Sunday, July 11, 2010

1 Raymond + 3 Bradshaws+ 4 Perretts = FUN

One of the best things about living here is having folks come visit. Our guests arrived later than expected due to delays in San Francisco, which meant we had time to clean the house a little more, twiddle our fingers, and make a killer loaf of bread. Hugs all around at the Maroochydore airport later that afternoon!! We explored the sunshine coast for the first 6 days then headed to Fiji for 5 nights/4 days. As expected, we packed in as much as possible. Here's the breakdown, by the numbers:

15 different pointe shoes tried on by Melissa before finding the perfect fit.

14 total dives between Scott, Cindy, Stephanie and Tom, plus 6 tanks between Connor and Eli following their introductory course and pool time. We compared sightings of moray eels, octopus, reef sharks, rays, green turtles, and thousands of brilliant colored fish and corals.                    

13 or so guests at our 4th of July Party, but we had hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad  for 30 (the extra was packaged up as party favors.)

12 hikes more or less, including the Noosa Coastal track,  to the top of Mt. Coolum, and to and fro on the island of Malololalai where our lovely bure sat facing the ocean.  Scott, Cindy and I walked across at low tide to another Fijian island  on our last day to have a look at a rural school, and a chat with the inspiring, progressive, phenomenal principal. He is changing the lives of 168 kids with his work ethic and high expectations. No lazing about for these kids!

11 items at least on the buffet table in addition to the whole roasted pig on a spit complete with an apple in it's mouth. I personally declined the offer of a piece of crackling. (roasted skin)

10 minutes was about all the boys got on the wake board before a screw pulled out and they were back on the beach. The complaining stopped when they had milkshakes in their hands.

9 times 10 koalas at the koala sanctuary, in addition to the hundreds of lorikeets and dozens of kangaroos available for petting. We couldn't let Jaycee go home without being cozy with a marsupial.

8 (or more) groans from  kids( mostly Eli) as we took a drive in the van to do some sightseeing in the sunshine coast hinterland,including the Yandina  farmer's market, Eumundi craft market, and Kenilworth cheese factory. Big smiles as we watched our teenagers go for giggles at the playgrounds.

7 poker guys came over to our house in Yaroomba when the gals headed to Brizzy on the train...which we almost missed, as we arrived at the station at 7:01 and  the train departed at 7:05

6  testosterone driven activities undertaken by Connor and Eli:  pummeling each other, wrestling, extending horizontally from a pole, running up a waist high rock wall, sleeping until  after lunch when possible, and shoveling copious amounts of food into their mouths several times a day.

5 big ones would have been a good catch on the deep sea fishing trip undertaken by Scott, Cindy, and Tom, but instead they just had a long boat ride 

4  of us toasting with excellent Australian Shiraz to Scott and Cindy's 19th wedding anniversary at Ba Viga restaurant in Mooloolaba. Also 4 kids hanging out, gossiping, playing scrabble, swimming, and ditching the adults whenever possible.

3 hours or so Melissa and I were up on Tuesday night in Fiji as she had the flu (details omitted)  

2 thrilled and beautiful girls after getting  la-ti-da facials in  Brizzy in honor of Mel's passage into teenage hood

1 fabulous trip with the Bradshaws and Jaycee; we all looked forward to it and now it is all memories and pictures, sigh. As of this week our oz adventure is half over. We are sad and happy, missing our friends, but not the fog and Tom is REALLY not missing the stress of the office. In three weeks Tom's sister Jill and her beau Angel are coming to see us .... no doubt we'll make the most of it!


  1. Loved the report! I remember living overseas and absolutely loving dear friends from home coming to visit. All the planning, the expectations, then the excitement of them actually arriving, the shared experiences, and then the letdown when they leave. But you'll always have those memories!

    Loved the countdown! Rees would love the statistician in you!

  2. Stephanie - so great to hear about your trip to Fiji! I love the image of you walking through the waters to another island!

  3. Great photos Steph,

    I just went for a walk with Cheryl and it sounds like it was a fantastic trip! So glad to hear it.

  4. Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for adding me to your blog. I have been meaning to e-mail you and let you know how much I enjoy reading it. It brings back many memories of when I was in Australia. I was only 20 and absorbing so much of everything. I love looking at the pictures and hearing your experiences with the culture. The way of life can be similar to life in California and yet there are always unique Australian things and some British influences too.

    It looks like you are taking full advantage of the time there and opportunity to travel. I also went to Fiji and it remains one of my favorite places. The people are so warm and welcoming. I too drank Kava!

    I hope you continue to enjoy your time in Oz.
    Jean (MacCallum-Jimmink)

  5. CRAP!
    You mean it is NOT BAD ENOUGH that I have to suffer through copious details and photos of how fabulous Ozzie beach life is (except for that witchy bug) I have to be further tortured by FeeeeeeeeGeeeeeeeeee??
    You didn’t used to be such a sadist, did you???

  6. Stephanie, Tom, Eli and Melissa-

    We had so much fun with you!!! It was a great trip. I really like the blog about the trip too. What is the story about none of your pictures turning out? It is good that you invited us to go along so we could save you in the picture department.

    Cheryl came over dinner and to look at our pictures. Of course, she was jealous. She is a little lonely without the boys, but she is really busy. It was non-stop telling stories about the trip. Connor was extremely animated and told us about things which had not heard before. Especially about the friends of Eli's who are girls. Sounds good.

    Lets do another trip to a beautiful place soon.

    Love, Cindy

  7. Oh, I just loved your photos! Looked like everyone is having so much fun! Great to see all of you together

  8. Hi dear friend,

    I'm so bummed that I missed your call last nite. I was at the Bradshaws watching all 400 of their pix of Australia and Figi, so I was definitely thinking about you! Sounded like everyone had a wonderful time. It was touching to see JC and Melissa all smiles and warm fuzzies. It was also really cute listening to Conner's stories. He was still really animated and excited.

  9. What happy times. You will have memories for ever. Love seeing your life and dreaming a little about the climate. Sun just came out and it is a hot 62

  10. Hey Steph,
    Great numbers on the blog this time. You rounded out the details you gave me over the phone. I can taste the salt water and feel the salt crust on my skin. Ahhh!