Well, Australia was amazing. It exceeded my expectations as far as vacations go for sure! Here's a rough overview of what we did:
Saturday- Shopped at Target (yay!) walked around the town, went down to the Esplanade
Sunday- Went to the beach, shopped a bit, ate Mexican food (yummy!)
Monday-Went sea kayaking (saw a sea turtle, stingrays, random fish, barracudas, among others) Snorkeled a bit, licked a citrus ants butt (it tasted like lime!), fell asleep on the beach. Went to the theater and saw My Sisters Keeper and bawled through the whole movie pretty much, haha. :)
Wednesday- Were supposed to go horseback riding/ATV riding through the bush but they forgot to pick us up. So, spur of the moment we decided to go bungee jumping. Jumped twice!! Pretty much the most amazing thing ever! Ate Mexican, again. :)
Thursday- Horseback riding and rode ATVs. Shopped in the Kuranda
Friday- Rented a car (we named her Tawanda!) she was a manual- it was interesting to say the least! Drove up the coast to a different(nicer) beach. Drove up the coast even further to Cape Tribulation and stayed in a hostel there. Saw the most amazing starry night imaginable. It was incredible. If you ever want to see an awesome display of stars, the middle of the rain forest is the place to do it!
Saturday- drove to a private beach - it was beautiful! We were the only people on the beach, which was both peaceful and a bit scary! (There were crocodile warning signs posted all over!) We went on a night walk through the rainforest- saw some really cool trees, a dragon, and some other stuff. Then we went out for the night to the "happening" spot in Cape Trib.
Sunday- Went to the ice cream factory- disappointing! It was not what you would envison an ice cream factory being by any means! We stopped at the WWII bomb site to get our cultural/historical experience in for the trip. Then we hung out on the beach for a while, then drove back down to Cairns.
Monday- Shopped around town
Tuesday- Went snorkeling and scuba diving. We saw a shark, sea turtle, Nemo, and a lot of other really cool looking fish! I went scuba diving and snorkeling twice each- it was amazing!!
Wednesday- Went to the beach and it started to rain. Went to the theater and watched another movie- The Ugly Truth.
Thursday- We rented scooters. It was so much fun! They were both bright yellow. I have decided, should I decide to stay in Japan another year, I am going to buy a scooter! In America, it might be a bit dorky..but here in Japan it's pretty much the norm. We drove our scooters up to the Crystal Cascades. That night we hung out at our hostel and played Trivia with everyone. Our team actually did pretty good!
Friday- We took a train up to the Kuranda. Held a koala, rode on an Army Duck, saw an Aboriginal show, threw a boomerang, watched a guy play the didgeridoo and throw spears, saw kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, cassowaries, dingos and a couple other cool animals. Then we took the skyrail back down- an awesome view!
Saturday- Went to the beach. A festival was beginning in Cairns, so we went to the parade and watched fireworks at night. We also had a mini didgeridoo lesson and got to play them! It's harder than it looks for sure!
Sunday- went to a Baptist church. It was the most awkward church service I have ever been in. There was a guest speaker, and when he went to take an offering at the end, one of the ladies in the back of the church started asking questions and arguing with him! I mean, arguing! Talk about hurting the guys offering! After church we went to the beach to get our last little bit of sun in. We got some Pizza Hut for dinner and packed up all of our stuff.
Monday- Left the hostel, got on a plane, flew to Tokyo, got on a bus, drove through the night, got on the subway, got in a taxi, finally arrived home! Had to work just a couple of hours later.
It was an amazing trip!! That was a very long summary, but..I didn't know how to shorten it. I mean, it is two weeks worth of activities! It was a much needed vacation, but it has been very hard getting back into the swing of things here in Japan. I miss America. I miss English. I miss having a social life outside of work! But, I know that I am here for a reason, and there are 16 beautiful children to remind me of that! These next two weeks are going to be crazy. My kids have to learn two dances for Field Day- dancing is not my expertise! Neither is teaching it, I am sure. But, the kids love it..and I know they will eventually get it. I am looking forward to my friend from college coming in September, and even more so to my mom coming in October! Can't believe it has almost been 7 months since I got here. Time is flying! I miss everyone back home though, that's for sure!!