Arrived yesterday here in Adelaide and have fallen in love with my grandson Sammy.
Dave and Leah are such wonderful parents. We are staying at her brother’s home-so grateful for his hospitality.
Going through Sydney was a bit sad. The forest fires there are so bad that smoke hangs over the city, and even on the plane as we approached, the smell of smoke was discernible in the cabin. The beaches were not very well-attended due to the haze that hung over them.
It will be in the 80’s Fahrenheit here today. A lot cooler than earlier this week.
I will upload some pictures later today!!
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.
— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
I am posting this a bit late after resting from jet lag back in South Portland.
I left Melbourne the morning of January 7 after many hugs and kisses for Sammy, Leah, and Dave. I will miss them so much! The good news is that they all will be here in August, including Leah’s parents, brother, and nephew!! Am excited about that!
Adding another spa picture and also pictures prior to flight time.
Today we woke up to a strong smell of smoke from the fires and poor air quality as rated by the meteorological services here. Outside it was hard for me to breathe deeply without coughing.
We walked to a nearby coffee shop where we had a late breakfast.
The big event of the day was taking Sammy to a baby spa in the city. I was so impressed!! That would be a wonderful service to have in the U.S.
A massage therapist for babies greeted us and led us to a tub of warm water. She placed a flotation collar around Sammy’s neck, and Sammy had a lovely 15 minutes of moving around unaided in the water. It was wonderful to see! Then the therapist gave him a massage and exercised his arms and legs.
My daughter-in-law, Leah, had purchased tickets for Dave and me to attend Harp in the Gardens on January 5. I was unsure what to expect-a full solo harp performance perhaps? It was to be from 1:00PM-3:00PM.
Much to our surprise and delight, the harpist, Michael Johnson, is the resident harpist of the Gardens- he actually lives there and composes music inspired by the natural setting and enhancing the visitors’ experience. He showed us several meditation centers in the Gardens and then took us to a gazebo to lead us through meditation/visualization with harp accompaniment. After that, he played several of his own compositions. It was a truly superb time! I chatted with him about the harp and also about my interest in playing for hospice and other health venues since he does that at hospitals around Melbourne and also plays for surgeries. He has a keen knowledge of the benefits of harp and physical health as well as the neuroplasticity of the brain.
Many thank you’s to Leah who so graciously gave Dave and me the tickets to the harp event today and also for encouraging quality time for me to spend with all during my time here.
Since Leah’s parents and nephew, Ollie, were returning to Adelaide and we to Melbourne, we took some pictures of this family before departure and look forward to seeing all in Maine in August. Leah’s brother, Tom, Ollie’s father did not come on this part of the trip with us.
As we rode into Melbourne, smoke from the fires hung over the city. The fires are to the northeast of the city-not in the city or suburbs.
This morning Dave and I took a side trip to the famous geological site, The 12 Apostles, located on the Great Ocean Road just outside Port Campbell. The formations in the ocean are of sandstone and limestone and have been created by the ocean waves against the cliffs. These were thought at one time to be caves. The surrounding ocean area is said to be a kelp forest with much vibrant marine life. But since oceans are warming and acidifying I wonder how this area is affected.
The day after New Year’s we began the trip back to Melbourne from Adelaide, stopping at an air b&b we had rented in Warrnambool for 2 nights. The trip was longer than we had expected -around 9 hours!! Sammy was very uncomfortable sitting so long in the car seat, and we stopped frequently to stretch and see that Sammy had time to kick, stretch, nurse, and have his diaper changed. Along the route, we could see smoke billowing from fires to a distance on our left. They were not close enough to cause any road closures, but we could smell the smoke and a few cinders appeared on our windshield . I feel such sadness for all this devastation. If anyone wishes to donate to relief efforts for those affected by the bushfires here are some sites:
Because it was to be so hot today, (temperature of 97degrees F) we decided to spend the day at MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art just outside Hobart.
The museum is totally underground and is meant to be an experience-quite different from the usual museums. Lighting is very low, and to get to several exhibits, we went through tunnels! Some things were actually quite startling and gave me a bodily reaction. There are no signs on the art works. We each had guided tours through a tablet.
The museum was established by David Walsh who made millions gambling.
Pictures to come!!
From MONA we had thought of getting a quick supper at Taste of Tasmania before our flight, but learned that Taste had been cancelled due to the high heat.
We returned our rental car and went to the airport for the flight back to Adelaide. As we were entering the airport, smoke and cinders blew into our faces from the Tasmanian bush fires. So sad!
We decided to go today to Port Arthur where the English sent criminals from Great Britain to be incarcerated and to build ships, mill flour, cut timber and learn trades as part of their imprisonment.
This penal colony was established in the 1800’s and at its height housed 1100 inmates. The philosophy of the British criminal system here was considered “progressive” at the time -hard labor and physical/psychological punishment, but also the possibility of learning a trade and reading. We were told that the library for prisoners held 13,000 books.
A short distance away on an island another penal colony was established by the British for boys who were offenders in the British Isles. The tour guide told us that the age of responsibility was considered at the time to be 7 years old, so young boys were given the same sentences as adults but housed well away from the adult inmates.
the penitentiary is on the left and the hospital at the top of the hill. The stones between are the remnants of the military barracks.
From Port Arthur we drove long the coast and stopped at Tasman Bridge.
From there, we returned to Hobart where a yearly “Taste of Tasmania” festival was underway with many vendors and entertainers.