Saturday, August 6, 2011

Time Down Under

Nick recently got back from an IA (Individual Assignment) in Australia. (Whoohoo for the hubby being home!)

His time in the "Land Down Under" was brief, but he came home full of Aussie lingo and information. In the days that have followed his homecoming, Nick has shared many tidbits (as well as treats) from his time in Australia, I wanted to share them on our blog as well.

Nick is gone A LOT and he goes A LOT of places, but sadly, more often than not his time away is not documented! (Let me just be honest that it is hard to keep up with the blog, documenting everything we have done over here...we are always busy and most of the time are separated, making it that much harder!)
Gomenasai (I apologize)...I am trying to be better.

Nick's IA was in Australia at Camp Growl - Shoalwater Bay Training Area, north of Rockhampton. He was there for a joint exercise called Talisman Sabre or Saber (both are used) between the US and Aussie military. (For more info on the exercise click on one the following links: Exercise Talisman Saber and Talisman Sabre)

Nick slept in a sleeping bag on top of a cot, inside a was freezing at night and as you can tell from the picture, it got so cold that they would sleep fully zipped into their sleeping bags (covering their heads like in a cocoon).
Where they took a shower...basically a bucket bath...a small bag filled with water and hoisted up, but not enough to stand straight up, therefore one had to hunch over while trying to shower before the bucket's water was gone (only about 3 minutes)!

For the guy who doesn't do his own laundry....Nick had to wash all of his clothes by hand...using shampoo no less!

Nick with Captain Kendall Crocker (one of the Australians Nick befriended while at the camp), in front of the Australian Army's blackhawk.

Ginger Beer...the real thing...brewed in Bundaberg, a town not far from where Nick camped. The exercise was "dry", therefore this ginger beer was "refreshing" as Nick put it, after a day's work!
Marbled Frogmouth...a nocturnal bird, native to Australia, that Nick happened upon...
Nick got a laugh out of scaring me with legends of deathly animals that habitat Australia's woods. I didn't think it very funny, considering all that was protecting him from those wild animals was a tent!!! (Ever heard of a Drop Bear???)

More roos...
I asked Nick for one thing - pics of those big Australian rats - maybe one day I will get to see them in person as well

More of Nick's buddies at Camp Growl...

Notice anything different about this Burger King sign???
Roos everywhere, even fake ones in the park!

Four X Ale House, the Beer Brewery Nick took a tour of while in Brisbane..during his layover.

And we thought gas was steep in Japan!

Chill, the hostel Nick stayed in while in Brisbane.

Tim Tam's....chocolate cookie-like bars that Nick brought back from Australia. Super yummy! In Australia, they create what is called the "Tim Tam Slam" which is where you bite both ends of the biscuit off, plunge one end into a cup of coffee, suck the hot gooeyness from the other side, then quickly shove the rest of the molten goodness into your mouth and enjoy! (Nick's wording, not mine)

Nick also brought back - Vegemite...made from used brewers' yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing (as well as various veggies and spice additives). The Australians love this stuff, it's used like jam, to spread on bread and such.
The only other thing I asked Nick to bring back was a can't go to Australia without getting a boomerang! This one Nick liked because it was more authentic than most he saw...hand-painted, complete with the makers signature.

Australia was #1 on Nick and my list of places to visit while living at least one of us has been there (I am putting aside my bitter face, in hopes that one day I too will get to visit the Land Down Under!)

Nick enjoyed his time Down Under, but we are both glad he's home...
Until his next adventure, we are here and enjoying Japan!

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