Hello to all of you who read our blog! Thank you so much for your comments and feedback. Thanks for all the comments on our amazing adventures.Your questions about our amazing adventure are welcomed… Here is more information on our trip.
We are going to keep adding to the blog and add new pictures too. We did have a fantastic time in Oz! Australia’s time difference from L.A. is about ten hours ahead-also, some of the kids were like me…they live on the eastern U.S., so add another 4 or 5 hours to that! And yes, the plane delays and layovers did make us VERY tired, but it also gave us time to get to know one another. The 13 hour flight was very long, but our flight attendants kept us supplied with food and meals, warm and comfy with pillows and blankets, and everybody had individual TV screens on the seat in front of them to keep entertained. We could watch TV shows, movies, or play games or listen to music. Thank goodness for that!
The videographers from Tourism Australia, Jeff and Chris, were very nice to all of us! Here is a photo of me with them.
It was fun to be in the movies and to watch them! When we went to Taroona Primary they let us into their library, so we all crowded around the few computers to watch the movies!
Throwing the boomerangs was very hard. It was sort of like throwing a baseball, except that you had to lean back, then hurl the boomerang forward, and we only got one try. My mom bought a boomerang while we were there, however, so I’m going to practice throwing it at my school’s football field (before summer ends). I am determined to throw it hard enough to make it come back to me! When the Aboriginal guides did it, it was amazing hearing the *WHOOSH* of the boomerang as it circled you, then dropped. They actually do come back! One even nailed one of the guys filming us for a video. He tried to catch it, but it whacked his equipment instead. It’s harder than it looks.
The most exciting thing that I saw in Queensland would have to be watching (up close!) the crocodiles being fed. The sound of their jaws closing was amazing. Did you know that Australia has only crocodiles, not alligators, like the U.S. has?
The croc burgers are really crocodiles! They tasted like fishy turkey to me. And it was hard to eat the croc burgers with a couple of crocs swimming in the water just a few feet away! You are supposed to eat it with this mango-chutney stuff and a bun. If someone hadn’t told me what I was eating, I could have enjoyed it…
We did have LOTS of fun at Taroona Primary. Every one on the Expedition team was paired with a buddy from the Tasmanian school in Tasmania. It was so fun spending time with them!
The skyrail is a service that controlled the gondolas (sort of like ski lifts) that took us up over the rainforest and to the top of it. Talk about gorgeous! And, coincidently, it was raining in the rainforest that day!!
We went into this little netted room that had plants all over and butterflies flew around you everywhere. Some even landed on you! And it was great photographing them, too. Also, it must have been “birthing season” ’cause the butterflies were laying eggs everywhere! For some reason they were attracted to gold, and landed and hatched their eggs there. One Australian mom and her daughter were wearing gold jewelry- and butterflies kept landing on them and laying eggs! The eggs were teeny tiny, about the size of a freckle, or smaller! My glasses have a goldish tint to them, so one of the butterflies landed right on the lens, and laid three greenish eggs in the corner of my glasses! I didn’t realize that it had done that until after I was on the bus- I was astonished. It’s not everyday that that happens to you!
Koalas were, well, they were the cutest things in the world! Their claws were a little sharp, and they were pretty heavy–you had to hold them against your chest. Their fur was not as soft as I suspected, however it was pretty soft! They smelled like cough drops ’cause the eucalyptus leaves that they eat are used in cough drops. We did not get to hold the mother and baby koalas. The mother was always sleeping or nursing the babies, and the babies were always running around and were too mischievous to hold. While we were at the Koala place, the people told us something pretty amazing. Koalas are the most useless animal in the world. They endanger the eucalyptus trees, they aren’t food for any animals, and all they do is sleep. The only thing that they do do, however, is bring in thousands of dollars from tourism!
The snorkeling boat wasn’t too rough, and the glass bottom boat tour was pretty neat, and the boat that we went in for the crocodile feeding was very smooth. The entire boat was closed by glass so that the crocodile couldn’t decide to snack on you instead of the chicken!
My favorite animal, so far, would have to be the kangaroos. They were so sweet and docile. You could pet, feed and be very close to them.
Breakfasts- wow, they were all really, really, really good! Now that I’m back in the states I miss having it be already prepared! One thing that they had at all the breakfasts was vegemite packets.It is a yeast product that you are supposed to spread on toast. I was brave and decided to try a little. My mom took my camera and took a bunch of shots in a row and got all my reactions. IT WAS HORRIBLE!!!! Who’d want it for breakfast? But supposedly all Australians like it. Even our tour guide, Tracy, said she liked it, and grew up with it!
Winning the Hands-On Explorer Challenge
To win the contest, I would suggest that you spend LOTS of time on your entry, check, recheck, and check again that you are following all the rules–300 words max, one photo, you live in the U.S., etc. Some people don’t follow the rules, and are immediately eliminated! Also, work as long as possible on it to make sure that it’s really what you want. Don’t rush. Lastly, put all of your effort into it and make sure that it’s really genuine. I never thought that I’d actually win this contest, however I did all of the above and it worked. Make sure that it really means something to you.
Maybe some of my explorer buddies will log in and write, too. Thank you all for following along on our adventure!