Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pictures to follows Lauren's blog

So here are the last pictures probably until we get back to the US, but hey I am going out in style... 119 pictures WHATS UP. That took me forever. So they are in 2 slideshows and some of them get pretty mixed up, but here they are. Thank you all for following, and expect our Sydney pictures and Rugby pictures in about a week.

(sorry this slideshow does not have captions...due of a lack of time)

Much love,


Last Stop: SYDNEY!!!

So our last week in Chillingham flew by! But we cannot complain because it was action packed and we really enjoyed each McMoment.

Monday we spent the morning and better half of the afternoon with Badger until he took off back up North with his little son Noah. The rest of Monday we just hung around the property and play what else....Frisbee golf! 

Tuesday was another relaxing day on the property. We hung around outside in the fantastic weather and  helped Todd set up the water pump that connected two of the far tanks to the house. I'm sure this lingo means very little to our city folk friends and family. Pretty much my brother owns what I calculated to be 24,000 gallons of water tanks. They let the tanks fill with rain water and use that for the house. Talk about self sustained! 

Wednesday we had a leisure morning waiting for Todd to get done with some work in the office. But when he was finally done he had a pretty bad migraine. While we waited for him to sleep it off Em and I caught up on some reading. I finished Fear and Loathing a few weeks ago so I moved on to the Alchemist while Emlyn is reading Julie and Julia. She also finished my scarf this week which you will be seeing in the next slide show. I love it! I'm sure most of you are wondering how much use I will get out of a angora scarf in LA but I love it and will find some day to wear it. 

After Todd's migraine wore off we took Rylan to the pool for some McSwimming lessons. I polished off what I could remember from my teaching days but Rylan was a bit distracted with all the commotion so we ended up just playing around, which he loved of course. After swimming we met up with Todd and Tipp's friend John and Emma to help them move some furniture into their newly remodeled home. So lovely. 

Thursday was a day that I was dreading for weeks but ended up being one of my favorite days of the trip. We had been postponing the Mount Warning climb because of scheduling and my horse incident. Our initial plan was that Em, Todd and I would hike the Mountain and camp at the top. But since the condition of my back was getting worse by the day we decided to make it a day trip and include Tipp. We headed up the mountain at around ten am and arrived at the top at around ten minutes to twelve. I was very surprised because the night before I threw my back out just picking up some dishes. I was pleased with myself and the views were  absolutely the best reward. I am not exactly a climbing pro but I will say that going up was much easier for me than coming down. I fell once and I was holding my bladder the last hour down. I can't complain though because it was a really lovely day. 

When we returned home from the hike we had a bonfire with marshmallows and Corona. A little side not about Corona in Australia: Don't get it. I thought it tasted a little off and my suspicions were confirmed when I read that they bottled it in New Zealand. CHEATERS!! On top of that you would never guess what a 24 pack goes for. Want to guess? Try 60 BUCKS!!!

Friday morning we rose bright and early to make the morning bird feeding at the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary. I really enjoyed this day because I got to see all the famous Australian wildlife. Last time Em and I visited OZ we went to the barefoot bushman's park. At both parks you get the opportunity to be up close with my favorite, the kangaroos. I went so far as to fulfill an absurd but understandable request and touch the pouch of 2 of the Kangaroos. That evening Tipp had to go to a family event in Brisbane so Todd, Em and I did a round of Frisbee golf and chilled the rest of the evening with Bonnie. She brought over some delicious Thai food and we caught up on Dexter. 

Today we packed Ry Kai in his moving bungalow aka a backpack that holds a kid and set off on our last hike of the trip. Springbrook is a national park that sits on top of a mountain about 1 hour drive from Todd and Tipps house. We hiked through lush Rain forest and several waterfalls to reach our rest spot by a water hole. We enjoyed the lovely weather and a yummy McPicnic. On our way home from Springbrook we stopped by the famous fudge shop to pick up some fudge for after dinner and an ice cream for the road. When we arrived back at the property Badger had finished moving Jocelyn's belongings into a storage shed so Em and I relaxed and played with Rylan in our room. Just now we put Rylan to sleep and Todd Em and I are going to watch as much Dexter as possible. 

Tomorrow we leave early in the am to Brisbane to catch a movie with Badge and then off to the NRL game (Rugby). Monday morning we fly off to our last destination on the McTravel: SYDNEY! 

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read through our travels. This summer hasbeen life changing for both Emlyn and I. We have learned so much about our family, our relationship with each other and most importantly ourselves. I am so eager to come home and begin my career in LA and for Em to go back to San Diego and finish up her last year at state. Thanks again!

Much love, hugs and McKisses from down under,


Sunday, August 9, 2009

No skin off my back, Well maybe a little

Last Tuesday Emlyn and I went with Todd on his weekly delivery for his business. Most of his deliveries are along the Gold coast so after all the work we were able to head to Surfer's paradise to hang around the beach. While we were there we were able to see the Naked Nai'a. This is the boat that Todd traveled the world on for years. He sold it a few years ago to start buying property and begin his family. The last time Emlyn and I visited Australia we traveled the Barrier Reef for 3 weeks on the Nai'a. Good memories on that boat! After all the work and play we had an awesome lunch at a Belgian pub called the Pink Poodle! 

Wednesday I took my shortest horse ride ever! I rode Todd's pony out of the first gate and everything was fine. He was trotting along and I was having a blast. But as soon as the second gate opened all hell broke loose. The details to my knowledge are sketchy and nobody else saw it but from what I remember the horse took off full speed going up a hill. I was tugging at the rein for him to slow down but I knew it wasn't going to work. As the horse took off faster my feet slipped out of the stirrups and I knew I was going to have to bail. It was just where and when I was going to do it that I had to decide. Everything in between the decision to bail and the precision landing is a blur. I just remember being on the ground in a great deal of pain wondering why the hell my head hurt so damn much! The best part about it is what my helmet looked like! Good thing I was wearing one!

The rest of that day Emlyn & I crashed on the couch and watched How I met your Mother. 

Thursday we were supposed to climb Mount Warning and camp at the top because it was a full moon. But when I woke up I could hardly move my back and I still had a pretty harsh head ache. We decided to take it easy that day and go pick lemons up at Bonnie's property. She has an amazing view right at the top of a mountain that looks out on a huge valley. We sat and enjoyed really yummy veggie burgers and then picked lemons for her to sell in town. That evening we went back to Todd and Tipp's and had a huge bonfire. I must say I am becoming a pro at building bonfires. But my Tahoe girls already know that I build amazing fires!

The next day we headed down to Byron bay for the afternoon. Byron is the town where Tipp grew up so we met up with some of her friends for a delicious lunch at her friends cafe. After the lunch and a bit of window shopping we took a leisure walk up to the Byron Lighthouse. We had to cut the Byron day a bit short to head back in time for Badger's arrival!!

For those of you that don't know Badger (silly nickname huh!) is Tipp's younger brother. When Em and I were in Oz back in 2001 he was on the boat with us for most of the trip. Now, 8 years later he has a beautiful 2 year old son, Noah. Badge arrived in the evening with his girlfriend Liz and baby boy Noah. After we put the two boys to bed we played a game of Cranium ( My first time playing and I am obsessed!)

Saturday we were all invited to Ryan and Alyssa's house for a BBQ and ping pong. Ryan and Alyssa have 4 lovely little girls that immediately took a liking to me. For the entire afternoon I was the human jungle gym. In the evening after the BBQ Em and I busted out the plastic cup and taught the boys how to play beer pong. The best part was that the little girls were better at throwing the pong balls then the grown men!

Yesterday we went to Cram's farm for a BBQ and Frisbee. It was nice to finally play Frisbee where you didn't have to worry about them sinking in a creek or pond. At Cram's farm they have several BBQ pits and picnic tables spread out over acres of property. We scored the pit next to the playground so everyone including the kids had something to do. 

My back is still doing some recovering but I am beginning to realize that I may have upset the same area that landed me in the hospital last summer. Everyone cross your fingers cause back problems at 23 is the LAST thing I need!!! Today marks the beginning of out last week in Chillingham! My how time flies. Next Monday we leave for Sydney. I will be sure to keep you all posted on our last weeks activities! 

Until next time,


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Picture time

This slideshow contains pictures from a few different places:
-At Bonnie's house picking lemons and having lunch
-Out at the Byron lighthouse
-Ryan's house for a BBQ and a little BEER PONG lesson from the American ladies

Lauren will have a blog up shortly explaining our last few days, enjoy!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Working at the Creek Wash!

So two amazing things happened yesterday:

1. It's August already! How in the hell did that happen already?!


We returned from Noosa Heads yesterday in the late afternoon. The ride back was a bit over 3.5 hours, Rylan's longest "road trip" to date. So as you can well imagine we has to employee our  imaginations to keep him busy when he woke from his nap. after singing "Old McDonald" for the 50th time I had to come up with some new lyrics. So of course the song turned into "Old McGovern" and the farm ended up being an ark because that dude had every animal known to man on it! 

Noosa was a good time. Best compared it is kind of like La Jolla or any other upscale beach town in California. The main drag was made up of little surf shops and restaurants. We walked the beach a few times and played in the sand and surf with little Ry Kai. On Saturday we spent the morning and the better half of the afternoon at the market scanning for Ugg's for Em and I and a new fanny pack for dad.  None of which we found. In the evening we returned to the beach for a stroll and an ice cream. 

We spent Sunday packing the car up and figuring out the best way to tow a dingy that Russ (Tiffany's dad) gave to Tiffany and Todd. Since Tipp could see Emlyn and I were getting bored she dropped us in town for an hour and a half where we sat and enjoyed a little breakfast in the Winter SUN! Yes, it's Winter here and I was burning up in my hoodie at 10 am. 

Upon our return home yesterday, Todd and I took a bike ride to the front of the property to give Phoebe a good run. the rest of the evening we took it easy just lounging around and watching Dexter. Emlyn finally got all of us to sit and watch the first two episodes. I am still uncertain about it, mostly because Dexter bares a striking resemblance to an unmentionable in my life and it kind of freaks my shit out!

Today was a full day for Tipp and I! I felt like a real grown up for the first time!! In the morning Tipp and I went to look at a house for her mom. Which we just found out they accepted her offer! So congrats to Jocelyn because it is a really beautiful place. 

After that we headed to the grocery store and then visited a few of her friend who are remodeling their houses. It's so funny from my perspective to watch women in their thirties trifle over what shower head goes best in their bathrooms and if the drains in the upstairs bathrooms match those in the downstairs. People my age are lucky if the two couches in the living room match let alone that there are even two couches in the living room. When we got back from our day out we washed the two cars. This is a bit difficult to describe but the best way is that the creek runs through the road so we just parked the car on the creek and washed the cars with the water running by. SO MUCH FUN! I washed the dog while I was at it!

At the moment Todd just finished giving Rylan his bath, Em and Tipp are making dinner. When Rylan did his routine naked run out of the bathroom I blasted the music and he and I had an awesome dance off!

Guess that is all for now! 

Love all you pookie readers so much,


Sunday, August 2, 2009


That is right everyone, I, Emlyn, have gotten off my butt and am now finally helping my sister with the blog. Here are another 50 or so pics for your viewing, enjoy!


Look what I learned!

Ok check this out!! Expect more pics really soon! I want to get more from Todd's camera, but it is currently in Rylan's room where he is napping, and frankly it is just not worth it. So here is just a bit for now.