Saturday, January 24, 2009

Final Post from Oz

Our time here in Australia is ending soon.  We both finished work on January 15th and have stayed busy seeing the surrounding sights.  We fly to Melbourne next week to drive the Great Ocean Road and will come back to Sydney for 3 days before flying out on February 2nd.  The next 9 days are planned down to the minute!  As our internet is cut off tomorrow, we thought we would make one final post and answer a few frequently asked questions.


When do you arrive back in the States?  Monday, February 2nd
How long is the trip?  Total travel time is 40 hours
Where are you flying to?  Denver where Damon's parents will pick us up and take us back to Casper, WY
Where will you go after that?  After 10 days in WY, we will travel to Tulsa via Lincoln, NE.  
Where will you go after that?  We will be in Tulsa 3 days and then will fly to CA to visit Amy's Grandma and the Huddleston's too.
Where will you go after that?  Wow, you're persistent aren't you.  Back to Tulsa to live with Amy's parents until we find jobs or they kick us out.  There is also a trip in there sometime to Texas to see Amy's other Grandma and for Amy to be the Matron of Honor in her wedding.  
Where are you looking for jobs?  Damon has applied for jobs all over the US.  Considering the current economic condition, we don't feel like we can be too picky.   
What does Damon want to do?  He wants to work with refugees resettling to the States.
Has he applied for any jobs?  Yes, 11 so far.
What will Amy do in the meantime?  She will probably work a temp job in Tulsa or eat bon bons.  
When are you coming to OKC?  We will try to come the last weekend in February.
Are you sad to leave Sydney?  Yes, we are.  Of course, we have mixed emotions.  We had a rough start but have grown to love Sydney.  This is a beautiful city and country and we feel blessed to have had the opportunity to live here.  
Are you excited to see your friends and family?  Of course!
How can we help?  Please pray that God provides us with jobs the we love in a timely fashion.  You can also let us sleep on your couch :)  

I think that about covers it for now.  We are looking forward to seeing each and every one of you.  Until then......

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Blue Mountains and Bush Walking

I am behind on blogging but here is a quick update of what we have been doing.  A couple of weeks ago my friend and coworker, Antonia, took us to the Blue Mountains.  

Three Sisters

Here we are getting ready to ride the world's steepest railway.  It was at a 52 degree angle.
Antonio and I in with the Three Sisters in the background.  
We also recently went on a 10 kilometer bush walk in he Royal National Park with our friends Danie and Marcelle, friends from church who have recently moved here from South Africa.  

Just starting out on the walk.  
Marcelle and I
After walking through the bush an extra 45 minutes we were rewarded with this view when we rounded the corner--it was worth the wait.  
Our picnic lunch.
Damon and I on Marley Beach.  
We had such a great time.  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

We decided to spend New Years Eve at Mrs. Macquarie's Point in Sydney Harbour.  So did 19, 998 other people.  I decided to arrive at noon for the midnight show thinking that there would be no problem for me to get in.  
This is the queue that I stood in for 5 hours:
Damon was very dedicated(thank goodness) and arrived at 6:30 AM!  and after waiting in line 4 hours for them to open the gates he secured us a spot with this view:
When we were finally reunited at 5pm I had come armed with the esky/igloo and we settled into our comfy lawn chairs for the next 7 hours:
All of the lines and the long wait were worth it though for this view:

When the 12 minute show was over Damon asked me if I thought it was worth it.  Well, 17.5 hours of waiting for Damon and 12 hours of waiting for me- hmmmmm...yes, it was an incredible experience and I am SO glad that we were there but once is enough.  So, I think next year I will sit on my couch, in an unknown location at this time, and just look at the pics from last year and call it good.  Hope you had a wonderful evening as well!

Monday, December 22, 2008

All The Best For Christmas

Have you ever wondered what a funeral home company gives its employees for Christmas?  A 12 pound leg of ham!!!  
All my company gave me was this lousy hat!
So, in lieu of our annual Christmas card - which we have never sent out- print these pictures, put them on your fridge and know we are thinking of you this season.  All the best for Christmas!!!  Love, The Brittons

Friday, December 19, 2008

Are you Irish?

Many of you know that I have a talent--some don't think it is a talent-for impersonating the accents of other countrymen.  I thought that after a year of living in Australia I would have been able to perfect my Aussie accent, which really sounds more Indian and sometimes British on a good day.  Well, Damon and I just got back from the grocery store and I stepped up to the deli counter and had this conversation with the women next to me:

Me:  Can I have one slice of Watsonian cheddar? (Yes, I seriously ordered one slice of cheese)
The woman beside me:  Are you Irish?
Me:  Excuse me?
The woman beside me:  Are you Irish?  You sounded Irish when you just asked for the cheese.
Me:, just plain American but I wish I was Irish.
In my head I was thinking:  Sweet, I have now added an Irish accent to my repertoire.  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Final Family Visit Post-I promise

The last four days we toured the sights in and around Sydney.  We had incredible weather and took advantage of it with a coastal walk from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach.

My brother found this perfect La-Z-Boy spot carved out of the rock.  

Another family photo.
We took a trip to Featherdale Wildlife Park and found this very chilled out koala there.  
We didn't seem to disturb this koala at all.  It just slept right through the photo shoot.  
This was as close as I got to the kangaroos that day and I stayed this close long enough for the photo.  Most of you know I am not a huge animal fan and minutes before a kangaroo had leapt into the air and kicked a sweet Chinese woman in the shoulder.  These are cute animals but not when their feet are flying towards your face.  
This one seemed more interested in his cone than us.  
My dad and brother climbed all 1400 steps of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
They had an incredible view from the top.  
In the meantime, Mom, Damon and I took a ferry to my favorite bay, Mosman Bay.  
While we were on the other side of the harbour we took a few more pics from this new vantage point.  

We also spent a lot of time down at Circular Quay where Dad made a new friend.  
We took a stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens.  
We stayed at the Quay from morning.....
until night
but we had a wonderful time!
Thanks for coming to visit us guys!  10 days and 2500 pictures later we feel like we experienced more of this great country and were blessed to have shared the memories with you.  

Monday, December 8, 2008

Family Visit-Part 4 - Salties and Freshies

Having completely struck out on our first croc adventure, (if you are in the Daintree Rainforest don't go on the river cruise, its a crock) we happened on Hartley's Crocodile Farm.  And we arrived at feeding time!!!  Here is a Freshwater Crocodile or Freshy as they are called.  He is an intimidating little fellow, if you call a 5 foot crocodile little.  They typically live in freshwater rivers or lakes so have a second thought before taking that refreshing dip in the cool mountain river.

Apparently, there haven't been any reported human fatalities from the Freshy.  However, Zoo Guy did say they have been known to chomp a limb or two off.  To prove his point Zoo Guy climbed in the cage with the little devils.  There were about twenty crocs in the enclosure with him but none of them made a move for him.  I wonder though, if all twenty crocs took just one limb how long would it take you to run out of limbs?
And then the real action happened!!!  Here are the Saltwater Crocs or Salties.  These monsters alone are worth the price of admission.  Notice Zoo Guy safely behind the steel fence.  When he threw the fish out the croc was about five feet away but when the croc caught it it was about a foot from Zoo Guy's hand.  The croc lunged four feet in the same amount of time the fish flew one.  I'm sure you math guys out there could figure the speed at which the croc was moving but let me save you some time and just say its fast!!!  Obviously, these guys live in saltwater so if you want to swim in the ocean or rivers near the ocean you better be fast or at least faster than someone in your group.
Did I mention they can jump?  It's really just better not to be in, under, near, around, over or next to water in Queensland.
As we were about to leave we thought about having a closer look.  Somehow I angered this croc and she had a go at me.  She already jumped up hit the fence, landed on the ground and is ready to have another go when this picture was taken.  You can tell that I am just about to jump back and Amy's expression is just about to change.  Now that's fast.  She hit the fence so hard she bloodied her snout so we figured it was time to move on, for her sake, and I had to change my pants.
If you are ever in the area don't miss Hartley's at feeding time.  Thanks Bill and Charlotte for the great day.