Once upon a time I used to be a regular blogger… then I got married, traveled the world and back, fought jet lag, got sick, had to answer a million emails, work to catch up on, shooting, client meetings, etc etc etc, and in between it all, I regretfully slacked on the blogging. I admit, sometimes I miss the days when it was just me and my pup Rhett with all our extra time to blog regularly. Now being married, I constantly feel like a failure in the blogging department as I try to find that balance of spending time with my husband, getting back to clients promptly, album designing, trying to get exercise in (keyword: trying), and oh yeah, sleeping.
But alas, it’s a Friday afternoon, and all my clients have been tended to this week, we have an hour before heading out to an engagement session, and I’m finally giving myself permission to make time to share with you all about our amazing trip to Australia!
Whew….. what a whirlwind trip it was! We went there for a few reasons:
1. To shoot a wedding.
2. We were invited to host 2 workshops for photographers.
3. To celebrate our 1-year wedding anniversary!
4. To cross some things off our bucket list.
It started with shooting a wedding the Saturday before we left (that wedding to hit the blog later this week!), and driving home that night from Georgia, finish packing, and head straight to the airport for our 32 hours of travel on 0 hours of sleep. Ahhhh, the life of a photographer. We had a slight delay in New York for a layover while spending some time with clients-turned-friends Shara & Vinnie, and soon to be on the blog Jen & Steve, to then arrive back to the airport in plenty of time, but because we weren’t there exactly 2 hours before, they refused to let us on. The next day though, we finally got on the plane, and somehow it all turned into the next day with Australia being 16 hours ahead of our time zone.
First we arrived in Adelaide, Australia to present our 1st ever workshop together, and what a great time that was with some fabulous Aussies! More on that to come in a separate blog entry soon! But the funniest part of the day was when the group surprised us with a bag full of Australian food to help us learn more about the culture. We thought it was funny how obsessed Aussies are with things like Meat Pies, Iced Coffee, WheatBix, Hot Dogs with Bacon/Eggs/Barbeque Sauce, Tim Tams, and this weird but oddly good thing called Vegemite. Eaten by itself, Vegemite made our faces squirm when dared to try it, but once someone put it on toast and butter for me, it actually was pretty good.
Then we got to spend some personal time with our awesome bride and groom, Rhiannon & Tom, and their families. First, driving on the left side of the road on the right side of the car, they took us to a wildlife park where you got to walk amongst the bouncing kangaroos and hand feed them. Honestly, this was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip! I was so amazed at how tame and friendly they were. They loved eating the biscuits right from your palm, and a few times they perched up to put their arms around me and give me a hug. Stephen and I seriously fell in love with them and came home to Google “How to buy a pet kangaroo.” Ha! We also got to hold a koala bear which was on my bucket list, and I was so thrilled to finally hold one! Again, such sweet loving animals, and it was just like holding a big furry baby.
Next, we shot the wedding, and had a blast doing that. Again, their blog entry to come soon!
The next day, we jetted off to Sydney, which we found to be just like New York, or San Francisco. It’s basically a big busy city, they just have different accents. It was such a thrill to see the famous Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. We were tempted to do the famous bridge climb, but it was all we could do to keep up the exhaustion of the jet lag and busy schedule. We enjoyed simply being tourists and seeing things like the gorgeous St. Mary’s Cathedral, where supposedly Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban got married. We also held another workshop in Sydney, which again is hitting the blog soon. And Stephen got to mark off a bucket list item for him by getting to attend Hillsong Church in Sydney. What a powerful and moving service that was as we lifted our hands to the Lord in worship as Hillsong United played live in front of us. Another great highlight of the trip for me was, I met another Scarlett Lillian! She was the daughter of the photographer who helped host us in Sydney. Talk about a small world! But in even smaller world that it was, our last night there, we met up with the fabulous Justin and Mary Marantz, good photographer friends also from America, who were also in Sydney at the same time. It was great to catch up with the sweet couple that they are!
Lastly, we jetted off to Cairnes to go snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. It reminded me a lot of Hawaii with a tropical feel. We enjoyed a day out on a yacht seeing Nemo, sea turtles, and so many amazing colorful fish and breathtaking reefs. All I could think was, “God is such an amazing artist.” Words can’t even describe the feeling of seeing for yourself this beautiful whole world that exists under the water. Stephen actually got to see a little more up close with his first time scuba diving. I tried it, I really tried to give it a shot, but my ears gave me problems, on top of a mini panic attack, so I decided to go back to the simplicity of snorkeling. For our final adventure in Australia, we took a skyrail cab through the Kuranda rainforest, admiring the lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. Again, I was simply taken aback at amazing artist God is.
In the small town of Kuranda in the middle of the rainforest, I got to see my first ever blue butterfly, which goes back to a special memory with my dad and I before he passed away. Blue butterflies are an extremely rare butterfly, and as he neared the end of his days, he told my mom and I that whenever we saw a blue butterfly, to know that it would be him saying hello from Heaven. It has been so amazing to see how many blue butterflies we have seen over time in different forms, but it was a truly special and tearful thing to finally see a real one in person. And not just one, but we stood in a sanctuary of what felt like a hundred blue butterflies all fluttering around us.
Before we knew it, 2 weeks had passed, and our adventure brought us home.
I admit, as photographers, we probably should have taken all these amazing travel photos with our big nifty expensive camera gear… but honestly… sometimes doing that feels like work… and we simply wanted to relax and just enjoy documenting our travels through our addiction to InstaGram. So to show you Australia through our eyes, I’ve put together a collage of Stephen and I’s InstaGrams from the trip to share with you as our Australia recap here on the blog. And if you are on InstaGram, look us up at usernames: scarlettlillian and stephenknuth :-)