"Future uncertain, but more travel later this year" aussiedoug's Profile

Italy Sept 2014

The below is over a year ago and we've had another trip to Hawaii last Nov 29 through Dec 13 last year.

Arrived back in Sydney on board QANTAS Flight 12 from Los Angeles last Monday morning December 3, 2008 after 2 weeks in California.

Break down of that trip is as follows:

Firstly 3 nights in the Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco which was at least 2 nights not enough. but still we had fun and explored a bit of this wonderful city, including a family bike ride along the waterfront and across the Golden Gate Bridge before the downhill run into Sausalito. There we had lunch (a bit late-ish) before catching a ferry back to Pier 1 and pedalling back to drop our hire bikes off. Pedalled about 16 km that day and walked over 10 000 steps. It was a great day! The above is a photo I took as the ferry from Sausalito was only a couple of hundred metres off Pier 1. Most photos I take like this are blurry with the nightlights and not enough background light, but this came out beautifully. Tell me what you think please.

Secondly a couple of nights with my good mate Mel (mesoblonda) at her place which included an excellent Thanksgiving lunch with her family.

Fri morning (Nov 23) saw us driving down to Monterey (with a stop off in Santa Cruz to visit the Surfing Museum) where we stayed 2 nights and Mel and Alex came with us to visit the Aquarium on the Sat. Sun morning saw us driving back to SFO for our aftenoon flight to L.Al

So, that then saw us spending 6 nights in Anaheim visiting Disneyland and California Adventure Park.

All in all an excellent family vacation with something for all of us as individuals as well as a family. If we could have I would have added a couple more nights in San Francisco, a couple more nights with Mel and a couple more nights in Monterey, where on this trip we discovered the beautiful Pacific Grove. The whole area round there is beautiful.

In my travel pages you will find a mixture of places visited from BC, yes before children when Kerry & I saw a bit of Australia & a bit of Japan & Canada & a lot of the U.S.A. You'll also see some of my individual travels; Paris & Beijing overseas, some work trips around New South Wales & also a few VT meets I've attended and I've been lucky to combine a couple of those with seeing my footy team, the reigning premiers, the Sydney Swans, when they've been playing in Melbourne.

Our Annual Family Photo with our Japanese Maple

Now for the whole family. I was very lucky man to be married to a wife I loved, but a nasty divorce changed all that and have been single for over 4 years now. Our twin girls whom I simply adore no want nothing to do with their father who sacrificed his career to get back to Sydney with them.

And at last, 2 and a half years later I am updating the photo with the latest of our family winter photos in front of our beautiful Japanese Maple. We take a photo here every year hoping to catch my favourite tree in its best colours & also as a way of keeping a record of the growth & changes in us, particularly our girls, as they continue growing up all too quickly for Daddy's liking.

To whit. their cubbyhouse, named by their late Nanna (my ex-wife's mum) "Maple Cottage", is no longer a mere cubbyhouse, but is now a "clubhouse". I love these girls so much they are the only thing in this world that could drive me to violence, in their defence, if it is ever necessary. They are pretty good kids, but just like their mum & dad just mere mortals with their respective strengths & weaknesses. However, like any good parent (or is that biased parent? lol!) I can admit their weaknesses to myself, but am less willing to admit it to others. Hey we adults are a bit like that ourselves aren't we! lol!

Sunset - My Favourite Time of Day

Of course I should add a beach picture seeing that I'm a surfdawg (according to my good VT friend catalysta) from way back as a grommet. A sunset piccie and this one is from somewhere around Santa Cruz, late one January afternoon (as teachers we've only ever done major travel in our summer/winter in the northern hemisphere).
If anyone knows where this specifically is I would love to know. If not Santa Cruz it's somewhere south of there heading towards Monterey, or could it be just north of Santa Cruz. Yes it does pay to label things when you first get them, not 6 or 7 years later. Another New Year's resolution I should keep, not break!!

Another sunset pic this time from W.A.

This photo was taken at Scarborough, a northern beach suburb of Perth, Western Australia. I was born in Subiaco, another Perth suburb & lived at what is now called Waterman (then Waterman's Bay) just north of Scarborough.

Our last visit to my spiritual homeland was in October 1998 with my wife quite pregnant with our girls and tjhis photo is one of a series of 9 I took leading up to sunset along about a 2Km strip of the beach.

Love these spectacular sunsets into the ocean, in this case the Indian ocean.

Ski Lesson with my mate Steve Limeburner

This is to show you international visitors, to my homepage, who know about our beaches & deserts, but don't know about our skiing that we do really have snow! Check both my and CandS's Falls Creek pages for one of Australia's ski areas.

Funny how things happen in life. Had just come in from my group ski lesson feeling less than happy with the instructor.
Lo & behold my wife comes in with this instructor from her group lesson whom I didn't recognise, but turns out to be a guy who moved to North Haven a bit b4 I left school. We knew each other, but not well. Steve sits down, shakes my hand & says, "Doug you used to be my hero when we surfed at North Haven" (I was an o.k. surfer back then). So I said, "Well Steve, you can be my hero now mate cause I'm not getting the hang of this skiing business!".

So I moved into my wife's group lesson even though I wasn't quite good enough & didn't look back. Steve was a great instructor. Last I heard when we were down there last year from one of the head instructors was that he was living in Bali with a Balinese wife & running a business there!

This photo is of our group lesson before we were about to start one afternoon.

The last, but not least member of our family

Yes I musn't neglect our faithful hound. Even though she has a pedigree a mile long we simply call her by the smallest part of her name, "Star" for the little white spot on her forehead. She is a dearly loved member of our family & the girls will grow up with her.

She is a beautifully natured dog who is also a good watch dog for us & gives us extra security as she can come down the side yard to right next to the front entrance to our house. It's also where the girls Maple Cottage is so when they are playing there, their faithful companion is right there with them. She rarely lets them out of her sight when they are anywhere outside of the house.

My father-in-law has her mother so when we go there on holidays or when he is down here with us, both dogs are happy as Larry (mind you I've often wondered how happy Larry is..., lol!) together. Star is the only one of the litter that her mother has had contact with & they are great mates.

VT Meet in Brisbane/Brissie/Brisvegas/Boomtown

Sadly I was unable to attend the previous Brisbane VT get together when my good mate Mesoblonda was out, but this time I was able to make a flying visit (just over 24 hours, flew up Fri afternoon & back late Sat afternoon) to catch up with my Aussie/Croatian friend Anita (aka VTer AussieMadCow). Now I'm here to tell you that she is no way mad at all, quite the contrary really good company being able to laugh & joke as well as discuss things seriously. From the left you see me, then Anita, Wayne (VTer greyphoenix) & Dean (VTer Groverdean). We had a gr8 night out having dinner at an excellent restaurant in Brisbane by the name of Lat27, referring, as Wayne explained to us, to the fact that Brisbane is located on Latitude 27 degrees South.
I was lucky enough to stay with Wayne at his place & then Sat morning we had a bit of a look around Southbank the old Expo 88 site which is really looking great then he drove me up to the lookout at Mt Coot-tha. I can't say enough good things about Wayne. He is one of the loveliest people you would want to meet, It was my pleasure to be able to spend some time with him & for us to get to know each other better.

As you can see, a small group, only 4 of us. Feel free to enlarge it if you want to see us warts & all, so to speak. lol!

Yes, Aloha from Oahu

Here we are half way through our 2 week holiday in Oahu and we have seen and done a lot of fun and interesting things.

The highlight for our girls was swimming with the dolphins at Sea Life Park, something they were not old enough to do during our last visit 4 and a half years ago.

However, for me, the highlight has been seeing the North Shore with big waves. We saw the finals of the Sunset contest where Aussie Tom Whittaker ran 2nd. He played half back for Met East Primary Schools Rugby Union team when I was state coach for the last of my 3 years. After watching that we drove down to Pipeline where the waves just blew me away and this is one of the photos I took. Much better taking pics here because the waves break that much closer to the shore than at Sunset.

Please click on this to enlarge it as the power of these waves is nothing less than awesome and the courage of the surfers who challenge these waves is pretty impressive too.

  • Intro Updated Jun 10, 2015
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Doug Long
North Haven, Australia
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