Fun Fit 5K Plus

Having fun, getting fit, loving life

Looking Up, Down Under

on November 29, 2012

My sis, Melissa, and my friend, Yolanda and I attend the Madonna concert the night before my I fly to Australia.

“Madonna is coming to St. Louis!”

I got the call from my sister early in March.

We needed to get tickets ASAP.

We were ecstatic!

Little did I know that I would plan a trip to Australia for the next day.

Honestly, we had last seen “Black Eyed Peas” together and were right up next to the stage.

We were yelling for days, as we couldn’t hear a thing,

but it was such an entertaining concert!

We were envisioning the same excitement and thrills.

Can I just say the three of us were a bit disappointed.

I wrote about this earlier, but I couldn’t mention highlights from the trip without mentioning this event.

I mean getting back at after 1 in the morning helped me to sleep a few winks on the long flight from LA to Sydney.

This was a great experience that we share now and it sent me off with a holiday feeling,

if that makes sense at all.

So the next morning off to the airport to begin the long flight.

I was blessed with meeting people who were kind and not at all scary!

The girl sitting next to me on the flight from LA to Sydney felt like a little sister as we shared in laughter and talked about the movies we were watching and what our plans were in Sydney.

Once making it through the Sydney customs department, (after 17 – 18 hours of total flying plus layover time)

and accomplishing the tasks of carting two large wheeled bags and a backpack and purse through the airport

(thanks to the guy who helped me lug them up the steps and no thanks to the security guards who sat and watched me approach the stairs with trepidation while they laughed…),

I did it!

I made it to the family and was greeted so warmly!

The sun shining on my face rejuvinated my sleep deprived mind.

The hugs reminding me of the love that God shines down on us.

We had just enough time for the beach and a beef pie before my sis and I flew out to Melbourne.

Coogee Beach

In Melbourne,

my friend greeted us by running (yes running) to give big hugs and welcome us warmly,

and we spent the next 3 1/2 days laughing and loving the company of soul sisters.

Could we be loved any more?!

Melbourne was several days of fun and action, as we busily went from one event to another.

The Melbourne Cup was so delightful!

People were happy and engaging and did I mention I met Kevin Rudd (former PM)?!

We had a blast be-friending some girls who were there by themselves and enjoyed front row view as Prince Charles rode by on the track.

We spent time in Melbourne shopping, of course.

This city was meant for girls and guys on a mission.

Looking for that perfect dress or shirt or shoes or well….anything!

While shopping, you can’t help but become amused or amazed or dazzled by the curious and intriguing architecture!

The Great Ocean Road Tour was another highlight with some of the must stunning ocean and cliff scenery.

We were constantly in awe.

If I had more time at each stop,

I could have written a book or my life story or painted a beautiful landscape.

It is that inspiring!

Just looking back at my photos,

I realize why people may spend days on this drive along the coast.

You can spend a lot of time just absorbing the imense amount of power layed out before you.

It was hard to leave Elisa and Momma (her mom who makes fantastic Italian for us and is my Italian mother by default).

The love felt there is and was so incredible!

God brought us together from a world apart.

Back to Sydney for the remainder of my trip.

My favorite part of all was spending time with my twin and her family.

The kids, what can I say?

They show such love!

Oh my gosh how they are some of my most favorite people in the world!

Early morning wake ups were fine with me, I mean could you possibly be anything but in awe of such cuteness!

(Not my best photo, but they are adorable!)

I was able to share in everyday life. Dishes and homework and lovely giggles.

Moments that just bond you, like story time before bed or saying prayers with our Godson or playing catch or jumping into a freezing cold pool!

My twin and I had a blast just laughing and talking!

We had so much fun trying to win a contest on a local radio station!

We just knew we had the answer! We got on to several d.j.’s and once was recorded because how cool does two voices chiming in unison sound?! We had the enthusiasm they were looking for times two. Each time we got through they loved us! One d.j. recorded us saying what we would do with the money- to be played the next morning.

Yet, we never did get our big break. Oh well, come to find out that we were wrong and someone won today.

Can’t say we didn’t give it our all.

This is Double Bay Beach.

There are so many wonderful beaches and coves and Bushwalks.

I can never get enough of the sand beneath my toes and the sight of sea meets sky.

Dee Why Beach.

I think the most beautiful, surf friendly beach.

Gorgeous waves!

Plus next to my favorite fish and chips place in Sydney- “Sea Change Cafe.”

Playful tiger at Tarongo Zoo. The best zoo in the world.

Complete with close encounters with the wild life, views of the city that astound, and a sky tram to show it all off.

Meeting with Mel, my fellow blogging friend and Sydney-sider.

How often do we take the chances and opportunity that God lays out before us?

For some reason, we are pulled together (if we say “yes”) and maybe later we will know why

but I am so happy to take some time to encourage you to do the same.

Reach out and get to know these people God has placed in your life.

Mel is this fantastic person who is technologically much more advanced than I and I was happy to really see how “real” she was.

What a great experience!

Check out her blog: www.mellywilliams.com

Christmas tree in the QVB (Queen Victoria Building)- great shopping!

There are so many areas that have weekend markets and shops galore.

The QVB is a fun and large area to spend the day shopping for your list of items or nothing at all.

Also the Rocks is not only good for wasting away some time and money,

but is an eclectic mix of art,souveniers, clothes, cafes and old and new architecture.

I ended the trip the way I began, thanks to Dan!

Bek and I went to see Coldplay. Awsome concert!

Fantastic l.e.d. wrist bands interacted at certain programmed times in the show.

It snowed tissue paper shapes in every color and God held off the big rain for just a few sprinkles.

Wonderful sound and great songs, we had a blast!

I can’t say enough good things about it.

The opposite of Madonna, Bek and I ended on the perfect note!

Thanks again, Dan!

This trip was full of love! Love of family and friends, love of food, love of nature…

(Love of food will be a separate post coming soon!)

Each moment I had my husband in my heart,

as poor Brian was back at home working away.

I thought of what he would say or what he would think.

I couldn’t wait to share with him as we facetimed most nights.

How blessed to have a husband who said, “Yes. Go and I will be waiting for your return.”

Before I knew it, I was saying “good-bye.”

I left this family that we don’t get to see often enough.

Tears streaming down my cheeks as I walked through the airport.

How long to hold them again and hear them giggle and share in those little moments that we often don’t think are special til we are no longer near them?

Then again,

as I fly across mostly ocean, next to strangers thinking of returning to the comfort of home, I am at peace.

I am coming home to the warmth of my husband’s embrace. A renewed love that can only happen when you spend weeks apart.

The realization that you will always feel at home most with your soul mate.

I feel blessed to know that feeling. Brian is mine and I know God brought us together because we make each other whole.

Next trip we will share in the memories and love, together.

Thanks for sharing in my journey down under,

where I was always looking up,

thanking God for each and every moment and gift.

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