A Travellerspoint blog

Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road

Another adventure

rain 68 °F

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Like everything here Melbourne was an adventure from the start. Nothing seemed to go as planed. Starting from our plane ride there, one we got to the airport our flight was delayed for a hour. Then it was delayed again, and again, and again, until it was five hours late! So we spend the whole day in the airport playing cards and waiting. Once we finally arrived in Melbourne we picked up our rental car and headed to the hostel, just driving was another adventure we only had a few slips but once that was under control we were on our way. However this was not the end to our problems, it was just the beginning. We got to our hostel at about 10:15 (keep in my Victoria is an hour ahead of the sunshine coast) it was dark and rainy but we found it, but the lady at the hostel was not very nice. She informed us that reception closes at 10pm and we were late so we couldn’t stay there. (What kind of a hostel closes at 10pm!?!) they took our deposit, and our first night rent then we head back into the rain to find a new place to stay. Lucky for us there were some other kids from USC in Melbourne for the weekend so we texted them about the hostel they were staying at and there were four beds left so the hostel agreed to hold them for use for 30mins. At this point we were very happy to have rented a car and the GPS for the whole weekend because if we hadn’t we would have been in even better trouble! After the long day we finally made it the other hostel to our 4awaiting beds, did I mention it was in a room with at least 20other beds! It was my first hostel experience and it was sure one to remember!
The next morning we were up early and headed for the great ocean road! The road is about an hour from Melbourne so we wanted to get a head start. We stopped at the grocery store on the way a picked up a few snacks and some things for sandwiches while we were on the road. We started at Bells Beach and worked our way up past the twelve apostles, to Port Campbell.
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We stopped here for the night because it has been a long day of driving and we needed to take a break before the trip home. On the way there we saw a beautiful lighthouse with an amazing view, this was the only time the sun came out the whole day and it made it an even better pit stop! After that we continued up the coast to a rainforest tree top walk (which we ended up not doing but was fun to see) from there it was to the 12 apostles which were really cool to see!

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Thanks to my wonderful parents we stayed in a nice hotel for the night with clean sheets and our own rooms. After our night of pizza, cards and movies we got up early again to head back to Melbourne. We got back into the city shortly after lunch; the sun came out here and there, which was nice to see. Walking around the city was a good afternoon. It reminded me a lot of NYC or Chicago or Brisbane all rolled into one, with a little bit of San Francisco mixed in with the cable car thing going on! We had dinner at a small little thi restaurant and watched the sunset from the steps of the Victorian parliament.
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Then we stayed the night back at the hostel, this time we got a room for just the four of us, which was nice. We woke up early again to head home to the sunshine coast! We were happy to come home to the warmth. Melbourne is COLD! Haha I was happy to have packed my raincoat and a pair of jeans. The sunshine coast has been rather rainy the last few days but it will hopefully all be gone by the time my family arrives Friday!! I can’t believe they will be here in two days! It has also helped to keep me inside to finish up some homework done before they arrive!
It has been a long week and having some time away with my family is much needed at this point. Prayers would be more than welcomed as I have hit a wall of missing true friends back home. I am looking into finding a new church here and hoping to find some good Christian friends to travel with. Don’t get me wrong I do have some good friends here but I would love to get plugged back into a good church the way I was at home. I know God has a wonderful plan for me here and every day has a purpose, there is no need for me to worry because he has it all under control but a lot of times it is way easier said then done. I am just resting in the palm of Gods hand, back in the stillness and the peace of his grace, the moments I find myself there are the best of the trip so I strive to get there every day. I will forever be grateful to my parents and everyone who has helped me get here giving me the time of my life! I am about 1/3 of the way into this trip and I am excited to see what the next 2/3s bring, hopefully more and more moments finding myself in the peace and grace of God! This trip has been an amazing growing trip so far and I know it will just keep coming. I miss everyone back at home but those moments where I can feel the presence of God all around me makes me know missing people at home so worth it (not in a bad way at all because I can’t wait to come home and see you all) but those moments are truly amazing. Pray for the rain to stop, the sun to come out and safe travels for my mom, dad, Abby and Morgan I can’t wait for them to come see my new temporary home here on the sunshine coast!

In Him,
Hannah

Matthew 6:21 (curtsy of my beautiful cousin Maddie, thanks for always being there girl!)

Posted by Dykemah 02:16 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Not much to report here on the sunshine coast

semi-overcast 82 °F

Well it has been a slow weekend here on the sunshine coast or should I say the rainy coast. It rained all weekend! Friday we morning we got a break and headed to the beach to surf! It was a great time I loved it! But mid afternoon the rain started, and it didn’t stop till Sunday night! We still had a great weekend though. Saturday morning we got up and headed to dicky beach, unfortunately it was raining so we didn’t get to actually see the beach. Instead we looked in some of the surf shops and I left dicky beach with my very own surfboard!!!
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I love it and I am so happy to have my own. Sunday we tried to get in some surfing but the rain just kept coming. It helped to get some schoolwork done though. It is always hard to get myself to sit inside and get something done when it was really nice. We went to the plaza again for a little while and printed some pictures for my room and for my photography class. Sunday brought some more schoolwork and some more rain! Finally Monday we got some time sunshine so we headed to the beach to surf!!! It was so fun to be out on my own board I felt so free! I can’t wait to go again! maybe Thursday! This weekend we will be a great adventure we are flying to Melbourne to drive the Great Ocean Road and more! So I just have to make it through one more day of classes then it will be off for another adventure!! Thanks for all the love and support from home. Have a wonderful week!!

In Him,
Hannah

1 Peter 5:8

Posted by Dykemah 01:45 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

A Day in Brisbane

semi-overcast 75 °F

My day started at the airport saying good-bye to Emily and Kevin. Then I headed to the train station to meet up with friends from school who had taken the train into the city earlier that morning. We met up got some breakfast and then headed to south bank. There we walked around the city some and headed to an out door market! It was a big one and we had a great time!
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After we walked through the marked we headed to the Wheel of Brisbane! A giant ferries wheel located next to the Brisbane River. One of the girls had missed the bus earlier that morning so we hung out on the lawn next to the river where there was green grass and sunshine. We played and had a great time together, messing around in the sunshine having a good day away from school.
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Then as we waited some more we walked around the city a little more and found ourselves at the museum. I know the museum doesn’t sound that great on a sunny day in Brisbane but it ended up being a lot of fun! They had some really cool exhibits like one about the floods, or dinosaurs, and animals from Brisbane! It was a good afternoon and there was air-conditioning so that was nice too!
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Then it was finally time for the ferries wheel! We got to go around 5 times and it took about 12mins. It was fun to be able to see so much of the city from so high. Unfortunately there was a lot of construction on the skyline but we had a good time!
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From there we headed back to the train station and off to the soccer game! We were excited to go and once we got off the train it was CRAZY! So many people because it was the final game of the season!
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The soccer was okay, the first 90minutes of the game were actually pretty bad soccer, Beth and I were commenting on it all game. I think it has something to do with the coach in me but I would have been on those guys for not moving or shooting or anything. It was a slow game. Then overtime! After having Brisbane poses the ball most of the game the Gold Coast got the first goal. (in this league there is no golden goal they play two 15min halves no matter what) It was sorta sad to see Gold Coast get the goal but at that point Beth and I both agreed it was Brisbane’s fault for not taking the shot so they deserved to lose. Once the second half began Gold Coast got another goal. So now there is about 10mins left in the 2nd overtime period and the game got interesting. Brisbane finally showed up to really play. They finally started moving and shooting (which is key in the game of soccer!) Brisbane finally got their goal 12mins into the second overtime and the game got really heated! With seconds left Brisbane got their second goal and tied the game all up! The Stadium was CRAZY at this point!! On to the shoot out which led to Brisbane winning the game! It was a great ending. Then it was off to the train, a very quick speed walk because the game took so much longer we didn’t want to miss the train so we sprinted to the station. It was a wonderful day in the city.
This week has been a stressful one so far. Getting back into the swing of things after Emily leaving, getting assessments put together for week five and trying to plan up coming trips. It has been a hard week so far. Professors are nearly as quick to help here and that is hard because it is such a different format to fit here. It is also sort of a “low” spot in the trip between visitors and exciting trips not much is going on. Ashely and I talked about it on the porch tonight that it is a hard week right now so if you could pray for both of us that would be wonderful!
Watching Emily leave was hard and I was about ready to hop on the plane with her and leave it all behind but then I was reminded of a verse in Philippians; 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” God is not done with me here yet! There are people here I still need to talk to and a plan that is greater than I could ever imagine and when times get tough I just try to remember that. I think back to the day before I left when my Aunt said to me “Hannah be content with where you are, and who God brings in and out of your life” I am focusing on being content here, I will not wish away these next few months because they are months I will never get back. A good friend who is in Spain right now and also read the book Crazy Love (which I totally recommend SO GOOD) reminded me of a passage from it that goes like this ‎"People who are obsessed with Jesus aren't consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God's kingdom coming from this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress." -Crazy Love. So even when things get hard and the kids I hang out with are mean or tease me, try to bring us down because of my faith in God I know I have something way bigger and that is what is important. It says in the bible people will think of Christians as fools, and if that is true so be it. I can endure it all with God on my side! I will ask for prayers that I can continue to live that out here and be able to talk boldly with my friends here. Other than that Life is good on the sunshine coast! Tomorrow if the rain holds off we will hopefully head up to Noosa for a longboard surf festival which should be a good time! Thanks for all the support and the letters from home all the mail has been amazing!

In Him,
Hannah

Philippians 1:3-6

Well here is my first attempt at a video blog, Hope you like it!

Posted by Dykemah 05:07 Archived in Australia Comments (4)

The rest of the week with the Twin

An adventure to say the least

sunny 81 °F

The rest of our week here on the sunshine coast went great. We had adventure after adventure. Tuesday was another day of surfing and hanging out at the beach. We did a little better surfing Tuesday, we had some ups and some downs haha. The waves were big and coming so fast it was a fight to even get out to catch a wave. But we had fun once some of the rain cleared up we had a great day on the beach. DSC_1298.jpgDSC_1305.jpgDSC_1314.jpgDSC_1318.jpgDSC_1326_2.jpgDSC_1348.jpgDSC_1372_2.jpg

The night brought Emily and Kevins first Australian BBQ! Kids from school met us down by the beach and we had a Barbie right next to the beach. It was a perfect night there was a slight breeze and the air was nice and crisp. We had a great time listening to the waves crash on shore and eating Good food! I think Emily and Kevin said it was the best food yet, (food similar to home so that might be why!) Wednesday brought a long day of school for me and a beach day for em and kev, they body surfed in the waves at Mooloolaba then they headed to the airport to pick up the rental car for our next adventure.DSC_1417.jpgDSC_1411.jpg

Emily and Kev wanted to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef so dad suggested Rockhampton. So we mapped it all out and decided it would be a good day trip. But then as we researched it a little more we found out Rockhampton isn’t actually on the coast so we did a little more research and found a great little island called Great Keppel island. It all looked perfect we would get up early drive up there it was about 20mins from Rockhampton then take the ferry to the island at 9:15 do a snorkel trip and them come home at 3:45 (sounds like a perfect day right) well we left for our trip at 1am! Kevin was a pro and drove the whole way home it was very nice of him. Emily and I did offer to drive more than once. On our drive we encountered our first adventure, only in Australia would mapquest take you off the main highway to a dirt road in the middle of a national park at 2am! Emily was having some serious anxiety about it. But besides a dingo running next to our car for a few minutes the drive was fairly uneventful. Then we made it to the ferry dock, we went to go buy our tickets for the ferry when the sales person told us some not so great news. The ferry went to the island but then came back at 10:15… we were very confused considering online it said differently but apparently it is off-season right now and that is why. After some deliberation we decided to stay the night on the island and come back in the morning. We also found out there were no snorkeling trips but we could hire out some equipment and go off the beach because we were on an island we could go right off the beach! It all sounded good and the flyer made the island look good so we called the rental car place and extended out car rental and hopped on the ferry. We should have thought something was up when we were like the only people on the boat but we were just ready for a good day.
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Once we landed on the island the weather was great, sunny and the first beach we landed on looked really nice the sand was soft and white and the water was warm, clear and so many great shades of blue. We headed for our hotel. Now as we walked down the path we began to notice that there was no one else on this island all the other houses and places were empty and we hadn’t passed another visitor. I believe Kevin’s exact words were “This would be a perfect place for a murder mystery” we tried to be positive and press on. So we got up to the hotel and there was a sign on the front door that said go around to the restaurant to check in, so we followed the path around and headed up to the restaurant. Behind the counter in a very empty room was a “hillbilly” of a woman. She was very nice and understanding of the predicament we had gotten into. She told us a little about the island gave us a map and pointed us in the direction of snorkel equipment. So we once again headed out down the deserted path to find our snorkel equipment. After finding an old man (who ran the dive shop which was of course not open because it was not peak season) at his house and renting the mask and fins we headed down the beach to the path he told us about to get to the beach with the reef. This path was so over grown and we had to do a little rock climbing to get to the beach we were ready for the water by the time we got there. It was about a 35min hike up there! Not something we had expected but the views were great!IMG_2047.jpgIMG_2052.jpg
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The beach we ended up at was BEAUTIFUL probably one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen, we were in a little cove and again the sand was white and soft with warm clear water!
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We set our stuff down and headed for the reef. This was rather disappointing because of all the flooding and such the reef was cloudy and a bit destroyed but we had a good time and saw a few things. Once we were back on shore Emily spotted two nerf sharks so that was pretty neat to see them right up close to the beach. We laid on the beach and played in the water for a few hours before we got really hungry and headed back to the hotel for some food. Because we weren’t planning on staying long we didn’t really bring and food or water and we didn’t think the beach was such a hike or we would have gotten food first. Thankfully we did have some club cracker to munch on for a little while (thanks dad!!) we headed back and got some food! Then the lady showed us to our room, it was not a real hotel they had like little cabins and tents and such to stay in. she put us in a cabin, there were two twin beds for Emily and I (it felt just like we were little girls again sharing a room) and a separate room with a bigger bed for Kevin, you’d think it was perfect right? Well lets just say we didn’t spend much time in it haha, as cute as it looked it had some major problems one of which was don’t drink any of the water because it is bad (the lady brought us a jug of ‘clean’ water) and the power will go out between 11pm and 5:30am don’t worry said the lady. So the fan and everything will stop! You have no idea how DARK it gets on an island with no power! We woke up in the night and you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face. No exaggeration. In the morning Kevin said he kept waiting for his eyes to adjust so he could see but it just never happened! But after seeing our cabin we headed to another beach, this one was much closer to our cabin! We laid there for a while till Kevin got antisy and we went for an adventure to find the creek that was supposed to come out on that beach according to our map. It wasn’t a far walk and was kinda fun to see some more of the island.
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After that we headed back to our towels and just hung out in the water and the beach for the rest of the day. Then back to the cabins to change for dinner…oh wait we had no clothes so we put our towels down and headed to dinner. Then it was dark and still really no one around we saw a few people at dinner but that was maybe like 6 or 7 people. we watched the sunset and then we played a little ping pong on the oldest ping pong table ever ha it was wobbling and the ball had a crack and the paddles were just wood! But all we could do was laugh and have fun! Then it was some pool, it was a good time I almost beat Kevin but he won by one ball. We headed down to the beach to watch the stars, the stars here are so beautiful! I could lay under them forever! We saw a few shooting stars which is always fun then headed to bed. We were tired after a long day and a very early morning. We woke up early to some rain and headed back to bed hoping it would be gone by breakfast time. it was! So we got up, packed up and headed to the restaurant for breakfast. Then to the beach where we laid for a short time before some rain came ☹ then the morning ferry came, we had talked about staying till the afternoon but if it was going to rain we figured we would head home then. We asked the man who drove the ferry if he knew the weather because we had no idea with no Internet or phones or anything on the island. He said they were supposed to be scattered all day so we headed to the mainland. On our ferry ride home we saw some dolphins another exiting highlight! Once back to the docks we drove for about 2 and a half hours through the clouds and rain. Then the sun came out! So we got off the mapquest and headed toward the coast thinking there must be a beach right. Well we did find one it just happened to be in the middle of an industrial park! No lie!! But it was a beach with a little sand and a swimming area and even a park with swings (Kevin tested them out!)
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We stayed there for a few hours till it was time to head home. Now it was time for Emily and I to tackle the driving I must say we all did a great job! No accidents or close calls even! (besides our dingo friend on the way there!) we all made it home safe and sound! The next day Emily and kev got up and packed then met me at my apartment. We headed off for out next adventure with some kids from school! The waterfalls!! We did the hinterland trip and it only took us an hour to get there and what maybe 15+ wrong turns! But like I said this week was nothing short of an adventure. We did the walk, jumped of the waterfall again! and enjoyed Gods wonderful creation!! It was a great last day, it rained while we were at the rock pool but we were already wet so no big deal!
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Then we headed back to my apartment and mapquested Brisbane and we were off! We dropped the car off at the airport and began searching for a hotel to stay in. after calling like 6places that were all full we found one which was good because Emily was getting a littler nervous. So we caught a cab and headed to this hotel. When we got there it was nothing like the pictures! (are we finding a common theme here?!?) but we made this “inner city inn” work for the night. We went out and had some dinner and walked around downtown Brisbane for the night it was fun, and we got to see some cool stuff. It was almost like an Australian time square! Then it was back to the hotel, we watched a movie and fell asleep. The next morning was a little somber in the room we all knew what was coming (goodbyes) so we packed up and caught a cab to the airport. After waiting in line they were all checked in and we headed to security where we parted ways. Not with out hugs and few tears from each of us (well not Kevin but I know he was crying inside haha) they headed off to their gate and I headed to the train station. (by the way I just got word they made it to Detroit safe and sound) and that was our adventure of a week!! Sorry for the long post but so much happened!! Please continue to pray for me that I will be content where I am and take comfort in knowing God has a great plan for me here and it isn’t over which I why I had to stay here as they headed home. It was hard to watch them go but I know I will have another amazing 3and a half months! Lots of trips to take, places to see and visitors to be had! Next on the list is Mom, Dad, Abby, and Morgan! 18more days!! Can’t wait to have them here with me! Have a great night!

In Him,
Hannah

James 5:16

Posted by Dykemah 19:46 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Hugs From HOME!

You don't know what you have till it's gone

68 °F

Emily and Kevin have arrived here at the sunshine coast!!! (although we have had a lot of rain ☹) My Saturday started nice and early I headed to the bus stop, which took me to the train station for about, and hour and 20min train ride to the airport in Brisbane. My mother called me a savvy traveler because I took a bus to the train station and even changed trains to get there! I am learning the public transportation very well around here, which is a must when you don’t have a car!! Anyways I beat them to the airport by about an hour and a half which was no problem because I had some reading for school to do. Once I finally arrived at the domestic terminal I looked for there area and couldn’t find their airline, so I asked at a customer service desk where they told me where they would come thru. But after that the lady behind the desk asked me what flight they were on/where they were coming from after I had told her she was like “oh you can go meet them at the gate if you’d like” I was like wait what I can go to the gate? She was like “yes just go thru the departure area they will be arriving at gate 40” so I did! They must not be quite as concerned with terrorism because I didn’t even go through a metal detector or show them a boarding pass just put my backpack on the belt and walked through! I sat at a window table next to the gate and watch for their plane to come in and the surprised them by being right there! Getting a running hug from Emily was wonderful!

No one hugs around here so it was the first hug I had really gotten sense I left the airport in Detroit nearly 5weeks ago (pause here, I have been here for almost 5 weeks crazy right!?!) anyways the Hug was epic! With some screaming involved from Emily and a lot of silly looks from the people around us but we didn’t really care! Even after the initial hug I think I got at least 5 more before we even moved to a new spot in the airport! (but I am not complaining I loved it!) We grabbed some lunch because it was just after 11 when they got in and they were hungry, after that we grabbed their bags and hoped on the shuttle up to the sunshine coast! It took us just over and hour to get to their hotel. It was cloudy and rainy on and off when they got in so they unpacked and showered (do you blame then after nearly 30hours of travel!) then we headed to the Plaza! They Got to see the infamous plaza, walk around some and see some of the shops, I had to get my phone fixed so they could call from their room then we headed home, picked up a few groceries on the way and then walked down to the beach, it was rather dark by this time but we still had a good time walking with the sand in our toes. We grabbed some dinner and then it was time to say goodnight! I left them early on Saturday night because they were super tired after all their travels!
The next day I got up and headed down to the Mooloolaba to meet at their place, sadly it was another rather cloudy windy day but not as much rain! This was a plus so we headed to the zoo!! They were excited to see it all! They held the Koalas, feed the elephants and the kangaroos! It was a great day at the zoo! We saw it all, we carried a map and crossed out each animal after we came to it to make sure we saw it all. I think the highlight for them was holding the Koalas (though Kevin would like you to all know he was “attacked” by it because he had a scratch from it, silly boy) but for me it was feeding the Kangaroos. Last time I was there we just pet them but this time we got to feed them which was SWEET! Then we headed back down to their place and put on our swimsuits we decided it was still light we could get an evening swim in! So that’s what we did, the water was almost warmer then the air! We had a lot of fun, the waves were HUGE and the rip was strong so it was an exciting swim to say the least. After the swim we ran back to the hotel and hopped in the hot tub! It felt great! Then it was shower time and dinner, then I left them again.
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This morning for me brought class once again (no fun, but that is what I am here for) for Em and Kev it brought a morning of reading on the beach and body surfing in the waves(I’ll let you guess who did what haha) then they meet me on campus after my last class at noon. We headed down to alex headlands beach and hired some surfboards and body boards. Because of the rain and the wind the surf was crazy! (Kev likes to think he mastered it but I an not sure if he really ever got up, em did great!) but we are hoping to go again tomorrow when the waves cool down a bit. It rained more than once while were out in the water but we were already wet so we weren’t going to let that stop us! Then it got cold with the clouds so we returned the boards and headed back to the hot tub! Then we went back up and showered! While I waited for them to get ready I tried to do some reading for school, unfortunately Australian Politics, just not that exciting so I fell asleep. I woke up a bit later to find Em and Kev asleep on the couch as well (all that surfing and fighting the waves really took it out of us!) so we got up and headed down for some dinner, after walking around some with no decisions for dinner we decide to head back and order pizza. I know I know, not that exciting but we got pizza and ate it on the porch with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach behind us (sounds a little better now right?!?) we even had a glass of wine with our dinner because we are all well above age here! It was a nice relaxing evening! Now I am home ready to hit the hay for my class tomorrow morning! Then I will head back down towards the beach to meet Em and Kev to give the beach and surfing another try. The weather is supposed to be much nicer so I am sure Emily will be thrilled! (I don’t think Kev or I will complain about it either!) Some sun after a long and cloudy weekend will be nice for everyone! The rest of the week is going to fly by tomorrow is already Tuesday! Hopefully we get some good weather and have a great week filled with some fun stuff! (to bad for me school is still involved)
Tonight also brought trip planning for me and the kids here. At the end of march we will be headed down to Melbourne to see the city and take a drive on the Great Ocean Road! I am soo excited! We found round trip tickets for 117! A great deal! It will be a wonderful long weekend! Pray the rest of the week with Emily and Kevin goes well, we enjoy ourselves, have great weather and get to see and do a lot of great stuff! The good morning and goodnight hugs are wonderful! I wish Emily didn’t have to leave just for that reason. Today Hug the love ones in your life because you don’t know how much you might miss such a simple thing till you don’t have it in your life for a while. I am not a crazy huggy person but I can say that is one thing I miss the most about home is the Hugs! Well I am off I will update again at the end of the week with how the rest of our week here on the sunshine coast went!! Thanks again with all the Love and prayers!!!

In Him,
Hannah
Ps, Happy Birthday Grandma Dykema!!!

Isaiah 26:8

Posted by Dykemah 05:28 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

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