I can’t properly say “g’day”

Kangaroos: 10
Koalas: 1
Wallabees: 4
Wombats: 2
Tasmanian Devils: 6
Possums: 1 (with a cute furry tail!)
Echidnas: 1

See how those numbers grew?! It’s because Matt took me to Wings Wildlife Park at Gunn’s Plains (Tasmania) when we were there for a visit. HOW COOL! We got to feed kangaroos (and a camel, and a few goats…), saw a sleeping koala in a tree, admired a few Tasmanian Devils during their sunbathing time and even glimpsed a couple of wombats curled up together taking a nap. THEN, to top it off, yesterday while I was walking Buddha In Coombabah Conservation Reserve Area, something caught my attention and as I looked up I saw two kangaroos bounding past me across the path! I walked home with the biggest, doofiest smile on my face having seen them so close yet in the wild!

Unfortunately my time is slowly winding down for this visit here to Oz, but I’ll be back in December for Christmas and New Years (yay!). This last week will probably be pretty chill, especially because we have Samara all weekend and Laura is coming to visit and stay with us on Tuesday night – very cool! Mixing of my worlds can sometimes be intimidating, but I’m super excited for Matt and Laura to meet – two of the most important people in my life getting to know each other; what can be better than that? Ok, well if *all* of my friends came down here at once and stayed with us that might out-cool this encounter, but just barely.

Since last post (I know, shameful – just two posts in two months!) we have visited Tasmania, where Matt is originally from. After a night pub-crawling through Hobart, the capital, we headed up to Penguin via Oatlands, with a restored windmill to grind flour that is the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere POST LINK?, the itty-bitty down of Ross, where we stopped for a pie (pies are big things in Oz. They’re like pot pies, usually savory, with fillings ranging from egg and bacon [which is more like a mini quiche] to curried scallops) and through Launceston before coming upon the exuberant, diamond-in-the-rough town of Penguin! Ok, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration as the town is tiny, but the views are spectacular as the town is right on the water. We picked up pizzas for dinner before heading “home” to meet Matt’s family – his mom, dad and other sister. We had a good night sitting around, chatting and drinking wine, and stayed up fairly late arguing with his dad about the reasons for international travel, before calling it a night.

The next day is when we visited the Wildlife Park, where we spent a couple of hours soaking up the awesomeness of feeding kangaroos (I couldn’t get over it! They are so cute!), visiting a small school “expo” and stopping by Matt’s old Cricket Club to have a drink and give him the opportunity to catch up with some old friends. That night we were meant to meet up with one of his best friends after dinner with the family, but it ended up being too late. We tried stopping at the local pub, but 10:30pm on a Saturday night in a small town meant (surprisingly) that no one was there, so we headed back home. We had to leave the next day after a short visit, but I look forward to going back and spending more time in the nice weather along the beautiful beaches. We might try and fit in some fishing on our next visit as well 🙂

The following weekend saw us visiting Cairns, a place I was excited to see as that’s where Laura stayed for a year when she was working here, and it didn’t let me down! I took a beautiful walk along the esplanade checking out all the sea birds and keeping an eye out for crocs, cute coffee shops and restaurants and art galleries, along with a man-made “lagoon” where people could swim and lay in the grass without fear of crocs, jellyfish or other treacherous creatures attacking them. From there we drove to Port Douglas for the night and enjoyed cocktails at the hotel before hitting the town and strolling along the main street looking for dinner. I saw the hugest bats there and was totally mesmerized by them, which gave Matt a bit of a chuckle. We got up early the next morning for a long drive (made longer by rain and road work) down to Townsville – another cute place (which surprised us both) that we enjoyed by taking a walk along their esplanade and enjoying the calm water. From Townsville we headed to Mackay and had a nice meal out with Matt’s friends after he finished work and I strolled around the town. And then back home to the Gold Coast!

I was just rereading some old blog posts and stumbled across “Type is a Four Letter Word”. I smiled as I read it because everything I asked for and hoped for in that post, everything I felt was important in a lasting relationship, I have found a thousand-fold with Matt. He knows everything about me and loves me still; he remembers my stories; he tells me I’m beautiful (even if accompanied by “you still look like a dork”) and he is my perfect match! Each day that passes I love him more, and I’m so excited to continue planning for our future, deciding where to “settle” (though neither of us will ever settle down!) and where we will visit next (current trip: Africa, May 2011!). How did I get so lucky?! I love you, FTP!

Have a wonderful day everyone, and for you PDX folk, I will see you soon (though you will have to deal with me blubbering on about Matt for a while since I’ll miss him so much!) and hope to have the same phone number. Will let you know if it changes.

Much love and many hugs, Joslyn

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