Greetings From Australia
It started off with a thought – what do we give the kids for Christmas?
It seems every year, we search for that perfect something. You see, both of my children are no longer children. Sara completed her bachelor’s degree in December 2019 and Megan is halfway through her junior year of college. Gifts outside of the always desired money are harder to come up with. So, in late 2018, we decided to take the girls to Australia for the following Christmas (2019).
We researched and realized it would be impossible to see everything, so we chose to use Melbourne, Australia as a base while seeing as much as possible. After traveling for almost 30 hours (coast to coast and then across the sea), we were ready to take a long walk. In our first walk, we found a furry, little creature, and a not so furry creature.
The next day, we were off to visit the sport stadiums, including Olympic Park. We even watched the National Cricket team practice. I now know more than I ever wanted to about Cricket.
Christmas Day brought the adventure of a three-hour walking tour of the city. Interesting fact, Melbourne City allows, and even encourages, street art in the alleyways. The street art amazes again and again. And, there’s more – an entire alley dedicated to the music legend, AC/DC.
Boxing day brought the fun of winery tasting and tours. Not only did we try some good wine, but our guide also introduced us to the sausage and bread fundraiser. The national hardware stores (similar to Home Depot) allows locale groups to sell sausage and bread for $1AUD, they even provide the supplies.
The sausage and bread treat is similar to a hot dog but much tastier! All funds go to support the nonprofit, which includes groups like local youth sports teams. One last note learned on our wine tour is kangaroos love the golf course! Yes, you read that correctly. If you want to see a kangaroo, go to the golf course. Don’t let that fun fact fool you, these creatures grow to be over 6ft tall!
The next day, we took to the open road for a crawl down the “Great Ocean Road.” It was interesting being on the left side, but since the traffic was bumper to bumper, there was no great threat. We could enjoy the amazing views, along with some more up close looks at the natural wildlife.
Our farthest point of travel brought us to “12 Apostles.” A majestic sight that cannot be described, neither can the abundance of flies.
Another day of adventures brought us to the pier of penguins. It seems the parent penguins hide their babies in the rocks, leaving for the day to look for food. The parents return at sunset each evening to see to their chicks. Nothing stops them, not the boats at the harbor, nor the people standing hip-to-hip on their rocks.
When we decided to go to Australia for Christmas, we chose to stay in Sydney Harbor for New Years. I can tell you, it was a New Year celebration I won’t be likely to forget. From the beautiful views of the Opera House, the boats in the harbor and the spectacular fireworks – it was an amazing show.
I have been extremely fortunate to work for a group of people that allow me to utilize all of my time, be that at my desk, in an airport, or on another side of the world.
Having the support of NFP Partners allowed me to travel while continuing to complete my work. It’s the best of both worlds; well as long as the internet is working. Thanks to all of the NFP Partners staff and their support allowing my family to take an extraordinary trip of a lifetime.