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Week 1  (Sun Jan 11 thru Sat Jan 17)    

Now , the truth is that you get short suited this week.   We missed Sunday the 11th.   You know - - with the International Dateline and all, but we're going to make up for it by giving you a little of Friday, the 9th, and Saturday, the 10th.    Now we advertise this website as being done for our kids and grandkids, so that they can keep track of Mema, but you know, and we know, that there are a few friends of ours out there who look in on occasion, and since most of them are sometime world travelers - the following advertisement is important!

Welcome to the Crowne Plaza at LAX!

Patty and I have stayed here for the past 5 or 6 years, whenever we were flying out of Los Angeles, and have always found it to be outstanding for having great folks, pleasant service, terrific facilities, and real convenience!

Arriving late is no big deal here, a late night wood smoked pizza, served up by a great young man from Mexico City, Juan, under the watchful eye of a super young Phillipino by the name of Mannie.    Next comes a great Continental Breakfast ---

I just want to make sure that the grandkids aren't worried about Mema and me maintaining our waistlines!               Doesn't Mema look pretty good?   (Just hope she behaves on this trip!)

---- and when we landed in Perth,  guess who was there to greet us?                                    

    Hi Gwen !!

For those of you who didn't catch up with my antics under Australia 2001, let me introduce you to Gwen Barton - -

* Mum of my young Aussie trip mentor, Brett,

* Hostess, cook, gardener, tour guide, and all around great pal    without peer to the weary Yank traveler

Some shots of the gardens that greeted Patty


Early next AM, son Tony takes me for a romp with the dogs                  at their favorite beach.  Some of Kaiser's best pals are here!

                                                                                                                    Dinner at The Ogden Pub in the old Albion Hotel in Cottesloe                                                  or -- you could try fast food chicken!     BUT, nothing compares to the cooking of our hostess, Gwen.    I'm not just saying that to score points.   I will be lucky to get out below 22 stones!   

One of the great parts of staying with good friends in places like Perth is the opportunity to meet more fascinating people -- like the Reyhani's.    Originally from Persia (Iran), both have doctorates in civil engineering, and are very strong supporters of The Baha'i Faith, which was the chief reason why they were persecuted and forced to flee Iran over 20 years ago.

Most of our friends who've traveled to this great country see only Sydney, Melbourne, Ayers Rock, and possibly  Cairnes to visit the Great Barrier Reef.   Really impressive, and interesting spots, but to see the real Australia, you need to spend some time  in WA (Western Australia), SA (Southern Australia), NT (The Northern Territory), and a bit more of VIC (Victoria).   If you stick with us, you'll get a little flavor for all of those great places!

WA, with a population of 1.8 million (Australia's total population is just less than 20 million) , is the largest State in Australia in land mass, with almost exactly one third the land area of Australia.   To add to the perspective, since Australia is almost identical in size to our lower 48 states, try to picture less than 2 million folks situated in one third of our country!    (Where in the world would we place the other 298 million???)    

Let's start with WA's capital city, Perth


Approximately 80% of WA's population live in and around Perth.    It may be the cleanest city of 1 million + that you'll ever experience.   That, coupled with the presence of the 1000 acre protected Kings Park, the proximity of beautiful white sand beaches, and the blue green of the Indian Ocean make for a very unique and nicely paced life style.    Without a doubt, it's the most isolated capital city in the world!     Before we take you to the War Memorial in Kings Park, overlooking downtown Perth, no visit to Australia is complete until you've re-discovered Hokey Pokey!

Now - please go to Week 1 Continued

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