TRAVEL DATES : November 2015

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Each new country, is seriously so exciting.  Australia came with so many stereotypes, that made me super stoked.  Finding Nemo.  The Outback.  Hot Surfers.  We had also heard a lot of horror stories of the wildlife.  Supposedly everything in Australia wants to kill you.  Spiders, snakes, sharks, jellyfish, crocodiles…

Garrett and I were very much on the lookout for these creatures.  But in the end, I think we stayed super metropolitan where none of that really existed.  Haleluja.  I probably would’ve made everyone pack up and leave if I saw a snake.  (I seriously just go the heebeejeebees)

In Colorado growing up you frequently will see deer crossing signs around.  But in Australia there were kangaroo crossing signs and koala crossing signs.  I thought that was SO cool!  

We spent a few days in Sydney which just so happened to be over Halloween.  I really try to make holidays a big deal.  It makes normal days exciting.  So I was excited to take Dorothy trick-or-treating even though we were in Australia.  We’d learned that Halloween was catching on and a few neighborhoods would be doing trick-or-treating.  I went to the grocery store and picked out at $12 princess dress for Dorothy.  We found a pirate eye patch for Manilla.  So mom and Manilla were pirates and dad and Dorothy were a prince and princess.  

Garrett is obsessed with swimming with large sea creatures.  In Narooma which is about 4 hours south of Sydney, there is a huge population of seals.  Like thousands.  And they are super playful.  So we road tripped down (which is a big deal for us… we hate driving) to Narooma and booked a charter out to an island so we could dive with seals.  As we were leaving the harbor there was word that the weather had turned and they had to cancel our trip. :( We were SOOO bummed.  We had travelled so far.  We saw some humpback whales breaching in the distance which was rad… except for the fact that is wasn’t because we weren’t in the water with them.  We are so spoiled now.  The guide even said, “you’ll probably never be closer to a humpback whale in your life.”  hmmmm….

So after being super bummed, Garrett decided to hop in the harbor water…. which also had a pretty gnarly current and was super dangerous.  But he wanted to swim with seals, dang it!  There were maybe 6 seals there and he got in the murky, mysterious water… on the lookout for those crocs, great whites, jellyfish, and every animal that wanted to kill him.  He was brave.  I was not.  It wasn’t 1,000 seals, it was like 4 or 5, but still a fun experience.  

Sydney Harbor is iconic.  There is a beautiful park and trails all around the harbor to look at the opera house.  All of Sydney was out on a Sunday relaxing in the park, picnicking or exercising.  

One morning, I got together with my girlfriend from high school, Sara.  It is SO fun to catch up with friends around the world!  

Initially, the plan in Australia was to spend a few days in Sydney, go down to swim with the great whites in Port Lincoln, go to Melbourne, and then to Cairnes.  We realized that travel days suck. And they are expensive.  So we decided just to slow down and make our way up the Gold Coast to Brisbane.  We weren’t going to see it all, so we just tried to enjoy what we did see.

We decided to stop for a week in Port Macquarie.  A cute little town in between Brisbane and Sydney.  We stayed in a great Airbnb and enjoyed a chill week going to the beach (although it rained a lot that week), exercising, taking the kids to the park, zoo and hanging out. It wasn’t too far off from how we lived back in the U.S.  It was a week that I remember really well because we weren’t doing any crazy or grand adventures.  We were just enjoying life in a new place as a family.  

Oh, except we did celebrate Miss Dorothy’s 3rd birthday and Garrett’s 25th (ish)!  We made a special breakfast, Dorothy and Garrett rode camels on the beach, we had a yummy dinner and then birthday cake and presents on the beach!  It was beautiful and I will always remember the gorgeous sunset as I sat with my family on that beach that evening.

Our third and final stop in Australia was Byron Bay.  We had heard amazing things about it.  It didn’t disappoint.  It was so unique.  Great food.  Cute shops.  Everyone was super into health and fitness.  We decided to get bikes for the week and we literally just cruised around for the week.  And we LOVED it!

We waited a few days for the waves to come out and spent some time trying to surf.  Seek took us out and it was a blast!  There were some great BBQ places and we had some amazing dinners right on the beach.  We could definitely live here for an extended period of time!

One afternoon Garrett and I went out on a kayak adventure to go see the dolphins that live in Byron Bay.  

We were about 4 days from take-off to our next stop in Bali and I got an email saying that an ash cloud is preventing any flights from going in or out of the island.  Ahhhh….  It was such a stressful week having to go to the library and try to switch up destinations.  There were no available flights from Brisbane to Thailand for over a week, so we had the fun chance to pick a new, unexpected destination...

So after a lot of research, we decided to go to SINGAPORE!

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Happy travels! Sincerely, The Bucket List Family