Part 1

HardingTravel3

2015 was a monumental year for our family!   I want to give a shout out of gratitude to so many people who made our trip around the world so beautiful, comfortable and the adventure of a lifetime!

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So Much Excitement, All Over the World!

There are many people to thank, so I wrote a few thank you blogs…

What a better way to start celebrating the New Year!  And Happy New Year to all of my blog followers!  I am choosing to go in chronological order because that simply make sense to me! 🙂  Remember looking at the map, we started in Sacramento to Los Angeles and left America for over four months.  So let’s start from the very beginning… As Maria in the Sound of Music would say.  This would have been March 2015.

First of all, my mothers were the whole meaning of this trip for me! I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for them.

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Warm Water for Warm Hearts!

They were with me and we were so close the whole trip!

 

They were with me through lots of historical moments…

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Learning about Apartheid and the Fight for Freedom, South Africa

 

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The Jewish Synagogue and Holocaust

 

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Michael Angelo’s, “The David”

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Gods, Goddesses and the Acropolis

and emotional moments…

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There is nothing like seeing these animals in their wild, natural habitats!

 

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The Vatican and the Rotunda, Italy

 

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A Prisoner of Robbin Island Telling Us His Story and Fight for Freedom, South Africa

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ANZAC Day, New Zealand and Australia

and physically demanding moments….

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Hike/climb up Table Rock Mountain, Capetown, South Africa

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Six-mile Hike Santorini Island, Greece

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Trekking in Switzerland

I love them a lot! 🙂  Lots of love and appreciation… 

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In Fiji, Shaiyal and her parents, were very kind.  They were our first hosts via Airbnb.

 

They took really good care of us, making sure we always had what we needed, including some traditional Indian dishes.

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Sachin and Malti

Malti is a very good cook and we tried lots of Fijian food while we were there, too.

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We had an unbelievable experience going to their celebration of the God, Ram, and enjoyed even more traditional dishes, and more importantly, the spirit of love and camaraderie  in their religious celebrations.

 

Matthew at the Wyndham Resort, in Fiji, was so special. He spent extra time with my new friend Hannah from Australia and me, and made a hat out of palm leaves that I wore the whole week, and then gave to Hannah. He also helped us navigate around Nande because he is a local. That was so helpful!

 

 

Alina and Shail were terrific hosts in New Zealand. Their house was very comfortable, and their dog was really cute. They were hospitable, and hey, Alina your new baby girl is beautiful! Congratulations!

On to New Zealand!

Our friends, Nicki and Susan, who we stayed with in Wellington, New Zealand, were amazing. They took us to some great places, such as the Wellington museum and the shoreline of Wellington. Wellington reminds me a lot of San Francisco – so it was very special.

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We had lots of fun staying at their house, and can’t wait to see them again. (We did get to see Nicki when she came to the U.S. in Oct.!)

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They, too, we’re also good cooks and we really appreciated the welcome to New Zealand meal, with lamb and pavlova – it was great to see you again Nicki in October! Hope the next time you come with Susan.

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Remember our first backpacker experience in the old, renovated prison in Christchurch?

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After Christchurch, my grandparents’ and parents’ friends, Philip and Di , are who we visited and stayed with next. They live right on the coast line in New Zealand, and have a beautiful garden and farm.

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I had fun feeding all the chicks and herding their sheep. Animals can be so funny.

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We had tons of great food eating out and in their home, too!

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Enjoying Meals on “the Bandstand”

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We took a side-trip to Queenstown.

They also took us into their town Omaru.   It was fun and sort of old-fashioned, but also is very artsy and exciting.

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I love Philip and Di’s place in New Zealand!

Lizzie who is a UK ex- pat, and retired teacher after a couple decades of teaching in Australia, was our tour guide in Meeyanin (her home town in the country),  which is the south western end of Australia; and Melbourne.

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Melbourne at Night

She took very good care of us and was very funny.   We saw many cool animals in the wild right at her place, such as koala’s.

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Right in Lizzie’s Backyard!

We only had to travel a short distance to Wilson’s Promontory to see many other amazing marsupials during the daytime…….

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Wilson’s Promontory

and nocturnal, too……

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Awww, These Wombats are so Cute!

Special thanks to you, Lizzie, and Paul MacPhair and his lovely partner, Anika, and Beloka Kelpies, for an unbelievable experience at the Kelpie Farm.

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I would love to come back sometime.

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We had a fabulous time with you, Lizzie!   After four days in Melbourne touring…..

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Melissa, at the Apollo RV rental in Melbourne, was a great help to us!

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We had reserved an RV for three people online, but when we got there they told it is not safe for three people.  After many hours Melissa worked out a great deal for us – we are so thankful.

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We spent so much fun time together for the 10 days in our cool RV!

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Onto another big Australian City.  The The Fletcher’s were our hosts in Sydney. I met Hannah Fletcher in Fiji, and then we were reunited in Australia.

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They were very hospitable to us.  Hannah and I had lots of fun together, along with her brothers Ryce and Braden.

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We went to see Les Miserables, at the historic Capital Theatre.

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They took us to the Sydney Zoo and lots of other places.  Thanks Rochelle and Jamie, too!

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We hope they come to see us soon in America because we loved our time with them!

12,616 miles and counting……Thanks again, to all our old and new friends in Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia!

Next up:  Japan (Kobe, Kyoto, Harry Potter World, and Nara) with Mariko and her friends; and, Bangkok, Thailand, with Ploy and her friends, and Phuket.

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Stay tuned for more posts from your Junior WorldTrek Reporter.

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Keep Calm and Travel Around the World!

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