Friday, November 11, 2016

Family Reunion in Australia - Day 1

Whale Show in Barb's Front Yard

I spent three weeks in Australia from 18 October to 9 November 2016. My Aunt Eileen, my father’s younger sister, joined me on this adventure. The first half of the trip was spent with family from the BOYD side of my family tree, living in and near the Brisbane and coastal area of Queensland. My great-grandmother on my paternal side, was Laura Jane BOYD. I will cover more about this family in future posts. The second half of my trip spent time visiting the rest of Oz in Cairns, Sydney, Canberra and, Melbourne.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 - Thursday, 20 October 2016

Eileen and I flew out of San Diego, CA, Tuesday evening, to Los Angeles to catch another 14 hour direct flight to Brisbane. I took care of trading my US dollars to Oz dollars at the airport. I crossed the International Date Line two previous times as a child, but this was my first time to cross the Equator! We arrived in Brisbane at 6AM Thursday. (Reminder: there is a 17 hour time difference between Queensland and California.) I lost a day in my life sitting in the middle section of a large full plane, feeling like sardines with two people in the aisle seats who made it difficult when you needed to use the toilet or at least walk around on such a long flight. Never again! 

My third cousin, Barbara BOYD Hopkins, met us after going through Customs and Immigration, along with picking up our luggage. We both travelled lightly with one suitcase, one carry on (a backpack for me) and a small shoulder purse. We drove out to her place close to the shore of Kings Beach, a suburb of the Sunshine Coast, located within the Caloundra urban area in Queensland. She called her sister, Margaret or Marg, later in the morning, who came to visit around 10AM. I was so happy to see the both of them together. It was wonderful to finally meet them face to face for the first time in person. (We have SKYPED with each other several times.)

Margaret BOYD McKenzie, found me on back in 2008. She questioned what I knew about Laura Jane BOYD. That same week I received the marriage registration from Roscommon, Ireland, of Laura Jane BOYD and Alexander Sisson COOPER, my great-grandparents, married on 17 July 1875. I noticed one of the witnesses as J. C. BOYD. I guessed that might be a brother or other relative. I did more research, and later found the birth records of Laura Jane BOYD and James Carrick BOYD listing their parents as William BOYD and Jane CARRICK. We had a connection! I feel very close to these two cousins as we correlate our family trees. 

I am a quilter and I presented the each of them two quilts I made for them. Barbara received Bonnie K. Hunter’s Celtic Solstice quilt pattern, which I made with Quiltville’s Mystery Quilt in 2013.    Marg received Mark Your Point, a pattern I found in Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Lovers Favorites Volume 9, designed by Mabeth Oxenreider, which I named Diamond Jubilee.

Marg with her Diamond Jubilee, Mary, Barb with her Celtic Solstice.

Barbara posted these photos on FaceBook of our visit with her. We chatted for over three hours and had lunch together. Barb’s place looks over the South Pacific. We had a beautiful whale show as the mother was teaching her young how to make moves to survive life. As I was looking through the binoculars, Barb was filming this spectacular event with her camera. Unfortunately, it was over 300MB to post here. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can post a larger MB video here on Blogger?

When Marg left, Eileen and I took a short hour sleep and later went for a walk along the beautiful Caloundra coast. I was fascinated with these trees with their exposed roots. That is a genealogist for you. These are the Pandanus trees.

After our walk, we had dinner at a local eatery, the De Lish Fish. We shared five yummy selections of appetizers. Later in the evening, it was lovely to sleep in a bed on the ground!

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