S: Western Australia & Bali - June 09 - July 09, 2010
BC: This book is dedicated to our family in Australia. Mervyn, Cheryl, Wesley, Michelle, Melissa, Locky, Darcy, Riley and Kasey. June - July 2010
1: After six long years away from home, Matthew returned to Perth, Australia... with Lauren and MacKenna in tow, we packed our bags, cameras and took a big plane half-way around the World!
2: We spent the first few days in Perth, where Matt used to live; Wes, Michelle and Henry live in Perth. MacKenna was very excited to touch Henry...seeking approval from Uncle Wes. | Henry is such a cutie...a little bit crazy (in a good way) and so much fun!!!!!
4: While in Perth we went to the Aquarium of West Australia. We saw some very cool fish, coral, stingrays and some other funny looking stuff.
6: We also went to Cottesloe Beach. Although it was a cold windy winter day, same surfers were braving the waves.
7: Now you see them... | ...now you don't!
8: MacKenna got some help from mum to walk on the broadwalk... | ...but eventually her knees gave in...walking is hard work!!!!!
9: Its a good thing Grandma and Dad reserved a spot for MacKenna on a nearby bench!
10: We had a late lunch at the Indiana Tea house.. Grandma shared her Barramundi fish with MacKenna...yum ...yum...
13: After leaving Perth to head down to Molloy Island, we stopped in at friends of Merv and Cheryl who were dog sitting Holly. There were dozens of Kangaroos basking in the sun on the adjacent property.
14: This is where Merv and Cheryl live. A small island in Augusta, Western Australia. Not much to do on the island...just peace and quiet, even with the occasional KooKubara bird laughing in the bushes.
15: The Kangaroos and the parrots love it on the island. However, only the parrots get food from Merv and Cheryl .
16: Holly loves it on the Island too. If not on the lookout for Kangaroos, she's off looking for her ball to play fetch!
17: The whole family got together in Molloy over the first weekend. We had a great time. We fed the ducks, took lots of walks, played a bit of soccer with the kids, went fishing and learnt all about the family history.
18: While the boys fed the ducks...
19: ...MacKenna Slept
20: Then Darcy and Riley went wild on the playgound..poor Locky and Melissa!!!
21: and Michelle and Melissa and Kasey did a bit of catching up...'girl talk'...
22: Henry had a great time too....He just wanted to play with holly...'where is she?' | 'Holly...where are you?" is what she was most probably saying to himself...
24: MacKenna finally woke up after all the fun and excitement! | But that was enough of the outdoors for that day...so we all headed back to the house for 'tea' as the Aussies call it (really dinner).
25: On the way back home Merv took us to see the shiny Fire Truck. He's a volunteer fireman on the island! How cool is that!
26: Later that night, all the kids were so tired, and so excited about tomorrow. All ready for bed in pajamas, and a story from Grandpa.
28: The next morning the boys went fishing! Lucky for them, they caught some fish for lunch...yum...yum
30: Later we took a walk to the play field...
31: ...where we played a game of soccer and tennis... | ...while MacKenna cheered everyone on!
32: Michelle and Wes had a great surprise for the family. Michelle's mom had prepared a very extensive family tree of both the Barrett's and the Grant's. She'd spent a lot of time researching and made the most amazing discoveries. | The history goes back several years ...as far back as the 1700's in the days of William Hone...a famous English writer, satirist and bookseller! It's going to take a very long hall way to place that up in a frame!!!!
33: While the family history lesson was underway, Melissa and Locky took some quiet time to have a nice breakfast on the back patio, while Darcy kept the dogs entertained.
34: The nights were as exciting as the days... | with MacKenna getting into all sorts of trouble hiding from Locky... | ...trying to run away... | ...and being caught by Riley!
35: "Where are they???!"
36: After everyone left MacKenna was a little sad, so mum tried to cheer her up with a bike ride...that was fun!
37: Grandpa tried to cheer her up with a beer! OMG...she was loving it...not! She just loved the feel and the sound of the glass bottle on her two new front teeth! Which by the way, she got on the journey from Grand Cayman to Perth!
38: And so all good times come to an end...the final family photos...the first and hopefully not the last! Hey...where's Holly and Henry?
41: We headed back into the city where we celebrated Cheryl's birthday with Wes and Michelle. Brunch at Kings Park was lovely and the scenery breathtaking!
42: Kings Park War Memorial...
43: ...Overlooking Swan River
45: Views from Perth Kings Park Lotterywest Federation Walkway Arched Bridge
46: A little bit of MacKenna time.
47: And some more amazing views of and from Kings Park
48: We spent a few days in Esperance, a beautiful little town on the coast of Western Australia. Well know for their beautiful beaches.
51: Every angle just took your breath away. Absolutely beautiful!
52: The view of the windmills from the seaside was just as impressive against the orange glow of the sunset.
54: We had a great dinner out with the family at a restaurant in the adjacent town.
55: The meals were huge... especially Lauren's Lamb Shank... | ...enough to serve a few people. It's a good thing the power went out...that was a great excuse for not eating the whole pot full!!!
56: At Locky's work shop MacKenna checked out the family's new camper built by Uncle Locky and and tried to climb the steps to the tractor with Dad's help. At home she spent some quiet time with Kasey, thinking about the good old days when she was just a wee little baby.
57: After three days of fun, it was sad to leave Esperance. The only thing good about leaving was seeing the boys get all excited about the airplanes.
58: Back in Perth, we explored the city a bit more, before the last days of the trip, in Augusta. The Circus was coming to town for the school break...wish we were going to be around for MacKenna to see it all.
60: Some modern architecture against the natural landscape of the Swan River Foreshore. | No...it's not like the leaning Tower of Piza ...it's just a tilt in Lauren's head!
61: Some views from the Bell Tower
62: And of course no vacation would be worth taking unless Lauren gets a bit of shopping in...
63: ...as well as more sightseeing, discovering a bit more of the City of Perth and its historic buildings.
64: MacKenna spending some quality time with Dad and Grandma in the Sun Room.
65: MacKenna loved her time in Molloy; she got to sleep in, got Grandma cuddles, cleaned Grandma's floors with her PJs, hang out with 'Bad Boy', got Daddy cuddles and even got to take big girl baths!
67: Augusta is well know for its beautiful beaches, but we were not so lucky to see the Whales during during their migration; Whale Watching is a big tourist attraction in Augusta. | Other attractions include the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse as well as the opportunity to stand at the most southerly point of Western Australia where the Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet!
68: To get to and from Molloy Island, we had to take the Ferry | to the other side, just a short minute away... | While Merv operated the Ferry... | ...we'd just sit back an relax in the car, or enjoy the scenery.
69: A bit of the wild life on Molloy Island... | ...and not so alive...Road Kill!
70: Merv and Matt took some time out to play a game of golf at the Augusta Country Club.
72: The Margaret River region offers visitors some of the most unique and stunning cave experiences in Australia as well as captivating wine country and beautiful beaches. | Along the spine of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge and beneath soaring Karri forest lie more than 150 caves. These caves formed by the rapid drainage of water underground. The main road that travels along the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge is aptly named Caves Road
73: The Jewel Caves and the Lake Cave
74: Foxes hung to dry...to teach them a lesson after killing the sheep!
75: While exploring the famous wine country of Margaret River, there are lots of farms dotted along the way.
76: While on our Margaret River Road trip, we saw some pretty 'funny' (odd) things... | Odd road signs.. .'Fairy Forrest?' | And some minature horses and ponies! Now they were kind of cute, in a short sort of way. Blue Gum Euculyptus Tree farm in the background.
77: Our last official day of vacation, exploring Prevelly Park situated at the river mouth of the Margaret River. Prevelly is internationally recognised for its spectacular surfing conditions.
78: Our last picture taken on the last day of our vacation time on Molloy Island. We'll miss the birds and the Kangaroos, but most of all we'll miss Merv, Cheryl and Holly.
80: Bali, Indonesia 2010 While in Australia, Matt and Lauren stole away to Bali for a five day vacation, of relaxation, exploring and shopping!!!!!!
81: We stayed in a lavish resort called Kajane. Hidden within the busy streets of Ubud in the middle of the island of Bali. For more than a century, Ubud has been the island's preeminent centre for fine arts, dance and music.
82: Toya Uma Villa
83: Our first Balinese meal...and of course Lauren could not pass up the opportunity to literally dig into her Coconut!
84: Our first Spa package included a display of traditional Balinese Wedding Dress...even Matt got into the act.
85: The next day we planned a day trip to see a bit more of Ubud's culture, art and natural beauty. We started at the Barong Dance then visited a local artisan's Batik factory.
86: Elephant Cave...One of the sacred temples in Ubud...but unfortunately no real live Elephants.
88: Our day trip took us to Mount Batur at Kintamani, which has erupted about 24 times since year 1800 and still active. This region is well known for it luscious fruits.
89: On our way to a small local Coffee plantation, we saw one of the world's most photographed rice padies | Roasting Kopi Luwak
90: Flea Market shopping on our way to the Monkey Forest... | ...a typical sidewalk in Ubud
91: Monkey Forest
92: A special night out in recognition of Father's Day...Matt's first! Kajane Resort planned a lavish feast with ceremonial dancers and even a cake! A nice hot flower bath welcomed us when we returned to our villa.
93: A visit to John Hardy 's factory was the highlight of Lauren's Bali trip...actually the reason we ended up in Bali. Having fallen in love with his Jewelery in Cayman. The compound was very natural and scenic in spite the torrential rains that day. The showroom was an impressive thatched dome.
94: We spent our last morning at Kajane admiring the surrounding beauty. What a great time we had there!
95: The End