We are starting to see kangaroos everywhere! And…not all of them are so cute, some are massively muscular and look like they could do major damage in a fight! Right down the road from our timeshare is a field of long brown grass and must have something the kangaroos like to eat being how many we see there. We stopped to take video and pictures…to an Aussie, kangaroos are a normal thing to see, but for us…it was fun just to watch them hop around on their big back legs.
We continued to drive and since it was already afternoon, decided to drive to the top of Mt Buller which in the winter is a big attraction for skiing. On our way, we had to put on the brakes for what we thought was a porcupine crossing the road, but we later found out Australia doesn’t have porcupines…they have echidnas.
After a short drive we found ourselves driving around and around the steep roads of the mountain. As we got closer to the top, it began to snow and everything quickly became white. We reached the top and saw the tiny town which really only consisted of cabins and a couple of restaurants which were closed. We stayed up there just for a while catching snowflakes on our tongues before driving right back down the mountain. There wasn’t so much to do up there now that it was off-season.
We drove around the area a bit more and then got back to our place to open some New Zealand wine and make dinner.
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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2 Replies to “Day 244 of 400: Mt Buller, High Country – Victoria, Australia”
Ok, so this is my new “by far favorite blog”! Now I want to go to the mountains and play in snow. Im sure your view was much more spectacular. Dont get beat up by a kangaroo, and if you do… make sure you take many pics! hahahaha
Dude…these kangaroos are no joke!