We had a great group in Melbourne. The event was at a huge, Las Vegas style casino and 59 people showed up in a gorgeous room overlooking the river and the huge Melbourne Aquarium! Wish we would have remembered to take pictures of some of the people, but here's dad with a dragon anyway!
We really had a good time with them although our host had just had a baby sixteen weeks premature at 24 weeks! He weighed just over one pound. Wish Maureen was here to take care of him but he seems to be holding his own.
The next day we went to the Melbourne Exhibition Hall, which was a gorgeous glass and steel building right next to an amazing old building with domes and porticos designed by a 19 year old in the 1700's.
Next we were off to Perth. When we got to the airport we found that they had cancelled our flight. They said it was a mechanical problem but it looked more like there weren't enough passengers to warrant a flight! Anyway, we got on another flight and got to stop for an hour at Adelaide on our way!
We were greeted by a bank of photographers. We had no idea how they knew we were coming! JK...they were waiting for Heath Ledger's mother Kim who was coming home to Perth for his funeral after a drug overdose. That is a sad story! Right after we heard that story, Lenna wrote to say that Connie's (Bruce's sister) daughter's husband had a terrible snowmobile accident a few months ago and had just died of an overdose of pain killers. What is this world coming to?
Anyway, we got through that and a little dog who smelled out a sandwich in my carry on bag. Cute dog! Then we were off to this next adventure. Perth was really hot and muggy, almost as hot as D.C. Boston and New York in the summer. But I LOVED being really warm for the first time. It was pretty cool in Melbourne and Tasmania.
After a morning of watching the returns on Super Tuesday and being disappointed that things didn't turn out really well for Mitt, we caught a bus over to what they call the Bell Tower! In about 45 minutes we learned 1000 times more about bell ringing that we knew when we walked in! There just happened to be 12 bell-ringers from England there pealing the bells for three hours. The bells were forged in the 1700's and were the actual bells from St. Martin the Field, which made us feel even closer to Charity who had just arrived in London! The bell ringers are like symphony players with different patterns on every pull so that none of the bells go at the exact same moment so it sounds like a "peal". The ringers were a floor below us, some bald guys and some women standing on boxes so they could reach the ropes properly. They were behind darkened glass so the tourists would bother them so we couldn't get a picture but here are some of the bells, through thick glass and the modern tower they were housed in!
Last night we had a GREAT group at a fish restaurant owned by one of the YPOers. The group was really fun and we loved their open spirits and some of the questions, like, "So how long did you tell your kids to wait to have sex when they were teenagers?" It was fun to tell them about helping kids make decisions in advance, but a pretty hard sell to get them to think it's still important to wait for marriage. That dang media!
SO this morning it is raining like cats and dogs so we have a great day to write and think. We're doing lunch with an EO group and then we're doing an event with the tonight at the Perth Zoo. More pics coming on that!