"I choose to be Amused!"-An Epic Trip to DL with a side of Oz(3/17-4 NEW POSTS pg17)

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by skier_pete, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. miss.potatohead

    miss.potatohead Mouseketeer

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    Wow Pete those photos at the Great Barrier Reef are awesome! Definitely inspired me to get up there before the beautiful coral reefs are destroyed any further by coral bleaching and other negatives from the rising sea temperature!
     
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  3. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    Looks like an amazing awesome day on the reef! The photos are gorgeous! We love it up there, actually we're headed to Hamilton Island in a few days for a vacation, you have made me more excited seeing that beautiful bright blue water. :beach:
     
  4. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Hey everyone, still working on getting in another update - but thought I would post a quick picture from New Year's. We went to my Dad's in Massachusetts and got a pretty good snowfall there. DD and I went out and played in the snow each day. I kept thinking about how lucky we are that we get to play in the snow. (Sorry, for the 80% of the world population that doesn't get this - you just don't know what you are missing.) So, until the next update, I thought I would share this:

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    Happy New Year
    from DD and Anxious Snowman with bad toupee!


    Oh, and DD would probably want me to share her latest Lego creation:

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    Note the "people" in the chairs, the "dogs" in the pen, and the Christmas Tree with the "star" on top.

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    Hope to get back to the updates soon!

    Oooh, and also we ate at one of my favorite restaurants for Prime Rib - Bernies Dining Depot in Ludlow Mass. This is the small prime rib cut, which runs $18.95 including salad, vegetable, potato and rolls. It's probably about 28 ounces. (1.5 pounds) and simply perfectly prepared. They're large cut is $37.95, and is about - and I am not kidding - three times this size.

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    A $6 adder for a side of 6 scallops, and these suckers were big and so incredibly melt-in-your-mouth prepared they would almost kill you:

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    And no, I did not finish the meal! Took about half the beef home for a later dinner.
     
  5. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Awww, snow! We get to experience it once every 5-8 years, but never enough to make a snowman that big!! It is usually a light dusting overnight and that's it. One year it snowed on Christmas, and I thought that was so amazing, until we all realized none of us can drive in the snow so hardly anyone was able to come to the get together at our house. :rotfl:

    Holy cow (literally!)!! That's a huge piece of beef!!!
     
  6. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    I have only seen snow once in my life and that was about 35 years ago!
     
  7. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    That's a great snowman! And you are lucky to be able to play in the snow.

    Love the food porn.


    Happy New Year!
     
  8. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    Love the snowman! (and the snow). Also tell DD love her Lego house & occupants - reminiscent of the sorts of things my DD used to build. Older, we've now discovered nanoblocks! Hope 2013 is a great year for you and your family.
     
  9. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Thanks all. The snowman was sort of a cheater. For those familiar with snow, snow does not always fall in the good quality for packing a snowman. (A heavy, wetter snow is needed.) However, there were several piles of snow that we had access to that had been plowed/packed into mounds. The snowman was made from three of the chunks of snow - thus his odd blockish shape. The hardest part was getting the second large chunk up on top of the first.

    I haven't heard of nanoblocks, I will indeed have to check them out.
     
  10. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    I apologize for so long between actual updates. I have been having trouble getting on the computer at night to write this. With only about 6 days to go, I really want to keep on top of and finish this sucker.

    Back out to Airlie Beach. DW wanted to do a bit of shopping in the morning, while I was hoping to get on the road so we could get to Eungella National Park. I lost out on this one. After we packed up the car, we did a little walk along the water front (our hotel was basically about 30 feet from this beach), as well as a walk down by the local lagoon. It was a much calmer, less windy day than the previous day. Here’s a few pictures from Airlie Beach.

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    Much like Cairns, Airlie Beach also has a swimming lagoon. It’s not quite as big, but still pretty large. I’m guessing it was too “chilly” this morning to be used much as there were not many people in it.

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    The main reason for all these lagoons:

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    OK – I’ve had enough of the water, thanks! I point out that the Irukandji is 1-2cm and usually not visible.:scared1: My favorite line from that poster -"Vinegar is provided at this beach."

    We left town a little after noon, and had around a 2+ hour drive to Eungella. We followed the GPS rather than my print-out of the driving directions, and I am not sure but this might have been a mistake. The roads we took got VERY rural. A popular way of paving roads in Australian Bush is apparently to pave the road itself only one lane ride, and if another car comes at you, well you better swerve off into the dirt. We eventually found ourselves back on the “main” road. (The one with two lanes.) We ended up stopping at a little restaurant called the “Pinnacle Motel” in the town of Pinnacle.
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    I’d wanted to find a real local place like this, and I was not disappointed. The food was excellent, though somehow they messed up our order, as I ordered two of the crumbed steaks (kind of like a “chicken fried steak” in the states) and they charged me for and brought out three (price seemed high but I was so used to high I didn’t notice). They were kind enough to refund for the extra (why would I order 4 meals for 3 people). The meal was both huge and tasty. There were a lot of tourists at the restaurant, I guess people stopping down from a day in the park. There was a guy on the porch playing classic rock acoustic music. It was a fun lunch.

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    The crumbed steaks

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    DD’s chicken strips meal:
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    Really one of the best meals we had on the trip, which I guess is why I took pictures.

    Continued in Next Post
     
  11. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    From there, we had about 40 minutes more driving. The road drove into what appeared to be a dead-end valley with a huge forested cliff in front of us. The road eventually switch-backed up the cliff, and we made our way up over the top of the cliff and along the ridge and eventually found the “hotel” – the Broken River Resort. Really it was more of a rustic group of cabins, but it was really beautiful. Very quite and out of the way. We settled into our room and headed out, as it was already 4 PM by this time and darkness was settling. A pheasant of some sort hanging outside our room.

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    Some pictures of our cabin:

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    Why are these ALL blurry? I must've been drunk.

    What we had really driven all this way to see was the chance to see Platypus in the wild, and the creek where they hang out is about a 50 meters from the Resort. So we walked down to the water, and lo and behold, we got to see a couple of Platypus swimming in the creek. This was super-cool to see, as we really had not seen a lot of wild animals on this trip. First shot of the platypus:

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    We stood and watched for maybe 10-15 minutes, and then decided to go on a short hike. The hike lasted perhaps an hour, and DD did a lot of whining after a very short time, but we did get some fun pictures.

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    This branch went across the path. You could get garroted if you didn’t watch where you are going!

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    Views of the Broken River George:
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    After the walk, we went back to look at the Platypus, but DD got bored and DW did to. I stayed and watched them for close to an hour longer, and tried to get some decent pictures, but between the low light, and the fact that they would only surface for a few seconds before diving back under made pictures with my little point and shoot almost impossible. I eventually used the video camera, and still I couldn’t get much of anything any good. Here’s the best of the bunch. Evidence that I had indeed FOUND Perry!

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    There was a walk further down the river where there was a swimming hole. Much too cold right now to be of much use, but pretty:

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    There was some sort of egret out in the middle of this “pond” and the light was getting really bad, so I again used the videocamera to capture it, but it didn’t come out real well:
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    I headed back to the cabin, and we hung out and made some dinner. (We had planned on eating in since we knew there weren’t any restaurants around. The resort did have a dinner service that we could’ve joined inside, but again we were so sick of eating out at this point. The rest of the evening was unremarkable, with us reading or something to pass the time.
     
  12. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    That's a great spot you got to. Seems like to see the platypus in the wild was worth the trip for you....but I wonder if you'd do all that driving again.
     
  13. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    Glad you found your way even if by different routes and had a nice meal in what looked like a typical little place. Also pleased you found Perry. They are almost impossible to photo-much like the wombats in Tasmania are-but at least it reminds you that you saw them.
     
  14. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Honestly, if we ever get back to Australia (a pretty big if at this stage) I don't think we would do that part again. We may return to Cairns to stay, but might not even do that. We really felt we short-changed the Brisbane area (which I haven't gotten to) and I would want to add Uluru, Adelaide/Great Ocean Road, and probably New Zealand to another trip, and I think that whole NE section would fall by the wayside.

    That said, it was still well worth the trip and we were very glad we did it.

    Yeah, unlike PrincessInOz and Shuttergirl, I don't much go in for quality camera rigs. I actually used to have a pretty set of camera/lenses back in the days of real film, but I lost interest somewhere along the way. I don't have the patience for it is what I think it is. I just want to get the snap and move on. (Probably why i have so many blurry pictures! :goodvibes )Now I tend to take more video than pictures, but have beefed that up a bit for the Trip Reports. I "only" took about 1300 pictures during the four weeks.

    However, while I was here watching the Platypi (pusses) I was really wishing I had my old camera and a tripod. I spent a good hour sitting there while the sun was setting trying to get a decent shot. There was a few times on this trip when photographing wildlife I wished I had a better camera, but usually I am pretty satisfied with mine.

    I was considering getting a better camera for the upcoming ABD trip, but then it occurred to me that there will likely be several people on that trip who share there photos with the group, and at least one of them will have way better photography skills than me so I'll just let someone else do it. (I do think I am very, very good at photographic composition...ie selecting and setting up the shot...when I take the time, but that skill has become less important with photo-editing software, as you often just take a wide shot and compose the picture later.
     
  15. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    What a beautiful beach!

    We saw a tree the same as (or at least similar to) this one in Hawaii! I remember I couldn't believe how huge it was. Not that I'm a big tree enthusiast, but I love the vines/branches/whatever they are that wrap around the trunk. So cool looking!

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  16. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    Most likely what Pete saw was a young Strangler Fig. Tiny seeds lodge in the branches of a tree, after a time they send down their roots to the ground snaking around the host tree. Eventually they totally surround the host tree and as well as taking all the nutrients from the ground, also squeeze the trunk of the host tree which restricts movement of nutrients-hence the name "strangler". Eventually all of this kills the host tree (takes a very long time) and as the host dies away you are left with a hollow inside the tree. There are some spectacular examples around Qld of huge hollow strangler figs and its great to go inside at the base and look right up inside the trunk and see the sky out the top. I believe they are also found in most tropical and sub tropical places hence also in Hawaii. Khertz pic is definitely also another "young" one.
     
  17. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Wow, that is kind of sad that they kill the tree! But it really does look cool. Thanks for the info, very interesting. :goodvibes
     
  18. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Well, I can't say I knew what the vine was, I just thought it was a cool image. I sort of figured it wasn't good for the tree though.

    A lot of people have mentioned that picture to me, and about what a big tree it was, but it wasn't nearly as big as the one in khertz picture. I used the Disney trick of "forced perspective" to make it look bigger, with the guy that is walking behind the tree is actually probably 150 feet behind the tree, but also uphill from the tree. The tree itself was actually probably less than 2 feet in diameter, the i think it looks bigger than that.

    Still trying to find the time to work on Day 24!
     
  19. DannyDisneyFreak

    DannyDisneyFreak Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas.

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    Well hello Pete, I just stubled across your TR here because I want to start planing a DL trip after many many to WDW. I wanted to start reading a TR that I would most relate with, well I saw yours was a first time trip to DL like me (check) you have a 9 your old and my DD will be 9 next month (check) and then I noticed that you are from Buffalo, I'm in Niagara Falls so for a WNYer (check check double check) well here I am hopping aboard your TR, haven't even finished your first post so I got some reading to do! I may have lots of questions can wait to hear all about DL!
     
  20. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Hey Danny! We actually live in Wheatfield, so even closer to you than you think! DLR was great fun. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about going there. It's really a different (but great) experience.

    Go Sabres!
     
  21. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    I was hoping to get a multi-day update, but I've been sick all week, so I thought I would post what I managed to write.

    We woke up in the morning absolutely FREEZING. The place we were staying at was a cabin and as such only had a fireplace for heat. Well, I apparently didn’t get the fire going well enough the night before and it went out. The main room wasn’t too bad, but the bedroom and bathroom were positively frigid. (It was cold enough out that there was frost on the car.) We packed up the car and had some breakfast in our room, and headed out for the 90-minute drive to Mackay. We had like a10:15 flight to Brisbane, so we wanted to be there by 9 AM. No worries, though and we got there with plenty of time. IT was a very small airport, and breezed right though to the plane. We were in Brisbane by noon and out of the airport traveling North for our last Australia destination, the Glasshouse Mountain region and the Australia Zoo. We stopped for lunch, but struggled a bit to find a place to eat, and finally settled on eating at Red Rooster again (chicken fast food). We got back on the highway (it was actually the same route we took from Cairns to Mackay, just in the other direction) and after only about 45 minutes we were off on the Steve Irwin Way – possibly the only major highway in the world named after a zookeeper. We got into the region, and after a stop at the local tourist information center, went to the place we were staying.

    So, this was a bit of an odd circumstance. This area doesn’t have a lot of regular hotels, more bed and breakfasts. I had found one on the internet back about 6 months before our trip and booked a room. A couple months before our trip, the owner wrote me and said that they couldn’t provide the room, but were going to transfer me over to place called “Crookneck Retreat”. I went on line and looked it up, and it seemed nice, and though the price at the new place was higher, they were not asking us to pay more, so I told him OK.

    Well, we were very happy with the transfer, because the place was extremely nice. The owners had an old macadamia nut orchard and they had built a couple of individual cabins spread out in the orchard.

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    Each one was set up with a living area/kitchen/bedroom with also a Jacuzzi tub.

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    I would have to say it would have been an almost ideal location for a romantic getaway, but not quite as ideal with a 9-year old! However, if any readers are looking for a getaway outside Brisbane, I would highly recommend it. (And make sure to mention you got your recommendation from America! They'll get a kick out of that one.

    Crookneck retreat is named for one of the Glasshouse mountains. These mountains are made up of old volcanic cores that have eroded away the outsides while leaving the harder inner rock in place. They were named by Captain Cook on his round-the-world voyage after glass making buildings in England. We only had a few hours left of daylight, so we went to a nearby ridge where you could get some views of the region. This is the actual Crookneck:
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    And here’s a few of the other mountains around:

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    We took a small path around the mountain we were on, it probably took about 45 minutes to walk, with DD whining pretty much the whole way. (She was getting extremely ornery by this point in the trip.) However, we did get her to take our picture at one point.

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    After the walk, we needed to find a place to eat, and wanted to pick up the tickets for the zoo at the tourist spot (they were slightly discounted if you pre-bought them). We let DD get an ice cream at the store…

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    …and climb around in a playground near the info center, in which they had small-scale replicas of the local mountains.

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    We ate dinner at the local tavern that I didn’t write down the name. The food was very uninspiring, though, so I don’t think I need to recommend it. (This was NOT the Beerwah tavern, which we ate at the next night, and found to be quite good.) Afterwards we went back to our room. We tried to stoke the fire, but couldn’t get the heat up. We ended up freezing tonight too, though the next morning we realized that there actually was a heating unit. (D’OH!) We also watch some TV, watching the Australian version of “The Amazing Race”. This is of our favorite shows in the US, so it was neat to see it in another country.

    Next up, Australia Zoo!
     

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