Thursday, April 7, 2011


This is the longest I've ever not blogged since my blog began!!

First things first- WE'RE HOME!!!  there's nothing better than your own bed and house after a crazy and busy two weeks away!  Kent and I have been on TEN airplanes for a total of 39 hours in the last 15 days.  Ridiculous!  and now we're all finally ready to readjust to the eastern time zone and get back to normal Toledo life! for eight weeks anyway- and then we MOVE. I just can't believe that this part of our lives it ending.

But on to more important things- our vacation!!   We set sail (or flight) to Australia to celebrate kent's soon to be graduation from medical school. We've been planning to go somewhere fun for the last four years and when my uncle dave and aunt michelle were put in Australia for a work assignment we decided that Brisbane was the perfect place for our giant celebration!  We've worked hard the last four years and definitely deserved a kid free vacation!  It was perfect and wouldn't have been so without the help my my parents, kent's parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins, and everybody else who played a part! so, thanks a million!!!

Holy smokes. It was amazing. unreal. It was the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation.   I took a lot of pictures.  And when I say a lot- I really mean A LOT.  Somewhere in the range of 1500.  Luckily for my blog and you readers- I'll only be posting a small fraction of those- hopefully less than ten percent :)  Good luck to you all as you read through my blog over the next few days (or maybe weeks!).

Let me begin with a disclaimer:

#1- I tend to complain about pictures with no people in them- but our adventures down under will include more than a few.  There were just so many amazing places/things/animals that didn't need our faces distracting from their greatness.

Day 1.
We flew over the international date line and skipped sunday altogether landing in Sydney early Monday morning.

We spent the majority of our time in Sydney just walking the city and sightseeing.   Hyde park and the botanical gardens were stunning.  The tropical greenery- the creatures- the buildings- everything!

This picture is near the end of our day and that's why I look so ridiculous.  I was exhausted.   14.5 hours on a plane and then 12+ hours walking around!

The inside of this cathedral was fairy tale like!

The new plethora of birds/insects/animals was definitely the highlight for me.  The botanical aspect of biology has always been a little dull to me- but I love the zoology.

These Ibises are like our seagulls or pigeons. They eat trash and they're ubiquitous. I'm sure all of the Australians were bewildered as to why I want a picture of their nasty birds- but I loved them and their long beaks.
And to see birds this brightly colored just flying around a large metropolitan city was so strange!

 The ginormous spiders were a favorite!  They were all over the botanical gardens!

But surely the most exciting find of the day were these creatures.
Tens of thousands of them fill the trees of Sydney.  They are the 'grey headed flying foxes'. Gigantuous bats that have overtaken the trees in the city. I guess they are quite a nuisance but I was enthralled. They shriek and fly overhead and create quite a spectacle in the gardens.
I even think they're kind of cute.
The gardens open right onto Sydney harbor with the famed opera house and bridge.  The sydney skyline is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen!
We walked over the bridge (at street level) and checked out the views from every side.  I really love to explore big cities.  Australia is going into fall right now so the weather was PERFECT and it wasn't busy at all! 

The Sydney harbor is HUGE. We took a ferry across it and checked out a famous beach (Manly beach) on the other side. It was by far the best way to see Sydney.  I got some great pictures and loved the experience.
The closest we got to any 'true australians' was at the harbor as well. An aboriginal man was playing his didgeridoo and posing for pictures :) 
Truly the most memorable part of Sydney was the half day we spent in the hospital- but that deserves a post by itself and will have to wait until tomorrow!


boysmum2 said...

I live 3 hrs flight from Sydney and I haven't been there yet! Now I want to go. Steve and I are due a vac without kids so maybe for his 50th we might just have to skip across the ditch

Jessica said...

Loved the pics and the story so far! Can't wait to hear the rest!

dockters said...

Leisy...these pics are amazing! What a great start to this vacation. I must admit that those bats completely creep me out!!! Can't wait to see more pictures...Australia looks incredible.

mrs. m said...


Michelle said...

Totally and completely amazing! Your photography is fabulous. I love ALL of the pictures!

yaya said...

Welcome home! I got a reader's digest version about the ER trip from Amy..your pics are amazing! What a great experience! I just watched Oprah when she walked over the bridge..looks like your adventures were just as fun! Looking forward to the rest of your story!

Jason & Shannon said...

Awesome pictures! I am excited to read about the rest of the trip!

Delaps said...

Great pictures. I can't wait for the next installment. Those bats are crazy scary!

Larry and Cindy said...

What a wonderful vacation!!! This will stand out in your favorite memories for many years to come if not forever. Happy belated 30th Birthday missie. I can't wait to hear more on your trip down under. Love You All, Cindy

Kim T. said...

Your pictures are fantastic!! I want to see all 1500!