Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Australia: Day 1, Brisbane

How do you even being to summarize two weeks of vacation Down Under and 750 photos?  Not to mention I haven't even gotten Karen's photos yet.  I guess I have a lot of long posts to look forward to.  Sorry if they're too long...I'm going to do my best to get all the important details down (you know the drill, for my own record keeping) and hopefully I won't bore you too much.

Waiting to board at LAX.  I had a whole row to myself, and between that, the Ambien, and the midnight takeoff I slept all but two hours.  Amazing.

First view of Australia.  Can you see the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House?

After arriving in Sydney Karen and I met up to fly to Brisbane.  Upon arrival we picked up our rental car.  On day one I had to drive in the right side of the car on the left side of the road.  Surprisingly, it wasn't as crazy as I'd anticipated.  The most complicated thing to remember was the windshield wipers and blinker were switched, so I kept turning on the wipers when I turned.  Pulling out into traffic and turning was also intimidating.  Luckily I had Karen to remind me, Keep left!

We went straight to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.  This was the only day it rained, but as you can see by our faces, we didn't care.  We were so excited just to be in Australia!

The koalas were SO CUTE, even cuter than they look in the pictures.  (By the way, pictures do not even come CLOSE to doing justice to any of the beauty that is Australia.)

This is how they sleep!  How cute!!

If only it were so easy...

Me and Axel.  FYI, I look pretty nasty in pretty much every photo taken.  90% of the time I didn't wear makeup, and when I did it was just mascara.

This guy was so cute and cuddly.  His fur was so soft, and he was actually much heavier than I'd anticipated!  Not to mention his claws were digging into my shoulders!

These kangas were just hanging out in this field.  You could just walk right up to them and pet them!

We decided they look like overgrown rats.

A Tasmanian Devil.  Not the greatest photo, but it was the best I could get in the rain.

Another koala sleeping.  (All they do is eat eucalyptus and get stoned, and sleep.)  So many were sleeping between branches like this-doesn't look very comfortable.

Freya and Nathan!!  I was beyond ecstatic to see Freya and meet Nathan.  Freya and I lived together for three semesters at BYU-I and she was one of my favorite roommates.  She and Nathan got married about six weeks ago, however after meeting them it seemed like they'd been together forever.
They were beyond hospitable, letting us stay with them our first night and another night halfway through our trip, cooking for us, letting us do laundry, etc.  And by cooking for us, I don't mean throwing a frozen meal in the oven.  Freya made pancakes (from scratch!) at 10pm!  Most of all, it was just great to sit around the table and chat.  I was loving the diversity at the table, with Karen being Canadian, Freya being Australian, Nathan being South African, and of course me being American.


Cyn said...

Yeah. Thanks for blogging despite the jetlag. It took a couple days for jetlag to set in when I returned from Japan. Going there I had none, only coming back. I love these pics of you, even without makeup. My favorite is you joining your Kangaroo family in the field. Keep em comin.

nerak said...

Haha, first photo of the trip, and I'm sticking out my tongue. Of course. Btw, you're fast!! And I miss Freya and Nathan.

Kate McNeil said...

I want a koala cuddle! Jealous!

Janie's World said...

You are so adventurous! Driving on the opposite side of the rode from home-EEEE! I guess that is the only way to get around such a huge country. Cute pics of you and those adorable (stoned) Koalas. Interesting, I didn't know the leaves had that effect on them. But the most amazing thing of the trip is that you had a whole aisle to yourself!!!! Lucky!

maggie said...

awesome!! i am jealous you held a koala, so cute!! sounds like a great time, all these pictures you have posted are great!

Michelle said...

That Koala looks like quite the snuggle bug! Of I love it. I am so excited to see all of your pics. What was your favorite part?

Nadia said...

Great picts Rach. Cant wait for more!

melissa said...

awwwwwww those koalas are so cute!!! freya looks adorable

Kali Leenstra said...

You got to hold a Koala that is awesome, I am so jealous. Wow looks like you are having tons of fun in Australia.

Trish said...

Loving the pictures! Will there be more to come? I never thought about it before, but the roos do kind of look like giant rodents!