Saturday, January 28, 2006

Does It Get Any Better?

It keeps getting better. Today we went to Coogee Beach near The University of New South Wales. The beach was packed and the water was wonderful. There was an Ironman competition where the participants kayak, surf using their hands as paddles and swim. I thought I could handle it until I attempted the swim - got half the distance and called it a day! I was surprised that Heidi showed so much interest in the sport until I realized it was the Speedos that were catching her eye!

Coogee Beach near the University of New South Wales

Hill climbing at Coogee Beach

Charlee and Adam at Coogee Beach

An Aussie triatholon starts with kayaking

Sea surfing using hands as paddles in the middle

A bit of running

Aussie triatholon ends with swimming.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Australia Day - January 26

We spent Australia Day with Liz, Darren, Emma and Elisha in Sydney city. Liz is the sister of Bernadette whose husband Anthony will be teaching with me at Mount Saint Joseph. Darren is from Canada and enjoyed catching up on his beloved Calgary Flames.
Early in the day we were hanging out around the Opera House watching the ferry boat race. We then enjoyed a picnic lunch near Hyde Park while watching helicopters fly by. Off to Darling Harbour where they had loads of activities for the kids. A quick ‘Snag on the Barbie’ (sausage on a bun) and back on the train to Picnic Point where Adam bartended from the tree fort. We hurried off to see the tail end of a fireworks display in Milperra near my school – not too shabby.
Sydney was even nicer then we imagined. We plan to go into the city often to enjoy museums, the Aquarium, the Zoo and ferry boat rides!

Weird stuff on Aussie Day.

Adam serving drinks on Australia Day!

Darling Harbour on Aussie Day

Our first look at the Harbour Bridge on Australia Day.

Ferry boat races on Aussie Day.

Charlee and Adam liked the Opera House.

We're off to Sydney city for Australia Day (Jan. 26)!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Heidi and Adam checking out the Georges River - a stones throw from our house Posted by Picasa

Police presence was obvious at Cronulla Beach Posted by Picasa

Spent the day at Cronulla Beach (yes the one where the riots were) Posted by Picasa

Charlee says goodbye to Miss Trojanoski Posted by Picasa

Alex Betcher has a shadow! Posted by Picasa

Charlee celebrated her 9th birthday the day before we left for Oz. Posted by Picasa

Goodbye great white north! Posted by Picasa

Chris and Donna Betcher help celebrate Char's birthday Posted by Picasa

Charlee and Kate enjoy birthday cake Posted by Picasa

Adam and buddies before we leave. Miss D too! Posted by Picasa

Kids find Aussie cart in Vancouver airport Posted by Picasa

Charlee and Adam killing time in Vancouver airport. Posted by Picasa

Charlee hanging with Kate Betcher Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Grace's Adventure Down Under

We left Pearson Airport in Toronto in the middle of a snowstorm on Jan. 21, 2006. Birgit (Heidi's mom) and the Betchers (our exchange partners) were kind enough to drive us to the airport. I think the Betchers were starting to think Canadian winters weren't as bad as they had heard. Three days of plus 0 temps including a 12C day then wham Saturday the snow hit (much to Kate's pleasure). We stopped in Van and Honolulu before arriving in Sydney. The flights were easy, the kids were awesome and Dave didn't even complain whine too much about the lack of leg space.

Anthony, Bernidette and daughter Rebecca as well as Susan and son Ryan picked us up at the airport and escorted us to our new home. The Betchers house is beautiful - hardwood floors throughout and lots of wood trim - just the way we like it. Adam started playing with Alex's lego and Charlee immediately posted a sign "No boys allowed" and placed it on her new bedroom door!

Tomorrow we head to the beach!