Second Time Around travel blog

In the front yard

Road trip

Hey, look at the beach

In the small community of South West Rocks, kangaroos are an everyday presence.

Kookaburras do laugh and in sufficient numbers are highly effective morning alarms - better than roosters.

Most of the population of Australia lives near the oceans. Beautiful beaches abound.

If a beach has lifeguards, the lifeguards are mostly volunteers associated with surf clubs. Municipalities may have a few paid lifesavers who supervise volunteers.

Beach dangers include under tow, rip tides, sharks, and stinging jelly fish.

People are extraordinarily friendly and helpful. You can strike up a conversation with just about anyone. Self depreciation, friendly teasing, and irony are common in conversation.

People are informal. I think I overuse the word "sir."

Dress is casual. Even some TV newscasters wear open collar shirts without a tie.

Flip flop sandals are called thongs.

Many TV shows are adapted from US shows. "Family Feud" comes to mind.

For school kids, wearing hats outside for recess is mandatory. No hat, no play.

Lots of coffee shops and excellent baked goods. The best carrot cake so far is at The Salty Dog, about an hour north of Newcastle.

I like it here.

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