Our first night in Australia we met cousins for dinner. This picture of the four of us - including me (the short one) and hub (the gray haired one) - does not really show how exhausted we were from the trip - airline delays, long flights, jet lag. But we had a great, traditional Aussie dinner at a local pub - steak, chips and salad for the Thursday night special price of $15. Drinks, however, are expensive - $8 for a beer, anywhere from $3.50 to $5.50 for soft drinks or coffee. The coffee is wonderful here - Aussies love their coffee.
Creatures such as this friendly lizard, just hanging out on the sidewalk, are common, especially on wooded paths and pavement.
One night I was sitting at the kitchen table and happened to look up at the wall and ceiling. There, just hanging out, was this gecko. Looking around more carefully, his companion was wandering around another wall of the room. Not knowing whether friendly or not - should we abandon the house and run? - I called our hosts' daughter who lived nearby. I told her our dilemma - and she laughed. Geckos commonly share the upper space of many Australian homes. They are nocturnal, appearing in the evening hours, and do homeowners a favor by eating moths and insects.
Meet my friend Wally (as in wallabee) and hub's friend. We got up close and personal with the local animals at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Our Australian/American cousins John and Marsha. We spent a wonderful weekend on the Gold Coast with them - location of Surfer's Paradise and other towns such as Palm Beach and Miami (really).