Monday, March 28, 2011

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island did not live up to expectations for only one reason. It rained for two days!

The first day we arrived, we knew the forecast, so we took a hike to a private beach.  It was a tough hike and there was some complaining from Micah, but in the end we were all proud of our accomplishment of having hiked up and down hills for almost 3 hours.

The food on the Island is quite expensive, even the groceries, so we did a combination of restaurant visits and cooking in our rather large one bedroom apartment with two sofa beds.

On our second day in the Whitsunday Islands, we took a day at Reef World to visit the Great Barrier Reef where the snorkeling was as amazing as we remembered from 13 years ago. Unfortunately, the trip to and from the reef included some very choppy waters and the entire boat of passengers got extremely seasick. Luckily, none of the Blooms threw up, but we were not feeling great!  Some ice chips helped Micah on the way there, and on the way home, three of us took seasickness medicines called travel calm that they were selling at the bar.  :-)  It helped me immensely, I didn't feel it at all on the way back.

On our third and final day, we swam in the rain.  Can't stop Micah from swimming!  It was warm enough, but not as much fun as I thought it would be.  We also let the boys play a bunch of video games.  Not your typical tropical island vacation!  :-)

This morning we returned our buggy (also known as a golf cart) that had been our method of transportation for the past few days.  We got wet walking the tarmac to our plane which was NOT fun, and now we are in Sydney catching up on email and internet since we were not connected for the past few days.

Our next stop is China.  See you back in the Northern Hemisphere!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photo Diary of Fiji

Fiji Airport welcoming band

Cafe Sign

Playing iTouch in the Cafe
Jonah with the singers and dancers of Robinson Crusoe Island

 More iTouch

The view - our paradise

Photo Diary of Sydney

A Familiar Fish at Sydney Aquarium

A real live shark at Sydney Aquarium

One special sign

One of the wallabies that I petted at Featherdale Wildlife Park

One of the schoolwork projects the boys completed; history at Cockatoo Island

A sleepy koala

Close up to a kookaburra

Just like it says

Lots and lots and lots and lots of prawns

Protein for vegetarians - Micah chooses banana, Jonah chooses raspberry, Mark chooses coffee, and I choose chocolate, of course!

Boys with Abby, Jonah's newest penpal

Old friends picking up like we never left

Harbour Bridge

My favourite Aussie treat

The mini golf course that could use some attention

Just driving around town, looking at Sydney

Another yummy treat I like - chocolate covered honeycomb, Crunchie shown, I also love Violet Crumble

Great view of the Opera House from a ferry boat

Interesting view of the opera house

Our friend Cyndi

Friday, March 18, 2011

Coming Home to Sydney

I didn't expect to become so emotional but today at Shabbat morning services at Temple Emmanuel, I cried when I saw our friends Clem & Judy Nahum and Michael & Sylvia Golding.  It felt like a homecoming.  So warm, friendly, comfortable.  I love this community.
It was also great to finally meet Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, who went on sabbatical in 1997-1998 allowing us to live in his flat, drive his auto, and Mark to work at Emmanuel.  We were also warmly welcomed by Rabbi Jackie Ninio who we knew in Cincinnati when she was a rabbinical student at HUC.
We had an amazing Shabbat dinner last night with our hosts, Cyndi and Michael Freiman, their children and several other wonderful guests from all over the world.  More on that another time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wi-Fi Everywhere, Weather Everywhere

So here are some highlights so far from our first three days in Sydney:

1. I've never felt more connected.  There was free Wi-Fi at the airport, on the trains and in the train station, on the ferries, on the bus, and of course in this house where we are staying with friends, Caroline Haski and her daughter Dani Haski, in Rose Bay.  Really.  It's quite ridiculous.

2.  Gorgeous weather, except for last night and this morning's rain storm.

3. Seeing the sights: Manly Beach, Sydney Tower, Sydney Aquarium, Manly Oceanworld, Opera House and Harbor Bridge, Cockatoo Island (great history lesson)

4. Yummy food: candy bars, vanilla slice, caramel slice, Max Brenner's Chocolates, fresh squeezed juices and thickshakes, Dory fillet fish and chips, pumpkin soup, homemade muesli, and so much more.

And Micah and Jonah aren't even fighting that much.  :-)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We're in Fiji

It's very relaxing here except for trying to get on the internet.  Very complicated.

We're living on "Fiji time."  Beach, pool, visiting the town of Sigatoka, visiting Robinson Crusoe island.  Eating yummy fish, fruits, coconut milk.

Life is good.  Tomorrow we leave for Australia.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And away we go!

Today's the big day.  We'll have lunch with Herb and Harriet, fly down to LA, get some yummy Kosher food at Pico Robertson, then leave for Fiji.  We leave tonight and arrive Saturday morning, losing Friday entirely.  See you all from the other side of the world.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Two silly boys in Washington, D.C

Getting Ready

Are you packed yet?  We get this question a lot and it isn't that easy to answer.  We've been "packing" for many months by cleaning out the house for the renters.  That feels really good.
And we've been planning the packing for weeks and weeks.
We've packed up the kitchen now and all of the rooms are basically ready for the renters with mostly empty closets, empty dressers, etc.  Everything is pretty clean, even the garage got some sweeping action today!
Finally today, two days before we leave, we actually began putting things into suitcases. But tomorrow is our big packing day.  Then Thursday we leave.

We will miss our family and friends here in Oakland and look forward to a wonderful world-wide adventure.