Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The arrival of a twin

My brother Jonathan is here for 5 weeks on a medical rotation. On the morning he arrived in Sydney, he had completed 18 hours of flying. So, being a considerate sister, I decided we'd fly an additional 3 hours that night, to visit Port Douglas in the northern state of Queensland. He wasn't too happy with me.

Still, we had 11 hours to spend in Sydney before our flight, so I walked him to his limits. We went to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, The Rocks, and over the Harbour Bridge. By the time I got him on the plane that evening he was out cold, even through a rough landing. 

We emerged from the plane near midnight, and were greeted by the heat, humidity, and odd noises of the tropics - boy had I missed it. Cairns is the main town for trips to the Great Barrier Reef. While this means it has a lot of adventure trips to offer, it also means things are expensive, and the town is a tad overrun with tacky shops. 

My favorite place around there is Port Douglas, a quiet town an hour's drive north of Cairns. Jonathan and I had a week to spend in this humid tropical paradise, and the best part was we got to stay with my friends Linda and John, whom Bob and I had worked for and lived with 3 years ago. Linda and John are fantastic and have the craziest stories from living in the wet tropics. It was their stories of diving on the reef that transformed Bob from a clean-cut engineer, to an ocean hunting, shark loving eco-boy. I was curious to see what would happen to Jonathan. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I know I've been tardy with my blog posts, but I've had a lot of visitors, took a vacation, and just started a new job. So once my head stops spinning I'll be back. I promise. Sorry to anyone that may actually read this site.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Company and Rediscovery

I've started writing weekly articles about Australia for the Triblocal of Oak Park, IL. You can find my postings on the Oak Park Entertainment section: http://www.triblocal.com/Oak_Park_&_River_Forest 
(just incase you're really bored). But for now: 

Moving far from loved ones is often hard and stressful. You miss them, they sometimes resent you, you miss them, they occasionally miss you, you miss them, they finally admit they miss you a bit, you find out your new town doesn't carry your quirky favorite snacks (like Kraft mac and cheese spirals), and guess what, you then also miss Kraft mac and cheese spirals and strawberry frosted poptarts.

The upside is that your loved ones have a cool new place to visit. Bob and I have a month ahead with visitors a plenty. After having nary a soul for months, we are to be swamped with 5 guests in a month. April shall be the month of craziness and fun!

Dennis, my sister-in-law's boyfriend arrived on Saturday. As Bob and I have been in Sydney for eight months, many of the daily sights and sounds have become normal, and unfortunately overlooked.

It's been great having Dennis around. Not only can he whip up an awesome pizza, but he gives a new sense of appreciation for where we are.

On his first day, we did what we do to any new arrival - walk their ass off. If you land after your 14.5 hr flight and go to sleep - you are in a world of trouble as jetlag will hit you like the fist of a boxing kangaroo. Walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens, Bob and I got a fresh appreciation for Australia's great plants, the glistening Opera House, massive Harbour Bridge, the local pubs, and even the haunting bird call of a currawong.

So we're looking forward to the month ahead, with many days of great rediscoveries, of why we moved here in the first place.