Friday, July 29, 2005

cool animals

we made it all the way to palmer, alaska and back (almost 8000 kms and around 90 hrs of sitting in the car). it was definately worth it. we saw a lot of cool animals and mountains and scenery and got to camp at some really nice hot springs (and a lot of horrible little hotels in little towns) and did a couple days of ridiculously long drives (16-18 hrs). here's some of my favourite photos from the vancouver to alaska and back part of our north america trip.
this was our first moose siting. she even posed for us and then walked off after we finished taking photos
here's our first male moose (hanging out in a swamp on the side of the hiway in alaska)

buffalo on the side of the hiway (and on the hiway) our first animal siting of the trip: the road-liking caribou
one of four (6 if you count the 2 road kill ones) bears we saw (no grizzlys though)

i can't figure out how to get the rest of the photos i want onto this blog so i'm just gonna publish them another way (and they'll each have their own blog). they're kinda in reverse order (or not really in any order) of what i wanted them to be in.

our first alaska hike. apparently there's a lake right behind us and big mountains all around us.

cute little ground squirel thing on our first hike in alaska

zac by a glacier

my friend that we stayed with in alaska (good tour guide). its kinda cool that even though we live on opposite sides of the world, we still can see each other.

humpback whale

the humpback whale showed himself (well his tail and blowhole spray) 10 min later

my favourite road sign from the trip (there's 3 or 4 along the alaska-canada hiway)

the american side of the border

the canadian side of the border

this lake (lake kluane) is somewhere in the yukon (or maybe northern bc). its an amazing blue colour.

this little guy was actually in stanley park but he's cute so i had to put him in

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

too much to write

we've been in north america for about a week now i guess (my brain is all confused about what day it is and when we left and too many time zones). we flew thru taipei (somehow that works out cheaper to do that). the flight from sydney to taipei puts us 2 hours behind melbourne time but in the northern hemisphere where its summer (and about 30C and humid). the airline put everyone on the connecting flight to vancouver in a really nice hotel/golf club for the nite and shuttled us back to the airport the next morning. then we got on another 9 hr flight to vancouver (15 hrs behind taipei) so we left taipei tuesday afternoon and arrived in vancouver tuesday morning. 3 days after arriving in vancouver we jumped in a car and started driving to alaska. the fact that vancouver was light until 10pm was confusing enough for us but after 3.5 days of travelling north we got to palmer, alaska where it doesn't get much past dusk and the sun still is just setting behind mountains now at 10:50 pm (now an hour behind vancouver time). so thats messed up my brain a lot. its a good trip though. china airlines is amazing. we even had individual tv screens with movies, video games and other tv programs on the first 9 hr flight). driving to alaska we saw moose, bears, deers, cariboo and wolves. we stayed at a hot springs in northern bc that was amazing too. the sun just came out this evening in palmer so we finally got a view of all the mountains surrounding the town. tomorrow we go on a wildlife/glacier cruise in a town a few hours from here and then we'll check out anchorage on the way back the next day before we start heading back down to vancouver early saturday morning.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

babies are smart

i've been working in the babies room (6months-2yrs) at one of the centres most of the past 2 weeks. its amazing some of the stuff that they say and do especially cuz i've known a lot of the older ones since they first started coming last year and they've definately figured out a few things about life since then.
a couple months ago i asked a 20month old "are you going to canada?" (her mom is canadian-- the girl is 2 in a couple days and will be going on her 4th trip to canada 10 days after we leave). anyway, her response was "airplane". she knew that to get to canada meant going in an airplane.
yesterday at morning tea one of the older ones turned to the staff and just said "is there more toast please?" a full 5 word question! usually this boy just says "more toast?, more toast?, more toaast?, more toast?..." over and over until someone responds (the general way that most of the ones able to talk ask for things).
we have another little girl who's almost 2 who i think is the most considerate toddler in the world. she's soooo sweet to ALL the other babies all the time (holds the younger ones hands to lead them to where they should be, gets toys for crying babies and tries to pat them to comfort them, she shares with everyone, opens and closes doors for the babies AND the staff--without anyone asking her to...). its weird too cuz her older sister (she's 4) was the complete opposit-- she was one of the ones that would push and shove all the others and was just a really mean baby.
at the end of the day yesterday i was holding an 18 month old's hand while he climbed up and down some steps in the play yard. i wasn't really paying much attention but then i noticed that as he was going down the steps he was counting his steps and i could hear him saying "one...two...three" to himself as he went down-- that's pretty good cuz half the babies/toddlers can't even say the numbers let alone actually use them for counting properly.
after a couple parents left with their baby a toddler turned to me, pointed to his boots and said "boots like andrew." (the dad that just left). i was impressed that he actually knew the guy's name (i can never remember his name-- i just see him and think "[baby's name]'s dad")
i think one of the funniest things i saw them do this week (although we had to be stern with them while dealing with it, it was funny to watch it happen). one boy was walking around with this toy trian in his hands. another toddler decided he wanted it so he went up and grabbed it. the first boy pushed him but thtat didn't work too well cuz the one with the train was already walking away. we all just started to raise our voices to tell the first boy not to push and the second boy to give the train back when the first boy decided to run after the one with the train and tackle him-- he dived at the boy's legs and wrapped his arms around his ankles and the boy with the train came down. the first boy picked up the train and walked off (off course we had to go after him, take the train away and expain thats not how to do things but it was funny just seeing him take down this bigger boy and walk off like nothing happened)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

cool thing for the day

i came home this afternoon and sat down to have "lunch" (it was about 3:30 and i realized i hadn't had anything since my cheese and vege-sausage sandwhich for breackfast). i was sitting in the kitchen and the window on one side was bright and sunny with just a few grayish/white clouds but the other side was really dark. several minutes later it started raining (not a big surprise for melbourne-- especially this time of year). i decided to go do some stuff in our new spare room while it was too wet to go out. the new spare room (our old housemates room) has a window that faces out onto the street (no other windows in our house face that way). i was sitting by the window when the downpour started. all along the sides of the street rivers were forming. i saw these 2 indian miner birds (small-ish birds with yellow beaks) fly down to the "river/puddle" along the kerb and start flapping around having a bath. it just looked really cool-- these 2 birds having a party in the water from the rain, right infront of our house.