Captain Arrrr #1…
Captain Arrrr redux……

Hi again to all family and friends near and far. Got a few recent notes that the blogs have fallen off in frequency. I suppose that’s true …. Well, at least someone noticed!  So, today’s post will take a slightly different tack.  As we are approaching our second anniversary of living in Australia, and having never been expats before, lots of conflicting emotions and opportunities arise. It’s all going very well; job secure with lots of positive reviews and reinforcement, money good, kids all busy with school and friends, home life settled into a more predictable rhythm.

Stephanie and Annette

It seems we are now balancing on the fulcrum….when/how/if this dream ends and we consider extrication, or staying…and diving in…. even deeper. And if not, what next…? Nothing we’ve ever confronted or even considered before…Bear with us, this ain’t easy…. We have been busy, doing short trips, kids working through the challenges of Nippers, Luke trying to master the deceptively difficult art of surfing and learning the art of crewing racing Cats…. Now more established here in Cleveland, we are no longer visitors, and are living a community life completely unknown to the casual tourist. We now have a network of friends met via school and work, common concerns and daily experiences. We even get the occasional invitation to go sailing on Moreton Bay….

Luke crewing…under sail

Skipper Bruce

Aidan on the bow seat

Nolan party crew

Aidan’s #11 Birthday

Sam digs in….

Cleveland Point with the historic lighthouse

Skipper Bruce

Like a mirage, floating over the silver seas….

Yesterday was my 56th (!) birthday, passed quietly with a few close neighbors  grilling steaks and sharing good wine on the back veranda. It’s November, and summer approaches. The heat is rising, the sea warms and turns an aqua blue. I find myself thinking in 3-5 year blocks, trying to navigate our way forward with five young kids towards the final act in my medical career….Life ain’t for sissies…

Halloween, an exotic concept in AU

Dinner at seven…

Stephanie, the one who pulls it all together,,,, every day…

Another Claire Nolan masterpiece..

My beloved family…

I thought it would be fun to just post a bunch of random pix about our daily life here in Australia, telling that, and no particular story. I hope you enjoy them….

Ray love, Baby…!

Aidan played hooky and we spent a few nights on the NE coast of New South Wales, around Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads and Bangalow…one of our favorite areas of Australia…and that’s saying a lot…!

Music under the southern stars

Byron Head, right under the light

Tallow Beach surf breaks

Stephanie and I had a belated 20th anniversary, four months late (!) up in the mountains inland from the Sunshine Coast, aka the hinterlands. Ninety minutes N of Brisbane and you are in another world of hill farms, remote waterfalls, rain forest pockets and amazing B&B’s.

Hand carved cabin door detail…

“Secrets on the Lake” is an amazing enclave of 15 beautiful, unique tree houses tucked away on a lake. It feels like a tropical Adirondack Great Camp. They’re famous for extensive carvings of local wildlife…

Our tree house, the Bower…

We splurged and had an memorable dinner at the Spicer’s Clovelly Estate in Montville…highly recommended,,,

There are only 11 tables, and all the food is locally sourced…It’s a leisurely, full, romantic evening…

Can I live here….please…?

Secrets front door

Bower “cabin” at Secrets…incredible…

A visiting Koock…

A large 4 ft Lace Monitor lizard
An even bigger one..harmless…
We did a 10 km hike on part of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk and returned to Secrets in 4 hours flat, thereby working off dinner from the night before. It was hot, lizards were scattering through the undergrowth everywhere…but no snakes spotted…though I’m sure they were all around…Fantastic, varied hike with waterfalls, gorges, rainforest, dry eucalypt ridges….

A strangler fig encroaches

In the bush

Hiking out of the Gorge

Grass trees

Resting on the deck, post hike…

Happy feet at the lake

Major pad overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains

Girl’s welcome home committee

Straddie surf breaks

The kids continue to work at becoming Surf Lifesavers..a challenge to overcome ocean fears. What was once so exotic is now the stuff of weekend routines….

Baby Nippers, aka ” Green Caps.” Owen next to Stephanie

Nipper Moms

“Slip, slap and slop” the SPF and Zinc cream

Surfer dudes, Dr Ross and Luke

Green cap ocean drills…

Owen, aka “Mister Skunky”

Cate the SLS kid…

Aussie beach chick….

In uniform

Oh, Hugh….!
Luke hammock chillin’

On Moreton Bay

So, there’s a quick tour of what we’ve been up to lately…Life evolves and time passes, kids grow up….We hold onto all the memories and experiences together that we can…Time slips away through your fingers, but hopefully the memories remain…… I have an Emergency Medicine conference in Adelaide in late November. Stephanie will join me for the first five nights. We plan on touring the world-class food and wine districts of McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valleys. It sounds like the makings of an epic, multi-part DDU, which I really hope you will enjoy…Stay tuned…!  BTW, Stephanie and the kids will be home in Cooperstown at Fairview Farm over Christmas, through December and January. We hope many friends and family will be able to stop by to say hi…Until then, happy trails and safe travels…Best, DDU and the Nolan family :-)…..

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