Friday, November 30, 2012

We Were Hacked!

Just wanted to update everyone to let you know that we have been able to reactivate our email account so we can be reached at our address once again.  Turns out that we were hacked and that is why ATT suspended our account.  Whew!  What a relief to be back!  Of course, it made us realize that we need to back-up all of our contacts, travel docs, etc. into Word files rather than relying upon our e-mail folders for storage...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Emergency E-Mail Contact Change!!!

Hello everyone!
We have just arrived in New Zealand to begin our latest house sit.  Unfortunately, ATT has locked us out of our e-mail account and we cannot access any e-mails, contact numbers or e-mail addresses and many of our travel documents.  So far, costly phone calls, on-line chats and endless hours on ATT "help" internet site have not resolved the problem.  So...until we can fix this (and hopefully we can because it is sort of a disaster) you will not be able to reach us on that account.  In light of this issue, we've established another e-mail account with Google.  Please contact us at  To all of our friends and family - we currently do not have your e-mail addresses so if you could send them to us for us to begin rebuilding our "contacts" that would be very helpful. Miss you all - will post some great pics from Australia in a few days!

Rick & Colleen

Friday, November 16, 2012


It wouldn't be Australia without the Roos!

It has been a whirlwind of a week.  We've driven almost 2000 miles.  (Well, really, Rick's driven almost 2000 miles!)  We took the inland route from Sydney south to Albury and then the Great Alpine Highway over the Snowy Mountains with a stop at the historic mining town of Omeo.  Then, it was off to the Yarra Valley and its grassy rolling hills, vineyards and fine wines.  A quick day trip into Melbourne by train and then we were back on the road to our most southern destination - Australia's 90 mile beach.  Our route back was along the coast - a beautiful but winding 10 hour drive to Jervis Bay where we spent out last night before returning to Sydney.  While we enjoyed the cities and small towns, it was the natural beauty of this part of Australia that we will remember the most.  So, before we head north to Queensland, we thought we'd share a few pics from the trip thus far.

Verdant valleys and the Great Alpine Highway over the Snowy Mountains

Vineyards of the Yarra Valley and Australia's native Bottle Brush

While it is the end of Spring here after one of the wettest winter's on record
evidence of the 12 years of drought and subsequent bush fires were evident.

Lorikeets and Gulahs are common sites in backyards and birdfeeders

Good On Ya!

G, 'day to ya from sunny Oz! Let's avago at some Ozzie lingo.  A greenie mate suggested a few days in the bush so we gave it a bit of a yabber.  Colleen was having a bit of a dummyspit and puttin the heavy on me.  She likes camping, but doesn't really care for the dunnys and such.  Plus, back o'Burke, we'd need a portable barbie for the tucker. She wasn't trying to be a wowser but there really wasn't a Buckley's chance mate. To be fair dinkum, she said she'd rather have a good plonk and a chook than head out into the woopwoop.

Just to clear things up.... a plonk is a glass of wine, a chook is chicken, and woopwoop is the boonies....

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Welcome to Australia

Sydney Opera House  with Ferries on water
The Sydney Opera House
Old and new Sydney

Flying into Sydney Australia during the day gave us a chance to see the city from the air.  It's a huge city with a population of 4,635,000 and looking at it from above, we lamented that we'd not allowed enough time in our plans and that there would be much we wouldn't see.  Then, upon arriving at our hotel, we were informed that we were a day late for our reservation. Yes, we'd failed to allow for crossing the International Dateline.  (We'd made the mistake of using the date on our airline reservations which did not reflect that we'd be arriving an entire day later.)  Live and learn...but we were bummed - we'd lost an entire day!  We knew then that we were going to have to focus on just a couple of sites so we chose the old historic center of the city known as The Rocks, the waterfront area with its views of the harbor and bridge, and touring the iconic Sydney Opera House.  It was a busy day and evening made more interesting by the rapid weather changes that ranged from hot and sunny to thunder, lightening, hail the size of marbles, pelting rain, and then steaming condensation rising from the streets when the sun reappeared.  Here is Sydney in a day and a night...

A clear and sunny morning at the waterfront quickly changed...

into booming thunder, lightening, hail and rain.

Over the course of a few minutes, the bridge almost disappeared from view.

Harbor view from inside the Sydney Opera House

The Opera House roof, which we'd always thought was made of sail like fabric
(similar to the Denver airport) is actually made of over a million tiles.

A few shots of Sydney by night...

We were treated to an amazing lightening storm.

Iconic by day and night - Sydney Harbor Bridge

A bit blurry with out the tripod but the lights were to pretty not to share.