Tag Archives: Christmas 2018

From 2018 into 2019 – An Australian Adventure: The town of Cairns


Wednesday, 26-Dec-2018

As is tradition, Sarah and I spent Christmas and New Years on an international adventure of epic proportions.  This year, the Lydecker clan (including myself and Henry’s girlfriend Leah) met up in the land down under, the magical land of Australia.


Jumping off from our relaxed Christmas, we took our family adventure off to Northern Australia, flying from Sydney to a town called Cairns, as a layover before catching a ferry to Fitzroy Island…


Wednesday, 26-Dec

I’m usually really good about keeping track of my stuff.

I’m paranoid about my wallet, and I don’t even leave my phone at my desk at work when I walk down the hall to get coffee.  After having my passport stolen in the Buenos Aires airport, I guess I’ve gotten paranoid.

But, I still make mistakes.  Such as leaving my camera on the plane after we landed in Cairns.


Left it.

On the plane.


Thankfully, Cairns is a small airport, and it’s in Australia… which is notably different from the United States in terms of security and general letting you work through non-standard situations.  So, with a lot of freaking out from me and a lot of sanity and politeness from Henry, the camera was returned.  With a fancy photo, no less!


Yep.  That’s the pilot.  A very, very, extremely unconvinced pilot.

Anyways, I kept my camera.  Yay camera!

Then, I used the camera to take photos at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure!  It was awesome.  Hartley’s is, at it’s core, a tourist trap.  An amazing one – it was built from a small coffee shop on the highway, and now is a working crocodile farm complete with a zoo, cafe, boat tours, and a ton of amazing guides.

Also, from what Sarah will tell you, way too much Caesar dressing on their salads.

But they’re definitely awesome, and definitely a fun adventure for our day in Cairns.

The rest of the day was spent picking up food for Fitzroy, adventuring in the rain, and watching huge flocks (flocks?  Swarms?  Colonies?  Armadas?) of bats!  Huge flying fox bats make Cairns their home, and watching them swoop and wheel around town was an amazing way to watch the sunset, without question.

From 2018 into 2019 – An Australian Adventure: The first Oregonian invasion of Sydney


Monday and Tuesday, 24 & 25-December, 2018

As is tradition, Sarah and I spent Christmas and New Years on an international adventure of epic proportions.  This year, the Lydecker clan (including myself and Henry’s girlfriend Leah) met up in the land down under, the magical land of Australia.


Our tour started in Sydney, Henry and Leah’s home and stomping grounds…

Monday, 24-Dec

Our first day in Sydney started in the airport.  Since, you know, we had to fly.  Our aquacar was in the shop, you see, and our spare kayaks weren’t rated for the Pacific crossing.  So we flew.  On an airplane.

Our first order of business was stuffing our luggage into the hotel, and taking a quick nap to try and restore a little sanity to our poor Portlandian brains.  After we’d rested, showered, and had a bite to eat we met up with everyone and headed out to explore the city a bit.

Our main goals were the main sights – walking around the Oprah house and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

They were, unsurprisingly, exceptionally beautiful.

We walked and explored, and especially appreciated the chance to stretch our legs after being on the plane as long as we had.  It was amazing moving from the dark, damp, chilly winter of Oregon to the bright and warm summer sun of Australia.  The weather was honestly perfect – not as hot as we’d feared, just the right humidity, and a blazingly bright sun.

That last part was a little rough, I’ll admit – we slathered on sunscreen as best as we could, but still got some slight burns… worth it, if I may say so.


Tuesday, 25-Dec

For Christmas day, we rested.

It’s an easy trap to get into, when traveling to a new city… trying to always run around and do everything all the time forever.  It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but it also leaves you burnt out and too tired to really enjoy anything.  Thankfully, having Christmas as the second day of our trip did a bit to slow us down, and we took the day as a chance to rest, recenter ourselves, and enjoy some family time with the folks who we hadn’t seen in person in such a long time.

Henry and Leah cooked an amazing meal, we took a few walks, opened presents, and even had a nerf war while dinner cooked.

It was a good day.

From 2018 into 2019 – An Australian Adventure: A quick overview.


This year, and last year, we went to Australia.  It was over Christmas and New Years, so I can say that.

It’s the tradition now, right?  The Lydecker clan converges from across the globe in one location, all flying in for a few weeks of adventure, excitement, and family togetherness during Christmas and New Year.  We couldn’t break tradition now, could we?

Of course not.

But, the last few years had involved quite a bit of unpleasant travel for Henry and Leah – long flights, cold weather, and did I mention long and unpleasant flights?  They’d banked more than enough suffering to deserve a respite, and so the quorum decided that we’d all fly to them this year – Christmas in the land down under!

Before getting into the specifics of the adventures, here’s a quick overview of our itinerary, and a few of the exceptional photos that we were able to take…

22-Dec = Fly to Sydney
24-Dec through 25-Dec = Sydney, visiting with everyone and staying at Sydney AirBnB #1
26-Dec = Travel to Cairns
27-Dec through 29-Dec = Fitzroy Island, Northern Australia
30-Dec = Travel back to Sydney
31-Dec through 05-Jan = Exploring Sydney and maybe even the Blue Mountains
06-Jan = Fly to Portland