Friday, May 27, 2011

Australia...part 3

Wow, where has the time gone?!? It has been way too long sine I got back from Australia and I have only written about a few days of my trip. So, here goes the next chunk of time! After being in south Australia, I flew up to Cairns, which I was SO excited for. This is one of the most famous cities on the Great Barrier Reef. Needless to say, it was a dream come true to finally be there. When I first got into town, I walked all around and just checked it out. Cairns doesn't really have beaches that you can hang out on so they have built this big saltwater pool in the middle of the city that anyone can jump in. It is so nice.

After exploring the city, I went on an excursion above the rainforest. They have a gondola that takes you above the rainforest and up to a city called Kuranda. It was such a beautiful trip! It was so cool to go through the canopy and see all kinds of animals and then look back and see the ocean once I was above the trees. Unreal!

In Kuranda, I went to a butterfly sanctuary and a bird sanctuary and saw some of the most beautiful and unique animals I have ever seen. I was amazing to say the least! They also had a small "zoo" where I got to see crocodiles, kangaroos, wombats, crazy poisonous snakes (which you totally walk through their enclosure and they are curled up in trees right above you!!!! SCARY!) and koalas. I was ridiculously excited because I could hold a koala there. They have a tendency to be a little mean and grumpy so there aren't many that you can hold. This is Sienna. She was half asleep which I guess is good for a koala. If someone woke me up, I wouldn't be as content as she was! But it was definitely a highlight of my trip!

They had several koalas there and this was an 8 month old baby named Otto and his mama, Maya. They were way too sweet.

I took a train back down to Cairns and it was very cool. The next day, I got to live the dream! Everyone had told me throughout my life that you aren't officially a marine biologist until you dive the Great Barrier Reef. So, regardless of the degree, I wasn't a marine biologist until this day!!! I got to do three dives and it was so incredible! I was the only certified diver on the boat so it was just me and my dive master. It was awesome because he was a marine biologist too and asked me what I wanted to see. I told him that I wanted to see the stuff that I couldn't see anywhere else. Needless to say, he showed me some beautiful animals! This is a giant clam and is average sized. It was so cool to see how huge they were!

The main thing that I wanted to see was a fish named Wally. He is a HUGE fish weighing in at an unreal 300 pounds! I had read about him and they said that he was like a puppy. He would come up and follow divers around and just chill. He was blind in one eye and would bump into people when he would turn around. I was STOKED! Sadly, we never saw him! I was heart broken!!!!!!! My dive master said that he had seen Wally a few days before but never saw him again. I missed him by two days! If I had known, I would have changed my whole trip around just to be there a few days earlier! I like to tell myself that Wally found some cute girl fish that he followed to another part of the reef...sweet, sweet Wally! I was disappointed but it was all made up for a few days later when I went whale watching! Story to follow in another post!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Australia part 2-Great Ocean Road

Wow how time flies! It has been months since I got back and I have only written about a few days of my trip. I need to finish so I don't lose the memories before I get them written down.

Between Melbourne and Adelaide, there is a road called the Great Ocean Road. I had wanted to go along here from the first time I had heard about it. My photos for some reason loaded backwards onto here so I'll explain about the trip even though it isn't necessarily in order...Mt. Arapiles behind the Kangaroo sign. This is a famous place for rock climbing. To be honest, I was more excited about the sign! It's funny to see a kangaroo crossing sign when here is the states, we are used to deer or cattle crossing signs.
We went to the Grampians National Park which was such a beautiful place. We hiked up to Mt. Williams which supposedly has a great look-out. As you can tell by the picture, the fog had different ideas for us. It was still a really cool hike and the girls that I went with were awesome! Sarah, Susan, Marissa, me, and Romy

Also in the Grampians is McKenzie Falls. It was such a cool waterfall! If it had been warm, it would be the perfect place to jump in the water for a swim.

This is the 12 Apostles. This whole coastline is made of sandstone and so it slowly erodes. They said about 2 cm per year. There used to be twelve of these huge rock formations standing in the water but over time, some of them have fallen. There are six left and they still are pretty breathtaking. We got there just before sunset on a rainy and cloudy day which made for some pretty amazing pictures. It really was an incredible place to be.

We hiked through the Otoway National Park which had some of the biggest trees I have ever seen. They also had these cool wooden walking paths that curved through the forest. It was pretty surreal.

Along the road, there were some wild koalas which were super fun to see. This one had a little baby with her. I tried to get pix of mom and baby both looking at me but for some reason, they never faced me at the same time. But the little munchkin was so cute that it was ok.

This is Bells's Beach where the Rip Curl Classic surfing competition is held every year. It is a beautiful beach and it made me wish that I was staying in Torquay (the little surfing town nearby) so that I could get some surfing in while I was there!
More Australia to come...

Thursday, September 3, 2009 chunks

So, it is one of my last days in Australia and I haven't written a single thing about it on my blog. Been having way too much fun! Tonight it is cold and rainy in Sydney and I spent too much time in it today so I am sticking close to the hostel still trying to warm up...figured now is just as good of a time to write! So here goes. I will take the trip in chunks as I get some time. :)

My first real stop was Melbourne which turned out to be such a cool city. Wandered around my first day and just checked the city out. There are so many beautiful buildings! Here are just a few.
Apparently, I didn't get the memo that you are supposed to wear all black in Melbourne so I was the only person with any color on them. Not only was it color, it was flaming red! So I pretty much stood out like a sore thumb. Oh well, live and learn right!

Took a day trip down to Phillip Island which was really cool. Stopped at a sanctuary and got to meet/feed some kangaroos and wallabies. They were way too cute! Also saw my first koala, dingos, and a wombat. Even held a snake which is not typically high on my list of things to do.

We continued to a working farm where we saw sheep being sheared and also a demonstration on herding dogs. It was awesome to watch them work. They were training a new pup named Sheba and you could tell she just wanted to run after the sheep and turkeys. It was too cute!

After that, we went to see the grand finale! Every night, there are a bunch of Little Penguins that come out of the ocean in big groups and run across the beach to their burrows. It was awesome to watch them. Unfortunately, they don't allow pictures to be taken so it doesn't mess up the penguins but it was impressive to watch to say the least.

The next day I walked around a suburb called St. Kilda which was beautiful. A bunch of cool old houses with a ton of wrought iron all over them. More pix of that too...but apparently my pictures don't want to load tonight. So that is the first few days of the trip. More to come...including the pictures for this post!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Adventures with birds. And pups.

I was told not long ago that from now on, I can only rescue kids and animals...interesting advice I know. (Long story which I can fill you in on if you really want to know...) But I got the chance recently to help out two animals that needed a little rescuing. First, a sweet little bird somehow got trapped in the chimney of my parents house. I had heard it in there and couldn't get it out. Then the flapping stopped so I though he flew out. Surprisingly, the next day I heard him in there still...not good. I kept trying to get to him but the flue is at a weird angle and I still couldn't reach him. Finally got a mirror and held it up over so I could see him. Then my brother kindly helped his crazy little sis and with four hands we were able to hold the mirror and flash light and get little bird out. He was pretty stressed and dehydrated but otherwise ok. After some water, he was good to go and he flew away. So cool!

Second, I came out of church two weeks ago and there was the cutest German Shepard just sitting there. She was dangerously skinny and was very skittish, especially around men (can't say I blame her. lol) I ran home and grabbed some dog food, water, and a leash. Went back and it took me two hours and the "help" of two cute little 10 year old boys (who I think were supposed to be in primary) to finally get her in the back of my suv. No vets are open around here on Sunday so my best bet was to take her to the Humane Society. They have been nursing her back to health and she is doing great! So if anyone wants a 1 1/2 year old sweet as can be pup, come and adopt her! I wish that I could but Orem City won't allow three dogs in one house without a special permit. Sad...
Anyway, I consider myself very blessed to get the opportunity to help these sweet animals! Plus, I followed the advice of someone who is very special in my life. Worked out well. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Sweet Grandma

I had a remarkable day. Sad but definitely moving. Today marked the funeral for my 93 year old grandmother Clara. She passed away last week while I was out of town and I was heartbroken that I didn't get to say goodbye to her. What an amazing woman. She was endlessly kind and so generous with her time and love. She is an incredible woman in every meaning of the word. As I sat today, surrounded by my family, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards my Heavenly Father for blessing me to come to the family that I did. I have so many people in my life that inspire and love me and I am so grateful for that. I think of the legacy that my ancestors, including my sweet grandma Clara, have passed on to me and I realize that I need to step up in my life and continue that legacy on to the others in my life. But I consider myself lucky to be the carrier of a torch that has come down to me from some of the strongest people that I have ever heard of. It drives me to be better.
My thoughts are particularly with my grandpa right now. I have known loss and lonliness in my life but I can't begin to comprehend the lonliness that he must feel after having lost his sweetheart of almost 70 years. Watching him over the last few days has been so hard but has brought so much peace to me also. Even through his sorrow, he has such a quiet strength about him that can only come from the knowledge that he will be with her again very shortly, never to be seperated again. I am so grateful to have that same knowledge. The knowledge that I will be with my family forever. What a humbling gift. I apologize for putting something so personal here, but wanted to share my love, appreciation, and admiration for my grandparents. Goodbye grandma. I love you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bucket List

A few weeks ago, I was joking about making a bucket list because of my upcoming 30th birthday. I have been thinking more and more about it and decided I am going to do it! Not so much as a "do these things before I die" list but as a "I have so many things that I want to do and see, I will miss alot of them if I don't write them down" list. So here are a just a few...

Climb Mt. Whitney

Restore an old house

Olympic distance triathalon

See the Northern Lights

Galapagos Islands

African Safari

Swim with Whale Sharks in Ningaloo, Australia

Be a mom to foster dogs

Own and restore a '76 Landcruiser
These are just a few of the many things that I have included on my "bucket list" at this point. I am open to any suggestions too. :D Gotta live life while you can, right?!

"Twenty years from now you will regret the things you didn't do more than the things you did. Explore! Dream! Discover!" -Mark Twain

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Canyon Fun

So, I have to admit that I live in a pretty cool place. My office is right at the mouth of the canyon and some of the girls that I work with decided that it would be fun to head up there once a week. Well, winter kind of ruined that for us for a while but it is nice enough again that we were able to go yesterday. We had a blast! Leslie, Lana, and her son Cayden joined me for some good times. We rode up to Bridal Veil Falls and then headed back because the weather decided it was only going to cooperate for so long. It was great to be up there had been too long!