Monday, July 16, 2012

Down Under with the Schonemans

well as most of you know I am done with my working part in Australia. It came fast as these 6 months have gone by so fast and I am so sad to be leaving. I had a wonderful last couple weeks with my host family as we eat delicious food, went to a massive bon fire, and I said bye to my friends.

 My parents came last friday and we spent the weekend in Melbourne. We went on a wine tour in the Yarra Valley and had the most wonderful time as it was a perfect blue sky day with yummy wine that we drank glasses and glasses of. We walked all over the city exploring the rich history Melbourne has to offer from the Shrine of Remembrance to the Victoria Market. We had a wonderful dinner with my amazing host family. It was so hard to say goodbye but really it was a see you later. They will always be apart of my life and will continue to bring joy and love to my life everyday. On our last day in Melbourne we spent it soaking in the hot springs down in the Mornington Peninsula. Afterwords we had a delicious dinner with a picturesque view at the Portsea Pub. It was a beautiful drive up the coast as we watched the sun set. We finished off our adventures by having cocktails on the 35th floor of the Sofitel hotel. Saying goodbye to Melbourne was such a distant moment that I thought would be far off when I first arrived but it came and it was weird to know Im not coming back for 4 years. It felt good to fly up to warm weather and feel the sun on my oh so pale skin. We found ourselves on a beautiful 4 mile long beach where the palm trees come right up to the water. We boarded a boat and set sail out into the ocean to explore the great barrier reef. My dad and I went scuba diving and it was the most amazing experience as we were right up to the beautiful growing reef. We swam with a turtle which was so majestic and saw so many neon fish. I am amazed at all the color God put into this world. We ended the night with a delicious fish straight off the grill : ) We soaked up the sun on the beach and swam in the refreshing 70 degree water. That night we tried barramundi fish for the first time and our mouths were watering for more. It was an amazing dinner finishing it off with a sticky date pudding. Saturday we headed on up to the Daintree river where we hopped on a boat and went crocodile hunting : ) well not hunting. We saw about 5 crocs from babies to a 80 year old huge croc nicknamed scar face. We had the most knowledgeable tour guide as he fed us information about the vegetation and animals that were surrounding us. We then headed on up north to Cape Tribulation but on our way there we drove on windy roads and through thick rainforest full of tall trees and huge ferns. We arrived and the sun came out. It was the most amazing place I have ever been to as its where the rainforest comes right into the ocean. The mangrove trees were right in the ocean soaking up the salt water which was giving them life. The water was crystal blue and warm while we waded in it soaking in Gods creations and love. While driving back down we found ourselves way up ontop of a mountain looking down at the ocean and then 5 minutes later we had a sandy beach just feet from our car. It was simply breathtaking. Ice cream was our next stop as we drove through the Daintree Ice Cream Companies orchard. The ice cream we found ourselves inhaling was Raspberry, Passion Fruit, Lychee and Wattle Fruit. Each flavor was full and intense as it was made straight from where we were with the seeds and everything. We continued to drive down and stopped at a few lookouts, one was a view of where the Daintree river emptied into the Coral Sea. It was such a beautiful sight with all the lush green rainforest trees meeting the crystal blue and turquoise ocean water. I have never been so amazed at Gods love for us as we discovered a place that we have never been to. At that moment I was overwhelmed with the feeling that Its going to be so long till I am back here and I am not ready to leave. Sunday we walked along the beach, which it was not a short walk but we ventured into town where they had a huge market full of homemade crafts and food. It was so much fun to see all the things that people create and the passion that people have for certain items. We winded our way to each tent and bought several gifts for family members. We finished off the day at a restaurant called On the Inlet where they have a HUGE grouper named George where the feed him. It was truly an amazing sight seeing this 400 kilo fish just tear apart these fish chunks. We met a lovely couple who was from Philip Island down in Victoria. After having a wonderful conversation with them we were seated at a table right on the water. Our meal was DIVINE! simply amazing food as we tried tune, coral trout and barramundi and finished off with an espresso creme brulee and poached pear crepe. We left with our tummies happy. It was also my moms bday dinner out which she had a dessert drink of Sambuca Vanilla which she claims is her new favorite drink. On the way to our car we met a man who made us an angel fish out of Palm tree leaves. We had a wonderful night as we all fell asleep with happy tummies. Today, Monday I woke my mother up screaming HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY : )  I made her a delicious breakfast which consisted of a breakfast burrito with sausage and fresh papaya. We took a long walk on the beach exploring the tide pools since the tide has been so far out. We found several crabs and a starfish on the move. It was very windy today and we saw several people kite surfing. I made my mum a delicious birthday dinner with consisted of baby rocket and parmesan salad, butternut squash and prawn risotto with baby rocket, feta cheese and a sauvignon butter sauce. It was restaurant worthy I must say ; ) and as I am writing this now I am finishing off a yummy bowl of toasted coconut gelato with fresh pineapple. I love being in the tropics! Tomorrow we wake up bright and early to catch a flight down to Sydney where we will end this great adventure. We have a whale watching boat tour booked so that gets me so excited since I have never done it before. I will say I have seen so many animals while I have been here. Kangaroo, Koala, Wallaby, Crocodile, Turtle and now hopefully a whale!! We have also made bookings at some delicious restaurants one where the executive chef follows me on twitter : ) tehehe. We are also going to go to the Sydney zoo and hopefully hold a koala!!

I cant believe that my time is just numbered by a few days here. I remember the day I arrived and saw my beautiful Alicia ontop of Marks shoulders holding a sign saying Welcome to Australia. I am so thankful for all the memories and people I have met while being here. I have changed as a person and thankful that God brought me here and into the amazing peoples lives I will always call my family. Carol keeps telling Alicia that they are going to see me soon and they will come to my wedding whenever that is : ) hopefully I will see them before that.

I have no clue what is up ahead of the road for me but I do know that God is always going to guide me because he brought me here and brought all these wonderful experiences to me.

I have 2 interviews in Cali while I will be there for the short time that I am. One is a florist in La Jolla and another is a florist who is wanting to sell her business. The other is a florist in Eden Prairie MN and I will have a phone interview when I get to my parents house in Texas. I am not worried that I will not find a job. I have to give it all up to God and trust that will bring me to the right place, the right job and bring the right people into my life.

I will be in California for the weekend then fly to Boise to see my cousin Kersti for a couple days then fly on down to Texas to spend the weekend with my mom in Plano where they have been living for the past couple months. My mom and I will then drive up to Kansas City where I will FINALLY be reunited with my sister and her beautiful children.

Well I will leave you with some pictures from the last couple weeks.

May God bring you amazing experiences in your life like he has in mine


  1. I believe that you have seen more of Australia than most Australians! I'm glad you had a great time and I hope you will continue blogging when you get home!

    Best wishes and blessings,
    Natasha in Oz

  2. Mark and I had tears of joy reading your blog...Your warmth, generous spirit, independence and love of life shines through...see you soon. From your family in Balwyn north.