Category Archives: Travel
G’day, Chicago. I’m back in the states, but I had to share with you my adventure in The Great Barrier Reef, my favorite spot down under! I stayed on the beautiful Hamilton Island in The Whitsunday Islands. The photo below is a view from my hotel room at The Reef View Hotel. How would you like to wake up to that?
While on Hamilton Island, I was not alone. This is one of the many cockatoos that are natural to the island and repeatedly perched themselves on my balcony every day (hoping for food). Did you know cockatoos have the mental capacity of a 2 or 3 year old child? Sometimes you can just see their cunning minds plotting. LOL
Check out the view on the water above the reef. It doesn’t get any greener than that.
And under the sea, the fish swim right in front of you. I’m still need to develop my pics from my underwater camera. Can’t wait to see those.
And here are two pics from my very first time scuba diving on the reef. Amazing does not describe it.
Check out these aerial views of the reef. I didn’t have time to take a flight over the reef, so i captured these when I was flying to Melbourne. I’m 20,000 feet in the air, so you can see how massive these reefs are.
More photos on The Great Barrier Reef page. Check it out. Coming soon… my last stop in Australia…Melbourne!
G’day, all. My next stop on my great Aussie adventure was Cairns. Despite how it’s spelled, it’s pronounced CANNS. I’m still getting it wrong, but I’m trying. Cairns is on the east coast of Australia and very tropical. It reminds me of a little beach town we would see in the states. It’s also the closest major city to the Great Barrier Reef.
When I trecked out to the reef, our first stop was Green Island (below – click on any pic to make it bigger). Look how beautiful the water is. Amazing! It’s a small island, but it has a hotel and you can stop there and snorkel and relax. That was not my destination though. I was headed to the outer reef.
I would love to share with you the pictures I took at the outer reef, but my underwater camera floated out of my pocket while I was snorkeling. :( Whomever grabbed it, I hope you enjoy the pictures I took and may a plague descend upon your home for the next 20 years (that’s the Italian in me coming out).
There was a bright ending to the day though… once I was back on the boat to come back to Cairns from the reef, we spotted this amazing rainbow nearby.
More past the page break…
G’day, all! I just recently left Uluru in the outback of Australia and what a magical place that is. Uluru is also known as Ayers Rock and it’s a sacred place for the Aboriginal people. It’s the world’s largest smooth-skinned monolith. Even more fascinating, only a small fraction of Uluru is above ground. It extends for another 3 miles below the surface. Our guide had a great analogy. Imagine a water bottle. The cap is Uluru and the rest of the bottle is Uluru below the ground. CRAZY! Here is a shot of Uluru at sunrise. I love this picture. CLICK ON IT TO MAKE IT BIGGER.
Here is a close up of Uluru at sunset the day before. You can really see the patterns in the rock.
If you tour Uluru you are bound to see some cave art from the aborigines people. This picture below is believed to have been drawn about a one thousand years ago. And it’s still standing. Don’t ask me what it means, please. LOL
Last, but not least, thanks to a recommendation from Ji Suk Yi, I attended the SOUNDS OF SILENCE dinner at Uluru. It’s champagne during sunset, a candlelit dinner while you chat with the people at your table and then the candles are blown out and every one star gazes. My photo below (click on it to make it bigger) doesn’t even come close to comprehending what we saw in the sky that night. I could see the Milky Way galaxy. I could see gas clouds in outer space. I could see stars that I didn’t even know existed. I saw at least three shooting stars. I saw satellites orbiting the planet. The sky was so amazingly clear. Our guides said we were there on a great night and I feel blessed to have been able to experience that. So look at the picture below, multiply it by a thousand or even ten thousand and you won’t come close to what we saw. I wish I had my tripod b/c I would have been able to take better shots of the stars. Live and learn.
A few more pics on the ULURU page, so check it out. Off to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
Crickey, mate! I’ve been so busy hopping around Sydney that I didn’t have time to post pics. Australia is BEU-TI-FUL! But food is pricey… $18 for a hamburger. $5 for a Coke. And those are Aussie prices. The US $ conversion makes it a little more. Crazy. The cheapest house in Sydney will set you back $600,000… that’s the cheapest!!! Check out this amazing city scape. How can you not love this? (click on it to make it bigger)
No trip to Sydney is complete without a trip to Bondi Beach… pronounced bond-eye. Women can actually go topless on the beach… and it’s a surfer’s paradise…
And I, uhm, didn’t quite realize what I was shooting when I took this pic of surfers below. Definitely a full moon in the water. Oops!
I will post more pics on the SYDNEY page, but I had to share this cuddly photo. Which one is cuter? Me or the koala? If you say the koala, you are dead to me! That’s rain on me, by the way, not koala pee. :) Funny side note, only in the Australian state of Queensland can you actually hold a koala bear. It’s a state law. I hope to do that when I head to Cairns in a few days. Alice Springs photos coming soon…
Monday started off very rainy in Waikiki. It actually rained most of the day, but I did manage to get to the North Shore of the island and see the only part of Oahu I had not seen on previous trips. The North Shore is surfer’s paradise. Huge waves. You could see guys hangin’ ten everywhere. This is definitely the surfing community of Oahu and Honolulu. Check out a few pics below and a few more on the Hawaii page (scroll the bottom). As I write this I am waiting to board my flight to Sydney… Australia bound, baby! Remember, you can click on any pic to see a larger version.
So the Aussie Adventure begins, but first, with a stop in Hawaii. I’m on a layover here for 3 days. So glad I did this. The flight is extra long. Four hours from Chicago to LA. Five hours from LA to Honolulu and it will be 10 hours to Sydney from Honolulu. So, yes, a break was needed. I have taken several pics on my first day on Oahu. I’ve also created a HAWAII page. I’ll create a page for each city I venture to with more pics of my goings on there. You can also click on any photo for a better view.
Here you can see a shot of a banyan tree. They are all around Hawaii. I love the way the branches intricately weave around each other. Believe it or not, this is just one tree in Queen Kapiolani Regional Park outside the Honolulu Zoo. There are more pictures on the HAWAII page.
Also in the park, is this statue of Gandhi. Yes, everyone gets leised in Hawaii. Even Gandhi.
And finally, I went whale watching today for humpback whales. It’s migration season. It was a gorgeous day, but the whales were hiding. They would come up here and there and I saw the back of one briefly. I did manage to get this shot. Yes, it’s a whale. I have no idea if it’s a baby that was hanging around us or the mama whale… but it’s a whale… and that’s my tale! More pics on the HAWAII page.