Photos - 2009 - Early Part of the Year


Archived Letters


Photos - 1997

Photos - 2001

Photos - 2002

Photos - 2003

Photos - 2004

Photos - 2005

Photos - 2006

Photos - 2007

Photos - 2008

Photos - 2009

Early Part

Middle Part

End of the Year



At the beginning of the year we realized one of Rex's goals in Australia -- we went to the Gold Coast for the theme parks.  The Gold Coast is in the same spirit as Orlando.  Not as good, but the same idea. 

Click on an image to see a larger picture

The apartment.  There are lots of apts on the gold coast and it's generally the best deal for a family.  We looked up places on the internet, looked at facilities and made a booking.  Immediately after making the booking we read a bad review of the place we booked, so we were worried ...

But we had decent bedrooms ...

... nice bathrooms ...

... and a good kitchen

with that Gold Coast view

same view (different day)

looking to the west

we tried some night photos



We bought a family combo ticket that allowed entry to 3 theme parks over 5 days.  First up, Seaworld.  Good, but not a patch on Seaworld at San Diego

Only a moderately busy day

when inside

it looks good

We enjoyed the dolphins, but missed a photo of them leaping out of the water

and the good guys / bad guys show was fun

We left pretty happy

Next was Wet 'n Wild which was fun

It was a hot day at Wet 'n Wild

and it was quite crowded at the wave pool

but this was a good day; we recommend the park

Last was Warner Brothers Movie World, which was (just) OK

Our first ride was Superman ...

... which, unfortunately, was the best of the day

Yep, highlight of the day

A rare good photo of Neil

Usa photographed a Movie Word resident (real, not fake)

at the Harry Potter store

Late in the day Batman did a drive thru

and by then we didn't have the energy ...

... for more rides

We went to the beach (only one day though & the weather wasn't great)

the Gambles at the beach

the weather made the surf rough

the Gold Coast - beaches & buildings

The other activity was shopping - but we don't have photos of that.  We do have photos of driving to the Gold Coast & back to Sydney ...

the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour

the Big Prawn in Ballina

the Macadamia Castle, near Byron Bay

on the road again ...

... friendly signs - we must be in Australia

Night approaches

And we celebrated the birthdays of Roger & Rex in February.

In our family we have a treasure hunt on birthdays.  Neil hides the presents and writes clues for the birthday boy to find them; it's fun & the boys enjoy the challenge of finding the gifts.  (And Neil has to be more creative as each year passes!)

First Rex

Hmmm ... I need to think about this one


And again

For Rex's birthday dinner Usa made her signature beef wellington dish; note the name made from pastry

Followed by birthday tiramisu

the Cremorne 3 headed monster finally caught on camera

Then Roger

Roger had to decipher a code

Cool, a DVD

and we all enjoy ourselves

Roger's birthday dinner featired a fancy cake ...

... and he does the necessary

a close up of the cake