G&G Shorten Visit: Cairns

People. Prepare yourselves for photo overload like you've never seen before! It's got animals! It's got people! It's got tour guides wearing nothing but paint and a loincloth! Introducing! Our trip to Cairns! (Or Kens as they say it here.)

Cairns: Scene I

We begin at Macca's because let's be honest, the only way to start a vacation off right is to head straight to your nearest McDonald's for a milkshake and a kid's meal. And where else does one go while you wait for two hours until you're allowed to check in? 

Ahhh...the pool. In a kid's world, any vacation with a pool equals success. Many hours were spent here.

How many men does it take to cook a frozen lasagna? Well, in this case, two. And efforts we appreciated as the lasagna turned out quite tasty.

And of course, Hazel and her daddy, with a little Queensland flora on the side. 

Cairns: Scene II 

The plot thickens as our plans to explore the Great Barrier Reef were thwarted by swift winds and tumultuous waves. A little bit disappointing. But we rallied and given the information we had about the weather decided it was now or never (which was the wise decision since every excursion for the rest of the time we were there got cancelled), so we took a half day excursion to Green Island.

Aside from everyone (except Phil and his mom) getting sea sick, thanks to those rockin' waves, we ended having a nice time chillin' on the beach and getting in some snorkeling. 

Cairns: Scene III

We end our story with one last adventure to Daintree Rainforest and a little town named Kuranda. On our way there we drove past miles of sugarcane fields which filled me with an overwhelming feeling of nastolgia. Either because it made me miss the fields so familiar to my own roots, or it just gave me a hankering to go spend 7 hours watching The Thorn Birds. Or both. I'll never know.

And now, what you've all been waiting for...our 2013 Christmas card photo:

This day was one of my favorites. We've seen a lot of these animals before hanging around or at the zoo, but it was fun to get close up to them, learn more about them and in some cases, (very gingerly) pet them. 

However, we did not pet Jack. This 15 foot long beast is lovingly named "Jack the Ripper" because instead of mating with any female they put with him, he killed them instead. Nice fellow.

 Okay. Now what you've really been waiting for. The loincloth-wearing tour guide. Who told us how a didgeridoo was made and then played it for us. Demonstrated how to throw a boomerang and then let the rest of us give it a whirl. And  finally, did a little spear throwing, which was pretty awsome.

And then, what does this man of many talents do? He grabs a few of friends and does some tribal dancing for us. I eat up this sorta stuff! And as if this whole experience couldn't get any better, before I know it who is volunteering to go up and dance? Phil. It made my day. Totally made my day. I have it on video and I'm charging $5 per viewing. 

We also took a little tour of the rainforest and learned about ferns. 

I liked the dancing better. 

Kuranda was a small town filled with fun shops, markets... and hippies. There is something about a hippy town that makes me feel at ease. Ya know, go with the flow, man. So much so I ended up dropping a few bones at one of the said shops because I just found it so entertaining when the almost 50-year-old salesman said anytime he visits anywhere with central heating nowa days it just like"totally spins me out".

Oh, and just a little tip. Be careful when you order a burger with everything. Because then they'll reply, "The lot"? And kinda confused, you just go with it (because you're in hippyville) and say with your Aussie accent slipping out, "Yeah, yeah--the lot". And then, my friend, you get this:


Phil's parents had one more day with us before they hopped on a plane back to WA, so we took one last run down to the beach, ate some fish n' chips for lunch. 

Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for coming all this way. We sure had fun with you!


  1. Oh man - I REALLY would have loved petting a kangaroo! Loads of cute pics - loved it! p.s. those flowers in your hair were so, so pretty! p.p.s. you can't use that as your Christmas card - can't see cute Hazel! ha

  2. I'll pay the $5. . .send it for the reunion! This looks so fun. Thank for every photo and description.

  3. I need to visit this amazing place. What a blessing for your family to enjoy this adventure...and to have visitors. Darling pictures!