Tag Archives: travel



It finally feels like summer to me!

In my world, summer starts Memorial Day weekend and ends on Labor Day. However, I have plenty of friends who work in the school system who would make their summer bookends the last day and first day of school!

We took our annual trip to Michigan over the week of Memorial Day, a little over a month earlier than usual. So my summer definitely feels like it is in full swing. However, I didn’t take any photos this trip… Instead you get a bullet recap of our trip:

  • Lots of Euchre and Hearts.
  • A trip for that fantastic salad at Mr. M’s.
  • Several games of Chase the Bobber for Sham.
  • Ice cream from the Corner House.
  • Annual fill of Kogels – celebrating 100 years!
  • Nachos and flautas from the BT. {I did try to get some better photos of the menu than the ones posted! Haven’t compared them yet…}
  • Friday night auction! We purchased some scotch decanters, some books on birds, some Hobo Pie Makers and… I am forgetting something.
  • Heading back to The Camp.
  • Realizing we really don’t like The Riverwalk {and the really unprofessional manager!}
  • A quick visit to St. Helen, about 40 minutes north of Rob’s parents’ place to visit some friends at their new cabin in the woods.
  • Annual Cherry Wheat!
  • Finishing another Quebecois book – one of my faves!
  • A new-found love for Grapefruit Shandy.
  • A few new to us Michigan brews.
  • Visiting a new Michigan brewery – stay tuned!
  • But most importantly – time spent with family. 

We had the most beautiful weather on the lake… Since Rob’s parents no longer own a pontoon, we were lucky that their neighbors offered us a ride on their boat on our last day. I felt absolutely spoiled and relaxed…

What signifies the beginning of summer for you?

Happy Summer!

A Little Taste of Sonoma in One Day…


Happy Wine Wednesday!


A trip to California is never complete without visiting Wine Country!


Yes, we dedicated one day to do just that. Besides, Shondra, Jenny and I all met in the wine business just a few months after I met Rob!

I’ve been really spoiled on my last few trips to California Wine County…

2005 – Sonoma County, California

  • I earned an all expense paid trip (for 1) to Sonoma by doing in-home wine tastings with The Traveling Vineyard.
  • Everything was planned. All food, wine and transportation was included. I didn’t have to think.
  • I knew that the wines would be great because we’d be visiting the wineries that supplied our wines!
  • Highlights of the trip:
    • After all of the times I’d been to Europe, this was my first time in California – and I fell in love.
    • I learned to love Pinot Noir, thanks to Guy Davis of Davis Family Vineyards. Many others bottling this varietal are doin’ it wrong!
Guy Davis - the king of Pinot Noir (imho)

Guy Davis – the king of Pinot Noir (imho)


2009 – Napa County, California

  • I earned an all expense paid trip (for 2) to Napa by doing in-home wine tastings with The Traveling Vineyard.
  • Everything was planned. All food, wine and transportation was included. I didn’t have to think.
  • I knew the wines would be great because we’d be visiting the wineries that supplied our wines!
  • Highlights of the trip:
    • I was able to take Rob on a trip that was completely free and he didn’t have to spend a penny. {I only earned a portion of his trip to Tuscany the year before. We had to pay the balance. He proposed there anyway!}
    • Rob negotiating the corkage fee at an outdoor burger joint for our entire group.



2013 – Temecula, California

  • This was time we added on after going to a friend’s wedding in L.A.
  • We were so lucky that another fellow Wineaux friend had been to Temecula before and guided us on what to do – where to stay, what her favorite wineries were, etc.
  • The area is much smaller than Napa or Sonoma. After a little dinner and drinks on our first night, we got some great recommendations!
  • Rob drove and let me do the majority of the tasting!
  • Highlights of the trip:


2015 – Sonoma County

This trip was so much different from all of my others! There were four of us this time around. Plus we decided to wing our own wine tasting experience!

First Tasting

Matanza Creek Winery {photo courtesy of Jenny}

What to consider when booking a one-day Sonoma wine tasting outing:


  • Have a designated driver.
    • This is probably the cheapest option.
    • But if you are in wine country with Wineaux friends, no one wants to volunteer! {Though, if you are there for multiple days, you can take turns. Trust me, you might get wined out!}
  • Book a Tour
    • Tours will include transportation and stops at around 5 or so wineries
      • These generally run $100 – $120 pp, sometimes include lunch and do not include tasting fees.
      • Pros: You don’t have to decide where to go, someone is driving you.
      • Cons: You don’t have a choice in where you go.
  • Book a Custom Tour or Limo
    • Generally much more expensive, but you get to customize your tour.


Winery Selection

  • Did you know that there are over 400 wineries in Sonoma County alone compared to the approximately 40 in Temecula?! Choosing can be an absolute nightmare, especially if you just have one day to taste.
  • If you are building your own winery itinerary, you are going to have to consider proximity. If you’ve got just one day, you’ll want your winery visits to be fairly close together. You don’t want to spend all day driving/riding.
  • Consider types of wines. Luckily, those in our group had very similar tastes! However, you’ll want to change things up and try something new, too.
  • Consider and plan for tasting fees.
    • Expect to spend approximately $15 per tasting per winery.
    • A couple or two friends can share a tasting.
    • Some tasting rooms will charge more, some will charge less.
    • Some will offer a Reserve Tasting for a higher price.
    • Others will waive your tasting fee with a wine purchase.

B Wise Vineyards Tasting Room {photo courtesy of Jenny}

Jenny’s and my favorite vineyard we visited was VJB!

Their tasting fee was only $10.


We loved that we got to try a Prosecco. Jenny and I love the bubbly!


We enjoyed all of the wines there! Our bartender was just lovely and gave us a few extra tastes of other wines, including the Chardonnay Port that had us intrigued. She also gave us a couple of two-for-one tastings to Kenwood Vineyards.


If you have some forethought, you can find package deals or free tasting coupons online, too. However, Shondra was able to score us some deals that she found online that day!

Because of Shondra’s finds, we enjoyed completely free tastings of what felt like 15 wines at this Zinfandel-specialty vineyard. We were the only ones in there on this beautiful Monday. So we got special attention, too. 😉

Rob and I were about to join the Wine Club at St. Anne’s Crossing, since it was so highly Zinfandel focused. But our fun wine guide could not give us the cost of wine club membership that would include shipping. I found that odd. But we loved that place and would recommend their wines.

What we learned this trip, was that despite the fact that we thought we all had similar tastes, when wines were compared side-by-side, we all had different favorites. Wine, and your palate, can surprise you sometimes.

I was surprised I wasn’t a huge fan of the wines at Loxton, a winery focused on Syrah/Shiraz, owned by an Aussie!


But I did love the garage-style tasting room!


In fact, on the way back to the bathroom, I found this:


I sent this photo to our friends Sally and Ryan with whom we are making wine. Sally ties a nice little ribbon around the neck of our carboys to label them. I found this duct tape method effective, but not quite as classy as Sally’s! 🙂


We hit seven wineries that day. That’s a lot! We didn’t stop to eat lunch, but we munched on some cheese, crackers and salami in the car between winery stops. It was a long day of tasting. We were ready for dinner.

We dined at HopMonk Tavern just down the road from our hotel in Sebastopol. 

The food was good, but the real star of the show was recommended by our busboy:

CHICKEN PHILLY ON NAAN All natural grilled chicken breast, red onions, fire roasted red peppers, topped with 3 cheese blend and spicy aioli on traditional naan bread

Chicken Philly on Naan – All natural grilled chicken breast, red onions, fire roasted red peppers, topped with 3 cheese blend and spicy aioli on traditional naan bread

Jenny let me take a bite of this delectable sandwich of hers and all I could say was, “Naam! Naam! Naam!”


Next time I’m in California, I might consider doing only a few higher-end tastings. I might focus on a place that does cheese and wine pairings. I might go to a winery with a beautiful landscape and just sit outside and enjoy a glass. Next time, I might consider quality over quantity. I’ve done the multiple winery thing in California now. It was a ton of fun; but I think I’ve got it down. 😉

In fact, a future trip Rob and I’d like to take is to Portugal where they have tapas and port tastings while overlooking the beautiful landscape. Has anyone done that before? The drummer of this band recommended it to us when she waited on our table at King’s Wine Bar in Minneapolis. We’ve wanted to go ever since.


No matter what, there’s nothing like a good zin and some friends.

“Over a bottle of wine, many a friend is made.”

Other posts on our 2015 California Trip:
Day 1 – Sunny Cali
Day 2 – Along the PCH to Santa Cruz
Day 3 – The Football {San Fran portion}

How do you choose which wineries to visit in wine country?




Sunny Cali


We didn’t go out to California just to watch the Packers beat the 49ers

We were there visiting a friend who recently moved back.

If there is any advice I can give about deciding where to travel…

it’s to take friends and family up on the offer to come visit them.

Here’s why:

  1. You get to spend time with them!
  2. They most likely will know the area better than any guidebook; so you’ll do cooler things you wouldn’t have otherwise.
  3. You will probably save some money if they let you crash with them.

Our flight left at about 7:30am on a Friday morning.

Is it just me, MSPers; or is the security line at the airport slower than ever? We arrived at the gate and immediately boarded the plane. No coffee for me – specifically, no Americano. 😦

Instead, our friend Jenny {who set this whole trip in motion!} bought us a little breakfast booze.


They had Screwdrivers while I opted to add a little Bailey’s to my in-flight coffee. And who can resist Delta’s Biscoff Cookies?!


We landed around 9am San Fran-time and were greeted by Shondra with ice-cold liter-sized bottles of water.

{Note to self: Do this for anyone visiting you. It is the nicest gesture because everyone gets dehyrdrated when flying!}

Shondra drove us along the PCH {Pacific Coast Highway} making our way toward her place in Moss Beach. We stopped a bit a long the way…
IMG_4331…like to see what she calls “the Best Taco Bell ever”.


Imagining why? Well, this view:


Rob and I instantly noticed that many dogs were off-leash on the beach here, enjoying it along with everyone else, including the surfers!

We stopped for a little breakfast at the Montara Cafe and Bakery located in, you guessed it, Montara.


We had no idea what a treat we were in for!IMG_4336

Now was the chance to get great coffee!


…and a very cool menu. Jenny, Rob and I all opted for different Kalua Pork dishes. I haven’t had that since we’d been in Hawaii! We dined outside basking in the California sun; but I forgot to take any food photos until my last bite. DOH!


In the afternoon, we walked along Miramar Beach in Half Moon Bay.


I decided to call it Glitter Beach instead. I love the shimmering sand!


But the most incredible thing about this beach was the whale-watching, which is a total anomaly this time of year! I was looking up tours before we left and found that the season is generally December through March. Well, here we were in October and we didn’t need to spend top dollar to take a tour because we could see them from shore!


It was too difficult to catch photos of them and enjoy the views to the fullest, so you won’t see any here. But here is a link to an article that was written the day before we arrived.

We weren’t the only ones gathered ’round to see these whales:


We had a snack at the Miramar Beach Restaurant where dogs were as welcome as they are on the beach. The only caveat: “No pets on the furniture.” OMG – I love this place.

Me to Rob: “Can we retire here?”

He just smiled.

Those seated near the beachfront with the ocean view could see the whales, too!

We walked back to our vehicle along a little trail and were perplexed by this sign:


I hit it up on Facebook and the best explanation was by our friend Lisa: “…horse country. Cyclists yield to hikers. Both cyclists & hikers yield to horses.” I guess it’s just respectful to do so because horses were here first? So, more of a historical tradition than a practical one.

Then it was off to a brewery that Shondra said she knew we’d love. 


I like the digs…

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And good to know that walkens are welcome. Ha!


The taproom was nice and we loved the beer selection.


I think my fave of the bunch was the Lean Mean Vanilla Bean Porter. This brewery did NOT disappoint.


After checking in Chez Shondra and saying hello to Cali cat {for calico, not California. Ha!}, we went for an early dinner at Shondra’s favorite little local spot – Moss Beach Distillery.


And of course, this place was also…

I enjoyed watching a Griffon dog anxiously wait for his daddy to get back from getting drinks while he sat with his momma. He was so sweet!

Moss Beach Distillery is not actually a distillery, but I didn’t get that far into reading why…


Shondra knew exactly when we should get there to snag a seat near the fire, overlooking the ocean to watch the sun set!


And we scored that spot…


…as well as a bottle of half-priced wine during happy hour. Oh how we are big, bold Zinfandel lovers!


While the weather was mild, the sun was still hot and starting to burn my forehead, so Rob gave me his hat for a bit. We had to take a Wineaux friend photo!


Shondra and I dined on scrumptious Happy Hour food while Jenny and Rob went with burgers.


As the sun slowly set over the ocean, a fire was lit…

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And we ended our night polishing off three bottles…


Not bad for old Wineaux friends, hey?! It was a perfect first day in California. That’s only the beginning… 🙂

Where was your last vacation visiting friends?



Look What I Found!


While packing for our trip to New Orleans, I was searching another piece of our luggage for something.

In it, I found this:


This was the piece of Aboriginal art that we bought in Melbourne and that I thought we lost! It was rolled up and wrapped in black tissue paper. I stuffed it into Rob’s luggage, which has a black interior. So we totally missed it when unpacking.

All is not lost! I still highly recommend packing anything of value to you from your trip in your carry-on if at all possible, even if it didn’t cost very much.

Now, to decide where we want to hang it…

Have you ever lost something that you were delighted to find much later after you had made peace with the fact that it was gone?

Posts about our trip to Australia:


Verbs – What Am I doing?


What’s life been like for me lately?

Reading: There is too much on my reading list. I haven’t made reading as much as a habit as I want to. That’s why I’m still reading In a Sunburned Country. It’s actually a great (and hilarious) book! But this post gave me some tips on how to make it more of a habit… and a treatI am also reading on my phone, The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking.

Wearing: Boots. I don’t know how I’ve gone without warm, comfy, fashionable boots for so long when I’ve lived in this climate all of my life. I had to hold myself back not to use a 20% off entire order discount that expires today at Aerosoles.

Feeling: Quite sad that my Pack had an ugly second half at yesterday’s NFC Championship in Seattle. They will not be SuperBowl bound.


Watching: A few shows in our DVR that include Downton Abbey and Top Chef. Though with football season ultimately over, there may be more movies on the horizon. The new season of House of Cards is out next month. My husband *might* finally be ready to get rid of (or downgrade) cable. Any tips to ween him? 😉

Listening: The Current. Who knew that Minnesota Public Radio could offer one of the Twin Cities’ best radio stations? I always find unique stuff here. The also offer a free track every weekday! I’ve been meaning to sign up for that…

Eating: I did a ten-day detox/cleanse/re-set of my own recently. While I don’t normally agree with eliminating foods from the diet (sometimes for physical, other times for psychological reasons), I felt a need to re-set my body and avoid some foods that I’d been overindulging as of late. This included sugar (including artificial ones), cheese, alcohol and refined carbohydrates. It was both challenging at times and easy at others, if that makes any kind of sense. Maybe I’ll go into depth on that one later. It was eye-opening and made me aware of some of my habits.

Planning: Our winter trip. This year we’ll be visiting a friend in New Orleans. I haven’t been there since 2002-2003 (New Year’s Eve), which was pre-Katrina. Any suggestions on favorite spots or activities are highly recommended!

Reflecting: On 2014. That was the year that I learned how to be happy. And it definitely is deserving of an upcoming post.

What are you doing?!


There’s More to Travel Than What You See


After I return from a trip, I kind of laugh at what things I decide to photograph and what moments I do not. I look back at my pictures only to find that some fond memories haven’t been captured on film.

Like our visit to the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, for example, which is probably the biggest market I’ve ever been to in my life. I’ve read that it is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere.

I could have roamed around the stalls of organic produce, fresh meats, honeys and cheeses for days! A photograph could never have captured the smells and sounds of the busy market filled with such shoppers from diverse backgrounds. If I lived here, this is where I would pick up my groceries.

But the foodstuffs only represent part of the market. There are also eateries and shops with crafts. You’ll find clothing and touristy souvenirs, as well. We stopped in one shop filled with Aboriginal Art {which I love!} and spent time talking with the owner. We bought an inexpensive piece of artwork that I regret we packed in our luggage {what was I thinking!?} because it didn’t make it home with us.

We wandered for a few hours through that market and still didn’t cover the entire thing. It was a perfect day for a walk and for browsing.


We also had to be sure to walk the St. Kilda pier since we were staying so close to that beach. We read that Little Penguins may show up here at night and that there are volunteers who point them out. We walked along the pier one sunny afternoon. This is one place were we did get photos:

But we photographed nothing of the comings and goings of all of the people along the shore. It was a beautiful day, so the beach was hopping.


Still one of the most moving things we did in Melbourne was completely free:

Visiting the Shrine of Remembrance.



The Shrine of Remembrance was originally built for the Australian soldiers of World War I.



It was a place for where grievers could visit to honor their loved ones who perished in combat and whose bodies were not returned home.

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It’s appropriately located on a hill. It just feels right to be walking up to building like this.

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We walked the steps up to the entrance.

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Then we looked out from the top of the steps toward the city of Melbourne.

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I have no photos of the interior. I’m not sure if photography was allowed; but it just didn’t feel appropriate when we went inside. Instead, a guide immediately stopped us because a short ceremony was taking place in the Sanctuary.

When it was finished, he proceeded to give us a free tour of the Sanctuary, explaining the history and what everything symbolized or represented on the walls. I found it all absolutely fascinating.

There is a Stone of Remembrance in the center that is sunk lower than the floor so that all who visit must naturally bow their heads in respect. It was designed so that light shines through at 11am every Remembrance Day.

As Americans, we learn a bit about our own military history; but we don’t often learn about the military histories of other nations.

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You see, Australia was a rather new nation when they participated in WWI. Australians were searching for their own identity, as a people. We were explained that equality was a huge part of this identity. For this reason, you can find books throughout the Shrine of all 89,000+ Victorians who served in the war, listed alphabetical, without rank.


Some things you can photograph while on vacation. Others you experience by smelling, hearing and tasting. Some things you learn about and expand your knowledge of the world. But some things you can just feel.

What have you found moving in your travels?

Other posts on our trip to Australia:


Along the Great Ocean Road


If you are ever in the Melbourne area of Australia,

a trip along The Great Ocean Road cannot be missed.


There are several ways that you can explore The Great Ocean Road. There are one-day {quick!} tours, three-day {more relaxed, covering more ground} tours or you can do it yourself. Because we were not renting a car on our own, hadn’t stopped to research what to see and why and only had two weeks in Australia, we opted for a one-day tour (approximately 13 hours including pick-ups and drop-offs).

There are so many tours to choose from and they all run around the same price. So I went to my trusty TripAdvisor for some, well, Trip Advice.

The most highly rated tour was by Outback Billy. What seemed to set him apart was not only his personality, but also the fact that he is a zoologist. He could point out everything along the way. {Did you know that 80% of all of the plant and wildlife in Australia can’t be found in any other country?!} But alas, after emailing him, we learned that he was not available the dates we’d be in Melbourne. {For the record, and your own planning purposes, I emailed him on July 22nd and the our trip was in the beginning of September.}

However, he did recommend that I try Escape Discovery Tours. And I did book with them that same day. They were a little bit more expensive than the other tours; but what I liked about Escape Discovery is that they only do small groups – allowing only up to ten people. They also stopped for a nice dinner (included). All of the other tours I read about made a quick McDonald’s stop on the way back (not included) – NOT what I’m in Australia for!

On August 7th, I checked the status of my confirmation {a minimum of six passengers is required for the tour to take place} and saw that my booking had been canceled. I emailed to inquire about this and was told that they were switching systems and it should have be fixed by the end of the day, that they did indeed have my reservation. We never heard anything again. I did know that most tour bookings are booked at the last minute. So, while in Melbourne, the day before our tour was to take place, I wanted to confirm the reservation was still a go. I opened up my email to find an apology email from Escape Discovery. There was a mechanical issue with the vehicle and they would have to cancel. They recommended another tour company.

That is how we ended up with Go West! We called immediately and luckily, they had just two seats left. The benefits of this company: a small group size {not as small as ten, but not as big as a large coach!} and free Wi-Fi on the bus! At the time of our tour, no other Great Ocean Road tour company offered this. Here is what we could expect:


Like most of the other companies, Go West picked us up at our hotel. I can’t imagine getting back after such a long day and then having to try to find public transportation back to our home base. I was grateful for the pick-up and drop-off!

This is the “Awesome Bus” that carried us along The Great Ocean Road. Well, that is what our knowledgeable guide, Travis, called it. So who could argue if it wasnt?!


We had another beautiful day in Victoria! We had been told many times how lucky we were because the weather around Melbourne can be cold and windy or even hot and windy and unpredictable! But because of the mild weather, there were no surfers to watch (very little wind at Bells Beach). Nor did we see any fur seals nor whales which can sometimes come into view. But despite all of that, the views were beautiful!



WARNING: I took a ton of pictures of Rob on this tour. So be prepared. This is going to be fun! Haha!

 He, on the other hand took photos of Asian tourists taking pictures of other Asian tourists. I will NOT be posting those!

Travis let us know when it would be a while until our next restroom toilet stop. No, Rob did not pop into these trees to relieve himself!


But… he must have forgotten that Australia Has More Things That Can Kill You Than Anywhere Else. His curiosity got the best of him. He did come out alive!

Misc 2

We both did opt to use the actual rest stop next to where the Awesome Bus was parked.


Look at this perched house along our route. I bet there are some pretty great views from there!


Yes, as shown below, Rob does like long walks on the beach. Or, short ones. Hands off, ladies! He’s mine! 😉 {Notice how he is the only one wearing shorts?! He didn’t bring any pants for the entire trip. That would have made a cold night watching the penguins if they  wouldn’t have given us gear to wear!}


And this might be one of my favorite photos from Australia. It just happened to be parked at one of our stops.


There was a lot of hopping on and off the bus, which was good because sitting on a bus all day would have been miserable. Travis had a fun soundtrack playing in our Awesome Bus that went along with our tour. Like playing Please Don’t Call Me a Koala Bear when we were off to see some koalas and then when we got…. On the Road Again…


We stopped for some morning tea and cake. Rob and I walked along the rocky shore. We found the shapes on the rocks quite interesting:

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On one of ours stops, another American on our tour said, “I can’t believe the color of this water. It’s not what I expected. It reminds me of the Caribbean!”

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We stopped for lunch in Apollo Bay. A menu was passed around before arrival so that Travis could call our orders in to be ready when we arrived. I wasn’t sure what to order but decided to go with the Pad Thai. I hadn’t yet had any Asian food in Australia. And I saw that Travis had written his name next to it, so it had to be good, right?

Nope. Probably the worst Pad Thai I’ve ever had. Rob didn’t really like his sandwich either. The bread was okay, but he found the beef in it to be pretty gross. Oh well, can’t win ’em all. I bet it’s difficult to service all the crowds that stop through on the Great Ocean Road tours. But we did see this cute little dog on the sidewalk. His one black eye and two black ears reminded me of Sophie Jean!


There was also some koala spotting there. Later, I heard someone say, “Did you see the koala run across the road?!” What?! Apparently, another tourist had scared the koala down out of his gum tree and he ran across the road to a pine tree. I felt so bad for the poor koala. Everyone was looking at him in that tree now and he was stuck there. How would he get to his eucalyptus? I was angry. Why can’t we see wild life – in the wild – from a distance and give them their space?!!

Then it was on to the Twelve Apostles. But there is a controversy of how many there actually are.


Nonetheless, the rocky shores and formations were beautiful!


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We also enjoyed a guided walk through a beautiful Temperate Rain Forest.

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And viewed the ocean from stunning cliffs.


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At one point, we could take these stairs down to Loch Ard Gorge, where an old shipwreck took place. But with my fear of heights, there was no way that was happening.


Maybe it doesn’t look like a big deal, to you, but do you see how tiny those people are on the ground?


Instead, we walked some trails in the area…


And enjoyed the views from above…

GOR1There were plenty!

Travis is a great story-teller. He told us shipwreck tales as well as how this “London Bridge” fell down! (The two pieces used to be connected.)

In fact, I could tell that Travis had been doing this for a while. It turns out, he has been a guide for every one of Go West’s Tours.

When we got out as far west as we could for the day, we made our way back on an inland road in the dark. Some people slept, others uploaded their photos from the day over the free Wi-Fi. And we did make that McDonald’s stop on the way back. There were other fast food and take-out restaurant options, too. I opted for Red Rooster. If I was going to have fast food, it was going to have to be from some Aussie fast food chain. I got it to go so that Rob could try a McMate at McDonald’s. Jealous of Aussies, I am, though because their McCafe has an actual espresso machine! Silly, I know, but I just can’t do coffee at McDo.

It was another grand day by the sea. Upon arriving back to our hotel, our heads hit our pillows pretty quickly. The next day would be our last in Melbourne and it was time to say good-bye to Barb and Tony. 😦

Other posts on our trip to Australia: