Canada, Victoria – day 1

The flight to Canada from Los Angeles was spectacular.  There is still snow on all the peaks, and we were flying over mountains the whole way.  A bit of a tight connection, not helped by an iPad being left on the first flight.  They were looking for us at check in to tell us it was on the previous plane,  mad dash back to the first plane to get it. In retrospect the iPad is so old we should have just “donated” it.   The second flight wasn’t quite held up but we were certainly the last on the plane.  However we all arrived in one piece at our hotel.

Victoria is beautiful, lots of water  & lake, and totem poles.  Both our hotel rooms over look the water.   The tulips are out, the gardens are lovely, and its very easy to get around.  Tomorrow our tour starts and we are off to the Butchart Gardens in the morning.


Looking across the water


View from one of the bedrooms


Lots of great flowers




Totem pole




Looking across the water from the other side


Lots of these dolphins around the area.


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Los Angeles – stopping over on the way to Canada

We arrived in L.A. last night and basically went to bed – party animals that we are.   Though this morning, well rested, we decided to have a wander around Venice Beach and the canals.   I really like it there, it has a great vibe, and its amazing for people watching.  Being Monday it wasn’t as crazy as the weekend, lots more locals than tourists.   After walking along the beach front and back again we decided then to have a look at the Venice Canal area.  Note to self – the wheelchair only has a battery life of 3.5 hours.  We saw enough to get a feel for the area before it died.  We took turns in pushing the now manual wheel chair back to one of the local restaurants, had a late-ish lunch and called a taxi back to the hotel – we all need a nap anyway.   We left mum to her own devices and went in search of somewhere for dinner.    Also – I saw a Humming Bird when I was walking to the canals – they are tiny, and I was very excited to see it.

Early night tonight for an 8:00am flight tomorrow.


Baywatch at the beach


Hard to look at street art.


Cool bike racks everywhere


Surf was up


Someones home business.


This is what $500.00 will get you – whether it will run or not is another matter,



She was 2 days old.



Water bird.

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Road Trip – Bright/Wandiligong & home again.

We called into Wandiligong (my bro & his family live there) and stayed for Easter. Its a beautiful time to be there, Autumn is well underway.  Bright is known for their Autumn colours and later this month the Autumn Festival is held.   Bright know how to do a good festival.

We walked into Bright from Wandiligong along the bike path (I walked, mum motored).   It was great weather and a lovely day.   We are struggling with “wheelchair management” and realised halfway there that the battery hadn’t been on the charger for 4 days.  However we made the 5 kms, rewarded ourselves with coffee, then borrowed the brothers truck to drive back home.


The Wandi Shed


Possibly grapevines.




Paragliding is a huge sport in Bright, along with cycling in all its forms.


Autumn colours


These trees are just changing colour.



The wheelchair – its quite handy, I can collapse it and it fits in the boot of the car.

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Road Trip – Maitland

Thursday (13 April) was our last day in Port Stephens.   We drove to Maitland to visit family at their restaurant – Fratelli Roma.  Beautiful food, well worth the drive.   Maitland is an interesting town, very country, main street down the middle with really interesting shops.   I came across one of the best Antique stores I’ve seen in a long time.   Between the food and this antique shop I’d consider going back.

Being that it was our last day the sun decided to come out as well – made the kangaroos happy.


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Road Trip – Kurri Kurri, Newcastle.

Spent Sunday with Dads family (Muriel & Ted) in Kurri Kurri, then I drove everyone to Brankston to see Muriels son Phillip.   They have had so much rain up here everything is very green.  Phillip grows a lot of organic vegetables on his river flats and gave us some apple cucumbers & a lovely pumpkin (unfortunately we left the pumpkin in Teds car).  I’m going to see if I can collect the seeds from the cucumbers to plant for myself.    He has a lot of land, I don’t think I’ve been there before. We are meeting up with Phillip again tomorrow at his daughters coffee shop/restaurant in Maitland.

Today we went for a drive to Newcastle, we had a nice walk along the foreshore and watched a lot of marine activity going on. Big big boats coming in.  If you can get past the mining & the industrial sections its a really nice town.   They are doing a lot of work in Hunter Street – they are building more univeristy buildings, there are plans for a tram system, and even now with the works going on you can see the regeneration of the area.


James Cook Memorial Fountain




Images on a boarded up building.



We think this boat was carrying dismantled wind generators.


These just made me laugh.


This was in front of a legal office.


In front of a bridal shop.


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Road Trip – Bathurst to Port Stevens

We stayed overnight in a converted convent/school on the outskirts of Bathurst, Mount Panorama was on our doorstep.   We had a drive around the track – you have to don’t you?   I’ve said it on other mediums – the Toyota is not a sporty beast.   And kudos to those race drivers that speed around the track.   The passenger wasn’t best pleased to be driving through the esses or even down the hill.

From there we went into the town for some breakfast then headed out.   Next stop was Sofala – a little known mining town that has not been (noticeably) updated since it was built, there is still small scale mining. It was where the rebellion started.  Well worth the visit, but not huge.

After that it was a straight drive through to Port Stevens.   Found our accommodation which is at the Horizons Golf Club, good news for hubby, who joined us on Monday.

Photos are all of Sofala.


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Road Trip – Melbourne to Bathurst

We are doing a quick road trip before we head off to Canada (bad planning I know).   We left Melbourne on Thursday morning after waking up to a leaking bathroom something.   Opened the cupboard to get a clean towel and everything was wet.   Made some calls, left the keys with an uncle and we were on our way.   First stop was Wagga  – its a lovely town, very clean with lots of museums & galleries.   We spent an hour in the National Glass Art Collection.   We then had a look at the art gallery, but it was very modern and dark so we moved on.   Next stop was the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory, it has an interesting tour and an attached museum and cafe.   And good liquorice made with liquorice root powder.   Many miles later we stopped the night in Bathurst.

Edited for typos and errors.




Wagga Beach


Wagga Beach


Autumn is starting


Spiders are everywhere


Our chickens are bigger than yours!




Brock 05




The might mountain.



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