Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hailey's 8th Birthday

Hailey's 8th Birthday - October 2011

Hailey had a special pancake breakfast for her birthday and got to open gifts before heading to school.

Cards from Canada

$$$  I love $$$!

I love crafts!
Hailey took blueberry muffins with Canada flags to school to share for her birthday.  She had a cricket game after school and then we went to the Red Beret for dinner.  Hailey wanted a seafood meal for her birthday meal, so had calamari and hot chips.  She had a piece of rockyroad for dessert with a sparkler on it.

Happy Birthday to you!
Scott got home Saturday afternoon so we had Hailey's party on Sunday.  We booked the Croc slide at Palm Cove Resort.  Hailey invited her friends from school as well as our neighbors to her party.  It was a beautiful day and lots of fun for everyone.  We had cheerios (mini hotdogs), meat pies, mini pizzas, sausage rolls, chips, hot fries, wedges and soda.  She picked a vanilla cake for dessert.
Croc slide

Kit, Zara, Louise, Hailey & Mary
Eight is Enough

puzzle to take back to Canada

Lunch Auzzie style

Yet another fantastic birthday come and gone.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Skating in Cairns??

Thurs. Sept 29 - Skating??

Went to Edgehill Primary School to go ice skating.  They had set up a temporary rink in a big shed, and charged $15 for 2 hours of skating and skate rentals.  It was 31 degrees outside, so hot that the ice was melting and there was a layer of water on top.  If you fell, you were extremely wet!
Ben & Brody

Skating in shorts
Due to the fact that not many people in Cairns get a lot of opportunities to practice skating, we were some of the few people who were in the center of the arena, rather than along the boards!  People were pointing at Hailey and commenting  on how good 'that little one' was.
buckling up

Just like riding a bike!
They seemed to have run liquid ammonia through the pipes to make and keep the ice cold.  But the metal roll up walls were too hot to even touch from the inside.
lots of open space for jumps & spirals

the brave ones in the middle
It was definitely something to experience and we even signed a petition to get a permanent rink in Cairns.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Road trip home

Part 3        Road trip home
Friday Sept 23 - Day 8
Brody's birthday today, but we had miles to put on so after a quick celebration we hit the road heading north.
Do I look different as a teenager?

B'day wishes
our chauffer & our wheels
We saw wild camels this morning as we drove through arid and semi arid land again today. 
Got to Alice Springs at 10:30 a.m., where we had hoped to get to last night.  Still hazy and smoky as we drove past more bush fires. 
Stopped in Barrow Creek for lunch and checked out the cool little pub with all it's old collectible items.  The owner was excited to show us all his Canadian items he had collected.  He had paper $1 & $2 bills, the flag and even an Olympic puck.
large aboriginal hunter monument

Barrow Creek
Got to Wycliffe Wells, UFO sighting capital of Australia, and got a site for the night.  We explored the area and checked out the emus and baby emus, the chickens running around, donkeys and pink cockatoos.  Went for a swim under cover, the coldest pool yet, brrr!  Another set of neat toilet signs, very fitting for the caravan park, femaliens and maliens.

2 of our little aliens!

you're going in! 

emu family

so cute
Pink Cockatoo
Brody had a great birthday supper and evening in Wycliffe.
family dinner

"Happy Birthday to you!"
Saturday Sept 24 - Day 9   Back in QLD
Headed out this morning travelling the same roads we did to get to the center.  Even stopped at Barkley's Homestead again to get fuel and hot fries, didn't stay long as it was 38 degrees!  Made the Queensland border by 3:15, stopped for photos as there is a whole lot of nothing else out here to take pictures of! 
coloring time - still happy
4:00 we were in Camooweal, a new town for us, and we had to move our clocks ahead 30 minutes.  After fueling up we decided to keep on going, too hot to stay, 39 degrees!!  New roads and scenery for us.
too funny!!

haven't seen a real on in awhile
Arrived in Mt Isa by 6:00, still 33 degrees, but we had enough driving for one day.  As we sat around we watched thousands, literally thousands of bats fly overhead.  Kids started to watched Gremlins tonight.
Hailey all comfy
Sunday Sept. 25 - Day 10   Cattle Country
Left Mt. Isa by 8:30 after Scott got fuel and Brody & I got a few groceries.  Saw some funny kangaroo signs that people had changed, one had skis on, and another was made to look like a dinosaur.  Driving too fast to get a photo, and you know Scott, no stopping! 
Next major stop was at Richmond for lunch at Kronosaurus Korner.  This is dinosaur country and even the theme was carried on labeling the toilets, preHIStoric and preHERstoric.
Kronosaurus Korner

sharp teeth on this one

The train tracks followed this stretch of road so we saw a few coal trains.  There were lots of cattle and sheep.  After passing through Hughenden we headed into White Mountain National Park, but we couldn't see any mountains, though we did see some white rocks.  Blue skies and small fluffy clouds, haven't seen that for awhile. 
Hey you're on the wrong side!
The roads are so straight out here, I actually read a novel while Scott drove.
Got to Pentland caravan park, nice sight and a fun pool.  We had fun enjoying the pool all to ourselves and then supper on a beautiful night. 
so nice even Scott went in for a swim

Evening tea
Monday Sept. 26 - Day 11    Tablelands
Woke up this morning listening to the birds chirping.  Pulled into Charters Towers for information, and we were on the Gregory Development Road by noon.  We saw a dozen wild camels and rivers that actually have water in them.  Stopped at Bluewater Springs Roadhouse for fuel and shortly after, the road started to narrow again to one lane.  Lots of road trains!
Had a quick lunch at Greenvale Roadhouse and then we were on our way.  Next stop was Ravenshoe for information.  We are back on roads we've been on before.  The road is starting to curve and twist more and everything seems lush and green from this morning.
Nice green canopy 
Arrived in Atherton by 5:45 and stayed at the Big 4 Woodlands Tourist Park.  We wanted to stay close to home as we need to return the camper van by tomorrow afternoon.  After setting up, the kids went for a swim in the rock pool.
Had internet reception tonight
Tuesday Sept. 27 - Day 12   Home
Lazy morning letting everyone wake up on their own.  BLT's for breakfast and then to the pool for a glorious swim.  This would have been our 7th pool during our trip.
Packed up and gone by 10:00, but would have loved to lay around the pool for the rest of the day.  We drove through the tablelands and saw sugar cane & banana trees, which we haven't see for awhile.  We stopped & bought a bag of zucchinis for $2 from a road side stall.  Home by noon to unload and clean the campervan prior to it's return.
Yah we made it home!
We put on over 6500 km in 12 days and only saw minimal road work.  We didn't have any mechanical problems except this one little incident.
Saving $$$ on fuel costs!

lollie pop man

movie time
The kids enjoyed sitting at a table and doing a variety of activities throughout the journey.  I even made an envelope with activities to pick each hour.  They included charade's, I Spy, ABC car games, hang man, DS, movies, laptop games, sleeping, Ipod and board games.
Nothing but fun on this trip...
Definately a trip well worth taking.  We saw more of Australia by driving to the Red Center than if we had flown.   Besides, $7000 was too dear for a family of 5 to fly and do the trip.  Most Australians haven't even done this trip yet.