Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving with Family

We are so thankful for our family near and far. What a blessing to have so many of them together for Thanksgiving this year. Kim and Doug hosted all of us at their new home. Kristy and Cameron flew up from Tampa. And of course that meant that we had all seven grandkids to entertain us again! Greg’s parents joined us for a few days, and when we weren’t eating and playing around the house we were off to church, the mall, the park, and downtown KC.

At Union Station the little ones were so excited to meet Opa and Oma (their great-grandparents) when they arrived on the Amtrak train and to see the Christmas tree exhibit and other decorations. A short walk to the Hallmark Center and we spent some time in the Crayola store, ate a picnic lunch in the centrum, and then spent the afternoon making crafts at Kaleidoscope, which is an amazing place for kids!

Spread across several states we don’t get together as a family often, so when we do we try to cover all the family events and holidays at once. In addition to a scrumptious Thanksgiving turkey dinner, Doug and Cameron and Papa Greg helped the kids carve pumpkins - Halloween faces included! The pumpkin seeds were roasted as a snack and the smiles lasted throughout the visit. Thanksgiving evening became Christmas Day as we exchanged presents since we’ll again be apart on that holiday.

Over all was the joy of watching the young cousins play and talk and be together like they’d been living in the same neighborhood for all their young lives. Thank you, God, for this amazing family and the times we are privileged to spend together.

Enjoy some of the memories we have from that holiday visit
by clicking here to see the PHOTO GALLERY.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

G'day Mates!

Well, here I am again in Australia a little sooner than expected. The work in Brisbane continues and so I got to come back for another couple of weeks. This second time around the air travel seemed longer and the city doesn't have as many surprises as the first visit, so on the weekends I made my way first to the Sunshine Coast area northeast of here and then to the Gold Coast to the southeast.

The Sunshine Coast lived up to its name with a clear blue sky and bright sun over beautiful scenery and a coastline of beaches and rolling seas. I spent a Saturday with some co-workers exploring the town of Noosa - a popular resort and get-away location for locals and visitors. Nice and relaxed, even on a weekend, it's not crowded and there's plenty of swimming, snorkeling, boating, fishing, shopping, eating, walking, or just lazing around to be done. On the drive back to Brisbane we stopped to check out the view from the Glasshouse Mountains. Walking the trail we saw a troop (family) of kangaroos, but they were moving through the brush so I didn't get a good photo.

About three hours south of Noosa and an hour from Brisbane, the Gold Coast is a busy, developed, tourist area with highrises, amusement parks, shopping malls, more people, more traffic, and miles of beaches. This second Saturday was also sunny and hot - it's almost summer down here - a good day to get some fresh air and exercise. But I just had to step inside to enjoy the spectacular view from the Q1 Tower observation deck about 800 feet above the sea and beach!
Sunday morning I decided to go to St. John's Cathedral Anglican Church in Brisbane to worship and to look around this beautiful stone building that dates from the mid-1800s. It's been a while since I participated in a traditional, liturgical church service - it was quite special!
Next time - and yes, there will be at least one more trip here - Kitty's coming with me so we can both see and enjoy more of this wonderful place and its people. Cheers!