Friday, January 8, 2016

Heading South (way south) in February

While in college I managed to take 36 credit hours of Economic courses since I enjoyed the subject so much. Once you get past the introductory courses big term papers became the norm. For some reason I wrote about economic conditions in Brazil and Australia almost exclusively. Consequently, I learned a great deal about each country while researching them. ( Before google was available ) That meant spending a lot of time in libraries finding enough to write about, plus taking notes by hand that I had to be able to decipher later. Gerry typed these 50+ papers on a manual typewriter and due to her great typing and editing skills I managed to get As on all the papers.

While we lived in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in the mid 1980s we took a trip to Rio de Janeiro and loved what we saw in Brazil. Our hotel room was a block off Ipanema Beach and we enjoyed the sights there. It was a whirlwind week and we were busy going somewhere everyday and seeing all we could take in. We even went on a sailboat cruise to an island one day and Larry Jr & I dove off the boat and swam to shore. It was at the top of our vacations and made us want to return there one day. 

Well, this particular blog is more about Australia so I will get to it.

During our genealogical research on Gerry's family from Croatia we found out that she had family in Australia. I went on the internet and searched for them and found a cousin in Sydney, Australia. She wrote to him and received a nice reply and they have been corresponding for about 17 yrs. We've been invited to visit with them numerous times and last January his oldest daughter and husband stopped by Tucson while on their vacation for a few days. They were a delightful couple and we enjoyed their company for the short time they were here. Since then, we've been corresponding with them and finally was able to plan a visit to Australia and meet the rest of the family.

We had planned on leaving mid November and leaving the motor home at our son's home in Charlotte, NC but family members going through some health problems made it difficult to leave at that time. The decision was made to come back to Tucson and leave the motor home here, then leave from here. We have our plane tickets, health insurance, necessary papers, etc and will be leaving on February 3 for Sydney and returning March 8. Neither of us are looking forward to the long flight out there since it will be 27 hours in transit. Yuk!

There are a number of places we want to visit and it looks like 5 weeks will be cutting it close but since it is so far away we will need some time to recuperate and then hit the road. We hope to be able to rent a small rv for a week while we are there and browse around the country and beaches. Australia is very large and this trip will be in the vicinity of Sydney due to time constraints. We don't like to be tied down to fixed dates so our touring will depend on how we feel and what the weather is like.  If there is time we would like to visit New Zealand for a couple days since it is so close and the airfares there are reasonable.

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet to take along with us rather than taking a laptop. The past few weeks I've been downloading apps for the trip and finally have it working like I want. We will use it for email, blogging, internet searching, Skyping, etc. I also downloaded a number of movies and tv programs to the tablet so we have some entertainment on the long flights. Of course we had to buy a travel adapter and power converter from 240V to 120V so we can charge the tablet, phone (no calls will be made in Australia). Gerry's hairdryer runs on dual voltages so that is a help as we won't need to run it from the adapter.

Gloria, this is what I was referring to when I said we were heading south for the warm weather.

Our original plans were to stop in Hawaii on either the way out or back and visit there for a week.  We ran into difficulties making connections with our flights and stopping there, so we decided to make that another trip.  The airfare was very expensive with the stopover and many flights required us to return to Los Angeles and then continue the flight to Australia  That didn't make sense to us, so it is a direct flight to Sydney and back to Tucson.

I hope you are as excited to hear about our trip as we are to finally make the long journey "down under".  Sometimes dreams do come true.  Now we have to practice saying "good day mate" even though Vivian says they don't actually say that down there.


  1. You lucky stiffs. Yes, love to follow you on the blog. Sounds soooo great. We haven't even been to Hawaii. Sounds like a great trip and I hope it goes like you want it to.

  2. Our friend Paul spent a couple of months down under and had a fantastic time. Looking forward to taking the journey with you (without having the 27 hour ride).

  3. Great news! My parents really had a great time there too so I am sure you will love it. I struggle sitting still for a 3 hour flight so I'm not sure how I would handle 27 hours (lots of adult beverages)...of course I can drive a car for 12 hours so maybe I would be ok.

  4. Oh you and Paul have something else in common. He taught Economics in our high school for years and years. I HATE that subject!

    Oh, you two will love Australia. It is gorgeous. Our daughter, Kelly, tried out and made the US softball team when she was a senior in High School. We went to Australia and they played the Olympic softball training team. We were there for two weeks. Sydney is so cool! NO, I did not climb up and walk on top of the bridge. No way. Brisbane is really nice also. It is right on the water. Beautiful beaches. You two will have such a good time. Can't wait to read about your adventure.