|Reunited after two years!|
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
After morning tea, we drove out near Healesville Sanctuary and I cooked up a BBQ lunch while my family took a short hike in the park. The flies were insane and prevented us from even sitting down while eating, but we made it work. Then it was off to Healesville Sanctuary, where you can see all of the Australian animals in one place.
After the bird show, we walked around the other exhibits, checking out several Australian animals. I've included a few of my favorite pictures for you to enjoy: a dingo, emu, lyrebird, red kangaroo, koala, pelican, colorful bird of some sort, Tasmanian devil, and kookaburra.
It's hard to believe that we won't be living in the land of these animals much longer. The shipping company came today and packed up all our things to send to California. We rented a car and made one trip to the op shop and two trips to the rubbish collection place. We're down to just one large backpack and one daypack for ten weeks of survival. This is getting really real!
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Flinders Street Station was all lit up and looked awesome. There were various bands and performances taking place in front of the steps. Federation Square was busy too; at one point Zack was even learning to hip-hop dance in the middle of it!
Friday, March 15, 2013
Here is the deal. Zack's official start date back in the United States is June 3. We wanted to do some more traveling before heading back, so he is taking a leave of absence, and we are traveling for eight weeks. Where? Well, after much deliberation and reworking of itineraries several times, here is the final plan:
-Philippines: Boracay (beach time) and Donsol (swim with whale sharks)
-Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hanoi (including Halong Bay)
-Laos: Luang Prabang
-Cambodia: Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) and Phnom Penh
-India: Golden Triangle-Delhi/Agra/Jaipur
-Nepal: Kathmandu, trek the Himalayas (deciding between Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit)
-India: Goa (beach time with my friend Ameeta)
-United States: Michigan (pick up our dog and Jeep and see my family), St. Louis (see Zack's family), San Francisco (move in)
Yes, we are moving to San Francisco, California! We love Colorado and plan on moving back there in a couple of years to settle long-term, but we're not ready to "settle" quite yet. Zack has always wanted to live in California, and I'm excited about living near my sister in Santa Cruz and exploring a new part of the country. We think it will be an easy transition to move there from Melbourne, and now seems like a good time to give it a try.
So that's our big announcement. I've been pretty bad about keeping up with the blog lately, as life has been crazy with organizing this move and huge trip, but I'll get in a few more entries before we go. I won't be blogging about our travels, mainly because I'm honestly kind of sick of keeping up with this blog and partly because it will be difficult and annoying to find internet access in most locations, but also because I really only started and maintained this blog as a record of our expat time in Australia for ourselves (I was just lucky enough to have readers!). So once we leave, keeping up with "Keys Down Under" won't make much sense. I will, however, take PLENTY of pictures, and those will be on my Shutterfly site when we return.
So, this isn't goodbye quite yet, but it's a warning of an almost-goodbye. Yikes-so much to do! Back to packing...
Monday, March 11, 2013
|Kangaroo fillet was one of the five courses!|
The food was good, but not amazing. It was cool how they served uniquely Australian dishes, like kangaroo and barramundi and panna cotta.
|Thumbs up for Frangelico!|
Our waiter was hilarious. He was an Italian guy who would break into song randomly while serving us, and he was very eager to keep our wine and drink glasses very full. He even introduced me to Frangelico, a delicious Italian liqueur that tastes like liquid Nutella!
Overall, I'd say the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant is a great touristy thing to do just once, especially if you've got visitors in town and you can all have fun together. It's not cheap, but you can get your money's worth with drinks and realizing that you're paying for food, entertainment, and a tour of the city!
|The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant was pretty cool.|
Sunday, March 10, 2013
My 34th birthday started the week before January 27, when Zack brought home these beautiful yellow roses for me. Unfortunately, they only lasted a few days, but they were gorgeous while they lived!
In Byron Bay, I awoke on my birthday morning to find my mom had made "Aubree's Dessert," a treat we used to make as kids. I'm not exactly sure why it was named after me, but I remember making it over at Aunt Kathy and Uncle Greg's house one time and it didn't have a name, so I think we started calling it that. Anyway, it made for a good first breakfast, but then we had scrambled eggs and toast outside under the veranda.
I also got a morning "Happy Birthday" serenade from my mom and Aunt Kathy. This video absolutely cracks me up every time I watch it, and this was the second version, because I didn't have my camera ready the first time they did it (they are completely sober by the way-this is just how crazy they are!).
It was a rainy day (of course), but we managed to get out and walk around town. Zack scheduled a surprise massage for me, so I got to relax for an hour. For dinner, we all went out to a nice Italian dinner near the water. It was a wet, windy adventure to get there, but the food was good (and the martinis were delicious!).
When we finally managed to escape wet and windy Byron Bay a few days later, I arrived home in Melbourne to more beautiful flowers courtesy of Adam and Emily. I may not have gotten the beach birthday I was hoping for, but I'd say it was a pretty decent day anyway!
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Australia Day, a day meant for BBQs and playing cricket games on the beach, was basically rained out. The beach was closed, parades and events were cancelled, and everyone huddled in restaurants and shops looking depressed.
My family finally did get out of Byron Bay the next day, but they had to take a shuttle bus to the Gold Coast airport and catch a connecting flight before they could go to New Zealand. On the way, they took a few pictures of the streets that were flooded. Meanwhile, Zack and I went to the beach one last time before heading back to Melbourne (of course it started raining while we were there), and we got a few pictures of some of the damage done to the big trees in the area.
So Byron Bay was definitely not the place for the glorious beach vacation I had envisioned for Australia Day weekend. We managed to make the best of it, eat some good food, and have some laughs, but overall, I'd say Byron Bay was a bust!
P.S. We did watch the movie The Impossible while we were there. It's about the tsunami that happened in Thailand a few years ago. That kind of put things in perspective!