Celebrating Christmas 2014

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On Christmas Eve we got to spend some time with our dear friend Rebekah Page – she is like a sister to both Elizabeth and I – before she left to London for her holidays… We were blessed to stay at her apartment for the remainder of our time in Melbourne.

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For dinner the Doerys had us over for a lovely Christmas Eve meal… there was lots of laughter, amazing food, beautiful decor, Christmas carols and learning some Australian Christmas Traditions (like the hats you see on mine and Hannah’s heads above)

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The Osborn’s & Doery’s have 5 kids on each side not including partners… Unfortunately we didn’t get a picture of everyone at the table but we were missing Jo (4th daughter on the Doery side) and her husband Ezra along with my brothers Michael and Bobby who arrived the next morning.

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After a wonderful Christmas service at Bridge Church a few of us went to find a coffee shop that was open and hung out for a few hours… It really is nice celebrating the holidays in warm weather!

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In the afternoon us ‘Osborns’ headed out to the beach to spend some quality time together! We were just missing Hannah who had to work on Christmas Day.

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After spending quite a bit of time at the beach we drove south to see the house we lived in 4 years before in a little ‘village’ called Black Rock…the front wall is blocking the pool we had in front of the house.




How beautiful of a city.. in an amazing state of Australia.. Elizabeth, Cordie and I took a short 50 min flight from Melbourne to see Tasmania for the first time (for all of us) over the weekend.

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We had an amazing dinner on the wharf (pier) at Tavern 42 degrees at 3pm since we had been up since 3:30am our internal clocks were a bit off… our food was absolutely wonderful though we sat there for 3 hours just enjoying each other.. the view.. wine (Tasmania is known for their homegrown Rieslings)… food and atmosphere!

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Mt. Wellington


We drove here first thing after arriving into Hobart to see the beautiful overview of the city below…. it was freezing up top even though it is summer here… :)


Wineglass Bay

Our first full day here we packed up the car and drove down to Coles Bay for a couple hours hike to reach the infamous Wineglass Bay Beach… Below is a lookout on our drive there and a wallaby hanging around the parking lot…

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We had about a 30 min walk to the ‘lookout’ point picture of Cordie and my sister Elizabeth below… can you see how the coastline resembles a wineglass?




Richmond Bridge 

On our drive back to Hobart we stopped through the historic town Richmond… this bridge is the oldest in all of Australia and where most of the convicts were taken across before going to prison.. the town was completely closed down by the time we reached it but it was a nice short stop to see the bridge.




Salamanca Market

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Cascade Brewery

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Cradle Mountain

I won’t do justice trying to explain the different hikes/day walks one can do in this National Park but if you look at the above link you’ll get an idea that there about 20 different options you could take!


Above and below is at the end of our trek at Cradle Lake after walking two hours around Dove Lake up to Marion’s Lookout and back down again…

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Isn’t it just beautiful?! If you ever make it to Tasmania.. you MUST spend at least one day here hiking/walking see the amazing views and landscape.

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Our way down from Marion’s Lookout we went via Rooney Creek where there are known to be many wombats… you can see Elizabeth and I walking the bridge ‘searching’ for them :)

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The way the grass and landscape reminded us all of The Lord of the Rings.. to say the least it was an amazing day!

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I can’t express to you how excited all three of us where to FINALLY spot a wallaby in the wild… and just as we were 15 mins from our destination! This guy started at the top of a hill…. slowly making his way down towards us…



Went underneath the bridge we were standing on… then continued on his way.. can you spot him behind us? Yes, I am squinting to see if he/she is in the frame.. :)



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After this guy we saw three more on our way back… and after an 8+ mile walking/hiking day we were thoroughly content that we got to see some more wildlife to finish it off!



Hamilton Island Escape

Cordie & I took a little getaway for a few days up into Queensland, Australia to an area known as the Whitsundays. We stayed on Hamilton Island (flew directly onto the island from Melbourne – see video below of example of an airplane landing that I took from a boat we were on) in an apartment looking out over the water. It was incredible. Being without internet and other distractions allowed us to really relax and spend some quality time together.

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This Cockatoo came and sat on our patio ledge one afternoon for over an hour… was pretty spectacular.

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The main room in the 3 bedroom apartment we stayed in for our time there.

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On the island everyone drives buggies around instead of cars and without one it would be a very long walk to get most places. The place we booked offered one complimentary and we LOVED being able to explore the island with it >>>>>


We visited the Wild Life Center on two different occasions – the first was a tour of Australian Marsupials and mammals… we were the only ones without children but still thoroughly enjoyed it – got to feed a wallaby, pet a wombat (below) and another thing that looked like a giant rat but cant remember what it was called. There was a mother Kangaroo with her Joey… 8 Koala bears (they are rapidly becoming extinct) we got to pet and hang out with for a bit Bobby (below) was a two year old and quite nice and friendly.2014-12-15 10.05.39 HDR koala baer 2

The second time we went for their salt-water crocodile feeding! They are the dangerous kind in their species and watching this guy eat his chicken dinner was pretty spectacular.

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One of my favorite things was snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef ( I hope you have heard of it) :)! Which afterwards we realized we should have gotten a waterproof camera or go-pro to document but you’ll have to take my word for it! The purple, orange, yellow coral was gorgeous with large blue fish, fish with ‘cheetah’ spots all over it, multiple schools of fish swimming beneath us! It was an amazing experience!

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Whithaven Beach 

Description from the tourism website: is a definite “must-see” in the Whitsundays. The crystal clear aqua waters and pristine silica sand of Whitehaven stretch over seven kilometres along Whitsunday Island , the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. It defines nature at its best and provides the greatest sense of relaxation and escape.

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Pictures we took do NOT capture the beauty of this place – there are 7/8kms of pure white sand along the protected National Park!

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The below video captures the color of the water a little bit better than the pictures… If you ever get the opportunity to visit here you most definitely should! We did a half day boat cruise tour which took us around some of the Whitsunday Islands for about an hour than had two hours on the beach with a shorter ride back to Hamilton Island.

They advise you to wear these protected stinger suits as in the summer months – transparent jellyfish lurk in the waters and has a very painful sting. We had a lot of fun putting them on and swimming in the ocean :)

Iced Coffees in Australia are different than in the states… They come with scoops of Vanilla ice cream… dangerous ;)

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Niether Cordie or I had been to Los Angeles before and this was my FIRST time to California (seeing more than just the outside of an airport)

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My eldest brother Michael lives here and good friends of ours from Rochester just recently moved to the area as well. We are more than happy that after our 18 hour+ day of traveling from Florida to get here we stopped over for a couple of days instead of going straight to Australia.

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The first morning we went for a nice walk with Jordan and her dog Roxy than had some amazing sushi for lunch down in Huntington Beach. :)

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We walked over 5 miles on Friday and it felt great… stretching our legs after a long travel day and before another one!

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From there we headed back up to the LA area and celebrated Elvis’s 2nd Birthday – at an amazing dinner party with wonderful company… We both had an absolute blast.

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Saturday Morning we took advantage of the Finches’ backyard soaked up some sunshine and had a very relaxing day before we went on to bike over 13 miles.

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Brandon, Cordie and I biked south of Huntington Beach to an area called Balboa Beach – the boardwalk is next to some pretty spectacular houses and of course a view of the ocean will never get old.

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Later that evening we went out for dinner with Jordan & MaryBeth at this place that has cotton candy! How great is that?! It was nice to have a ‘different

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Jordan cut and colored mine and Cindy’s hair on Sunday – She did such a great job and her salon experience was amazing!

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Before we flew out to Australia Michael took us to Hollywood Blvd then up to see the Hollyood sign as the sun was setting! It was so cool to see LA at that time!

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