25 February 2013


Damien and I looking for turtles
I would totally marry someone to live in this!  The yacht even has a "small" boat to play in too (see back of boat)!!
That little boat is bigger than most people's boats!!  The big one larger than most people's homes!!  
One of the BIGGEST sail boats I've ever seen!  It's ridiculous!  The truck next to it looks like a toy!

Remember this guy?!  Damien on his home turf...

I’ve gotta admit, I’ve always wanted to go to Australia… maybe it’s their accent (let’s face it, the aussie accent is pretty sexy!).  Maybe it’s the fact that the world’s most dangerous creatures all live there.  Maybe it’s because I’ve always wanted to see an aborigine.  Maybe I’ve always wanted to see the real outback.  Maybe because most Aussie’s I’ve met are some of the most jovial and fun people I’ve met.  Maybe because it seems like another frontier.

So my trip to Australia began in Cairns (pronounced “CANS”.  Silly Aussies don’t like to pronounce all the letters that are there!) where I met up with a friend that I traveled with through a part of Laos and Cambodia with, Damien.  We traveled out about 1.5 hours outside of Cairns to the Tablelands where it’s filled with rainforests, farms, creeks, cows, crazy trees, lakes with turtles, and big gorgeous mountain ranges. We stopped along the way at waterfalls and where there are these massive trees that have trees and trees and more trees growing off of it, forming something like a banyan tree but a hell of a lot bigger.  Ah!  I just found a photo of what they are!  Curtain Fig trees!  Now you can see what they’re really all about instead of my B.S.  It was nice to go out and about in a country where an actual native who’s not there to take your money and give the standard tour.  He was showing me different places where he had been to, where family members lived, where an annual marathon takes place going UP a mountain, his dreams of buying property out there, and memories of childhood.

Now, Cairns sort of reminds me of LA a little - the hills that surround it, beach life, one area that has all the bars and restaurants like Redondo or Hermosa, some nice cars, and malls.  They even have some of the more posh restaurants, hotels, and of course, mega-yachts and sail boats for the uber-wealthy.  For the first few days, I had to adapt my wardrobe since I had all winter clothes and it was Spring there, so no problem there since there are outlet stores there along with… TARGET!!!!  What a sight for sore eyes!!  I didn’t realize I missed Target.  What a stupid thing to miss amongst all of my travels, but the comfort of knowing what they have and what I needed were aligned, it provided the relief that I needed throughout some of my travels in Asia trying to find a place, any place, that had clothes that fit me.  Clothes fit me at Target!  (I'm doing a little happy dance.)  Yay!!  A win for me!!!

One of the more amazing things was to spend time with Damien’s family.  They were just so lovely, made home-cooked meals, had great conversation, I could do laundry at their home, and it really felt like going to my own parent’s place.  It’s hard to understand if you haven’t done extensive travel but when you’re always traveling to a new place every few days it’s amazing,  but you start to miss the little things that “home” provides - the warmth and personality that is in a home, having something as simple as a closet, a kitchen to raid, familiar faces, the ability to leave your stuff lying around “your” room, leave toiletries in the bathroom, you can cook together, have nice, long conversations, and I was getting to know them and felt like a part of a family dynamic.  Damien’s family was even kind enough to allow me to keep some of my excess stuff there and mail it to me when I had an address to send it to.  Another thing I really loved about them is that they own and operate a cat kennel for people who are out of town for a long period of time.  I love cat people!  The place is set up like a posh hotel for cats.  It was so nice to go in and see all the different breeds and personality of cats that they take care of there and see how well they’re loved, the cats become family members themselves.  I adore Damien’s parents, they’re just some good, solid, warm-hearted, funny, and nurturing people that I’ll never forget their hospitality and kindness, and hope that I will seem them again to be able to return all they’ve done for me.  I wish I had taken some photos of them for you to see them, but I guess I was enjoying being in the moment rather than trying to capture it on film.  

...but I did get this burger joint on film!  Love the decor, fries, and burgers at this place!  Grill'd.

Excellent fries.
Good burger.
Awesome decor.
Enough said.


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