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Published: January 2nd 2011
Merry Christmas and hope you all had a lovely new year. We certainly did, it was great to have Mum, Dad and Ratty with us but now they have continued their travels and we are off to watch the ashes and travel the east coast. Our tour of OZ started in Melbourne. It was a manic week but fantastic to be back in the 'western world!' What with being able to cross the road without taking your life in your hands, eat something other than noodles and rice - mainly pie! Have a hot shower and a proper flush on the toilets! We settled in quickly to Melbourne life, it was lovely to catch up with old friends - great to see you Caitlin and Emmie! We had a lovely wander around Melbourne and the Yarra River. James was very keen on walking around all the stadiums - MCG, Rod Laver arena and the Olympic Park - I thought they all looked the same! After, walking miles and miles we decided to book some trips. First trip was a day trip on the Great Ocean Road, which was brilliant. We managed to see the Lighthouse from the program
'Round the Twist', Apollo Bay, Bells Beach (sadly this is not where Point Break was actually filmed :-( ) London Bridge and we ended the tour at the 12 Apostles at sunset, which is absolutely beautiful. We also managed to feed parrots, galahs and see wild koalas and kangaroos. I took a huge amount of photos on this trip but sadly we are having tech problems that even the geeks can't sort out, so sadly you will have to wait for these. We will hopefully get this sorted and uploaded when we get home - Thank you Rhys for all your help! The next trip was the Yarra valley wine tour - basically we spent the whole day sampling different wines - Fantastic! It also included a massive roast dinner with a log fire. Log fire, I hear you say but you are in Oz where it is really hot. Sadly not on this day when we had a hail storm going on outside! We also managed to squeeze in a visit to Chandon where they make Champagne (although they can't call it that as it is not from France) but it was great all the same - even James
finished his whole glass much to my disappointment!
During our stay in Melbourne we were invited to a proper aussie bbq including shrimps! Although I have been informed that they are not called shrimps here! - Thank you Emmie for having us we had a lovely time. We spent a lovely afternoon drinking beer and trying lots of aussie food it was great. We also went up the Eureka tower - the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere. The view was amazing and we repeated the experience at sunset. We also did 'The edge', which is a glass platform that comes out of the building - you could look straight down on to the street below, it was brilliant. We also went to an open air cinema overlooking the beach - Thank you Caitlin and watched a great film called Boy.
As you can tell our week was pretty full on in Melbourne so it was time to get on the greyhound and head for Sydney. 14 hours later we arrived at Central station where James' aunt and uncle were waiting for us. Thank you for having us Peter and Lisse, we had a lovely time. Our
first week in Sydney was spent remembering what it was like to live in a house and having food cooked for us! We were very spoiled. We spent our time walking the beaches, exploring Manly and the city and being invited to 2 lovely meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Thank you for having us everyone.
Boxing Day arrived, which meant the arrival of the Meins! Thankfully the snow subsided enough so that they could get out to see us. Another busy week commenced but it went way too quickly. We went on a tour of the Sydney opera house - It is so big inside and you can get married there. James has been informed to start saving! We walked across the harbour bridge and went to the aquarium. The aquarium has the most sharks out of any other. It was quite chilling to see them gliding towards you in the underwater walk through. Sadly, no great whites apparently they are a bit of a hazard! The sun finally came out so it was off to the beach to get crispy fried, which mum, dad and Ratty managed to do pretty effectively. Me and the Fish got
off pretty lightly as the sun is now a good friend of ours. The week also involved lots of eating and drinking including a meal at the Sydney Fish market, however we also walked miles and miles so hopefully it all balanced out. The culmination of the week had to be New Years Eve, which we spent in a bar opposite the Harbour Bridge - thank you Mum and Dad! The fireworks were outstanding and that was just the 9pm ones. You could see why it takes 15 months to plan them. Apparently this was the biggest celebration since the Millennium due to entering a new decade. It really was brilliant and I don't think either of us will be able to go and see a firework show again! New Years Day was spent with a recovering walk around the Rocks and the Harbour Bridge finishing up with a lovely Italian meal at Circular Quay. James ate so much that he thought he was going to have an Italian baby!
Mum, Dad and Ratty have now departed - thank you for coming, miss you and will see you next month. Our adventure now continues with the 5th test of
the Ashes on Tuesday and then we get back on the bus to head up the coast with the next stop being Port Macquarie. Hope to hear from you all soon, can't believe we will be back home in less than 2 months. Lots of love Sam and Fish xxxx
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