One thing I really wanted to do while in Australia is see the turtles laying and hatching eggs. I am not really sure why I thought this would be neat, but I was not disappointed at all. It was amazing. We went to the Bundaberg area for a weekend, and got to experience this miracle.
Short Version Video- The video they showed us on the bus heading to the beach. They have a service called The Turtle Express, (Click for link), that picked us up at our hotel. It took us straight to the special beach while showing us the video posted above. If you are planning on going there, The Turtle Express is a must. If you arrive on the express, you automatically go to group one.
Longer Version Video- The video they show you at night while you wait for the turtles to come ashore. They tell you to prepare to wait for hours. I actually had sugar cookies and icing, that I had found on clearance for $0.20, to help take up time. We had planned on eating out of the food truck, and Josh had bought cards. They say the average waiting time is around three hours.
We got there at 6:45, the time they say to arrive, and were ready to wait. As soon as you get there they divide you into 5 groups according to your reservation. Whatever group you are in determines the turtle "event" you get to see. Which event you see is just the luck of the draw, you get to see whatever is happening when your group is called.
The first turtle had other thoughts though, we didn't wait at all. We walked off the bus and pretty much went straight to the beach. We got to see a turtle laying eggs, and then got to walk her back to the water. After talking to people, a turtle coming ashore this quick was really rare.
When we went on the beach we had to sneak up behind the turtle. We had to wait until she had laid ten - twenty eggs. They said after she had laid that many, she had fully committed to the area and we would not scare her off. We all stayed behind the turtle until this point. After she had committed we could walk around, talk, they measured her shell, and checked her tag. When she had finished laying her eggs, and was covering up her hole we got to take pictures. We could not take pictures at all until this point, this is why I have videos and very few pictures.
The ranger said that after a turtle is born it has a magnetic imprint to the area, and usually goes back to the place of their birth to lay their eggs. The first 15 years of their life they swim all the way to South America area. The second 15 years of their life they to go an area and feed. They say turtles do not reach reproduction age until around age 30. This turtle had only started laying eggs this year. She had only laid eggs here once before, two weeks ago.
Let's be honest, the video you think of when you think turtles. Now that you know some facts, I hope you enjoy this clip of Finding Nemo even more.
I would totally agree with this sign. We did have a chance to witness an amazing journey. Who am I kidding, we are all on an amazing journey. I love getting to experience so many different things on my journey and make memories with the people I love.
The many faces of Josh during the experience. (Yes, we were pulled over and took all pictures at one time.) I know this doesn't seem like that big of a deal to the normal person, but I have been scared to drive since I moved here.
THEY DRIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD!
Look the steering wheel is on the OTHER side of the car. So, what did I learn. Two rules to changing sides of the road.
1. You always pick your passenger up on the side of the road, no matter what country you are in.
2. The driver should always be in the center of the road.
I had to keep repeating these rules over and over, but I got the hang of it. I drove most of the weekend. It wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be, It was actually a lot of fun.
Most of you can already have a mental picture of me sitting on other side of car, driving, and chanting my rules, but let me add some more fun. Here are signs we see when driving around Australia.
Isn't that so fun? They have trivia posted on the side of the road in fatigue areas.
Now, I did not take all of the pictures, but I can say Josh and I have actually seen every sign I posted. We always love to read the signs here, it is free entertainment. I really love it here, and it has really helped that I can now drive. One thing is for sure though, driving made me miss my Jeep!
Check out more road trip photos on my Instagram account @eatallovertheworld What are some funny road signs you have seen?
In 1788 On January 26 the first fleet of British Ships arrived in the land we are currently calling home. When the British flag first was raised over present day Australia, they named it New Holland. It was over 10 years later before the land was called Australia. The Australian people did not celebrate this day until 1935 and didn't celebrate it as a national holiday until 1994.
We are glad it is a holiday though. Australia Day marks the day before school starts, which means the end of being a stay at home wife. I still wanted to see what the real importance of the holiday was though, so, Wikipedia filled me in on the history. Next I looked at current news as to what Australia Day means today. The first thing I found was the "Official Song of Australia Day 2015"
After I figured out the high points of Australia Day, I started researching the traditions. These are the "musts" I saw.
BBQ or Barbie
Australian/ Kangaroo Gear
Cricket on the Beach
I think we are ready to celebrate correctly. All about making memories right? We will also celebrate going back to a dual income family. WHOOOOOO HOOOOOO! I was getting a little bored at home. Pray there are enough students registered so I can work more than 8 days.
Happy Australia Day!
FRESH FACE FRIDAY READERS: Welcome to my blog. This is a blog mainly about living life overseas and greeting every day, one laugh at a time while remembering it's all about "Making Memories." Hope you enjoy, I try to post every Tuesday and Thursday (Aussie time- which means Monday, and Wednesday U.S.A. time). Hope you enjoy and check back in, or follow on blog lovin' Have a great day!
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Not long ago I ran my first official trail run in Australia, Hares and Hounds. I really struggled what to write this post about. I only wanted to write one post on the experience, so I had to think what was the most important. I could have written this post about how I pushed myself harder than I have ever pushed myself and got dead last.
The post could be about how much fun I had experiencing a new to me part of the bush land. It could be spent explaining what Hares and Hounds mean. I could have written the post about the distance I ran, what to pack in your pack on trail runs, or how to tie your GoPro on your pack. You get the idea, the list could go on and on.
Instead I would like to share some of the songs I heard in my head the three and a half hours I was on the trail, alone, just me and my mind. I embedded three music videos into this post, you will have to hit play on each video. I hope you enjoy the songs, while you look at the pictures. The pictures really don't do it justice, still working out the mechanics of the Go Pro.
Isn't God so creative? Sometimes you just have to let the blog post go where it wants to go. What is a song that comes in your head when you are alone?
I saved the last post about my Dad's trip to be about something that he is really passionate about, baseball. Anyone who knows my Dad, knows that baseball is one of my Dad's greatest passion.
There's baseball in Australia? HA! That is the response we got from most local people when we said we were headed to a baseball game. To say baseball isn't really popular in Australia is an understatement.
Yes! They have baseball, it reminded me of the old Ray Winder Field (Click for more details) Days growing up in Arkansas.
Baseball has always been a special sport to me also. So many of my childhood memories include baseball. My Grandvol, Dad, or Mamma taking me to Ray Winder was always good memories. I always loved watching the game, eating the food, getting all the players autographs. Riding the bus with the High School Baseball team all through elementary school. Going to opening day for Texas Rangers with Dad. Baseball is truly all about making memories in my book.
So, we figured why not try it in Australia. We tried to go to a game in Sydney. I actually bought a Groupon for around $30.00 we had tickets, hot dog, t-shirts, and batting practice time. The Sydney team was really sweet and wanted us to come to the game. They went above and beyond to double check we were coming. They called, texted, e-mailed, and sent a calendar appointment to me.
The problem we had was the ball park was far out of town, compared to where we were staying. We realized we could go to the Sydney Opera House and watch a show for cheaper than it would cost in transportation to get to field. So, we did what any person would do while in Sydney, went to the Opera House to watch a show.
We went to a game in Brisbane instead:
Alcohol Think Again Perth Heat
Like the name of the Perth team? All sports teams do that around here, they will sell a sponsorship, of anything, to anyone who will pay.
The old school feel was great. It was a small and cozy field. You could walk around outside the locker rooms, and even see inside.
They were not all about the flash and showing their stadium off. If you went to a Brisbane Bandit's game, it would have to be because you love baseball.
It was just good old School baseball mixed with an Aussie twist here and there. Ever seen a Coffee bar at a baseball game?
While we were at the game we had a ran delay. During the rain delay everyone ran for cover, we happened to end up in the area where the umpires hid. We just stood there and chatted with them and other baseball fans.
It was a nice slice of home in our wonderful town. Great place to go when you want to feel a little piece of home.
As I am sitting here typing this blog post, baseball just made the news. Yes! this is the first time I have seen it on the news, but check out why.
Josh and I just had a good laugh, "A baseball fight down under." The Brisbane Bandits could rename their team the boxing kangaroos. Sorry, had to share since it was on TV, while I was finishing this post.
What is your favorite sport? Or What is a sport that is special to you?
One short ferry ride away from Brisbane is yet another amazing island. North Stradbroke Island or as the locals call it Straddie. The island is the second biggest sand island in the world. All of the top three largest sand islands are in Queensland and pretty close to Brisbane.
After the short 45 minute air conditioned ferry ride we were off to explore the island.
Our first stop was Brown Lake. It was not a very big lake, more like a pond by "Southern America" standards, but it was pretty cool. See how the color gets darker as you go farther in the water? It is a tea lake. The trees around the lake are all tea trees. The leaves fall into the water and the lake becomes tea. Talk about natural tea, we didn't really swim, but we put our feet in the tea lake.
Next we went to Amity Point. Have you ever seen Jaws, yes the town is named Amity, and there has been shark attacks at this beach. We were told no local swims at this beach. Dad and I had fun acting like we were fishing. Can you imagine catching something that needs a pole that big? It would pull me into the water!
From Amity Point we went on a little bush hike. We saw a kola who was actually awake and his head followed us as we moved around. We saw a huge lizard thing. We were told to stay away from it, its bite is very dangerous. Last we saw a kangaroo. I don't think I will ever get tired of seeing kolas and kangaroos while out on a hike.
Next we were off to enjoy the beautiful beaches. We played in the water and walked around on the top for a bit.
At the top we really saw some cool things sharks, manta rays, turtles, and dolphins.
I would say Straddie was a great place! It is so close to Brisbane, I can't believe we haven't made it out here yet. The scenery was beautiful, the hiking was amazing, and the memories were perfect.
If you are in the area, there is a pretty good Groupon at the moment that includes your ferry ticket and a bike hire for the day. (click here) or ferry,lunch, and an adventure day (click here).
One of my Groupon finds in Sydney was a sailing lesson on a boat that sailed in the 1992 America's Cup race. Now, the boat didn't win, but it was still pretty neat.
They taught us the basics of sailing while sailing around in the Sydney harbor. It was beautiful, and fun. One thing I did learn is sailing is not really relaxing.
We sailed under the harbor bridge, and our mast was awfully close to touching. This boat was huge. I have been scared to drive in Australia because they drive on the other side of the road, but in the water, driving was easy. When I took the wheel I said, "Man driving in Australia is a lot easier than I though." It was really crazy how when you turned the wheel just a tiny bit the boat really moved.
When Dad came over he brought me a GoPro. This was my first adventure with it. I need a lot of help and advice. Anyone have any?
If you get a chance to to sail around the harbor, I would totally do it. It was amazing! I can see where sailing would be addictive, and people would want the challenge to see if you could sail around different areas.
The Explore Group (Click for their website) was amazing. They were patient, laid back, safe, but ready to have fun.
There was not a lot of wind the day we went, but we still got to sail the harbor and act like real sailors.
This was a bucket list item of mine. I have been on a catamaran for a week in the Virgin Islands, but did not really learn about sailing. Not really sure why, but in all my adventure seeking, this was something I wanted to try.
This was one of my highlights of our trip to Sydney.
What are some bucket list items you have?
When you think of Australia most people automatically think of Sydney and Beaches. I had been to Sydney a couple of times, but really hadn't had time to explore. When Dad came, he had Sydney high on his list, and we had the beaches covered, so of course we had to go and explore.
The day that we got to Sydney they had a huge sailboat race called Sydney to Hobart Race. We didn't get to see the start of the race, but got to see them as they pulled out of the harbor.
I am a big Groupon fan. A little bit ago they had a pretty good deal to go up in the sky tower and have a bird's eye view of Sydney.
The tower was really neat and a good thing to do the first day we got there. We went up and really got our bearings of Sydney.
The first night Dad wanted to see The Opera House lit up, as we were walking back to the hotel, I just happened to look down an ally and saw this. It was so cool, just tons of birdcages all glimmering in the lights.
We did a lot of walking around and exploring. My Dad really hasn't traveled much, so he liked to go and explore every tourist trap in Sydney. I did not mind though, I got to see some different things. We happened on this pie shop. Now, to most people this doesn't look like much of a shop, but after the most recent season on The Bachelor Australia, it is very popular. The Bachelor took one of his dates to this pie shop, and she threw a fit calling it a "dirty pie shop." This is actually a world famous pie shop. Sir Richard Branson (Virgin guy) has these pies flown all over the world.
I also had a Groupon for Lindt Cafe. Two weeks before we went to Sydney a terrorist held seventeen people one Monday morning hostage, which lasted the entire day, and ended with two people killed. Groupon changed our coupon to a different location. We really thought long and hard about just letting this Groupon go, but after talking about it, we decided to go and show support for Lindt and the Australian people. It was such a humbling experience. The man who brought us our plate of chocolate actually worked at the Lindt that had the killings and the day we went was his first day back to work. We were actually his first table. It really made me think, you never know what is going on in people's mind. Can you imagine how much courage and power it took for him to show up to work that day. I hope we were an encouragement to him, and made his first table a dream.
After we went to Lindt we walked around the aquarium. Dad and I had fun looking at the fish and making up their voices and what they were saying. What do you think the fish in the pictures are saying?
With all of our walking around I kept seeing their bike lanes. Is this not awesome? They have a bike lane completely separated from the road and off of the sidewalk. This is for sure the safest way I have seen for bikes to move around a city. They even had their own set of lights. Such a GREAT idea!
I would say Sydney was a great trip. We really did get to see a lot, not my normal way of seeing things, or really normal things to see. I usually try to stay away from all of the tourist traps, but this time, we hit every single trap, and had a blast doing it. I tried to show pictures of the small gems we found in between the traps. What is the best tourist trap you have ever been to?
While my Dad was here he kept saying, "Oh this would be good for your blog." "Are you going to add this to your blog?" So I kindly suggested he write his own blog, almost joking with him, but he actually wrote it, and what he came up with is pretty amazing. My Dad really has a gift with words. Here it goes.....
"The time has come for me to put my thoughts on paper about my trip.
I arrived on Christmas Eve when I landed we walked, yes I said walked, around the CBD (Central Business District) in Brisbane. We walked a lot in Australia.
Then we went to the Hills house for an Australian Christmas Eve Dinner. We had prawns and pavlova, what they eat on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Then we were off and running.
The beaches- we went to Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise, Stradbroke, and Moreton Island. I would love to describe them you but I don't know how to paint the picture with words or even an artists pallet. I have never seen such blues in the water or the sky or the white of the sand and the clouds. There are things out there to see.
Go See Them.
The last day we went to Moreton Island for an adventure day. I attempted to paddle board, notice attempted. Went kayaking, and put the kayak on backwards. We snorkeled, which is amazing. We banana boated, and I feel off the jet ski. Yep! thats what I said. Then we went sand tobogganing. It was a fun last day.
We also went to Sydney and sailed the Sydney Harbour, saw the Opera House, went to a concert. There are things to do.
Go Do Something!
Then there was the tasting. I ate the finest piece of meat I've ever eaten. A waygu steak, it's unbelievable. There is a place here called Max Brunner Chocolate, it is the finest, yes I said finest Chocolate there it. This isn't everything I tasted but it's the high points. Oh! and we ate at a Jamie Oliver's Restaurant and The Breakfast Creek Hotel. There is something to taste.
Go Taste Something!
There are things to feel. The sand between your toes, holding a koala bear, petting and feeding a kangaroo. There are things to feel. Go Feel Something!
This isn't everything I experienced on my trip, but my point now is....I took a trip.
Finally, yes! I am about done. To the greatest daughter and son in law I have, Thank you and love yall!"
Like I said, he is pretty good with words.
This is all coming from my Dad.
The man who had never seen the ocean until
Christmas Day 2014.
The man who got his passport when I moved here.
I have many more posts about my Dad's trip, but I chose to Make Memories while he was here not type. I will get caught up and post soon.
Like I have said many times before...
It's All About Making Memories!
-EAT and LAD (DAD)