Monday, June 17, 2013

Post Trip

Hi Everyone,

Well, it would seem that most of us are now back and adjusted to our normal time zones. It was a trip that so many want to do and I would like to think that most of us would do it all over again. Lisa and I want to thank you all for making the trip memorable, amazing & fun with a willingness to do it again! But we doubt that any group could ever compare...

I am posting a few last minute pix with this final update and of course, a big thank you to everyone around the world who "took" the trip with us. We wish you the best! You know who you are!!!

To our students, we want to say that we are here if you need anything and that we eagerly await your journals and projects...

 Christine, we all hope you are able to replace your photos!

 Katie :)

 I'm the fifth person on the left in the upper deck! Do you see me?

 Intrepid fans!

Our wombat friend who liked her back scratched!


Linda and Lisa

Probably my favorite photo of scenery in Australia!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

14 hours down....

To any of you back home that haven't heard from us (which would be surprising because we are all so happy to be back in good ol' 'Merica where we have cell service and wifi) we have all landed safely in LAX! Although we were all sad to say goodbye, many of us are hopping onto our connecting flights (or in Dana and Alex's case--onto taxis and rental cars). 

I wanted to take the chance to thank Lisa and Linda for everything they have done for us this trip. From making all the plans for the trip to keeping us all updated prior-- we realize that your work began far before we arrived in LAX about a month ago. All the planning, blogging, photo-taking, coordinating and  keeping all of us in line was not an easy task. On behalf of the group, I want to send a big thank you to both of you for all your hard work! We really appreciate you both and what you have done to make this trip so amazing! 

And of course I would like to thank our tour guides as well- your hard work was definitely appreciated! 

To everyone else from the trip-- I know you probably already miss me, don't worry, because I miss you too (slight sarcasm because i know what we are all looking forward to is getting back home to our respective families, pets and beds). It was a great trip- I couldn't have asked for a better group to go with-- so thank you! You have made this trip an absolutely incredible experience! I have wanted to come to Australia since I was about 13 and to be honest, it's not the sights and activities that make the trip-- it's having an amazing group of people to do them with! 

(Picture is from the first day of the trip! Seems like it was so long ago!) 

Have a safe flight everyone! 

And finally, for those of you back home- hang in there because sometime in the next 8-12 hours we will be getting home to you! 


Friday, June 7, 2013

Homeward Bound

Hi Everyone!

Well, we are currently in the airport awaiting our 9:15am flight. Given that we were all (mostly all) up at 4:00am to finish packing and had stayed to the bitter end of wild conclusion to the Essendon vs. Carlton Aussie rules footy game (Essendon won in the last minutes 77-72 and we were 22 of the over 82,000 fans in attendance), we are holding up but mostly lying down.

We will arrive at LAX at 6:55am for our second early morning Saturday in one 24 hour period... I know, some of you will have to think about that a bit. And then our wonderful students will go off  to enjoy their summers AFTER they turn in their journals and final projects!

Thanks to all our blog followers and I will give a few post trip follow-ups ASAP!

I would show a few pix but it's not pretty... LOL...


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Big Thanks to Linda for taking so many photos during the trip!!

Dr. S is a true legend in the picture department as you all have seen over the weeks. The students thought it would be best to capture this icon in her natural habitat and post the pictures for all to see. Enjoy...

 Mid Flash

 Sorry Nicole....

see you yesterday.

as i woke up this morning at six am to catch my flight home all i wanted to do was shred my passport up into a million pieces and stay just a bit longer. i had to leave a few days early for my brother's graduation, but i was no where near ready to leave. this past month has been everything i've dreamed of and more. and this is largely due to the amazing people that shared the experience with me. i remember vaguely going over our bio slides the night before the trip and being  terrified because i didn't know a single soul. but within minutes of meeting my future mates, i knew there was nothing to be worried about. they were all so welcoming and friendly, we all made instant connections. i'd share some experiences/memories that i'll forever hold in my heart, but i wouldn't want to worry the parents that are reading this. (though there really is nothing to worry about!). all i know is i can't wait for everyone to be in the states and make 'chugby' a house hold game (: honestly, i couldn't imagine a better group to have gone with. i know it was only a month, but i want to express my deepest thanks to everyone for making this summer one for the books. travel safe and i'll see you on the flip side. 

thuy-vy xx

Some pictures from yesterday's adventure In the outback

Wallaby in the wild!
This is what it's like to feed a wallaby! 
Katie with her new friend wallaby 
Nicole also with a new wallaby friend 
Kristin with her wallaby BFF 
Me (Amelia) with my kangaroo friend-- I think I will have to rearrange my suitcase accordingly but I a, sure hell fit in back home just fine 
Christine and her kangaroo friends 
Josh and his friend the wallaby (while he still trusted the wallabies)
Alex (the author of last nights fabulous blog post) and his kangaroo friend!!

All Great Things Must Come To An End

            Our time in Australia has been fantastic from start to finish however all things must come to an end. The idea of the end snuck into our minds when early in the morning we awoke to the sad goodbyes of one of our own. Our twenty strong took its first hit when Thuy-Vy left us, however we said our goodbyes and moved on with our day. We miss you Thuy-Vy! 
            The day started off like all the others, everyone woke up on time and I was late as usual. The slowpokes of the day left for the market at 9:30 to catch up with the early birds and the boys. We walked around purchasing all of our last minute souvenirs and prepared ourselves for the long bus ride ahead. We got onto the bus not really knowing what to expect out of the day but we were pleasantly surprised with what followed. Our tour guide Doug was very knowledgeable and as we were driving out gave us many opportunities to see some wallabies and kangaroos. We ended up taking an unexpected stop at one of the best places we had hit up this entire trip, The Moonlit Sanctuary. As we got off the bus, many of us waking up from naps, took a look at the run down structure in front of us. We walked in to screaming babies and snake shows and didn't know what crazy zoo we walked into. However when we got outside to animal exhibits we were pleasantly surprised to find lively animals like Allie's new best friend the wombat. The most exciting part however came when we wandered onto the wallaby walk. With wallabies and kangaroos hopping all around us we fed the wallabies and gave them the occasional hug hoping they would not fight back. Or unfortunately in Josh's case getting bitten by a rogue wallaby. Everyone enjoyed feeding the wallabies and kangaroos but unfortunately we had to move quickly to see the best dressed animals storm the beach.
           As we pulled up to the parade of penguins on Phillips Island some of us feeling like it was already nine at night, we were very excited to see our small tuxedo friends. We sat in the cold just waiting for the sight of penguins popping out of the water. Just as we had given up hope Kaitlyn and Marissa provided us with our first sighting. We watched the first group of penguins invade the beach trying to decide if they would make the long trek up the sandy hills. One after another hoards of penguins took over the beach abiding by the rule no penguin left behind. We walked along the board walk watching the penguins find their way into their homes screaming bloody murder at all the other penguins trying to follow. PS we found the Kerby penguin tripping and falling on its face. The penguin excursion was one of the best trips we had taken in Melbourne.
           As I stated in the beginning all good things must come to an end and what a great end it was. Our time hear in Australia has been one of the best times of our lives and I just wanted to again thank Lisa, Linda, Regina, Jason, Shanna, and everyone else who made this possible along the way. I believe I am speaking for everyone when I say we have had a great time and we have taken over the land down under. 

Alex Mullen

PS pictures will be coming soon, Dr. S get ready.