Thursday, April 26, 2012

Finding Portland

As a lot of you know, I consider Portland to be one of the best cities in the world. This exceptional video, created by some friends of mine, shows many of the things I love about this city, my home. Give it a watch!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Land of Oz

To be honest, Australia has never been high on my list of travel destinations even though it was my 6th continent, another tick (or flybone as my Danish friend, Peter, would say) in the old checkbox. But over the last month, Australia won me over. The cities are clean and full of parks and friendly people. Islands full of beauty of evolutionary mysteries dot the coastline, and there is seemingly enough Asian food to tantalize the taste buds any night of the week.

But in reality, this trip to Australia was for my grandmother and my aunt. It was the trip of a lifetime for my 86 year old grandmother and with my aunt being semi-recently widowed, this was a much needed respite from daily life.

They were good travel companions and though I learned at an inopportune moment that they didn't know how to read maps, most of our travels went off without a hitch, and they didn't balk at anything I threw at them. There is a difference between vacationing and traveling and we traveled!

Melbourne, our first city in Australia

Koalas at a conservation center

Wallabies, little cousins of the kangaroo, in the wild

The Sydney Opera House, we went to a show here one night while in Sydney

Taking a break with the ladies from market day in The Rocks

The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge

My aunt and I as we climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

The Blue Mountains

Taking in the view of the Blue Mountains from the Scenic Skyway, as it travels suspended over a valley

While my grandma and aunt took a side trip to Ayers Rock, I went to Ellis Beach

Stinger season, Australian for jellyfish, was in effect at Ellis Beach so no swimming but just in case, these were placed at beach access points for sting relief

The lagoon in the city center of Cairns

Green Island, a stop on our way to the outer Great Barrier Reef

Bird in flight on Green Island

Snorkeling in stinger suits on the Outer Barrier Reef where we saw an amazing abundance of sea life

The inner city lagoon in Brisbane

Flying Foxes (large bats) always filled the night sky in both Cairns and Brisbane

Free yoga on the Southbank in Brisbane on Tuesdays and Thurdays
I went 3 times as I lingered in Brisbane for a while

These long-beaked birds were all over

While on my own, I took a 2 day tour on Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island, and was driven around in this 4WD bus

Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island, one of the most beautiful fresh water lakes I've ever swam in

Sunset cartwheels

A dingo ate my baby...not really

Shipwreck on Fraser Island

Waves crashing on Stradbroke Island

Hiking in a skirt is one of my favorite things

Brown Lake on Stradbroke Island
The water is made into this beautiful brown color by Tea Trees and is good for the skin of all swimmers