We've been on vacation. I missed you all and am happy to be back in San Diego. Returning home to Australia for a month was very much needed though.
I tend to keep my personal life fairly close to my chest here on the blog, but after having longtime readers reaching out I feel it's now the right time to let you know that I ended my marriage in 2013. It is a subject that I won't be going into detail about, as I do like to keep the more intimate moments of my life private, especially for the sake of my children. I am happy though, they are happy, and although there are sure to be challenges in 2014, I'm ready to take them on with the same tenacity that I tackle most things.
With that being said, let's get back to our fabulous trip down under. We spent the first week exploring Queensland, including the Great Barrier Reef, rainforests and many other tourist destinations. The next three weeks were spent in Melbourne visiting family and friends. I'll be breaking our trip up into several posts, I'm sure you don't want to see all 1000 photos at once.
So, I will start my series of posts with a day exploring the Great Barrier Reef. What a perfect place to begin.
Doesn't this look breathtaking?
Prior to our vacation I had booked The Great Adventures - Green Island and Great Barrier Reef Adventure Tour through the Cairns Visitor Center. The photograph above is of Green Island which was our first point of call once we had hopped aboard our catamaran.
The weather was perfect and the ocean was calm. We spotted huge turtles and lots of fish on our way out.
Upon arriving at Green Island we were given snorkels and fins and made our way to the beach to soak up the sun and take in the beauty beneath the surface of the ocean. Yes, even I snorkeled. Hard to believe I know. My friends and family who know that I cannot even put my face under the water in the shower were a little floored that I braved putting my face in the ocean. It took a lot of courage, but when Miss M looked at me fearful of the thought of snorkeling in the ocean I was not going to allow her to be like me. So I braved two things that day, a bathing suit in public and putting my face in the water. She was so happy to swim alongside me, even if I did think I was going to have a heart attack on more than one occasion.
From Green Island we headed to a pontoon on the outer reef where Jay could scuba dive and the kids could snorkel again.
It had been on Jay's bucket list in 2013 to get his scuba diving certification, so over the summer I arranged for him to do just that. He ended up doing two dives from the pontoon, one with a less experienced dive group and then a second with a more experienced group where he could see a little more.
Look at this handsome kid. Hard to believe he's 18 already.
On the pontoon we had a fantastic buffet lunch, there was snorkeling and diving equipment available along with a variety of other things to do such as scenic helicopter flights, a semi-submersible submarine, underwater observation area and Scuba-Doo underwater scooters.
The kids were absolutely exhausted by the time the catamaran was ready to head back to Cairns, but the view was breathtaking on the way home.
And this kid spent the entire time sitting on the laps of three girls, they absolutely loved him. He stole their hearts with kisses and cuddles and telling stories about his big brother, who was a little embarrassed (and a little jealous). They were even invited to spend Christmas with us and to visit us in San Diego. Thankfully he ended up deciding to come home with me.
This was the perfect end to a perfect day.