Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 5 & 6: Australian Wildlife & nothing...

Today was a day of enjoying the Australian Wildlife... in habitats that is.

Our first stop was to have Breakfast with the Birds at the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas. When we checked in for our meal the lady notified us that the food was in a separate room from where the bird were due to Food and Drug requirements. She sounded as if she thought it was ridiculous that they had to move the food. I quite frankly am with the FDA on this one...

Before eating we had a little fun in the gift shop:
bat mask!

creepy koala

I think this bird is planking
Then on to Breakfast with the Birds. The buffet was lovely and as we ate they brought around some birds for us to see. The bird they brought around for us was not yet trained to be held by guests, so we just pretended.

Then on to the rest of the bird habitat. It was so fun to have birds flying around you everywhere! in one of the pens was a cassowary, which is a native bird of Australia that kind of looks like an emu, but more colorful. They are apparently very aggressive, so I'm glad we were separated by bars.

After the bird room, we moved on to the "Grassland" room which had all the Wallabies, Kangaroos, Emus, and tons of ducks!

relaxing Wallaby doing its best Kate Winslet pose
 Phoebe had brought some food to feed the animals, so we had them all eating out of our hands.
Phoebe and the pushy Emu

We was kind of violent as he pecked the food out of my hand...

... not gonna lie, it kind of hurt.

It was not happy when the food was gone and kept trying to grab the whole bag

Then it followed us around. We finally threw some food on the ground and ran away while it was distracted


While trying to feed the kangaroo, this bird totally pushed its way in

... So I had to reprimand it.

and then the swamp wallaby wanted in on the action

we named this Kangaroo Marbo and he was so cute!

kangaroos, as they eat from your hand, will hold your hand still to make sure you don't pull away... it was like we were holding hands. Once the food was gone from my had it started gnawing on my thumb for more

the kookaburra... my morning alarm clock every day
 We went to a Koala presentation where we learned about Koalas. We learned that they sleep for 20 hours a day and mostly this is because the eucalyptus plants they eat are semi-poisonous for them. They didn't tell us this in the show, but the Koala population has a high percentage of Chlamydia... this is due to the fact that their mating ritual is that the male rapes the female to conceive... sad, but true.
waiting to hold Glen the Koala

Chlamydia infected rapist!
 After seeing the Habitat and enjoying all the wildlife, we weren't done yet. Our next stop was Hartley's Crocodile Adventure!! It is an entire preserve dedicated to Crocs. I was a little hesitant, but also fascinated!
Upon entering we saw this owl... which bears a striking resemblance to Hedwig from the Harry Potter novels... so glad to see she survived :)

This is Paul... one of the largest crocs in the park... he looked hungry.

staring contest

getting ready for the Croc river tour

attack 1

Attack 2

Attack 3
 The River tour was pretty inpressive and creepy. At one point the tour guide stuck a piece of chicken onto a branch over the water to show us how the croc would get it, but before the croc even came out of the water, a bird swooped down and grabbed it instead. It was a hilarious let down.
This croc is fake... so don't worry.
We also took a tour of their Croc farm on site, which is where they raise Crocodiles for their meat and skins. There were bins FULL of baby crocodiles being bred for slaughter. I'm sure some of you expect me to have been horrified at them being raised only for fashion and food... but I really don't care cause they are horribly scary creatures.

They also had a Cassowary at the park.

They also had huge snakes at Hartley's but since I hate snakes and probably would have peed my pants at the sight of one, I was content to avoid them like the plague.
We also saw a Crocodile attack show. It is much like a sea world show, except crocodiles are not cute and they want to kill things all the time. This was such a heart pounding show, and what made it such was that the trainers were even surprised by the crocodile trying to charge them every time they entered the ring. The crocodile wouldn't cooperate at all! At one point it even swam over to the glass wall between it and the crowd and stared at a little girl on the other side of the glass eating her popsicle. Totally not ok!
It was insane though to see the Crocodile do a death roll and clamp its jaws really loud.

Then after Hartley's Liam and Phoebe and I went to dinner at Mojo's in Mossman... seriously great place! I had the Filet Mignon and it was amazing! I also took the opportunity to try some Australian wine. I like sweet wine and since a lot of Australian wine is not sweet, I stuck with the Riesling wine. yum!

Phoebe had a rum and coke with Bundaberg Rum. It was disgusting! It tasted like disinfectant.
Phoebe :)
After Mojo's it was off to bed.

Wednesday was a nothing day for me again. I spent the day in Port Douglas while Phoebe worked. I sat on the beach, walked through all the local shops, read my books, had a picnic of Thai food in the park, read some more, and was pretty bored of it by the time Phoebe was done with lunch. It was nice to get some sun and read and relax though :)

Day 4: Lazy Day around Mossman

Phoebe had to work this day, so I was on my own from the time she went to work until Liam came home... so a total of 6 hours. I did a lot of relaxing. I read for quite some time and then for lunch I rode my bike into town. I had lunch at this small cafe recommended to me by Liam called The Junction. It was so charming, but when I grabbed a table and ordered my sandwich I sadly realized I forgot my book to read... no matter, I enjoyed people watching on the high street of Mossman instead.

My chicken sandwich with the most delicious Blood Orange soda!! 
Abandoned building in Mossman

The road leading to Phoebe and Liam's house

You can't see it in this picture, but the clouds rolling down from the mountains behind the house were beautiful!
When Liam got home we decided on a walk through the neighborhood while we waited for Phoebe. It basically was like a walk through the woods on a paved road. So nice out and such beautiful scenery.

The Liam and I started on dinner. He taught me how to shell prawns!
I'm kissing a prawn... disgusting little things

Dinner: Prawns in Squid ink pasta, garlic bread, and balsamic vinegerette salad.
Overall relaxing day at home :) I felt almost like I was living in Australia rather than just visiting.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 3: Port Douglas

Sunday morning in Port Douglas there is the Sunday Market, which is a bunch of local businesses and random people set up stands with arts and crafts, food, drinks, and clothing. It is super crowded and quite the tourist crap, but it was a must. There were loads of useless items, but some definite highlights for Australian culture.For example there was a stand selling Cane juice, which is juice from the sugar cane plant they grow in Mossman. It tasted my sweet grass juice, but at the same time was incredibly delicious and refreshing.
this is how they made the Sugar Cane juice

delicious Cane juice! ... and Liam in the background.
Other treasures of the markets included pineapple "slosh". They called it Pineapple juice, but it really was basically all the pulp from the pineapple and little juice. It was still yummy in its own way.
They also were selling coconuts that you could drink out of and then when the juice was gone they would mash up the coconut for you to eat. I wanted to get one really bad just for the photo op, but then I remembered I don't like coconut, so that would have been a waste of money.

Just behind the Sunday Markets was a small park with a children's playground and the most beautiful views of the ocean! truly paradise

The weather was absolutely beautiful and we has brought our suits, so we ducked into the bathroom at Phoebe's work, changed into our suits and were off to the beach! I was told that the ocean water would be cold and with my experience of the Pacific ocean in California is that it would be frigid. Regardless, Liam and I decided we needed to run into the ocean, as I needed to get the full effect of Australia's coral sea. As my feet hit the water I discovered the water was actually quite refreshing and perfect!!!

After running into the ocean
The coral sea
Miss America pose

Running on the beach

More running

Traditional beach jumping picture

Enjoying the sunshine

This was such a perfect moment! I can't believe I was sitting on a beach in Australia on an amazingly beautiful day! Seriously the weather couldn't have been more perfect!
We waited for Karla at the beach to meet up with us and then we headed into town for lunch. I of course was in the mood for sea food and was glad we ate at a streetside restaurant with delicious prawns. I also had Lemon Lime Bitters with a hint of Vodka to drink... hey I'm on vacation.

Seafood dinner at a restaurant by the beach
This was such a perfect moment! I can't believe I was sitting on a beach in Australia on an amazingly beautiful day! Seriously the weather couldn't have been more perfect!
Before leaving Port Douglas we went down to the Marina to get some fresh Prawns to go along with some Squid ink pasta.
Liam eating his first twinkie
enjoying coffee and biscotti on the porch
Second best moment of the day
After much relaxing we started on dinner... and by we, I mean Liam. He is the cook in the house. Since it was sunday we delayed having our Prawns and squid ink pasta and instead had traditional Sunday Roast. One of the side vegetables was roasted pumpkin (which is not Australian, it was just delicious and I had never had pumpkin not in pie or soup form... so now I'm hooked).

After dinner I introduced Phoebe, Liam, and Karla to Apples to Apples! I brought the travel version along with me. They loved it and I have now promised to ship Phoebe the actual game upon my return :)

... Sorry for the delay in this post. Blogspot has been having trouble uploading my pictures... hopefully it won't be a problem anymore.