I'll start the week off with another Aussie Christmas card.
I feel a bit like this myself tonight. We've just arrived back from a four and a half hour trip north to Hervey Bay to have an early Christmas with relatives who live there. That's four and a half hours up on Saturday and four and a half hours back on Monday with a family gathering for 14 thrown in there.
My parents and brother all live there as well as a few other relatives
Hervey Bay is a beach resort well known in Australia for whale watching. Humpback whales pass through heading north early in the year ( June/ July I think - Winter in Antarctica where they come from ) heading for warmer waters to give birth to their babies then return around September with the babies that were born in the warmer tropical waters.
Hervey Bay is a bit of a rest stop for them on this big journey and they take a break and frolic and play in the bay before heading off again down the coast to Antarctica as the summer arrives. It is a very pleasant, quiet bayside fishing resort but the whale watching industry has helped it develop enormously in the last 5 or 6 years.
Australians, on the whole, have a real soft spot for whales and I'm told if you are among the lucky ones who manage to have a close encounter with a whale on one of these expeditions ( whale watching ) and make eye contact when they swim up close to the boats to have a close look at the people, it is something you will never forget.
Some of them are very recognisable and are given names like Migaloo.
This amazing albino whale swims up the east coast every year creating great excitement as he swims past. This year he seemed to have a companion - we hope it was a lady friend - and we have eagerly awaited the sighting of a pure white baby but nothing on that score yet !
If you would like to read more about Hervey Bay and Migaloo as well as whale watching try this site: http://www.discoverherveybay.com/Whales/