Sights for sore eyes

To say my kids and I packed in a full day today would be an understatement. But before we even began our day, I headed out for a quick run that included some nice hill repeats right here in my neighborhood–and my first Australian critter encounter!

We had to leave our house at 6:45 this morning to catch a tour bus, which meant I needed to hit the pavement by 5:30. Which meant it was dark, and so when I first stepped outside, I was in a state of heightened awareness. The neighborhood we are in feels incredibly safe, but still, a dark unknown neighborhood made me a bit jumpy. So it was pretty scary, albeit funny in hindsight, when only a few steps from home some sort of creatures crossed my path. I have no idea what they were, but they were cat-sized, gray, with long, white-tipped tails. They completely startled me and I let out a little scream. They went on their way, and I went on mine. I’d love to know what they were!

 Sights for sore eyes
The “three sisters” of the Blue Mtns.

After a really fast shower, the kids and I hit the ferry and met our bus. We went to the Blue Mountains today. This is an incredibly beautiful set of mountains to the west of Sydney. We got to the top, where it was cold and windy, and then took a tram down to the valley floor, where the climate changes to a rain forest. Amazing and the pictures don’t do it justice.

 Sights for sore eyes
Feeding the kangaroos

On the way back in to Sydney, we stopped at a wildlife park that was a huge hit with the kids (and me!). Here they featured lots of native animals that you could get up and personal with. We got to pet koalas and feed kangaroos (ice cream cones of all things). Good stuff.

Tomorrow I plan to start my day like an Aussie, doing a swim in an outdoor pool when the temperature hasn’t even topped 50 degrees yet. When in Rome…

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  1. A Tram? You mean you didn't "run" up and down the the Three Sisters?! Ha ha, just kidding! It sounds like you are making the best of your time there and having a ball. Glad you are better, have a fun swim! Cheers!

  2. Aww looks loads of fun! I would LOVE to pet koalas and feed kangaroos hehe :-)

  3. Yay for family vacations! Love the pics… keep us posted. And… have a great time!!

    *hugs* from Orlando! :)

  4. Beautiful! I have always wanted to go to Austrailia! Your children are adorable. Have a blast!!

  5. Glad you're having such a great time, enjoy!

  6. Look amazing! I'm completely jumpy in my own neighborhood early in teh morning – can't imagine how I'd be in an unfamiliar one.

  7. I need a kangaroo… dead serious, always wanted one! Can you smuggle one back for me??? PRETTY PLEASE?!?!?!?!?

    Hope you guys are loving the trip, sounds AWESOME!

  8. Teamarcia says:

    So cool! Aren't koalas mean? Or maybe I'm thinking of pandas…
    Can't wait for someone to tell us what the cat-like critter that crossed your path was.

  9. I love the pics of your kids. What memories you are making.

  10. I would be way too chicken to run in an unfamilar area in the dark – good for you!

    Gorgeous sites!

  11. Lovely! I'm so jealous of your visit. Glad you are having a good time.

  12. Those mountains look amazing!! that's so cool that the kids got to to pet koalas and feed kangaroos, what a great experience!!

  13. Patrick Mahoney says:

    I bet those animals where Australian Raccoons, quite fearsome…

  14. Wow, really beautiful those mountains! I enjoy your stories and pictures of your trip.

    I've noticed it's dark here now too when I go for a run which means I have to change my route as there's no lights where I usually run. Bummer!

  15. Way to rock Aussie!
    Love the pictures.

  16. ShutUpandRun says:

    Hope you survive that swim. It sounds so very chilly. Love the pic of the kids with the kangaroos.

  17. RunWithKate says:

    I wonder what those creatures were? Hmm.
    Lucky kids getting to pet kangaroos and all. I am jealous ;-)

  18. Cynthia O'H says:

    That swim sounds better than an ice bath!

    It reads and looks like you are having an amazing adventure. Be careful, though.

  19. Ahhhh, the trip will be a lifetime full of memories!

  20. Beautiful pics; I would love to visit there someday. It's definitely on my "to do" list.

    How did the swim go????

  21. I wonder if you had yourself an encounter with a possum. Sounds like it. And how cool you spent the whole day up at the mountains. Did you stop by Featherdale on the way back? That place is great value for getting up close and personal with our wildlife.

    Cant wait to catch up Saturday too.

  22. Bethany + Ryan says:

    wow!!! amazing!!!!!!!! great pix, thanks for sharing!

  23. Caratunk Girl says:

    Awesome pictures!! Did you ever find out what you saw? What an awesome adventure!

  24. Wow, I would have jumped and muttered a "WTF" too. That is crazy. 5:30? You continue to be an inspiration. Seriously.

  25. Glad you are having fun and glad you are feeling better!

  26. JoeyJogger says:

    I've had one of those moments as well – turned out to be a raccoon. I think he was more scared of me than me of him.

  27. Anne-Marie says:

    I've been blog-surfing over my lunch break and landed on your blog and immediately picked out the 3 Sisters in the Blue Mountains. I spent 2 weeks in Sydney & Newcastle in Dec/Jan 02-03, and it was so fun to read through your Australia blog entries and reminisce! I agree the pictures of the Blue Mountains can't do justice to the beauty of that region, but that's a pretty nice shot you captured. Enjoy the rest of your time there and stay healthy! :)

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