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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Brett's birthday has come and gone again to make him another year older. He got to celebrate his 26th birthday on the 26th! He was also lucky enough to share his birthday with Australia Day so once again one of our holidays involves fireworks!! Australia day is HUGE here. People totally get into it by wearing anything and everything Australian from flag capes, hats, shirts, swimming suits, stickers, temporary tattoos and much more! It was fun to be part of the festivities. We hung out all day in a town called Wollongong. The town set up a fair with rides, food and booths as well as beach competitions and a firework show to end the day! It was a great day for Brett's birthday!

We are currently in a town called Huskisson where we have posted up in a caravan park for the night. We are doing massive amounts of laundry and charging all of our stuff. We have fallen right back into life on the road and we have come to realize we are getting pretty good at it! We only pay for somewhere to sleep about every third night and our expenses are very low! We have slowly started to plan for a our exit out of Australia aka our plans for NZ and Asia!

We hope everyone at home is happy and healthy!

B and K8

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Brett, Casey and I made it to Sydney and instantly fell in love with the big city. I never though I would say that but seriously of all the cities I have ever been to Syndey is the best. We spent all of Friday exploring the city and our legs, feet and abundance of pictures can attest to that! We literally spent from 7am until 10pm walking, seeing and looking. We saw all the big icons as well as lots of other awesome things. We decided to spend $18 on an all-access public transport pass which allowed us to use the trains, buses and ferries to get all over the place. Let me tell you, we got our 18 dollars worth. We decided to simply ride the ferries instead of paying for a harbour cruise. This turned out to be a great idea. Sydney is a beautiful city that feels very large but compact due to the ease of public transportation.

We spent Saturday with our old friend from home, Katy. She lives in Manly with her partner and it was a lot of fun to catch up! She took us all around Manly where we went swimming, walked around, layed out and watch an iron man life-saving competition with competators of all ages. It was a true way to see Manly and some authentic Australians at the beach! We stayed at Katy's flat, in the van of course, but she was nice enough to host dinner and breakfast for us! She even took us out to her secret chocolate place in Manly where we got a chocolate souffle and vanilla ice cream for dessert! It was amazing!

We are dropping Casey off at the airport tonight and headed to a service at Hillsong tonight. We are excited to experience a service with thousands of people and music that influences church music around the world. '

Brett and I will be spending the next 5 weeks on the road enroute to Melbourne. We plan to get there around February 20th so we can sell the van, do a small weekend trip to Uluru and get ready for NZ and Asia!

We miss you all and love you! Thanks for reading and we will post some more pictures soon!
B and K8
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Monday, January 18, 2010

We just woke up in the Napa of Australia. We spent all day yesterday wine tasting in the Hunter Valley Wine Country. Hunter Valley is just 2 hours outside of Sydney and it seems to be the best weekend getaway for anyone interested in food and wine. The rolling hills are beautiful, the wine is delicious and the weather is warm and sunny! We are planning to head back to the coast today and search some for some waterfalls in the Blue Mountains. Casey is with us until Sunday so between now and than we will do some exploring in the Blue Mountain and see as much as we can in Sydney. We hope to walk around a lot to see the sights, go on a harbor boat tour, attend a church service at Hill Song and get Casey on a safe flight home.

All is continuing to be well in Australia. We LOVE the van and seriously wish we could send it home when we leave. If it was up to Brett we probably would. We are getting bummed that we only have about 5 week left in Australia so we plan to do it very wisely. After Casey departs we plan to head along the coast to Melbourne. One major attraction is the Great Ocean Road.

We met up with out friends Ted and Heidi for a night, which was so much fun! It was great to see them and catch up on both of our travels. They have been our lifeline while in Australia and they always give us such great advice and we learn a lot from them! We did have to face the fact that we may not be seeing them again. However, her parents do live in Vegas so you never know! :)

Since the last post we have been having , of course, so much fun! The boys have tried to kite once but there was not enough wind. Instead they flew the kite around and played for a bit. I was a little nervous only because their kite flying was preceded by a huge lightening and thunder storm. Thankfully, I know for a fact that Brett is always very safe so we sat in the van and watched while the storm passed before they headed out. This was all in Stockton.

I killed the boys at poison last night which was a huge victory. This is suppose to be a game of strategy but I just offer my hand of cards up to the gods and pray for some luck! Somehow I always end up doing pretty well and last night I won 4 games to 3!!

Well, our trip is very slowly, thankfully, drawing to an end. It makes us excited to see everyone and prepare for our next journey, aka nursing school, but it is also sad because we love it here so much! Hope everyone is safe and happy!

B and K8Kiting in Stockton

Saying Goodbye to Ted and Heidi

Hunter Valley (below)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Alright, well it has been a bit since I have posted and it seems like a lot has happened. We picked Casey up at the airport and we have slowly been making our way south. We have hit all the major spots and a few smaller hidden gems. So far we have...

1. Shown Casey the ropes in Brisbane
2. Played in the pristine waters at Surfer's Paradise
3. Surfed at Byron Bay
4. Camped every night
5. Kited in Valla (right outside of Nambucca Heads)
6. Made fantastic dinners and breakfasts
7. Played a few games of poison (A card game Casey taught us)
8. Slipped down rock water slides in Springbrook National Forest

We are all safe and enjoying Australia. The van is a little tight but we are making due and Casey is sleeping just fine in the one-man tent.

A bit of bad news on the home front unfortunately. Our beloved horse, Wilbur, recently got sick and my mom and aunt had to make the decision to put him down. It has been really difficult and sad. He was an amazing horse and an awesome friend to everyone. My aunt would always comment on how he was more like a human than a horse. Hopefully he will be in your hearts and we are all hoping he is in a better place.

We hope everyone is happy and safe at home. We are off from Nambucca Heads today headed for Port Macquarie.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading!

At the Most Easterly point in Australia!

Brett sliding down the rock water slide

Hiking south of Surfer's Paradise

B and K8

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Here is the latest update for anyone who is reading!

Brett and I are continuing to travel down the coast at a quicker pace than we expected. However, we do not feel rushed or feel that we are missing anything.

Two nights ago we headed out toward the coast from the Bruce Highway to a town called Serina. We randomly stumbled, or should I say drove upon, a secluded beach with a no camping sign. While sitting, looking and wishing we could camp there a neighbor came up and said it was fine and was positive no rangers would be coming. Honestly, the people in Australia are so nice and accepting of people who are on the road!! We had the entire beach to ourselves and it was a beautiful night!

We spent last night in a town called Bargara, which is right outside of Bundaberg. Bundaberg is a big deal here because it is where the Bundaberg rum distillery is located. It is commonly known as Bundy to the Australians. We got into town around 5pm after driving from Mackay and set up camp at the caravan park. We read up on the town and which activities were a must and immediately decided we wanted to go to the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. Despite the pouring rain and wind we decided it was a chance of a lifetime so we went anyways. Once we arrived, around 7pm, we waited in the visitor center until about 1215am for the first turtle to wander up on the beach to lay its eggs. Yes, we were able to witness a live loggerhead turtle lay eggs in the wild on the beach! It was amazing. We saw two turtles that night although only one layed eggs. We also got to help transplant the eggs to a more protected nest. It was such an awesome night and seriously so interesting! We learned so much, saw something very unique in nature and didn't even disrupt the turtles. The volunteers and staff at Mon Repos were so knowledgeable and made sure they did everything they could to look out for the turtles!

We are currently in Hervey Bay, which is a serious tourist town. This is the gateway to Fraser Island and pretty much everyone coming to Australia has plans to head to Fraser. After finding out that it is the peak tourist time in town we had to forgo our plans of spending a couple of days on the island and instead we are doing a 1 day self-drive tour of the island. We are headed over on Thursday so we will spend our time hanging out here in town before. Brett got a chance to kite today in some windy and rainy considerations, however he doesn't care as long as there is enough wind for him get his kite in the air.

Casey comes in on Saturday and Brett couldn't be happier to have a friend coming to visit!! They have been emailing, chatting on the phone and preparing for their upcoming reuniting! It will be interesting but very fun to have 3 people in the van!

We hope everyone is having a great new year! Thanks for reading! We miss and love everyone.

b and K8

Saturday, January 2, 2010

On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again!

Living in Port Douglas or living in the van... Which do we like better?

Well, Brett and I are officially back on the road again! We are spending our second night in Townsville and headed farther south tomorrow. We packed up the apt, got the van ready, had an awesome New Years Eve in town with fireworks, said goodbye to our friends and hit the road around 2pm New Years Day! We decided to head inland while still making our way south for a couple reasons and mostly because we didn't really feel like doing the same route twice. We headed straight for Innot Hot Springs. Along the way we found this tiny bit of information!!!!Upon checking into the Innot Hot Springs Caravan Village we realized that it was more along the lines of hot pools however it still felt great to soak in the hot spring water. The hottest pool was somewhere between 39 and 41 degrees Celsius, which sounds hot but was more just relaxing and fun to experience! We spent the night in the van with our special mossie net around the back which allowed for a much cooler night due to some extreme airflow!

Day two on the road consisted of lots and lots of driving, wild animal sightings along the road, a quick visit to the Undara Lava Tubes and after a small change of plans spending the night in Townsville. While at the Undara Lave Tubes we decided not to do the tour but instead went on a walking track through the bush and ended up at a beautiful lookout! All in all it was a great day and we have already seen so much! We are tentatively planning our time before Casey gets here without making too many plans!

Well, it's about 830pm on Saturday and we just finished dinner. We are going to take a quick swim, have a spot of tea, read and fall fast asleep in the back of the van!!!! Thanks to all who have been reading and hopefully the posts will get more interesting and continue to be as frequent now that we are back to life in the van!!

B and K8