Sydney is one of the cleanest cities I have ever visited.  It is incredible how much pride Aussies take in the care of their homeland!

Aussies are a heck of a lot of fun too.  They say what they want to strangers, without filters.  One of my favorite things an Aussie woman said to my husband on the crowded train, "here, we scootched over for you, your butt is not that big." My husband scootched his "not so big butt" into the 9 inches of space they made for him.
 We visited the Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife Park at Darling Harbor.  I think they imported the Lego exhibit just for Talon, as he was in 7th heaven with all the Lego displays. This kid is a Lego-maniac. What 8-year-old boy isn't?  Not many. 
At Darling Harbor we played in the foutains despite the rain.

That night we took a ferry to Manly Beach...isn't the view of the Opera House spectacular from the boat?  Yes, it is!
We had a lot of fun visiting the urban side of Australia...but thought the trip wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Blue Mountains. Oh, it was grand!
This is the scenic canyon view at Three Sisters...can you spot the sisters?
Do we look like tourists?  I think I know the answer to that one. ;o)

The last day in Sydney, we went to Spectacular Bondai Beach.  And Wow! What a beach-town mecca.  I grew up in Northern California and grew to love the flavor of each little beach town...this beach town...is hardly a town and Mecca is the only word I have to describe it.  The shops, the masses of people, and the cityscape surrounding it...truely breathtaking! The water was clear, cool, and divine. Waves were big, and the salt was, well, salty.  Didn't like swallowing the water so much, but couldn't stay away from those fun waves.

Okay...the last picture I'm going to leave you with, I entitle, "Domo Arigato Mr. Robato." What is that pose I'm doing? I just don't know about that, I'm pretty stiff. I think any Mom in her late 30's, would agree that any swimsuit shot is awkward, hence the body language contorting into an equally awkward pose. Though my son looks cool! That's why I'll be a good sport and post this.

Check out the sand castle he made! That all happened while I laid down on the beach and absorbed way too much sun...I think I was directly under the hole in the O-zone.  Hence the red legs, and me donning my shirt to avoid burning my back anymore. I didn't realize the antibiotic I was taking was photosensitive, nor that 30 sunblock wouldn't be enough protection. Ouch.

The plane ride home was a breeze. We flew standby again...but by a nod from the gods, we got business elite class this time. Thank You!  That meant my sunburn would have a chance to breath a bit.  It also meant good food (including an ice-cream sundae and cheesecake), choice of movies, and a seat that can lay completely flat....and my son across the isle with a huge grin giving me a thumbs up every now and then. 

Australia will be a trip never to be forgotten! 

9 comments:

  1. How fun...I love all of your pics! Maybe one day, I too can go to Australia. A girl can wish!

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  2. What fun pics! I am glad you had a good time!

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  3. Ahhh, I am so jealous! Australia is on my life list...some day! Looks like an amazing adventure!

    Hope CHA went well and you get to feeling well soon!

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  4. Anonymous12:31 PM MST

    I went to Australia 1 1/2 yrs ago - loved it! I only had about 4 hours in Sydney, but we took a ferry at the harbour bridge and saw the Opera House by water, the best way to see it! Sounds like a fabulous trip!

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  5. Oh you lucky girl, what a fabulous trip!! Loved all the pics, this is the one place I've always wanted to travel, glad I had a chance to experience a little thru your photos!! Thanks for sharing them!!

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  6. Samantha, what a trip this must have been. AMAZING pictures, what fun memories and I am laughing at your comment about your last picture..hehehe.... I hope you are feeling better, and something tells me you needed those naps. Hugs...

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  7. I'm so thrilled you loved Australia - sounds like a super whirlwind tour of the best of Sydney. Lovely pics! It really is a fun city to visit. Next time I hope you make it further north and experience the beauty of Queensland :)

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  8. WOW..love all the pictures. There are perks to the airline jobs for sure.

    It's so nice to see your boys again. No fair that neither of you looks a day older than you were at Camp Zama...I won't mention the year just to protect myself!

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  9. Hi Samantha. Nice to meet you through LinkedIn. It's made me feel just a tiny bit homesick looking at your Sydney photos. Glad to hear you had a great time down under! Cx

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