Better Late Than Never

January 18-25 Queensland and New SouthWales

Friday we  flew to Brisbane and visited the Deere office.

Saturday we went to the (Steve Irwin) Australia Zoo. We saw alligators (one was over 80 years old!) and crocodiles; the African Safari (literally, I think… at least it felt like it, I may have been delirious at that point) with zebras, giraffes and a rhino; and of course, kangaroos and koala bears! Our first time through the kangaroo area we were a little apprehensive. There were no fences, only a few obvious rules, like don’t kick the kangaroos, don’t ride the kangaroos, etc. It seemed so strange that you could just walk up to a kangaroo and it wouldn’t just get up and punch you in the stomach.

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They look cute. Don’t be fooled.

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I think I make this face a lot, but koalas are mean little buggers when they aren’t sleeping.

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One lonely rhino.

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This time around we were brave enough to touch them. Barely.

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We went to the beach. We walked around Brisbane. We drove all over Australia. Blah blah blah… We flew home. I got food poisoning. It  was super awesome. Not.

LAX is the worst (just in case you missed that in the first AUS post).

 

Answers to your burning questions:

The food was actually quite good, but I was a little disappointed in the produce (it wasn’t nearly as good as M&S). I ate a lot of salmon. Gotta love those Omega 3’s!

No, I did not get a tan. I am no more a bronzed goddess than Snow White (nor will I ever be, let’s be honest).

I went through almost two bottles of sunscreen. Yes, dermatologists everywhere would be proud.

I learned some Australian slang. Budgie smugglers = speedos. HAH.

Australians are nice… and they like America. Win-win.

 

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I Ate a Fly Today

There are flies everywhere in this part of Australia. EV-ER-Y-WHERE. The Aussies have even perfected a subtle two-handed wave to keep the flies out of their faces. I, on the other hand, did much more flailing. I’m sure it’s considerably less efficient, but I just couldn’t stand it; it’s hard to concentrate with things crawling all over you.

Today, as we were taking a picture in our cool safety vests at the dealership, Jake noticed a fly on Amye’s face. In slow motion it went something like this:

“Aaaamye, youuuuuu haveeeee a flyyyyy on yourrr face,” says Jake.

She turns her head slightly and brushes the fly off her face.

I turn towards her to look, with my mouth wide open in a smiling/laughing position.

Zoom in on the fly. The buzzing gets louder and…

BOOM.

Fly down the throat.

— End Scene —

I didn’t even have any water to wash it down with…

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Rewind 13 days…

January 12-15: New Zealand

We arrived at our fancy pants hotel early, but luckily they took pity on us and let us check in anyway. Probably because we smelled; no amount of deodorant or perfume could have helped that situation. After a few hours we regrouped, made our way downtown and had lunch overlooking the pier. We learned quickly that “entrees” in Australia are the equivalent to “appetizers” in the US. No worries though, we supplemented our small lunch with a cup of gelato. (On a side note, Australian sorbet is creamy. Weird, right?)

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The Auckland Domain was gorgeous. What a wonderful place to spend a lazy weekend afternoon! The area was built around an old volcano and we walked the entire park looking for it. However, after consulting the map we realized we had already passed the volcano. Turns out they don’t have to look like mountains… or anything really… it was a little anti-climatic.

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After our walk we enjoyed afternoon tea at the hotel. Needless to say, we were a little under dressed.

Enjoying tea time. The cups were empty, ps.

Enjoying tea time. The cups were empty, ps.

The fine fare served with our tea.

The fine fare served with our tea.

Sunday afternoon we drove to Hamilton (this made for a shorter drive in the morning). We took a nice walk along the water then had dinner at a local place. I had a salad with Kumara — ever heard of it? It’s similar to a sweet potato and it’s freakin’ delicious. Since I’m not willing to smuggle them through customs, I’m going to see what HyVee can do for me.

Pretty and delicious

Pretty and delicious!

Monday we had our first customer visit then drove back to Auckland.

Some NZ countryside.

Some NZ countryside.

Tuesday we flew from Auckland to Adelaide. We used Air New Zealand for that flight as well. Let’s not talk about it.

January 15-18 Southern Australia

We got to Adelaide to find out we had a 5+ hour drive ahead of us (after a 4 hour flight). I got a lot of reading done in that five hours. I only felt a little bit bad about being anti-social.

We stopped at Penfolds Winery on our way.

We stopped at Penfolds Winery on our way.

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We sampled a few while we were there, too. Yum.

Wednesday night was a real treat. We stayed at a lovely “motor inn” called The Duke. Not.

It was awful. It was a motel — aka doors to the outside — it smelled terrible, and each room had a can of Raid (which was absolutely necessary, as we saw multiple bugs crawl across our beds). Amye and I actually shared a room that night (too creepy to sleep alone in that place) and I refused to shower because the bathroom grossed me out. On top of all of that, I later learned that the old man behind the desk had made a comment while I was perusing the menu… it went something like this,”Sorry, honey, but I’m not on the menu.” Goo.

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Thursday we visited a vegetable grower. It was a great visit, but then we opted to take a ride in the “ute” (utility truck) for a tour of the farm. In my dress and tennis shoes I climbed into a seriously dusty truck with something barely resembling AC. It was 45+ Celsius that day, which is somewhere above 113 F. It literally felt like we were standing in an oven. I really don’t know how Slyvia Plath did it. I was toast (literally) after 5 minutes. Do you know how much sunscreen I have used on this trip?!

I didn’t feel very well after that ride.

Southern Australia - hot and dry.

Southern Australia – hot and dry.

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They had road signs for kangaroos and koalas. They also had road signs that read, “Tired Drivers Die.” Yikes.

After the tour we drove back to Adelaide and stayed at a beachfront hotel. It was about a gazillion times better than The Duke. The problem was, as I was walking along this beautiful beach at sunset, trying to “stay in the moment,” all I really wanted was a nice, long bath in my nice, clean hotel room. I had to wash The Duke off of me. And the dirt. But mostly the Duke.

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January 18-25 Queensland and New SouthWales

…you will have to be patient…