Farewell to Oz

Well, they say all good things must come to an end. After three wonderful years, our Australian adventure is finally at a close. With Drew already back in the States for months, it was finally time for Ashley to say goodbye. It was hard to move away from a place that really felt like home. Our fabulous friends took good care of Ashley in Drew’s absence, and they went above and beyond to send her off in style. There was time for one last holiday, so Ashley headed off for tropical Cairns.

With two days left, Ashley had to see one last Australian icon – the Great Barrier Reef. The trip to the outer reef took over an hour, but it was well worth it. Ashley picked up snorkeling gear and headed out to see what all the hype was about. She also grabbed an underwater camera, although the pictures don’t do the reef justice.

Parrotfish were among the most colorful residents of the reef, but there were hundreds of other fish too. Ashley found Nemo peeking out of an anemone, and was surrounded by a school of black and white damselfish at one point. Probably the most exciting find was a sea turtle sedately wandering by.

After a great day in the sun, it was time to go hide in the rain forest. Cairns is famous as “where the rain forest meets the reef”. Ashley took the Skyrail gondola up to the town of Kuranda.

Once at the top, it was off to the butterfly house and to feed some very cheeky parrots and parakeets.

One more night in Sydney and two long flights later, and Ashley made it back to DC to see Drew and Sophie again! More pictures from the Reef and Kuranda are at the links. Australia, it’s been awesome and we’re going to miss you. The blog will be quiet for a while, but expect the adventures to resume in the DC area!