Crazy Cairns and the Crocs

Cairns, Australia

The entire family really enjoyed the city of Cairns, Australia. Our hotel was situated right across from a massive park that had everything from a restaurant and zip-line, to water features and work out equipment. Our place also had a great balcony and view of the bay and the boats. We walked the trails alongside the water, listening to all the tropical birds and were able to catch the market and listen to Natalie’s favorite new band, “The Geckos” live, featuring 5 children ages 8 to 12 years old rocking all the newest pop hits. We splashed in the massive public pool situated right alongside the ocean and bay, since the city wanted a safe place for folks to gather and the tidal area could have possible salt water crocodiles that may make things difficult to explore. It reminded me of college in Santa Barbara (without the crocs) where everyone was sunbathing, picnicking and listening to different local music performers. Natalie loved making friends at yet another park that featured a giant fig tree and treehouse. We also discovered great fish and chips as well as an extreme zip-line course located on the top floors of a casino that featured traveling over a huge 14 foot long live crocodile. I’m not sure how our next stop in Port Douglas will be able to top this.

Low Tide without CrocsThe Giant Public PoolFig Tree ParkOur First KoalaPark FunRopes CourseNatalie Climbing HighWalking Cairns

The Calm and Cool Cook Islands

Another Cook Island Sunset

We had a wonderful time on the Cook Islands. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. It was the first time we had been to a tropical destination that wasn’t horribly humid. It was a nice warm 78 to 86 degree outside air temp and a 78 degree water temperature. The locals were lovely and our accommodations were great. We could easily snorkel and kayak every morning right out the front of our condo. We had a nice restaurant within walking distance and a great little bakery that baked fresh bread and pastries every morning that was just across the street. Natalie had plenty of brightly colored fish to see and loved snorkeling the reef on her own. We also had a great time taking in the local dancing  and music performances. Natalie admired how differently they used the poi balls. We tried an island progressive dinner where we learned about island life from the locals and feasted at their homes on an array of amazing foods and wine, including a fresh fish with coconut milk and a star and passion fruit desert with brandy chocolate sauce. We were also lucky to catch the whales playing in the sunset as we took our evening strolls along the beach.

After another snorkel tripOn the way to the bakeryLoving the island lifeReady for some water funThe view while snorkelingNightime HugsNatalie and the dancersDon't play with fireholding hands with my daughterKayaking with the go promatching fins Natalie snorkelingOur first morning

A Week Of Heat

“Eucalyptus Evening”

July 4th, 98 degrees

July 5th, 94 degrees

July 6th, 99 degrees

July 7th, 107 degrees

July 8th, 107 degrees

July 9th, 102 degrees

July 10th, 96 degrees

With weather like this, you have to paint in the evening.

Coastal Comforts

What better way to escape the Ojai heat than to travel up to Cambria. We spent another week enjoying the cool breezes and exploring the coastline. We tried to fly kites and managed not to eat too many Red Moose Cookies. We dropped off artwork at The Nest Gallery and hiked around Hearst San Simeon State Park, making certain to also partake in the massive burgers at Sebatian’s Cafe.

Approaching FogFlying KitesCliffside ColorsCambria SelfieBoardwalk Beauty