So remember the previous day we've just had the crazy cooking spoiling day. Then we woke up and left the house around 3 am to drive up to Tin Can Bay. I was a little nervous how Jaren would handle this trip as we hadn't really done lots of day trips with him, but he was an angel! Tin Can Bay has a place where wild dolphins have been coming for 20+ years. IT WAS AMAZING!
Here at this little grundgy diner these forest ranger-like people will sell you $5 fish and let you feed these dolphins. While we were waiting for it to open we could stand there and watch the dolphins swim around.
Now their rule was that you weren't allowed to touch the dolphins but if they came up to touch you that was ok. So while Varian waited in line to buy the $5 fish pass and my sweet mother-in-law Michaela finished feeding Jaren his bottle, I went to wade up to my thighs in the water and stretched out my hand hoping that the dolphins would come swim up to me.
As I did this a memory came to my mind of talking with my Loveshack roommates about how I used to pray at Sea World that the dolphins would come up to me and let me pet them. They laughed and thought that was the craziest story, but I have to say that those dolphins came up to me more than anyone esle. I remembered that story and thought, why not say a little prayer. So I said a prayer and began doing my amazing dolphin calls and hand flips in the water :) when all of a sudden the dolphin that had been pacing back and forth about 10 feet away, turned and passed all the other people and swam over to me and let me rub it's beatiful face. Oh my heavens, what a treat! I loved it and did feel like it was a tender mercy that Heavenly Father had sent just to help me feel loved and to be a witness that He's aware of my prayers. Now I realize not all prayers are answered so instantly and favorably, but I still strongly believe that we can pray over all things and that God does care and listen. Ah, it was sweet.
Ok, back to the story. I ran over to Varian saying, "Is it your birthday or mine?" I felt so spoiled this whole day. We went and picked up our $5 fish (totally overpriced but worth it), and fed those sweet dolphins.
Here's the picture of me trying to pet the dolphin again with the ranger lady trying to stop me. Ha-ha! Little did she know I had already been chosen. He-he.
Varian and Michaela, and Leah and Panu also fed the dolphins. But we did it in turns so someone would be with Jaren so I don't have photos of Leah and Panu.
It rained on and off (I should say poured) throughout the day but Jaren was such a trooper and just kept napping well. This is at Tin Can Bay while he waited for his dolphin-obsessed mother to come back, but later he just kept taking naps in our arms covered with a poncho to keep the rain off. See pictures below.
After this little adventure we went over to a local farmers market where we bought some honey, a Peter Rabbit book (I love the movie "Miss Potter" and am since more enamored with the books), and a flame tree for only 2 DOLLARS! Yay, Varian and I are into plants and landscaping lately.
We then did a little walk to the Carlo Sand Blow. The wind blows up sand from the beach which has then wiped out the vegetation, creating a giant lake of sand -15 hectares - whatever that means. :)
Have you ever seen the Ewok Adventures. Doesn't this make you want to stick your hand in, or your whole head to see what little furry monster might come out and attack you?
Yes that is a pink poncho, and yes Varian is wearing it. (Much to his chagrin, as you'll see he had me wear that one later on.) But we had to keep the baby dry.
No, we are not trying to do a Michael Jackson - cover the baby photo. It was our "keep him sleeping, keep him dry" plan. Next we picnicked in a windy, rainy pavilion. 2nd Carrot Cake - it was a great success!
Then we talked Leah and Panu into staying through the rain storm to enjoy the adventures of Rainbow Beach. And it was adventurous - because "the sea was angry that day!" The rain started bucketing down on us and we had to wade through thigh deep water. Jaren was just in heaven being cuddled all nice and warm (and dry), but at one point a giant wave came up and splashed against a rock that I was standing next to. The water back-splashed onto me- soaking the bottom of his blankets so his legs were wet. Varian in the meantime is holding onto my arm trying to make sure his wife and child don't get swept away into the sea. At this point we both kind of stopped to question if we were being idiot parents and if we should go back. I wondered how I would manage breast feeding Jaren if the rain didn't let up. But we decided to wait out the storm a little longer and were so glad we did.
We rounded a corner and saw there was more beach so we could walk away from the waves, and then the rain stopped.
And THEN even the sun started peaking through the clouds.
OKAY - can you see in this picture that there is an actual RAINBOW coming down onto RAINBOW Beach. I joked that this was Heavenly Father's Birthday gift to Varian. It was really cool. Here's another good shot of the rainbow.
We then climbed up the hills for which Rainbow Beach actually gets it's name.
The wall was very crumbly - almost like sandstone, just bright yellow.
This rock seemed almost volcanic, and was like using black chalk.
At this point we decided to wake up our angel sloth baby who had been snoozing away the entire time to feed him. As he woke up he became engrossed in the surroundings, perhaps it was the tiny white sea-crabs that were crawling all over the ground that caught his attention.
Ok, that face cracks me up. He seemed mesmerized by the sand. Funny kid. :) So we relaxed on the beach for awhile and then made our way back home. It was a great Australian Adventure day.
As an addendum to his birthday celebrations I should write about what happened the next day. The next morning (Easter Sunday) Varian began unloading the dishwasher and he started to notice that his back was bothering him. Then all of a sudden he announces he can't even move. We managed to get him to the bed, where he remained for the rest of the
month day. Phew! Poor him and poor me! It was tough. He was in serious pain and couldn't move. I thought I was going to have to go get my nice Samoan neighbor Pese to help me get him out of bed just so he could use the bathroom. For weeks he couldn't even pick up Jaren and I really came to appreciate how much Varian helps around the house and with the baby. Those poor single parents out there! It was really hard trying to take care Varian and Jaren on my own. Later that night our big feet was to get him to the car for the family birthday dinner. Once there, we sat him on a rolling office chair and wheeled him around the room so he wouldn't have to get up again. Not exactly the way we had planned to spend the last 2 days of his bday/Easter weekend.