Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kangaroos! and other fun stuff

So we finally saw a kangaroo today.  Actually, we saw 5 of them.  We were on a  bike ride, and we just went down the street we live on, and at the dead end into the park, there they were, just hanging out.  We started off really far away, but just kept creeping closer to one of them.  He let us get like 10 feet away!  Here's a pic:

We saw a teenage-ish joey, too:

We even got some video of him hopping, although we had to get really close before he got motivated enough to hop away:

From kangaroo hop

Other than biking and kangaroo spotting, we have done mostly boring stuff this first week.  We did grocery shopping, went to the post office, walked around town, went to the library, etc.  I tried some new recipes, we napped, we watched TV, just basic relaxing stuff.  

It's been really nice to walk here.  They have a 12 km paved path along the beach for walking and biking and just near our house you can walk through a park along the beach.  Either place is lined with palm trees and has tropical birds zipping past your head.  I cannot stress how much of a racket the birds make here.  They are forever waking us up, and we have a nocturnal one (haven't been able to spy it yet) who has a really eerie call and it always sounds like he's in the pantry, but it's outside.  Anyway, the main swimming beach here is called Scarness, and it has a pier.  Here's three shots to the left, middle, and right on the end of the pier so you can kind of get a panorama.   

Very pretty, but as you can see, no waves like in Cronulla.  Fraser Island, which is the world's largest sand island, is off the coast of Hervey Bay, so it's really flat for good swimming.  Well, for me anyway.  Daniel the body surfer would like more waves.  If you go up or down the coast out of Fraser Island's protection, they actually have really good surfing beaches, so maybe we'll visit some of those.

I went to the doctor this week, too, to get my Cimzia prescription.  You can tell they are not used to people paying for things or not having a medicare card to show them.  At the doctors office she wasn't entirely sure how to use the credit card machine.  Nor was the pharmacy used to ringing up a $1700 bill.  The pharmacist admitted she was a little nervous and was triple checking her zeros.  Plus, the doctor's office looked like a free clinic.  No cushy waiting room or even a digital scale--just a slightly larger bathroom scale where it's hard to read where the line is pointing.  They gave me one month's worth, and I go see the GI specialist on Monday.  They didn't want to give me 6 months worth without being under a specialist's care.  I don't know what he's going to do besides read my doctor's notes and say are you fine, and I'll say yes, and then we'll be done and he'll have made $190.  So I had to pay $70 at the first doctor for him to refer me so I can pay another $190 so they can all read a letter from my doctor, look at his prescription, and write me an identical prescription.  Couldn't we have just done this all by phone or fax?  Thankfully, I think our insurance is going to reimburse us for all of it, or at least most of it.

We also went to Wetside on Saturday night.  This is a free water park in town, and every Saturday night they do a light show with music and the water fountains.  The thing on the right is a humpback whale sculpture.  There's also a huge whale tale in the center of a roundabout near downtown.  Hervey Bay is a breeding ground for humpbacks, so a lot of their tourism, aside for being a jumping off point for Fraser Island, is whale watching.  

One of the neatest parts of the show was a waterscreen.  They put a large fine mist into the air and then project movies onto the water.  Someone there mentioned it works better when it isn't so windy, but you can still make out the Wetside logo:

Honestly, the best part of the show was the little girl about 2 who was VERY excited to be there.  One of the movies they showed on the waterscreen had famous Aussie animals.  As each one came up she would shout what it was, or what color the lights in the fountains were changing:  "Dingo!  Fish!  Blue!  Red!  In between songs, the water and lights would stop for a few seconds and she always wanted to know where it went.  Her dad told her it was resting between songs.  

We went to the Baptist church this morning to see what it was like, and to see if we could get connected with a small group since the Anglicans don't have any.  It was as if they managed to cram every Baptist cliche and things that turn us off in one service.  We did meet Rhonda, the woman who hosts the small group we are going to go to and a nice couple we had after service tea with and talked about houseswapping.  They are in a houseswapping group here.  So, the people were very nice, but we didn't much care for the service.  We went to the Anglican church again tonight, and enjoyed it a lot again, so we'll just be staying put there and hope the people in the small group don't ask where we are on Sundays!  

At the Anglican church they ask for birthdays and anniversaries every week and if you have one or the other they give you a chocolate frog.  One of the ladies piped up we should get a frog since we'll miss both, so they consented and gave us each one.  They said now that we've been here twice were not visitors any more, just locals.  A very nice couple we've talked to twice now and I can't for the life of me remember their names insisted that they'd have to have us over in the next couple of weeks for a barbie, and Daniel got very excited again.  

Don't think there's much else to report.

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