This Egge's Adventure

From New York City, a day in my life. I have no idea what I'll write day to day, but living here, I'm bound to have something to talk about!

Friday, December 08, 2006

No, I Have Not Been Kidnapped or Eaten By A Shark


I know it's been well over a week since my last post--well, maybe even 2. I've lost count. I have a really good excuse, I promise!

We are back in Sydney and are finally settling in, but we still don't have regular internet access. Brian has been practicing patience this week as he's tried to calmly deal with the idiots, err, internet providers. They're telling us it should be up by the first of next week.

So my real excuse is I've barely had time to breathe let alone blog in the last week. (The week before, I have no excuse other than just not taking the time--hey at least I'm honest!)

Since Thursday of last week, we have rented an apartment, moved in to said apartment, picked up the cats from quarrantine (3 hours roundtrip), furnished entire 2 bedroom apartment, including washing machine & refrigerator (that'll be the topic of another post--the strange things we've found about renting apartments in a foreign country!), bought a car, interviewed for jobs, put together all the furniture we bought from Ikea and are still rounding out our purchases with things like sheets for our bed (yes, I know, one would think I would've bought those first, but well I was a little stressed!)

Anyway, for now, I just wanted to let you know we're alive and share a few photos of our apartment with you--well, the view anyway! (The inside is just your typical apartment--white walls & tan carpet) The picture up top and the ones below are what we see from our living room & kitchen.

The ferry you see in the photo is the Manly Ferry. We live in the suburb of Manly and take a ferry to the city of Sydney--it takes about 25 minutes and we pass the opera house everytime!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Caversham Wildlife Park

On our first full day in Perth (Western Australia) we set out to do the one thing we both really, really wanted to do. If we didn't do anything else on this one month Australian adventure, we wanted to hold a koala or at least touch one.

Well, we didn't get to hold one (we're still looking for a place to do that), but we did get to pet one--AND we got to feed kangaroos and hold a wombat. I don't know which part we liked best, but we had a blast. We were like 2 kids at Christmas, running from one animal to the next, standing in line long before the animals were available to hold or pet. By far, this has been our favorite day in Australia!

Here are the highlights:

Brian petting the koala. In the 'koala encounter' there was 1 male koala named Rocky, his 5 wives and 1 joey. This is one of his 5 wives. We didn't know what to expect, but they were very soft to the touch. At the time, this koala and Rocky were the only 2 awake. Later on, more woke up for a few minutes, but for the most part, slept!

Here's Rocky. Notice his head tipped back and his mouth open. He's squealling and grunting like a pig--this is his call to anyone who can hear that he is the dominant male and these 5 koalas are his. We were told it was a warning for us and the female koalas. From what we understand, a male koala will mate with several females but then have nothing to do with them or the joeys afterward. In fact, they have to protect the joeys from the father as they grow and get older.

One of the females eating. It takes them forever to eat one eucalyptus leaf!


The joey sleeping. Babies of any species are cute to watch sleep!

Both of us holding a wombat! By the way, I'm looking at her that way because she just pooped on me! She was still cute though! We're holding her under her front paws with both arms because she wiggled a lot, but we were able to pet her on either side as we held her. Like the koalas, she was very soft. And yes, she's a little tubby--but don't tell her that!

This was one of the more interesting animals: A spectacled flying fox. They were of course, asleep as it was day time and they are nocturnal. They look much like bats, only their wings are huge! One of them opened up and stretched while sleeping and we were shocked at how big they are. While sleeping, they tuck themselves inside their wings and cover their eyes.

A tasmanian devil! He was really entertaining to watch and reminded us of the cats: he ran the exact same pattern in his habitat about 8 times in a row at top speed before crashing for a quick nap. Occasionally, he would veer off of his path a litle, but as soon as he realized it, he'd backtrack and get back on!

Feeding the kangaroos! These were just some of our favorite shots. Lots more photos of our time at the park are on the website (as well as our other adventures) Feel free to wander over and check them out.

Brian kept the food in his pocket and he had a 'friend' following him. When he took the food out of his pocket, his friend was waiting patiently for him to hand it over!

This kangaroo needed some dental work! As far as we could tell, this was the only tooth he had, so it took him extra long to chew, but he certainly was cute and very photogenic!

Kangaroo yoga! Actually, he was scratching, but it was hilarious to watch!

More photos to come! I promise!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Photos, Photos & More Photos!

Below are many photographs from Sydney--I'll do another posting with more photos from Perth and another one with photos from Alice Springs/Uluru. I'm not going to actually write much in this posting--just captions for the photos. I'm just trying to get caught up with all of our photos and descriptions!

The Shangri-la Hotel in Sydney. We stayed here our first 2 nights in the country and we also stayed here on our honeymoon. We'd live here if we could--we could see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from our hotel room window. It was a nice place to recover from jetlag! If you look closely at the picture you'll be able to see a large block of windows near the top--our room was located just left of the top left corner of these windows.

Me at Target! It's so comforting to know I can go to Target here! It is a little different than at home and not nearly as large, but hey, it's still Target and they still have cute shoes and clothes for cheap!

The Sydney Aquarium--I'm happy to see many of these animals behind the glass!

Duckbill Platypus! They remind me of the penguins at the zoo--they pop up on land, dive in and streamline as fast as they can around their pool. They also chase each other, knock each other off the rocks, etc. I was surprised at how small they were though---they're only about 18 inches long and maybe 8 inches wide.

We found Nemo & Marlin!

And Dory too!

Jellyfish (not Box Jellyfish though)! Don't worry Dad, they were behind thick glass. . .we'll take you to see them, you'll be safe, promise!

Cool Stingray, huh? This is an eagle ray, the largest in the ray family--their wingspan can be as large as 8 feet, pretty impressive!

Shhhh--ark! (This is what one of my students used to call them as he was learning to read the word shark!) As scary as he may look, Jaws does not, in reality like humans for food. They are some of the tamest sharks in the sea. Have yet to see a great white, but am looking forward to it!

My birthday on a Sydney Harbor Dinner Cruise! I realize I look a little like I'm forcing a smile. Trust me, I'm not--I was just really drugged that day, trying to get over a really bad cold (Meredith, I totally understand what your birthday was like!) It took everything in me to be sitting upright, but I had a ball--who wouldn't with a sparkler in her cake?!

My last visit with the cats before we headed off for our 3 weeks of travel. Lily warmed up right away (I think it was the Vegemite treat that did it!) She sat next to me and took a little nap and was happy to have her chin scratched, then wanted to play and by the end was ready for another nap! Bastet took a little while--she spent the majority of my time there inside the hut, but by the end, she was ready to cuddle!

More photos to come shortly!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Our Great Train Ride WITH PHOTOS!!

Finally! I am able to post pictures. Here are the photos from our Indian-Pacific train ride from Sydney to Perth. I'll put another posting up with more photos from this week and our time in Sydney in a few minutes.

The train! There were 15 cars on the train that included the engine, luggage car, daynighter cars (think airplane seats), 4 or 5 sleeper cars, 2 lounge cars, 2 diner cars, and 2 cars on the end for passenger vehicles.

Our 'berth' by day. It was two rather comfy arm chairs with a wall table. We had a sink and running water that folded down from the wall behind the door. Sorry the picture isn't so great. We were standing against the wall across the hall from our room. What does that tell you about how much space we had?

Our 'berth' by night. The bottom bed folds down from the wall (one chair folds over, the other acts as a footboard). The top bed then lowers down from about a foot from the ceiling. It can only be lowered when the bottom bed is folded down. The ladder made too much noise during the night. Brian first tried to sleep with it but found it took up too much room in his bed. We eventually managed to carefully squeeze it under the bottom bed. We usually found ourselves in bed early, this was for 2 reasons: 1) Once it was dark, the amazing scenery was gone, nothing left to see and 2) The train manager would usually start making announcements and playing commentary between 5:30 and 6am--and we had no way to turn it off!

A view of the eastern side of the Blue Mountains from our window. They're quite amazing--they are called the Blue Mountains because the trees look blue--they are Eucalyptus trees and give off a blue haze.

Brian is watching for kangaroos from our berth window. He sat like this for several hours throughout the trip--kind of like a kid waiting for Santa Claus! Fortunately, we saw 6 or 7 kangaroos (see picture below!)


Entering Western Australia. This part of the train ride is considered to be the longest stretch of straight railway in the world. I can believe it! It was actually the smoothest part of the trip too! This was the 'red' part of the outback. Other parts were yellow and/or had more trees.

We're planning to take my dad here when he visits next month. Bring your clubs Dad! You might want to practice with your wedge though. . .seems to be a lot of sand to get around. . . :)

The "Super Pit" in Kalgoorlie, WA. They are drilling holes in the ground so that in a few hours they can blast and mine for gold. This is a nightly procedure at the Super Pit.

Our last morning on the train. This is the dining car. . .they served cold "snack" meals as well as hot meals. Surprisingly not your typical 3 day junk food binge--quite good food for transportation food!

Driving away from the train. . .our first experience driving "on the wrong side of the road". Not as difficult as it seems. The biggest challenge is not turning the windshield wipers on whenever you need to use your turn signal. 5 days into it, we're still struggling with that one!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Sun Came Out--And Left Again!

The sun came out for a few hours yesterday afternoon, but went under clouds again, where it seems to be staying.

Brian had an interview yesterday afternoon, so I went to visit the cats one more time before our cross-country trip begins today. He seems really pleased with it and is hoping to hear from the company soon--it was a final interview of sorts.

The cats were much happier to see me yesterday than last week--they both cuddled with me and purred for a few minutes (of course, when their attendant came to feed them, I was chopped liver--they could've cared less who I was, it was dinner time!)

Yesterday was my 28th birthday in Sydney! Today is my 28th birthday in the USA--I think I should celebrate twice, don't you? (thank you to everyone who sent e-cards and birthday wishes, it was a nice surprise, especially considering it wasn't even the 7th in the US!) We didn't get a chance to do anything together to celebrate until last night, but we took a dinner cruise around the Sydney harbor which was quite amazing and could've only been better if the sun had been out so it could actually set over the Opera House. Oh well, we live here now, I'm sure I'll get the chance to see that magnificent sight many times over!

I'm thinking now I'd like to take a narrated harbor cruise sometime so I can know all the buildings I saw last night. Guess that'll have to wait until we get back.

Plenty more stories to come after the train ride. . .I'm sure we'll have plenty to talk about then. And I PROMISE, we'll figure out a way to upload photos when we get to Perth on Saturday to go along with those stories.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Not much happening


I wish I could report we're having a grand ole' time in sunny Sydney. But we're not. Well, we're having a grand ole' time in Sydney, just not sunny Sydney. It's been pouring down rain and freezing cold for 3 days straight now! What happened to that beautiful Sydney weather all the tour books talk about? "Only 12 days of rain per year. . ." Well then, by my calculation, there should only be 9 days of rain left until next November!

We are having a good time though. . .we just haven't done much outdoor sightseeing. I don't even have pictures because they would be full of raindrops. We did take a bus tour today and got a pretty good feel for the city and it's suburbs. I have to say, even in the rain, it's a pretty cool city.

We are here in Sydney until Wednesday. Here's our itinerary after that:

Nov. 8-11 The Indian-Pacific Train from Sydney to Perth
Nov. 11-17 Perth & surrounding areas
Nov. 17-23 Alice Springs & the Red Center. We'll be taking this tour.
Nov. 23-27 Darwin & Kakadu (up north)
Nov. 27-30 Melbourne
Nov. 30 Return to Sydney (and hopefully an apartment--we'll be doing some hunting in the next few days before we leave!)
Dec. 2 Pick up the cats from quarrantine (won't they be happy!)

Blogging will probably be intermittant thanks to limited access. It's interesting, you ask around for "wi-fi" and they have no idea what you're talking about. There are very few hotspots here in Australia.

I promise to take more pictures and actually post them next time (sorry Mom!) The only one I have so far is me standing in front of Target--but we haven't downloaded it yet!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

We Made It!

I just wanted to write a quick post and let you all know that we have arrived in Sydney! We made it through immigration and customs without any problems--they even said "Welcome Home" as we came through. Kind of a strange thought!

We spent our first day travelling to and from the quarrantine facility to visit the cats. They seem to be adjusting well, Lily sat in the corner and growled at us the entire time (this is normal--she does it every time we move, so we think she's doing quite well!) Bastet was still in her cage when we arrived (7 hours after she did). The quararantine attendants said they tried to get her out but she hissed and swatted at them, so they just opened the door and were letting her come out on her own. She finally came out when we got there. She immediately found a small hiding place--which is normal for her. All in all, we think they'll be fine. Brian is going to take some Vegemite with him next time we go--they should be ready and willing to forgive us with that!

We'll be here in Sydney until next Wednesday, so hopefully I'll have a chance to post some more.


P.S. One good bit of news: they have Target in Sydney! The big red bullseye is all over they place. Those of you who know me well know that this has made me really happy!