Jan's adventures in Oz

Archive for November, 2011

A Visit to Western Australia

Pictures here


I got off to a rough start on my trip to Perth.  After one night in my own bed and a busy day at the office I went to the airport to catch an 8 pm flight to Perth.  It was delayed due to weather and then at 11 pm cancelled entirely.  So then after standing in the cab line for an hour, went back to my apt. for about 5 hrs. sleep and got up to catch an early flight to Perth.  Luckily, that went well.  Why do people think travelling for business is so glamorous??


Anyway, I spent 6 days in Western Australia.  Perth is a lovely city…lots of old buildings mixed in with skyscrapers, built around a big, beautiful river, the Swann.  People move slow and the wind is always blowing.  I met lots of great people from the education field….from University of WA to a couple of private K12 schools.


Since I was there for the weekend, I rented a car and drove about 4 hours south to a very beautiful place: Margaret River.  My gps got turned around and took me the “scenic” route…at one point I was on a one lane road!  I got to see lots of sheep and cows. I am getting more used to driving on the left side of the road and I think I actually LIKE round-about’s.  Margaret River is home to wine country.  I have never seen so many vineyards…even in Napa Valley.  I stayed at a “resort” within walking distance of the beach.  The beach was gorgeous, not as much sand as in Gold Coast, but great cliffs, covered in some kind of purple/blue bushes in bloom.


Back in Sydney now…taking it easy over the weekend.  Enjoy the pics of W.A. here..



Up-Over, Down-Under—Jet Lag Blues

I realize that it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted to the blog.  You must understand that I had to make an emergency trip back home because my youngest son, Will, had a pancreas problem and was in the hospital.  He was already starting to improve by the time I got home and came home the day after.  It is very hard being on the far side of the planet when these things happen!  I was SO glad to be with him and Alex and Adam.  Even though things turned out fine, I would have been a basket case in AUS, worrying about him.  Will has now returned to work and life goes on.  Thanks to all of you that have been aware and expressed your concern.

Upon return to Australia, I hit the ground and immediately took back off to go to Queensland to attend the Teaching and Learning with Vision conference on the Gold Coast. Here’s the link to my pics.  I presented a session, connecting over video to my friend, Rathika, and her students at Pymble Ladies College…(for you Americans, that is a private K-12 school!).  It went well!  I met lots of great educators at the conference and heard some awesome presentations from some real heavy hitters in EDU world: Dr. Stephen Heppell and the Couros brothers.

Queensland is quite beautiful.  My hotel, the Gold Coast Sheraton resort, was quite nice, situated in a rainforest.  My room had a little patio that featured my own Komodo dragon. See pics!   He was quite tame.  About a foot and a half long.  He liked the pizza crust and Reese’s peanut butter cup that I gave him. (I figured I better give him something to chew on besides me.)

After leaving the conference, I went to the airport and picked up a car.  This was a big deal, as it was the first time I have driven in Australia.  The upside=down, backwards rule was in full effect: steering wheel on the right, drive on the left.  The first thing I ran into leaving the airport was a roundabout.  YIKES!! I made it to Palm Beach without killing anyone.  I am staying at this very pleasant “hotel”…more of an apartment, one block away from the Pacific.  It is absolutely heavenly here.  (Although I miss my little dragon friend.) This weekend I plan to hang out at the beach and sleep late to recover from my jet lag. On Sunday afternoon I will venture back onto the roads and head to Brisbane for some meetings. 

I’ve got loads of new pics but no time to process.  Update on Queensland and new pics soon…promise!!

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