Monday, September 28, 2015

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." C.S. Lewis

When contemplating a trip halfway around the world to Australia, we thought of the cost as well as the long travel time, but also thought of our daughter and her family, who have been living there for 4 years. Family won out and planning began. The decision became easier when we realized that Andrew had enough vacation time saved for us to spend 5 weeks with them, making that long trip worthwhile. After a week of packing and figuring out just what we would need for the trip, we set out early on a Friday morning, excited and anticipating a wonderful time travelling together and being reunited with 2 of our granddaughters (Skyping doesn't fulfill that grandmotherly desire to hug and hold them close).
 Looking fairly fresh as we wait to take off from Halifax on the first leg to Toronto. I didn't take the after shot when we landed in Perth - it wasn't pretty!

 An expensive sandwich and salad in the Toronto Airport. Air Canada isn't that generous with the meals.

 On the other hand, this is the menu we received on Cathay Pacific enroute to Hong Kong. There was even choice!!

And after 25 hours of flying time, this is the greeting we received as we descended into Perth, Australia. A beautiful sunrise on Sunday morning.

Seeing our family (and our luggage) after that many hours of travel was so rewarding and 2 little smiling girls still in their jammies was so special. At 6:30 in the morning I don't think either one of us was very coherent and the grey matter was a little fuzzy. However, we were feeling pretty good, so after a hot shower and a little breakfast, we decided to join the girls at church. We arrived at a wetlands conservation centre (their venue for their church) and sitting there thinking about family and life and how very blessed we are, it just all seemed a bit surreal. We had a fairly quiet afternoon and I ended up heading for bed at 8 pm, just after the little girls went. My head hit the pillow and I don't think I moved a muscle until about 4 am. 

Today we woke up feeling somewhat refreshed and ready to try and get our bodies and brains on Australian time. Andrew and I started the day with a walkabout in Atwell and being the half of the pair that is directionally challenged, I was thankful Andrew had a local map prepared by Kathryn. This little suburb of Perth is quite sprawled out with a lot of green space to enjoy and our early walk was only enhanced by the beautiful weather.

 An Australian ring necked parrot - beautiful colouring with vivid green and bright yellow.

The front lawn decor is rather outlandish here, either that or they have storage issues.

 This is quite a common plant/shrub found here, we have seen a lot of them, a bottlebrush.

 A galah bird, very docile and did not seem threatened by our nearness. There is an expression in Australia that one can be as dull as a galah.

 A close up picture of the bottlebrush and botanist.

An interesting shot of a unique birdhouse with a white-cheeked honeyeater.

Mid morning we decided to go to King's Park, a huge park overlooking the downtown area of Perth. Kathryn packed a picnic lunch and we arrived at 10 am. This was a holiday weekend and the park was very busy with families out enjoying the weather. Andrew was in his element and thoroughly enjoyed the vast array of plants, so very different than what we grow in Canada. Here are a few photos of our day. 
 During September Kings Park was celebrating spring and some of the trees were dressed up. This one is known as "The Queen's Tree", a tree planted by Queen Elizabeth back in 1954. If you look closely you can see her crown at the top.

 This is a palm tree wrapped in fabric with 'palms' all over it. Eden was demonstrating the difference between 'palms' and 'palms'.

 The view from Kings Park - so very beautiful.

 Snack time!!

 Andrew decided to do the guided tour of the botanical gardens with this fellow named Doug. He was very impressed with his knowledge of the park and the many plant species here. The only problem was the 1.5 hour tour turned into 2 and Kathryn and I were wondering how much longer the girls would hold out.

 Another different plant (Banksia) that loves the arid climate of this country.

 This 750 year old boab tree looks dead, but is one that was uprooted in northern Western Australia to make way for a bridge that was being built. It was trucked 3200 km to Kings Park to save it.

The waxy outer coating of a eucalyptus tree. The "acorns" are called gum nuts, a favourite of cockatoos.

A great day with great company and now I must head off to neverland, hoping that tomorrow my body will start to get in sync with the time change. Thanks for reading!!


  1. So glad you are doing this and that everything sounds so awesome :)

    1. Hi Joanne ~ it is a great way to journal a trip!