Family 2014

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

We love possums

We love possums....

Ever since we moved into our house we have seen possums. They are one of the nocturnal features we'll miss when we return to Wyoming. They're super laid back like everything/everyone else in Australia.  When you go up to a possum they just look at back at you and hang out. 

We hear them make this little growl noise at night sometimes as they make sure their territory is maintained.  We hear them run and jump across trees and onto the roof of the house and we have to work super hard to keep them out of our deck herb garden. 

The last couple of weeks, we've been hearing something closer...  in the ceiling maybe.  We just knew it was those little possums!

Last week, Tanner and Jessica were heading to the backyard to get dried laundry (when it was dark) and they screamed because a possum landed in their laundry basket just as they walked onto the deck!  We laughed so hard because the possum and Jessica were both terrified... looked at each other in the face and they both ran! 

OK, then a couple of nights ago, I heard a very lound thump! Since possums jump on the roof from trees alot, I just thought it was the possums jumping.  The next day a brick was laying on the deck.  Strange!  We finally figured out that something  had pushed the loose brick out so they could enter a little crawl space under our roof!  A small opening just got bigger.

We didn't want to lock the little guys inside (since they sleep all day and chances are they're inside) so we put some Christmas bells near the opening so we would be able to hear when there was some traffic and we could catch the culprits! 

At about 10pm last night, we heard the bells clump and jumped up and there they were... a momma, daddy and baby possum yawning and looking at us after their wonderful night sleep in our ceiling.  They were so cute and just looked back at us in a relaxed manner, not afraid at all. 

David quickly stuffed the wad of metal bells in the hole to block it.  We were so happy to have solved that problem and now the owners of the house can just seal the hole and we can be assured that there won't be a little possum family inside... forever!

This morning, the bells are removed and the possums are in our ceiling!  
Our possum adventure continues.........

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year's Eve in Sydney

Bringing in 2011 in Sydney was great.  We jumped on the train and found a nice spot at Bradfield Park (under the harbor bridge opposite the Opera House).  The bridge gave us shade during the day and we had an excellent view of the show.  It was awesome! 

Here's some of our pics of the day and then the fireworks show at the bottom.  The public transportation is so organized that getting on a couple of trains right away was no problem....although the crowds were amazing!    We got home around 3am... but it was well worth it! 
Hanging out, reading waiting for the show!

Trying out the new hammocks  under the Sydney bridge.

Austen and Nikki hanging out in Sydney.

Behind us at the park.

Happy New Year!
Tanner, Jessica and Cullen are holding our spot... middle of the pic per Nikki and Austen's view from the bridge above.

Tons of people waiting in the sun and holding their spot near the Opera House.

Our view of the boat light parade.

Happy New Year!

Getting on the train... we were in FRONT of all of these people!  Trains were moving so fast it was not too bad.
A pretty good video of the show... not sure if it is the entire show but most of it.  Looking at the bridge, we were on the right side next to the water in the Bradfield Park.

We got up to a hot day in Springwood so we loaded up the cooler and headed to Katoomba for a day at the pool.  Great cooling off and sitting in the shade reading....  perfect way to bring in the New Year... and we are so lucky to have our kids and Jessica and Nikki join us!

Christmas at Jervis Bay, NSW Australia

We had a new experience this holiday season…. Probably different from any we’ll have again. Having Christmas and summer at the same time is just crazy first of all. Hearing “Here comes Santa Clause” while grocery shopping in our shorts feels just wrong. We made the best of it.
We made reservations at a beach house in November for Christmas Day. We wanted something totally different since we were all screwed up in the head anyway about all of this upside down living. We arrived at our beach house (located on Sanctuary Point at Jervis Bay) on Dec 23 and stayed until Dec 26. While we were there we enjoyed making our own homemade crab raviolli, prawn on the barbie with mango salsa and lots of nice fruits and veggies/ avacados.

Jervis Bay is a really cool area with lots of beaches, St. George Basin (a saltwater lake that is fed by the ocean), a huge bay perfect for stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkeling and also a National Park filled with hiking trails, more beaches and thousands of kangaroos of all sizes and beautiful parrots and birds.

With only 3 days to explore this diverse area so first we went to Hyam’s white sand beach.

Nikki trying out her snorkel gear.

Frisbee and volleyball.

I found this great fish shop and the owner wrote down a recipe for us to use for our dinner. While some of us was cracking the crab (and playing with the crab) others were making the dough and sauce. We also discovered the CD stash and on the decent stereo system, we listened to some funky music to match the funky beach house! Frank Sinatra, Aboriginal music, classical, jazz, Santana and tons more lost or forgotten music was discovered. Finally we had our perfect crab raviolli with a big salad and our great music. To top it off we indulged in the Australian/Brit tradition of “Christmas crackers”….. little decorated tubes wrapped like a tootsie roll. Everyone at the table gets one and you get someone else at the table to pull the ends with you. It “pops” and out comes a paper crown and some kind of silly joke or game.

Christmas Eve was a bit cool. We had crepes for breakfast and had a slow morning of reading our books and watching for birds. We got out and explored some beaches and decided we’d do some snorkeling. In the Boderee National Park we found an area called Green Patch. A nice picnic spot near the beach was perfect so we pulled out all of our food and a couple of red parrots showed up. Five minutes later we were surrounded by Red Rosalias.

Some little kangaroos were also curious to see if we’d throw them some food (we didn't).  The birds weren’t shy about coming onto the table to see what they could find. One also jumped on David’s lap… it was pretty funny!  We found a little cove for some snorkeling and although the water was super cold, everyone but me got in and had a look. At a little coral reef area they saw fish, an eel and also some jelly fish… exciting and glad no one got stung.

For dinner we had Australian Prawn on the grill with mango, potatoes and green beans. We stayed up late listening to our music and watching the possums outside on the deck look in at us. They were checking out the grill and when the kids went outside to see them close up, the possums were happy to socialize.
We were all happy when we woke up Christmas morning and saw sunny blue skies!

After enjoying some Christmas cheer, we were off to explore the beach. We headed straight to a beach we’d found in the National Park….. Caves Beach. The waves were perfect for body surfing and boogie boarding. The water was several shades of blue and turquoise and the sand was white/tan and amazing! David and I took a little hike around the rocks and found another beach that was also fairly secluded with just some surfers and some photographers. Unfortunately, the sun did some damage on our skin and we all went back with a sunburn… some mild and others had it bad! UV is terrible in Australia.

Our last night, we cooked Citrus Chicken with Apricot Couscous and had a nice music of Frank Sinatra and possum viewing. All of the kids were sunburned and energy depleted so ending this day with a book and an ocean breeze coming through the house was perfect for all of us. 

Driving back through Canberra was an interesting drive through a forest. There was just enough time to visit the Australian National Museum before driving back home. It was nice to be home to our own beds. It was raining and the house was nice and cool when we got home.
It was a great Christmas and we’re now getting rested up for NY Eve in Sydney. Since it may be our only NY Eve in Australia, we HAVE to just do it.