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Category Archives: Travel

Five Year Aussie-versary. And, I’m Just Getting Used to Vegemite

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The flight

The flight

Five years ago today, Art and I first stepped foot onto Australian soil. With us, we had 4 suitcases, 5 surfboards and as much carry on baggage as they would allow on the plane. We left EVERYTHING behind. Actually, we still have a storage shed full of crap sitting in Berlin, Maryland, if anyone wants to go rummaging around. The storage shed is full of stuff that we frantically packed away as we ran out of time getting ready for our overseas voyage. Did I want to apply my she shed designs here as well? Oh yes I did! But I guess, destiny had other plans?

I was planning on doing a year of university to get my Masters of Education so that I could become a teacher. Art was coming for the ride and we weren’t exactly sure about his plan, but he wasn’t going to stay behind in Maryland USA all by himself! Looking back, it was probably the scariest, riskiest and stupidest thing we’ve ever done in our lives!!!! Drop everything and move all the way across the world!?! Yes, we were indeed crazy! Read the rest of this entry

Mfest 2013, Springbrook, QLD Australia

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The fairy princess

The fairy princess

Yesterday, we drove up into the mountains to go to a festival called MFest.  The ‘M’ as in ‘mother’…  MFest is: ‘A Celebration of Motherhood and the Creativity of Woman‘.   It was the day before Mother’s Day, and I believe the festival happens every year, in Springbrook, QLD, at the Springbrook State School grounds, way at the top of the Gold Coast’s hinterland.  It just so happened to be raining a little that day, I’m sure the rain scared a few people away… but… if you’re going to Springbrook, you can expect a bit of rain!  Doesn’t hurt to pack your gumboots and something warm to wear!  After all, you are practically in the clouds on top of that mountain!

We arrived a little early, people were still setting up their stalls, and it was raining, so rather than sit in the car and wait, I decided to take the girls about ten minutes up the road to a really cool nature walk called, ‘The Best of All Lookout‘.  This walk is really awesome, it’s short, it’s  paved and meanders through some absolutely pristine rainforest.  You can see these ‘ancient arctic beech trees’ that are reportedly over 2000 years old.  If you look close enough, you might even see little fairies living under rocks covered in moss 😉  We didn’t make it far on the walk.  I had one girl on my back, and one girl on my front, and an umbrella, and it was cold and windy, so we turned around.  I’ve been there before, and while the lookout might not be best of all, it is pretty cool.  Margo was pretty excited though, that we were actually ‘in’ a cloud.

Back to the festival and (yay) the sun was shining again.  We hopped out of the car and had a look around.  It was sort of small and intimate, and had one large tent with live music, food stalls, craft and information, etc. and other smaller tents and stalls scattered around.  I have to say, it was a very mixed bag of people attending this event!  It was not just mother’s toting around babes and kids!  There were all sorts of people from all walks of life!

Margo got her face painted by a ‘Funksta’ Facepainting, of course, she wanted something pink…

Funksta Facepainting

Funksta Facepainting

And, the gem of the day (well for me anyway) were two woman giving talks about the placenta.. yes.. the placenta… We all sat around in this cozy tent with pillows and rugs.  They even had a stuff placenta as a prop.  One woman was a doula and the other was a midwife student.  One of the woman, Lauren Manners, based in south Brisbane, gave me her card, her business is called www.accomplishedbirth.com.  She specializes in placenta encapsulation.  I was stoked to hear that you can encapsulate a placenta, even if it’s been in the freezer for some time… like a couple years even… I might have to ring her up and have mine done one day.  They talked about the importance of the placenta, it’s role in sustaining life, the benefits of delayed cord clamping and the rituals of different cultures and even animals when dealing with the placenta.  Very cool stuff!

The stuffed placenta

The stuffed placenta

Anyway, the day was a success.  We only stayed about an hour and a half or so, it started raining again, so we high tailed it back to the car.  Margo loved being in the clouds.  I liked being on top of the mountains, and Goldie slept both ways in the car.  I even won a raffle ticket!!!  Woohoo!  Some family voucher to go camping!  Looks like we’ll be heading back to the mountains again soon. My only advice if you’re going to Springbrook is to not forget your gumboots!

ANZAC Day, Lennox Head and Baby Wearing!

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Pretty much sums up the day.

Pretty much sums up the day.

ANZAC Day, 25 April, is a national holiday in Australia and New Zealand (ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). The day marks the anniversary of the first Australian and New Zealand military action in World War I (more here).   Read the rest of this entry

Margo’s First Surf!

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Come on mom!  Get in, out of the lineup, so you can take ME surfing!

Come on mom! Get in, out of the lineup, so you can take ME surfing!

Margo really cracks us up!  One second, she’s whimpering because she sees a dog off his lead, and the next moment, she’s
petting a baby crocodile at the wildlife sanctuary.  One second, she’s crying because she got water (just water, not soap),
in her eyes in the shower, and the next second, she’s jumping in the ocean and begging for me to take her surfing! Anyway, I was
surfing for about an hour and a half, and Art was on the beach, with Goldie in the Ergo (baby carrier) and Margo was playing in
shallow baby pool on the inside.  I was really surprised to see that they were still hanging out on the beach and hadn’t gone
home yet even after I had been out for a while.  When I paddled in, Margo wanted me to take her surfing!  Lucky for
me, I have some surf lesson instructor hours up my sleeve, from when I lived on Maui year ago.  Here were are, surfing at
Rainbow Bay, what a beautiful evening! Read the rest of this entry

Road Trip (Relatively Speaking)

Free as a bird

Free as a bird

I need to start giving photo credits to my nearly 3 year old. She took that picture with the kite… pretty nice one, I
think!

Read the rest of this entry

The Reason for the Season? Christmas Down Under

Merrrry Christmas!

Merrrry Christmas! (Don’t the kids look joyous?)

Ok, we’ll get this straight.  Technically, I’m Jewish, and my husband is too…  But, this post is about Christmas in Australia, because from what I have experienced, nobody really cares if you’re not a Christian.  Almost no one that I have come across in Australia, politely says, ‘Happy Holidays’, like they do in America, just in case you might not celebrate Christmas.   Read the rest of this entry

Halloween Upside Down: An American in Australia

Halloween in Australia

The Halloween display at the grocery store… desperately trying to lure in the weary Australian consumers…

It was only hard the first few years…   Read the rest of this entry

Farmer’s Markets: This Jersey Girl Has Come a Long Way!

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Mmmmmmmine! Mmmmmm!!!!

When I was a kid growing up in America, in a little town, called Hackettstown, New Jersey, the only place we really went to buy our food from was the local grocery store chain, Shoprite. Very occasionally, in summer, we would get something from a little farm stand that sold their own apples and pumpkins when they were in season. Read the rest of this entry

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: A Gem on the Gold Coast

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Big Red Kangaroo. He’s got this chesty muscle thing going on.

I love being a tourist in my own town.  For the past ten years, I’ve lived in areas that were mostly resort or transient type places, and I have always done the tourist thing with full enthusiasm!  There is a place here, on the Gold Coast of Australia, where the tourists, especially huge tour groups from Japan and parts of Asia, come to flock.  (And, um, hello, aren’t we all tourists everywhere we go on this planet?). Even though it’s sometimes full of tourists waiting to have their photos taken with a koala or snake, there are plenty of locals who flock there too!  You can also go there on some days and there is hardly a soul to be seen.  Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is 10 minutes from our house and you better bet hat I have a year pass!  It’s on a huge piece of land that is all natural bushland/rainforest.  I’m really against things like zoos and animal circuses, but this place is special.  They have an animal hospital and most of the animals they have are there because they were injured, rescued, endangered, etc.  They have daily feedings of wild lorikeets (these really cool little parrots), they have animals shows and the focus is to educate the public about protecting and preserving Australian wild life.  They have a CHOO CHOO TRAIN!  A real train that runs around on a track!  Lately, on some of the days that I’m too tired to walk around, I can just sit on the train and go around and around the park for about an hour and Margo never asks to get off. Read the rest of this entry