Hi!  Please look at our photos and 
enjoy our view of Australia.

After flying FOREVER, we finally arrived in Cairns and picked up our rental car for our drive to our final destination of Port Douglas.  We stayed in a house on the beach and it was beautiful.  Here are some photos from that area.  click here
We took a tram ride over a rain forest and once we arrived at the top, my daughter and I visited a butterfly sanctuary.  On the way back down, we got off the tram twice to look at the view.  click here
We went to a wild life sanctuary, where I got my wish to pet a kangaroo.  They were all over the place walking/hopping in amongst us.  We also got to visit a bird habitat there and the colors and variety of birds were wonderful.  click here
Next, I did something no one in my family believed I would actually do.  We went snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.  Because I'm a wimp, I wore a short version of a wetsuit.  To say the experience was amazing doesn't do it justice.  click here
After getting up at a ridiculous hour, we went on a hot air balloon ride.  I wasn't sure my daughter would like it, as she's not crazy about heights.  But the basket was nice and high around us and she was fine with it.  If you ever get the opportunity to ride in one, go for it.  We even saw a kangaroo sitting in a farmer's field looking up at us.  click here
We went snorkeling again, but this time it was much colder and they didn't have a wet suit for me.  I discovered after trying for a bit, that you can't properly hold a snorkel mouthpiece in your mouth when your teeth are chattering -- so I gave it up and sat on the beach.  The upside of this trip, was that they had a glass bottom boat and I took that trip while my family (hardier stock) snorkeled.  I got wonderful views of fish and coral and sea turtles and stayed fairly dry doing it.  *grin*  
After two weeks in Port Douglas, we flew back to Sydney where we stayed for a few more days.  We could see the Opera house from our hotel window.  We must have walked 20 miles around Sydney.  We walked around the Opera house and the bridge that people do a "bridge walk" over.  There was NO WAY my daughter was going to do that one, and that was fine with me.  We visited the aquarium and saw up close and personal some of the biggest sharks I personally ever want to see.  It was the largest aquarium I've ever been to and the colors and variety were astounding.  We also walked around the botanical gardens, where there is every variety of plant and flower you could ask for.  There is even an area where there are hundreds of flying fox bats hanging in the trees.  The only thing scary about it, is the thought of being "pooped" on by one of them.  click here
After almost 3 weeks, we boarded a plane to San Francisco, then on to Seattle - where we were picked up by my other daughter.  After that, we still had a 2 1/2 hour drive home.  It's going to take awhile to get back to "normal".
I hope you enjoyed looking at all the photos.  I know I really enjoyed taking them.  If you have any comments or questions, you can write to me.  click here

The good life.