As most of you know, in January my parents came over to Australia for a visit! It was a great trip and we all survived! We were able to do so much sight-seeing and visiting with people on the Central Coast. I think one of my parents favorite things was getting to meet the members of the Gosford congregation and spending time with them. We had an invitation to dinner almost every night we were in town! Here is a list of what we did during the two weeks...
Day 1: Mom and Dad arrived at the airport around 8 am. Chris Payne came with me to the airport, where we picked up mom and dad and she drove us to downtown Sydney to drop us off. We decided right away that we better do the Harbour Bridge Climb, or we may not do it! Here is a picture of the Harbour Bridge to show you how high we climbed:
Day 2: We went to church and class in Gosford and then we went over to the Lawrie's house for Sara Moad's baptism. It was great! Then, we went to Terrigal with Amber and Jenny to have some great fish and chips. We sat right by the ocean! On Sunday evening, we went to the Central Coast Mariner's soccer game. Although it isn't American football, I have really enjoyed the Mariner's games this season and wanted mom and dad to come to a game with me.
Day 3: Sallie-Anne Moad took us on a driving tour around the Central Coast and then we went back to the Moad's for dinner. Mom and Dad loved the tour and they got to spend some time on the beach and just see the area where I live. We went to a beautiful lighthouse and saw a great view from the top of Killcare Hill. We also saw the pelican feeding at The Entrance.
Day 4: Off to Nelson Bay at Port Stephens for a dolphin cruise around the harbour. It was very relaxing and we saw tons of dolphins! That evening, we went to Ray and Lynn Gritten's house for dinner and to talk about our trip to the Blue Mountains the next week.
Day 5: Australia Day! After stopping by the shops for some lunch to go, we headed out to the beach for a picnic with members of the church. It was great to spend more time with people and mom and dad loved walking down to the beach where they got in the water for the first time! For dinner, we had a cook-out at David and Joy Mowday's house with their family. The Mowday's got dad an Australian apron for him to grill with at home.
Days 6-8: We flew up to Cairns, in northern Australia, for a holiday at the Great Barrier Reef. On the first day, we took the Skyrail up to Kuranda in the rainforest. Mom and I weren't too sure about the Skyrail, but the town of Kuranda was very nice. Mom and Dad bought several souveniers and then realized that we only brought carry-on luggage! Oops! Everything made it back fine, though. On Friday, we went on a full day tour of the Great Barrier Reef. Dad got to go scuba diving and mom and I snorkelled, all seeing some amazing things. We had a perfect day and all got a little too much sun. For our last day up north, we went on a crocodile farm tour and walked through the botanical gardens. It was busy, but we had a great time!
Day 9: Off to church again at Gosford where Dad led singing and we had a church fellowship luncheon. That evening, we headed over to the Brown's house for dinner and good conversation. The Brown's are so much fun to spend time with!
Day 10: We toyed with heading into Sydney for the day, but decided to spend a day in Gosford. We went to the Ken Duncan gallery. Ken Duncan is a famous Australian photographer. He takes wonderful photos. We bought a few souveniers and then headed to the mall for lunch and a few odds and ends. Then, we went to the Stone's house for dinner. We let dad drive, which mom didn't think was a very good idea...
Days 11 & 12: We travelled to the Blue Mountains with Ray and Lynn Gritten. It was a great trip! We had perfect weather and made a lot of really great memories. Mom and Dad loved spending time with the Gritten's on this trip. I think they made friends for life! We did a bit of hiking as well. Overall, it was a fun trip. We also stopped by the Featherdale Wildlife Park on the way back, so mom and dad could pet and feed some kangaroos and koalas. When we got back on Wednesday, we hurried over for dinner at Stuart and Lyn Penhall's. Then, we went to class at church that night and then to Macca's afterwards! Busy, busy, busy!
Day 13: We finished up running some errands in the Gosford area. We went out to the beach one last time, which was nice, but super hot! We reached temperatures of over 100 degrees this day! Also, we have a Scholastic factory here, so we went to the factory store so Mom could get some "Aussie" books for pre-school. On Thursday evening, we went to the Lawrie's for dinner. Evan and Graham cooked up some fabulous kangaroo, lamb, pork and steak for us! Dad enjoyed the exotic meat, but Mom stuck with pork and steak. It's hard to eat kangaroo when you just finished petting one the day before!
Day 14: Taronga Zoo day with the Buck family! We met Joe, Tiffany and the boys in Sydney on Friday, then went out to the zoo for the day. We saw tons of different animals, but my favorite by far was the baby elephants! It was so fun to go to a zoo with Jude and Pax because they really enjoyed all the animals. After taking a picture by a statue of a rhino, Jude kept asking us when we could see the "moving" rhinos. It was so cute! We ate dinner at our favorite pizza place in Sydney, then headed on home.
Day 15: We woke up, packed up, and went to breakfast at the Payne's house on our way to the airport. We had a great breakfast and even were entertained when a goana (sp?) appeared on their back porch! It was a huge lizard! Then, I took mom and dad to the airport!
Overall, we had such a great time during the 2 weeks they were here. Hopefully, I can talk my brother and sister into making a trip sometime next year. Anyone is welcome to come visit! :-)