Sunday, September 14, 2008

Featherdale Zoo

I skipped everything from June 21 to July 12 (when we left to the Gold Coast), but i'm still going to post about the cool things that happened those few weeks.

On Saturday June 21 we woke up late, of course, and didn't make it to the blue mountains so we decided to go to the zoo. We chose to go to the little petting zoo instead of the big zoo (Toronga Zoo) with all the lions and tigers and stuff. We figured we can see all those animals in Utah! So it was about an hour train ride and then we were in the middle of no-where and had to walk and find our way there. Of course we ran right up to the train as it was pulling away. So we decided to camp out at the train station and play some cards for the next 30 minutes while we waited for the next one.

This is a wombat! I was so happy to see one. This picture is for Mindy who wanted me to find a wombat so bad!
These are wallabies, which are really similar to kangaroos. Look how cute the baby wallaby is just chillin insinde the pouch.
This pelican's beak was insanly long! I thought it was so cool.
This is a good story, so you should read it all. I know you're thinking "why did Wendy put this blurry picture on her blog?" Well, I'll tell you why. I had pushed the button on my camera to take a picture of this creepy emu and then it just started running at me like he was going to attack. So I screamed and ran and this picture still took. It's like an action shot! Seriously though, these things are creepy and they just walk around the zoo. I was terrified of them and we all know I'm terrified when things come running at me. So naturally I screamed, which caused Brighton and Jayne to scream as well. Let's just say we caused quite the scene at Featherdale Zoo that day and everyone was laughing at us and one guy was even videoing us. What made us feel even better about ourselves is right after, when we saw some 3 year olds going right up to the dang emu like it was no big deal. Seriously, I was scared for their lives, but appartently the mother or no one else cared! Those brave little souls :)
*Side note- When we eventually made it to the Blue Mountains, Jayne bought an emu sausage that we all ate. Take that emu!
After a lot of time, carefulness, and some more screaming, Jayne took a bold move and got this close to the emu to give it some food. It snatched the cone with food in it right out of her hand!
I liked to stick more to this sweet sleeping koala. It was so cute! They let us pet it and we could have held it if it wasn't sleeping.
Here's what everyone's been wanting to see. Kangaroo's! This zoo was so cool because the kanga's aren't in cages and they just hop around and chill with the people. They're so cute! We got to feed and pet them too.
Me feeding my little kangaroo buddy.
Here's the big croc. He was mean looking and kind of creepy when he moved around. They didn't let us pet and feed this one for some strange reason!
That was our adventure at the zoo and that's the only time we saw all these Australian animals. Sorry to destroy the thought of all of you who thought there were kangaroos and wombats just walking down our street!

Monday, August 18, 2008

For all those who read this, just so you know, I'm not slacking on purpose right now with this blog thing. We ran out of internet (something I can't wait to not deal with when I'm back home!) therefore making it so we can't blog. I practically skipped blogging all of July too, but I am going to still blog about that when I get back home. So keep checking if you want to see more adventures that really happened a month ago! As for now, I can't wait to see you all soon!

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Zealand!

So we had one day to catch up in Sydney, then we were back to the airport again the next morning on our way to New Zealand. Luckily we got to bring a suitcase for this one!
Our hour long bus ride to the airport at like 5 in the morning. Way too many of these early-morning-airport trips.

We flew into Christchurch in New Zealand. This is the famous church right in the center of the town.

We stayed at this same motel 3 different times while in New Zealand and we loved it. It's called 'Hotel SO' and I wish I could put more pictures of it and explain it more because it really was SO cool, and cheap! But that would just get boring so if you want to know more, just ask me.
That night we ate at a chinese restaurant and Jayne got all this sick seafood that she cooked right there herself. I'm sure all you seafood lovers would have thought it was the greatest thing in the world, but it looked nasty to me! Brighton and I stuck to our usual sweet and sour chicken dish.
The next morning we took a 5 hour shuttle ride to Picton (at the top of the south island) where we were supposed to catch a ferry up to Wellington (the north island). This is a pretty view of Picton.
Unfortunately the swells on the ocean were worse than they've been in 50 years so our ferry was cancelled. We had to run find a motel in Picton for that night and book the next ferry tickets available for the next day. This is Kristi from Canada who Brighton befriended after we found out our ferry was cancelled. She stayed with us that night and she's way great!
The next morning we ran around trying to figure out flights and other options to get to the north island because the ferry's were still being cancelled so if ours was again, we wouldn't have been able to get on one for a few days. And we only had a few days so that wouldn't work! Apparently the luck was with us this day because the ferry we were scheduled for was the first one that got to go out. This picture is of us happily waiting to get on the ferry.
The ship we were on was like a cruise ship so you could walk around and they had cafe's and movies playing and all that fun stuff. The swells were still incredibly bad so it was really funny to walk around because everyone really was falling over from how bad the ship was rocking! A ton of people were getting sea sick and they had people walking around with ice and stuff to help. It was crazy! We went outside at the top of the ship to see the adventure, of course. It was so windy, as you can tell from my hair. I really had to hang on to the railing to stay up. It was so fun (and freezing) to play up there. When we were completely frozen we went back in and sat down and the sea sickness hit our dear little Jayne. Her face went white and it was not good. Luckily she was able to fall asleep so nothing too drastic happened.
When we got to Wellington, we rented a car and drove 3 hours to Wanganui, where we stayed with a family that Jayne's family met last time they were in New Zealand. This is Brett and Di.
The next day Di took us all around Wanganui. We went to a market and then to the beach where we saw someone she new who was out riding horses. We all took a turn riding this big guy for a second.
Then we went on a bush walk where we learned all about the New Zealand Kiwi bird. These big green hills full of sheep is what it looks like in so much of New Zealand that we saw.
The next day, Brett took us to the Wanganui museum.
Practicing my teaching skills. Jayne makes a great student! That night we watched the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team play the Wallabies, which is Australia's rugby team, at their house. It was a big game. They explained all the rules to rugby to us that night and I instantly became a fan of the sport!
We had a lot of fun with the family that weekend and were so sad to leave. This picture is the last night we were there, after playing some serious games of mafia! These are the 4 kids, Lochie, Angus, Chloe, and Bridget. They are all seriously so amazing at sports and everything they do and we swear they're going to be famous some day!
We drove back to Wellington and walked around there before catching the ferry back to Picton.
King James in Wellington.
We took the 3 hour ferry ride (after driving 3 hours in our car) then got right on the shuttle for a 5 hour ride back to Christchurch. Let's just say we got to see a lot of New Zealand! We always ended up on the crappy little van shuttles so I tried to focus on the beauty of New Zealand instead of the ride. We stayed in Christchurch that night then got up the next morning and took an 8 hour shuttle ride down to Queenstown. This picture is on the road right by our motel in Queenstown.
Brighton and Jayne decided it would be cool to go jump 440 feet with only a bungy attached to their feet. Crazy, I know. Ask them to see the video and they'll be happy to show you! It's sweet.
On the gondola on the way up to see a pretty view of Queenstown.
Queenstown. That mountain range in the back is called the Remarkables. It's the only other mountain range, along with the Rocky Mountains, that runs north and south. Pretty cool!
On Thursday, we went on this tour bus to Milford Sound. Jayne's face makes me laugh so hard in this picture! And it shows how pretty we look when we're traveling. As you can tell, we were freezing. It took us about 5 hours to get there, but we stopped a lot to look at things and take pictures so it wasn't bad. Not to mention that Bret from Flight of the Conchords was our tour guide! Okay, so it was just a look-a-like and sound-a-like, but that would have been cool if it was really him since we're slightly obsessed.
One of our stops. So pretty!
Snow in July? I know you're all jealous.
Milford Sound!
We took the ferry out to see everything. We were on it for 2 hours and it was 2 hours of pure beauty! We saw a lot of seals, but no dolphins or penguins like the group before us saw.
We took that tour bus back to Queenstown and spent a couple more days there. The whole time we were there, everyone kept telling us we needed to eat at 'Fergburger'. They forgot to mention that we should only get one burger for the 3 of us to share! They were ridiculously huge!
We had another 8 hour long shuttle ride back to Christchurch for our last night in New Zealand. It's a good thing this was our last shuttle ride because it was definitely the worst! I don't know if you could have got us on another one after this. Unfortunately we didn't snap a picture. It was insane at how crammed in there everyone was though. This is a picture of our last meal together (we really felt how we look, they gave us so much food!) because Brighton and I were flying back to Sydney early the next morning and Jayne was going up to Auckland and then back home to Utah. Sad!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Friday night (July 18th) we headed straight from the Gold Coast down to Melbourne. We didn't even fly in until after midnight so by the time we got to the hotel we were really tired. Laura flew in the next morning. She's a girl we met here in Sydney in our ward. She graduated from BYU and is here working for a year and really wanted to see Wicked so she came along with us.
The whole reason we went to Melbourne is to see the musical 'Wicked'. Jayne had just seen it in LA on her way out to Australia and Brighton and I have seen it in New York, but all 3 of us are slightly obsessed with it so of course we had to go! It's a new thing here in Australia, but I think it was just as good as the one I saw in New York. It was AMAZING!!

These smiles are fake in this picture because we were really all so depressed that it was over!
This is at a pancake restaurant that we ate at. We had way too much fun with the cool mirror on the way out. I think Laura was a little overwhelmed by us at this point? But who wouldn't be. We all knew it would happen despite our efforts.
Chillin in the hotel with our candy necklaces.
We walked around the Betanical Gardens, which was very beautiful of course.
If you know me, you know I sure do love spaghetti (as you can tell from me looking overly excited in this picture). It wasn't quite as good as my mom's, but still yummy.
Another picture of Jayne doing crazy random things. Brighton just loves when she does stuff like this to her. :) We were at the beach in this picture and it was freezing! Still really pretty though.
We love going to the top of the tallest buildings in every city. This is on top of the Eureka at night looking over Melbourne. We couldn't get a very good picture, but it's still so pretty.
The last day we were there we decided to go to a movie because it was too freezing to be outside. We paid the normal $13 that you have to pay to go to a movie anywhere in Australia. Such a rip off. We walked in and this is what it looked like. It was worse then the dollar theaters in Utah! We were so ticked! Luckily we had the whole theater to ourselves, which made it a little exciting. The chairs in my classrooms at school are more comfortable than these ones!
We flew back into Sydney early in the morning and this was the site from my window. It's such a pretty view of the Harbour Bridge and you can even see the Opera House right behind it.
We had that day (July 22) to do laundry and catch up on some sleep because we were leaving for New Zealand super early the next morning. That night our great friend Jess, who takes such good care of us, took us to Gavindas. It's a place in Sydney where you go eat a buffet with lots of yummy Indian food and then you go watch the movie that they have playing. This theater is a little different then the one we were at the night before in Melbourne. You actually have you own bed type thing to lie on while you watch the movie. I was really proud of myself for staying awake through the whole thing. I usually can't even stay awake standing through a movie! It was really fun and we just love hanging out with Jess!