Crikey!!! It has been a LONG time since I last posted and so much has happened! I will split this blog up and just write about our visit to Australia Zoo a couple of weeks ago, on January 16th.
Brad, Hana, Eoin and I took a day to go to Australia Zoo, about an hour out of Brisbane. It was a GREAT day – very warm – but the zoo was really interesting with lots of hands-on opportunities with the animals which were right up the kids’ alley! Upon entry to the zoo, we were met by a zoo keeper who had a small American alligator we could hold if we wished. Eoin and I took turns holding the little guy, supporting his tummy which felt cool and soft. As we continued, we saw giant tortoises, kimono dragons and LOTS of crocodiles with information on conservation efforts. We took in the sights at a show featuring a number of birds and animals including a massive crocodile called Murray (or as Hana remembered him being called; Marr-eh!). The speed of the crocodile in the water and the power of him completely freaked Brad out! He is planning on staying well-back from any water when we head north later this year!
We had the opportunity to get close to wallabies - Hana and Eoin fed and pet them, koalas – we were able to pet Portia and get up close to many super-cute and zonked-out koalas, and kangaroos who were super-mellow and very, very soft! We were also able to feed the zoo’s three elephants at the public feeding. We lined up and fed the elephants until their buckets were emptied… Eoin must have fed them at least ten times! One of the elephants ate carrots and yams, another ate cantaloupe and the third was given apples and bananas but would put the bananas to the side and eat only the apples – it was funny (and interesting) to see how she navigated this with her trunk!
Eoin pretty much fell in love with every animal/creature he came across and has now decided to add kangaroos to his list of favourite animals. Hana really loved being able to get so close to the koalas.
We returned to Brisbane and were excited to see my Uncle Bren and Auntie Jan as they got back from their holidays. It was nice to have time with them as well as Paul and Cara and Ronan. We spent time with Cara and Ronan at the pool at their place and they hosted supper one evening. Eoin had a guys’ night with Paul – they headed to the arcade then made a pit-stop for ice cream where they saw Wally Lewis, a rugby league superstar and Queenslander whose statue is in front of Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Bren and Jan brought us to some great beaches and we took an afternoon to drive around Brisbane and check out local venues and lookouts. The best part of our time in Brisbane was all the time we had with family. It was so great for us to have Cara and Ronan meet Hana and Eoin and for us to finally meet Ronan. We had some good times with Paul and lots of visits with Bren and Jan which were great for all of us. We were able to met Jan’s mom – who we called Nan – and had a fun afternoon with her! We had a wonderful supper our last night in Brisbane. Everyone was there and we had good visits and laughs and Eoin, Paul and Ronan even had a pass around of the rugby ball after supper.
Leaving Brisbane was sad as it meant we were leaving behind family again but we realize how lucky we are to have some family here and we know we will have more time together this year! The kids loved having another set grandparents during our visit in Brisbane and for our year here!