was an awesome whirlwind with
no more than 3 days straight in
any one city!
venturing to Australia, we thought
we spoke the language, but quickly
found there was a whole new vocabulary
to learn! Most things were answered
with "No Worry, Mate."
I discovered in Australian, a
coach is a bus. An entree is an
appetizer, and a main is an entree.
To get a coffee with cream, you
order a flat white. They favor
the diminutive form of many words
and just listening to an Aussie
talk is delightfully whimsical.
were introduced to new foods:
We couldn't find lobster until
we realized we needed to ask for
a prawns. My friend Karin, went
grocery shopping at 9 PM at night
to get the ingredients to make
Pavlova for us-a heavenly dessert
we ended up eating for breakfast!
also made us try Vegemite-an acquired
taste she said...they eat it on
toast and the school kids even
eat Vegemite sandwiches we were
told...an brown sludgy food that
is a yeast by-product of beer,
apparently, high in vitamins,
but DEFINITELY an acquired taste.
sick from day 4 with a sinus infection
and chest cold and I broke
my foot before we left and didn't
know it (but it kept swelling
and hurting) but that didn't slow
us down too much.
goals (Please God, help Joeann
that she must make goals for a
vacation!) were to ride the
train across the continent, get
Bub a crocodile vest and eat well
and have fun....... All were accomplished!
spent the first a few days
in Sydney. Shopped at The Rocks,
near Sydney Harbour the first
day we arrived. The next day,
we enjoyed a great lobster
and steak dinner at The Riverfront
before going to the Sydney Opera
House for a performance of La
Boheme for Bub's birthday on July
next day, we took the train
16 hours north to Brisbane, watching
kangaroos and emus out the windows.
Cattle ranching on the rolling
hills seemed to dot the landscape
the whole way. Lots of horses
with coats on too. We stayed with
a fellow coach and real estate
agent, Karin, who lives in Mooloolaba
on the Gold Coast.
& Joeann At Noosehead Beach
works with RE/MAX, in case you
know of anyone moving to the Sunshine
Coast. She was a wonderful hostess.
Guide Extraordinaire, Karin with
visited a local market and bought
presents, went to the beach, ate
well, and visited the Crocodile
guy, Steve Irwin's, Australia
Zoo and saw Koalas and Kangaroos
and lots of BIG Crocs.
Steve and a Croc!
with a Roo!
we flew back to Sydney and I spent
3 days at the International Coaches
Federation Australasian Conference.
This was the first conference
for this region and was attended
by over 400 coaches. My breakout
was full and I had lots of fun
and met many interesting coaches
and honed my coaching skills by
attending some great sessions.
the conference, after Bub finally
broke down and saw the hotel doctor
and got penicillin, we took the
Indian Pacific train for 3 1/2
days west to Perth. We had a nice
little cabin with it's own bathroom
and even a shower. A long seat
let us stretch out and move around
some during the day and turned
into bunk beds at night. They
provided a nice amenities bag
with all the hotel type goodies,
shampoo, soap, even a toothbrush
and rehydration spray.
train stopped a couple of times
a day along the way for
several hours when we could get
out and explore or take one of
the pre-arranged tours. Our first
stop the next morning, after we
had traveled through the Green
Mountains the in the cover of
night, was at Broken Hill (this
is the mining company, BHP,
that bought Magma Mines here in
AZ). It was mining town with a
rich history. We did a walking
tour, taking in the real estate
companies with their flyers filling
the windows as well as reading
all the history posted on the
corners on plaques. As we left
Broken Hill, the wildlife was
abundant and it was my first view
of kangaroo in the wild. We saw
lots of kangaroo and emus from
the train, but by the time I got
the camera, they were gone!
the day progressed, the landscape
changed from deserty scrub to
lush wheat fields. Ranches with
horses and green rolling hills
populated the approach to
Adelaide. After a few hours in
Adelaide, we reboarded and enjoyed
another excellent meal. The food
was cooked fresh with two or three
choices for lunch and dinner.
We got our first taste of kangaroo,
though were later to learn most
Aussies don't eat it (it was referred
to as "survival food, akin
to us eating rabbit by one of
the ladies we met).
Nullabor Desert (here's
your Latin lesson: null=no and
arbor=trees) was amazingly and
awesomely large. All day the scene
looked much the same. Hours and
hours including the longest stretch
of straight track in the world:300+
miles. We stopped and changed
crew at Cook, population 4.
About as desolate a place as I
can imagine. We did another walking
tour of the two streets and gift
evening, we got into Kalgoorie
about 8 PM and did the city tour.
We heard a lot of history and
viewed of the world's largest
open pit gold mine. They also
had a whole
street of whores sitting in windows
on the train for one more night
and then into Perth the next morning.
We opted for the 2 hour city tour
and got to see much of the town,
hear the history and spend a little
time in King's Park. Every city
we visited had huge areas for
parks and gardens. It was lovely!
we went to our hotel, a bit north
of Perth on Scarborough Beach-my
first view of the Indian Ocean!
big storm blew in the first night
we were in Perth and knocked out
1/3 of the
city's electricity. We were on
the 17th floor of a great hotel
overlooking the Indian Ocean and
watched the storm and big waves
an intermittent rainbows all day.....In
Perth they told us their reservoir
for city water was just at 17%
capacity and there is a big draught
all over the country, so the rain
we flew to Alice Springs in the
middle of the country. As we flew
in you could see smoke from fires
all over. They don't try to control
them in the Outback. They are
experiencing a severe draught
a car in Alice Springs and it
is REALLY HARD to drive on the
other side of the street.
I beat Bub at tennis, even with
my broken foot...that really annoyed
him! He made me play the several
mornings later when it must have
been 25 degrees (I never could
get the centigrade thing quite
right in my mind), but I could
see my breath...He won that day.
drove to Ayres Rock, or Uluru,
as the aborigines call it. It
was 250 miles from Alice Springs
so it took almost all day to get
there, but we made it in time
for the sunset. A very eerie,
spiritual kind of place....You
can understand why the aborigines
revere it. I had wanted to climb
it, but Bub discouraged it and
the aborigines request that you
don't....so, I came home with
a bumper sticker that says "I
didn't climb Uluru."
ULURU at sunrise
we visited another formation about
30 miles away and then headed
back to Alice Springs.....At least
the road was straight and no towns
didn't have to think about staying
on the left... We saw a wild camel
left that area, just wandering
around in the brush. Again, the
camera was too slow to capture
it-I think I scared it when I
threw on the brakes, backed up
the highway and jumped out!!!
were lots of dead kangaroos on
the side of the road (sort of
like when we travel through deer
country) but we didn't spy any
live ones. Lots and lots of Eagles....
The next day, we shopped in Alice
Springs a bit for Opals and Didgeridoos
and then flew to
Brisbane via Melbourne. We ate
a great seafood dinner and relaxed.
The next day, we met Jo
Thomas, another coach, who had
invited us to her farm 1 1/2 hours
west in Beaudesert. We
had an amazing seafood buffet
at the Sheraton with them and
a neighbor, Bob, who owns a gold
They had 80 acres with lots of
beautiful lorikeets and kookaburras and
kangaroo that hid out --we did
see 2 from far away. Jo's father,
Sandy, is an 83 yr old General
from WW2 was captured on
Crete and then escaped and wrote
a book about it,
Dare To Be Free. Quite
an amazing man. He and Bub got
Sandy & Jo treated us like
royalty! They took us to lunch
at a neat place that was
surrounded by rainforest and kookaburras....
I spoke at Jo's ICF Coaching Chapter
on the Gold Coast and there
were about 50 people
there. It was a great group!
We took a short train trip up
the Gold Coast to Brisbane and
spent the night in Brisbane at
the Sheraton before taking
the train for 36 hours to Cairns...
trip was brutal-we couldn't get
a compartment but were lucky
enough to spread out and get 2
seats each so we could lie down
to sleep but
there were crying babies and grumpy
adults making noise ALL NIGHT
me a bit grumpy too! Luckily,
I had a very long novel to finish,
so I kept occupied. Very little
interesting as far as sights...mile
after mile of sugar cane. A few
kangaroos but they stayed well
hidden and all I have is more
of "Joeann's animal specs"
on my video camera.
a seaside town in the warmest
part of the country on the Great
Barrier Reef and was lots of fun.
Relaxed and laid back with bathing
suit clad folks everywhere, this
was a place to kick back and just
Bub finally found his crocodile
vest and got to order the color
and style he was after to match
his alligator boots! We ate more
good seafood (yes, we did
gain a little weight :.)
We rented a car there too and
after shopping quite a bit (our
chance), and then doing more
shopping in Port Douglas,
where Bub discovered MAMBO shirts....aka:loud
headed north to Mossman, where
we stayed at the Silky Oaks Lodge
and Spa. THIS WAS LIKE HEAVEN!!!!
We had our own tree house with
a balcony and hammock. Along with
a large bedroom, king sized bed
and AC and double Jacuzzi tub.
The robes were included and as
well as a CD playing rainforest
music and an aromatherapy burner
. We walked to a little Billabong
Beach that we had all to ourselves
and ate apples, chocolate and
drank champagne while a turtle
rollicked in the Mossman River
and the brightest blue butterflies
I have ever seen flew around.
We played tennis twice and once
again, I held my own for one of
the games!!! The last day I had
a red mud wrap and Vichy shower
and WE ATE a wonderful 4 course
meal, even finding a wine from
the Bowen (my mother's maiden
name) vineyards! There was nothing
that wasn't first-class here!!!
3 days, we drove back to Cairns,
did more shopping, flew back to
Sydney, more shopping (we were
completely unaware there was a
$400 per person limit and the
you paid duty!) and flew 13 hours
back to LA. We left Sydney at
2 PM on Thurs and got into LA
at 10:30 AM on Thurs-go figure!!!!!
course, we bought lots of Lily
presents while we were gone. She
loves her Mrs. Koala puppet and
here is Lily at 9 months showing
off her new Aussie duds!
Needless to say....we had FUN!!!!