Wow, I just got back from 3 weeks in Australia and was it FABULOUS! However, it didn’t start out so fabulous. That plane ride was long. I left on a Wednesday morning and arrived on a Friday afternoon. What happened to Thursday? We (my family) were exhausted when we arrived and were in bed pretty early that evening.

I went to Australia for my nephew’s wedding – he met a girl from Australia when they were both working in Banff, Alberta. They fell in love and he moved with her to Australia – the other end of the world. But she’s a beautiful person and her family is so loving and caring that it made it easier to accept that this is where he is going to live for probably the rest of his life.

The highlight of my trip, other than the wedding of course, was our day at Phillip Island. It was a beautiful sunny day (around 23 degrees) and one of the warmest days we had while we were in Australia. We went to a Wild Life resort where we got to feed the Kangaroos and the Wallaby’s. We started with the Wallaby’s who were so gentle when they took the food. The Kangaroo’s were a little more aggressive, but still awesome to do.

We also saw Koala Bears – most of them sleeping because that’s what they do 95% of the time. However, we got real lucky with one Koala who was wide awake and eating his Eucalyptus leaves. They are just too cute!!!

But the best of all was watching the Penguin Parade. The smallest penguins in the world (Fairy Penguins) live in Australia. They live in little burroughs in the ground in the hills along the coast. They go out to the ocean every morning to feed and don’t come back until it’s dark and the coast is clear of predators. They come out of the water, shake the water off of themselves, wait for the rest of their little group, then walk up the hill to their burrough. We didn’t have the best of views for them coming out of the ocean, but we were able to follow one group of about 8 penguins all the way up to the top of the hill. They would walk for a bit, then stop to wait for the rest to catch up, then continue walking – adorable!

We spent most of our time in Melbourne – a population of 4.5 million people. For a big city, I could see myself living there – and I am not a big city girl. But everyone is so friendly, and I never felt afraid. They have an amazing transit system of trains, trams and trolleys as well as cabs and buses.

We did some other day trips as well – the Great Ocean Road Tour (beautiful coastal road trip, like the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton), the Mornington Peninsula (like our Grand Bend), and the Yarra Valley (for some wineries).

I loved my vacation, and especially spending it with family. I wasn’t looking forward to the trip back home, but at least this time we left on the Wednesday and arrived back home on the Wednesday – I didn’t lose any days coming back. And while it’s always great to go away, it’s even better to come back home. HOME SWEET HOME!