I'm going to have to take more photos before I can make a quilt post, so you guys are getting pictures from my vacation to the Melbourne, Australia area instead!
On my first full day in Melbourne I was up at 3:30 am with jetlag. I killed time until a nearby cafe opened at 6 and went for breakfast and coffee. Australia's coffee culture is influenced by Italy and everything I espresso-based, there is no concept of "drip" or "filter" coffee like we have in America. After some experimentation I found a Flat White to be my drink of choice, although still too small to be satisfying.
I went on a bus tour my first day to a wildlife refuge, some scenic overlooks, and finally to see the Phillip Island Penguin Parade. You should youtube the penguins, I don't have any photos because it was nighttime, but they were very cute.
The second day in Melbourne was a little bit of a downtime day. I visited Victoria Market and took myself on a walking tour of street art around town. I had a great lunch and dinner in Chinatown and in the evening went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
The next day was another bus tour to a National Park, the Grampians. This is Mackenzie Falls.
The next day I traveled about 1.5h out of the city by train to meet up with my friend in a little historic town. This is where the sitting around reading books and wandering the town square portion of my vacation began. We did take a day to tour the Great Ocean Road and Great Otway National Park.
Even a tiny town with maybe 6 kids per grade in the school, there were no less than 4 beautiful old churches from the 1800s.
I was quite taken with the succulents growing everywhere.
I also spent a day wandering the beach town of Torquay. I was a very damp and blustery day with wind blowing off the Antarctic. Beach combing and looking in rock pools is one of my favorite things to do.
For the curious, I flew direct from DFW to Sydney which is a 17.5h flight, currently the 6th longest commercial flight in the world. Then there was a 1h hop from Sydney to Melbourne. Because of time zone weirdness, on the way over I left DFW late on Sunday and arrived in Melbourne midday Tuesday. On the way back I left Australia at 6pm Friday and arrived in Dallas 4pm the same day...
The trip over was pretty rough, sitting in the middle seat in economy surrounded by crying babies and toddlers. On the way back I was blessed with not only an aisle seat but an empty seat beside me! I can only assume it was some kind of karmic pay back.
It was a great trip although the jet lag on the returning end kicked my butt until about Wednesday. I'll try to get photos taken by next week so we'll be back to your regularly scheduled quiltiness.