Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chop Chop

Look what we saw for sale in a Dunedin storefront the other day:

I thought maybe they were selling a whole bunch of US baseball jerseys, but this was the only one. I think it's some kind of sign.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!*

We're back! We spent five days in Brisbane and the surrounding beach areas, and had a glorious time basking in the brilliant Aussie sunshine. Felt very fortunate (and more than a little guilty) that we enjoyed absolutely perfect weather while areas in the rest of the country were enduring horrific wildfires, floods, and record heat waves (116 F in Melbourne!!!) The Wee One traveled just fine, and seemed to enjoy getting some fresh air and relaxation time as much as we did.

Australia is a really big country -- roughly the size of the continental U.S. I think -- so it's impossible to see any more than a sliver on such a short trip. Trying to make generalizations about Australia based on five days in Queensland is kind of like saying you know all about America based on five days in Florida. That said, I was really surprised by the fact that the sliver we saw was so unlike anywhere I've been in New Zealand.

I would argue that it felt very similar to the U.S, but with kangaroos, koalas, and lots of stuff that will bite and sting you. (I went 31 years without a wasp bite. Three days in Australia, and I manage to step in a nest.) All things considered, though, I really like Australia. Sign me up for more.

Some pics for your viewing pleasure:

Surfer's Paradise, on the Gold Coast. It's kind of like Vegas, Miami and Orlando rolled into one, but on a smaller scale. If that makes any sense at all.

After Surfer's, we drove south of the Gold Coast to a resort in Kingscliff, a much quieter beachside town. Because most people seemed to stay by the resort pool for some weird reason, we generally had the beach almost all to ourselves. Sweet!

Christopher with his hardcore boogey board.

In Brisbane, we went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you can get up close to all kinds of Australian animals. Here is a napping dingo.

Little kangaroo!

Big kangaroo! Check out the claws!

Me & a koala named Petal. Petal was totally not in the mood for picture posing.

Napping wombat.

* A little background for those who don't get the title of this post.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

December Whirlwind, Part II

Okay, so it's February 1 and I'm just now posting pictures from our December trip with Dot. I'm off my game a bit. Sorry. If it's any excuse, we've just moved house (pictures of the house to follow shortly ... really ...) so things have been in slight disarray. More on all that another time.

In other news, we are headed this week for a short beach trip to Australia -- our last pre-baby vacation. Very excited for some sunshine and lounging time, although a pregnant lady in a bathing suit is likely to frighten some folks. Pics and details of that trip soon to follow, no doubt, but in the meantime, enjoy the second part of our South Island adventure:

Lake Tekapo. It's hard to explain the color of this water.

New Zealand cherries are PHENOMENAL, especially from the little roadside stands. After a month and a half of stuffing myself silly, I'm still sad the season is almost over.

We stopped by this bungee jumping center and watched people jump for a while. I like to pretend that I would jump if I wasn't pregnant, but really I am a big chicken. I don't think I will ever need that much adrenaline.

Sheep outside of Dunedin. Baaa.

The lovely Dot (aka Dottie P., Dorothy Anne, The Notorious D.O.T.) on Franz Josef Glacier. I should add here that aside from being an amazing photographer, Dot makes incredible salsa and is also the most talented white female freestyle rapper that I know. You really should invite her to your next party.

Franz Josef. To give you a sense of scale, the little dots in the center left of the photo are people in another hiking group.

Before we sign off, let's give a shout out to Dunners for being named the best city in New Zealand. You'd better recognize.