an aussie sunset

Sunset over Straddie

A Straddie Sunset

We were fortunate enough to have spent four awesome days in Stradbroke Island (aka Straddie) over Australia Day long-weekend.

We headed over (via the ferry) on Friday morning – it was rainy and cold, simply miserable. It pretty much rained non-stop that entire day and evening. It got so bad that we were drenched going to, during and after dinner and a mini-stream of water was just gushing around our car and created a small pool. Welcome to Queensland summer storms, I suppose.

Luckily, the sun came out Saturday morning in time for our half-day 4WD tour with local Straddie resident, Billy. He took us on the beach, off the beach and places only his trusty 4WD could take us. It was time and money well spent because not only did he take us in areas that we wouldn’t have found on our own, but he told us local stories and legends that only a resident of Straddie (for 34-years) would intimately know.

Sunday morning was pretty much spent lazing around by the beach, dodging the spectacular waves and trying my best not to get sunburnt (I still failed). In the late afternoon we headed over to Amity Point to get some fresh cooked crabs (a recommendation from Billy), watch the dolphins make their daily visit to the Amity Point pier (unfortunately they were scared off by the pier jumpers) and we also watched the sunset (which was spectacular).

For our first Queensland island, we picked a pretty awesome one. Straddie was perfect for what we wanted to do in the time we had to do it in. The only real disappointment were our accommodations and even that we had little control over (late booking and the fact that it was a long-weekend). Its only redeeming quality was that it was only a few hundred meters away from a great beach.

Overall, we spent Australia Day the only way an Aussie should – by the beach, enjoying the sun and the search and marveling at the beauty of this glorious, wonderful country!

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don’t stop ’til you get enough

Adelaide turned it on this evening. #SouthAustralia

On the last day of 2014, my husband and I spent the evening with select family members to watch Thriller Live followed by fireworks by the River Torrens. In the 17 years that I lived in Adelaide prior to moving to the US, I never did once go into the City to see the fireworks. It never previously appealed to me and in fact, I kinda thought it was lame. But since we were already in the City for the Michael Jackson show, we figured we would stick around for another hour and catch what Adelaide had to offer as far as a fireworks show.

Now, by no means did fair Columbia, Missouri boast any kind of fireworks show. In fact, I don’t believe there ever was any fireworks for New Year’s Eve (it seems fireworks were only synonymous during Fourth of July celebrations in CoMo), so it’s not like I was comparing apples to apples when we saw the Adelaide one. Overall, it was a great fireworks show and my only criticism was that the tunes they picked didn’t really match the tempo of the fireworks. Tunes and light show never really synced up, which made for a rather dull show. So I just tuned out the tunes and enjoyed the show based purely on the fireworks.

But hey, beggars can’t be choosers and I was just happy to be celebrating New Year’s Eve during a warm Summer’s day in the Southern Hemisphere again after a few years away. I will take what I can get.

An honorable mention must go out to my nifty point and shoot for capturing half decent fireworks shots. 

happy new year!

Beach Day!

This afternoon, we came home back to Brisbane after a 16-day vacation in Adelaide for Christmas and New Years. We said farewell to the dry heat/low humidity and came back to bearable Brissy weather (yay! for little victories). We bid a sad farewell to our family and friends and subliminally gave them a “Come visit us in Brisbane!” message after each and every hug. It was such a wonderfully jam-packed visit and 16 days was just the perfect amount. We can’t wait for our next visit in 2015 and the one after that, and the one after that…

Blog-wise, I have a lot to catch-up on (I know you’ve heard that before) and hope to do so in the next couple of weeks (again, I sound like a broken record). In the meantime, I would like to wish you all a 2015 that will top 2014 and a year that will remind you that the best is yet to come…