For quite a while I was the publicist for the Canadian culinary team. Some of the greatest chefs in Canada were on that team One year the world competition was in Australia. I was able to get Air Canada to give us some free tickets which were great and They kindly gave me one too so I went with the team to Melbourne. As it was such a long journey we decided to stop over in Hawaii for a few days. I had some timeshare points so was able to get great accommodations at a luxury beach resort and we were able to get some R&R before the big challenge. The other part of the event was to showcase Canada and encourage people to vote for Canada to be the next destination for the world culinary arts Competitions. I set up our booth featuring Canada and a world map with pins and coloured strings showing How easy it was to fly to Canada all to no avail. Many chefs had been to Canada and voted for Japan. Our chefs did well though and brought home a number of medals which was great. 

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 While in Australia I celebrated my 65th birthday so decided that instead of returning with the others I would stay awhile. One reason I wanted to stay was that my dear friend chef Willy Brand had a brother living in Melbourne and he and his wife had invited me to stay with them. Willys’ brother was an interior decorator of huge floral displays in hotels and large buildings. He had a huge shed with fascinating items he used for his installations.

Here are some pictures 

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I rented a car and spent several months after that touring Australia.

I visited people I met during the Conference at their 5,000 acre Macadamia nut farm  
I used a week of my Timeshare and stayed at a dude ranch where
  I saw kangaroos and wallabies loping across my lawn.
Where I rode horses,  fed baby animals in the corrals, fed ostriches twice as tall as me, and ate BBQ steaks of ostrich meat.
that was an interesting week.

 I stayed at farms aND wonderful beach resorts.
 I stayed at bed and breakfast with Quilter‘s and weavers and even spent an evening at a quilt guild meeting.
I visited Sidney, toured the Sydney opera house, which was rather unimpressive actually. Just big concrete blocks and not very aesthetically pleasing.
I went to Bondi Beach to watch the famous surf roll in. It was much smaller than I expected.
 It amazing how one’s expectations of things change when you actually see them.

I think the highlight of the trip was visiting The Great Barrier Reef.
 Riding under the waves a little submarine - that was pretty exciting and looking at the wonderful undersea water formations and creatures.
Afterwards I rode the Sky train to the top of the mountain and sat on a barrel eating fresh crayfish.
For a few brief moments, I was the “king of the castle”

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