I have returned from down undah! Carolyn and I visited every climate known to Australia, I think, and we have peeling sunburns to prove it. I don’t want to bore you all with too many details, so here are some highlights and discoveries and observations:
1. I took a lot of random photos at first, but then I stopped. I am sad about this, because I love the random photos.
2. You have to love a country that puts beets on their burgers.
3. Australians love banana-flavored things. It seemed every restaurant had banana bread, banana muffins, banana pancakes, banana ice cream, you name it. Starbucks even had a banana frappuccino. Carolyn tried it and said it tasted like banana cream pie.
4. We met Alison on our first day in Sydney, and she showed us all around (CBD, King Street, Doyle’s for fish & chips, and more). We had a wonderful time, and Alison is great, of course. She gave us this giant box of Aussie treats:
5. We also met Sydney foodblogger Clare. She took us on a drive down the coast, which was gorgeous. She also took us to a wildlife park where we got to feed the kangaroos and pet the koalas!
We were fortunate enough to meet her partner Casey, who quickly became our hero. We quoted him throughout our trip (his sayings are a tad too colorful to share on the blog). Hey Clare, we agree wholeheartedly with your parents–Casey is wonderful! He can do no wrong!
6. Everyone in Australia says “no worries.” They do not, however, according to Alison, call one another “mate” very often. They also say, “How ya goin'” a lot. Portable coolers are referred to as “eskies.”
7. Carolyn became addicted to Anzac biscuits. She also has a bit of a book-buying disorder. This is only a sampling of the books she purchased:
8. Qantas loves to feed people. Even on short flights of 90 minutes or so, Qantas gave us full meals!
9. Life-changing discoveries: eye masks and fly nets. The eye masks really did block out the light on the airplane, and the fly nets were an absolute necessity in Uluru, where black flies swarmed around us during daylight:
10. The Great Barrier Reef is like a giant aquarium. We were stupid enough to think we didn’t need to go out to the reef while in Cairns (hello, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef), since neither of us are big water people, but we decided to take a boat trip out there anyway, mostly to kill time, and then we realized what idiots we were. We didn’t get any good fish photos, but here’s the view from the boat to Green Island, Queensland’s first island national park:
11. Why don’t they sell Solo or Lift lemon drinks in the US?
12. Neither Carolyn nor I knit one stinkin’ stitch during our vacation, but we did read (my 2 books to Carolyn’s oh, I dunno, dozen).
13. Tim Tams. Sigh. How I love them.
14. Awesome tea shop: T2 Tea.
Okay, maties, that’s it for now!