Honeymoon Leg 3.2
Today's the last honeymoon story I have for ya... Then back to regular business, stories, and email-revenue-boosting info for ya...
Awhile our friend Glen Ledwell told us we had to check out “Cans, Australia”…
I said, “Wait, what? Like a soup can? Can you spell it for me?”
Ohhhhh, that made more sense! Lol... Turns out it's one of the most scenic places in the world (more on that in a minute).
So Julia & I flew there from Sydney to check it out… We got there on a Friday night & couldn’t see much… But already liked it better than Sydney because you could smell the tropical air coming from the trees & the ocean. And it was… quieter… And the airbnb was probably the most homey, most accommodating stay ever.
For the 99% of you who haven’t heard of Cairns, it’s on the northeast peninsula of Australia & it’s known for being this really rare spot in the world where the world’s oldest rainforest meets the ocean. Plus, lots of mountains. And the Great Barrier Reef offshore. So we were pumped!
Day 1 we decided to take it slower & check out the town itself. I’ve never been a big ‘farmer’s market’ guy, but Julia’s got me to go to more of them over the last year. And for someone who doesn’t love them… Rusty’s Market was the largest, most incredible, most local market I’d ever seen. We picked up 5-6 new fruits that we’d never or rarely tried before (pictured below). Plus, some fruits from Thailand since it’s so close. My favorite was the black sapote - which is almost like chocolate pudding inside of a fruit… Seriously, try it.
Plus, we hadn’t found a good local gift shop in Sydney, so we went HAM at this place & bought all of our souvenirs for us & for family & friends.
Walking around town after that was a nice mix of city, small mountain town, nature, and ocean. They have a huge pier that’s even cooler than St. Pete Pier back home… Plus a huge lagoon pool, restaurants, and ocean & mountain views all from the same place.
We love art too, and saw a few Great Barrier Reef paintings that we liked, but for the most part there was a ton of aboriginal (think Native Americans but Australian), which was hard to relate to.
Then we went up north and walked on one of the most beautiful beaches we’d ever been to. The sunset pics don’t do it justice, but the sand was a dark brown, and the mountains & trees on the water were incredible. Little did we know until after we saw the sign, but they have a small crocodile AND jellyfish problem in this area, so at least we saw it AFTER lol.
We had a couple of good dinners, nothing excellent. But good. They really emphasize prawns here, which are really just shrimp. It seems that steaks are called rumps, and they’re not quite the same quality. Sydney had better food for sure, but you just have to look a little harder outside of the city.
The next day we embarked on one of my favorite childhood passions… A train ride. But this wasn’t just a train ride. This was a “first class coach” train ride from Cairns allll the way up the mountains into the rainforest. The views were incredible. The stops were incredible. And I had so much fun ignoring the world & being a kid again. The station at the top was old school, and I may have geeked out a bit, making Julia take my picture by the train just like my mom did when I was a kid.
Even better, the town at the top was this weird hippie town that turns into a tourist destination during the day. It’s called Kuranda, and they had every possible souvenir, opal, boomerang, article of clothing, etc… Plus dinosaur exhibits, a movie site plane crash, a butterfly sanctuary, and a mini zoo where you could meet Kangaroos up close. I’d seen a few kangaroos at the 2 Sydney zoos I went to, but it was from a distance. Seeing them up close was a dream come true for Julia & I. And as any American 90’s kid would, we named them all Jack… although the Aussies call them Joey.
The way down was on the SkyRail… Kind of like a ski lift or cable car that runs above the Daintree Rainforest. There were a couple stops too, and it was wild & wonderful to see the rainforest from the perspective of a bird. We even saw a wild crocodile in the river and a bunch of wild kangaroos in a field close to the bottom toward the town. Again, a HUGE win when you can see animals that aren’t in a zoo lol.
Again, it was hard to find a solid dinner, but that night we headed up the coast (literally right next to it) through the rainforest into Port Douglas. The drive was really cool, and there were even more train tracks scattered throughout. But it was a smaller scale… AKA mini trains compared to the ones in America.
Port Douglas was fun. The food was a little better. There wasn’t a lot to do there except shop and have nice views of the ocean. It was nice to walk around and have another slow day. We’ve realized that for every fast, action-packed day, we also need a slow day to hang out. Otherwise a vacation almost feels like a work trip. There were some hikes along the perimeter that were nice, and we even did morning beach yoga to get my mind off of the stress of not working. I also spent some time catching up on work after that & then going on a rare clothing haul for myself LOL… But I think it was needed.
The other funny thing about this leg was that we’d get to a new place & I’d feel bad that I didn’t book us enough time to see everything… But by the end of the first day, I’d realize that 2 days was more than enough time. So in the morning I worked a bit more & then we headed up to Cape Tribulation (the most famous part where the rainforest meets the ocean). Here, the roads got smaller, the scenery got VERY jungly, and we even had to cross a crocodile-filled river on a car ferry.
On the way, we stopped at a couple of random grocery stores that were more like shacks, just to get a local snack & talk to the people that were crazy enough to call the jungle home. By the time we got to our ‘resort’, it was dark, and there wasn’t much to do. The glow worm night tour was disappointingly off that day, and the Bear-Grills-Looking-Woman told us to go on a walk on our own & maybe we’d see a python… No thanks lol it was pitch black outside under all the trees. So instead, we had crocodile & kangaroo for dinner (kinda feel bad about myself, but it was delicious, so no regrets).
So we waited for the morning. And we couldn’t sleep much because we saw a huge golden orb spider outside our window & Julia literally can’t stand the sight of any bug. Even the ants here put American ants to shame. Everything was massive. That day was fun though because we walked on Cape Tribulation Beach & Myall Beach - the 2 main most beautiful areas. Then we got a really decent jungle lunch, checked out a water hole, and decided to dip out early since there wasn’t much to do.
The only thing we wish we could've done was spot a cassowary. It's a really weird, endangered, ostrich-looking bird. We saw wild kangaroos & crocodiles... But the cassowary is the one that got away lol.
So we headed back down south, stopping at almost every point, and we found the most beautiful beach I’d seen since the one on north Oahu that I posted about a few weeks ago. It was like a movie scene, and we spent quite awhile there before moving on, driving back down south, and stopping at every scenic view we could. It’s also just fun to drive through the jungle. By this point I’d finally learned that you don’t need to spend long in each place to really enjoy it. Might as well keep moving, so we didn’t have to stress out about driving back the next day, because…
We were back in Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef! We headed back down to the Cairns pier, got on a helicopter, enjoyed the most epic views over the ocean, mountains, reef, wildlife, and landed on a helipad next to the boat we were scheduled to snorkel from… A grand entrance, I must say.
Jumping in the water was even better. We snorkel a lot. We’re snorkel snobs lol. The Great Barrier Reef by FAR had the widest selection of fish & coral to see… So many new ones we hadn’t seen before, and it was incredible. Thankfully, Julia’s really good at taking her phone underwater now & not dropping it, so we got some epic shots. Then we had lunch on the boat back to Cairns.
Over our last day, we went to the aquarium to spot any fish we might have missed, or point out our favorites from the day before. And we got lunch & headed to the airport, happy with the best honeymoon we could’ve imagined.
We had a connecting flight to Brisbane before LA… And after all that travel, Julia had a massive sinus pressure & couldn’t get on the second flight without risking a ruptured eardrum… So we unfortunately had to cancel Leg 4 of the trip, which included a friend’s wedding, Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, etc… But I learned my lesson about traveling too long. We don’t regret it at all - we had the time of our lives. But we also learned some great life lessons about balance & taking life slow sometimes (we’re both “go go go” kind of people). And I suppose those lessons apply to marriage too.
We just made it back to California, and after not being in the US for a few weeks… WE MISSED THE US!
Can’t wait to see our friends at Flight Club Mastermind this weekend before heading home. Thanks again to everyone who’s supported us so far… And thanks for reading about our journey.
Can't wait to dive back deep into business & keep you updated on that journey as well. Shoutout to Dom & my whole team for manning the ship while I was away.
See ya soon,