We couldn’t have had a more perfect first family vacation with Abyala. Phil needed to go to Australia for work, so we decided to make the most of it. The first week we were in the suburbs of Melbourne where Phil was busy with meetings and trainings while Abyala and I strolled the peaceful neighborhood streets. It was wonderful just to breath clean air, meander through the neighborhood with abandon, smell fresh cut grass, eat a salad, take Abyala to a community library, and have a chai tea latte.
After Phil was finished with work, the real vacation began (as if all of that wasn’t enough already.) We explored downtown Melbourne which was a blast ! Enjoyed a picnic at a lovely public park, caught the free old time tourist trolley, walked along the river, found Starbucks, visited the bustling 100+ year old market, and enjoyed having cold noses from the crisp air. We loved Melbourne. It was laid back and walkable with loads of fun and character to be found for the explorer.
After a day in the city, we jet-set our way to Cairns to knock an item off our bucket list — the Great Barrier Reef! You would think we couldn’t do it with our sweet 6-month old Abyala, but it was totally manageable. We booked a trip to Green Island – short ferry ride, loads of shade, and the perfect amount of reef for us rookies. We hopped on a glass bottom boat to get out to see some big fish and colorful coral. Then we rented snorkel gear, to see it all up close and personal. We swam with massive turtles and met lots of Nemos of all shapes and sizes while being astounded by the variety and beauty of the coral. As each of us took turns snorkeling, the other played with our sweet girl in the sand and swam with her in the salty Coral Sea. She loved it and so did we ! We walked the entire way around the island, admiring the dense rain forest within. And we even spotted a whale with his body splashing out of the water on our ferry ride back to the port. The entire day was heavenly.
Other highlights of our trip were spotting wild kangaroos and then feeding tame ones in the zoo. Cuddling with a koala bear. Taking a road trip along the coast to Port Douglas, hanging out at a palm-tree lined park along the sea, walking between the ocean and lush rain forest then stopping on the way back to go swimming on our “own” personal beach. Trekking through the rain forest in Kuranda. Admiring waterfalls. Afternoon picnics. Cool morning breakfasts on the balcony. Evening swims at our lovely pebble pool. A cozy apartment with a separate room for Abyala (key to some shut eye.) Strawberries. Gelato. Ribs. And if this wasn’t enough, God blessed us with the longest, most brilliant sunset and a starlit sky on our flight back to Nepal.
God was so generous to give us this time together as a family. We will always cherish these memories…