Chinese Gardens

Chinese Garden
The Chinese Garden, with the city of Sydney in the background.

One of the best things in Sydney was sitting and resting by the pond at the Chinese Gardens.

Chinese Garden
A window looking out at the garden.

Granted, it’s a little odd to look at a serene garden and see skyscrapers in the background.

red window
A window in the tea house within the garden.

However, as long as you keep your eyes down and in the garden, it is really relaxing.

very pretty spot
Look out from the tea house at the pond and the viewing area across the water.

I particularly liked all the animals. None of them are in cages or technically considered part of the garden. They just visit and/or live there by choice.

Chinese Garden
An iguana in the Chinese Garden.

I saw iguanas, birds (including the much hated White Ibis,) turtles, and ducks.

Chinese Garden
A duck and a turtle in the pond.

Of course they do keep koi there, which is awesome.

Chinese Garden
Koi in the pond.

Anyway, it’s a peaceful place and there are lots of benches. I brought a book and some water, and i just hung out for awhile.

picnic spot
A viewing pavilion by the waterfall.

If you need a break, and you are tired of the hustle and bustle of being a tourist; this is the spot to visit.

me with waterfall
Me downstream from the waterfall.


Great Barrier Reef

Baby Fish in Stag Coral

I should probably do my Australia posts in the order that they happened. And yet, I am too excited about my underwater pictures from the trip to even start looking through the above-water stuff.

Amazing Corals

So, it would seem that I am starting with The Great Barrier Reef.

Bleached Coral

The Reef actually has more bleaching than Guam. If I had to guess, I would say that the shallower water must be the reason (shallow water heats up faster.) Guam is next to the Marianas Trench, so I imagine the overall water temperature in our region might be colder, even though we are on the equator.

Giant Clam

You might think it is the types of coral, but it’s definitely not. Nearly all the corals I saw on the Great Barrier Reef were the same as the corals in Guam. There were only a few differences.


Some of the fish I saw on the reef were bigger, which I would guess is because I was snorkeling in deeper water there than what I usually would (since I get better pictures in shallow water.)


There were some huge parrot fish, as well as some large cod and sea bass. I saw a few sharks as well. In Guam I usually see black-tipped reef sharks, but on the reef I saw white-tipped reef sharks. So, that was new.

Rainbow Parrot Fish

It was jellyfish season, and I definitely didn’t know that when I booked the trip! We had to wear stinger suits the whole time.

Angel Fish and Giant Clam

I have actually never seen so many jellyfish in one place. However, the stinger suits protected us, and no one got stung except the guy who took his hood off.

Christmas Tree Worms in Coral.

My YouTube Channel has lots of footage of the Reef and all the cool things we saw. I definitely recommend taking a look, if you like the under water world.


The tour guides told me that the best time to see the reef is in August. That is the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere, so I would have thought it would be stormy then.

Love the blue stag coral

However, they say the summer is far more stormy, and the good visibility is definitely in August.

Reef Squid

So if you go to The Great Barrier Reef, I can recommend Carins Dive Center (who I went through) and their boat The Kangaroo Explorer (which I did the live abroad package on for three days and two nights.) But I can’t recommend going in January, because it was stormy and it was also jellyfish season.

Note: Click the links in this post to see the videos on my YouTube Channel.

Angel Fish Couple



First, I am back home in Guam. We will be here until around August or September. Then we move to Oahu.

Now then:

I recently went on an Australian adventure. I will do a few detailed posts about the things I saw and did, but here is an overview of where I went.

First, I went to Bondi Beach and stayed in a hostel there. I did the coastal walk and snorkeled in Clovelly Bay with a woman from my Snorkel Travel Friends group. I explored the shops and sat and talked with people, and I had a great time.

Later, I moved to a hostel near central station in Sydney. I took the Big Bus Tour and got off to see all the major attractions like the Opera House and some of the old Cathedrals. Then I went on a Blue Mountains tour and met up with my friend Shari from Melbourne.

Finally, I met my friend Melissa and took a flight to Cairns. We went out to the Great Barrier Reef and snorkeled at several spots while living abroad a ship called The Kangaroo Explorer. After that, we went up to the town of Kurunda to see the rain forest.

My very last day was spent in Sydney watching the fireworks for Australia Day. Finally, I flew to Hawaii and then home to Guam.

Right now I am catching up on my sleep and sorting through photos, but soon I will share some of the better shots of the reef, and of my other adventures.

My YouTube Channel

I started a YouTube channel so I had somewhere to put all the videos that I take.

Above, you can see the view from my patio. I know I am going to miss this view so much when we leave in September! It’s so beautiful.

Most of my videos are from my underwater adventures. However, I try to just put everything I see up.

This is the sunrise as seen from my balcony one morning. They are not usually this good, but it’s never a bad day when you watch the sun rise over the ocean.

Like I said, most of the videos are from being underwater.

For example, this is a video of swimming with a sea turtle. It’s the most relaxing five minutes on the internet.

None of the videos are very long because most interactions with sea creatures happen in the span of a minute or two.

For example, this silly animal is called a Parrot Fish, and it’s hilarious to watch them swim, but they are fast so they usually swim away pretty quickly.

Anyway, you should check out my YouTube Channel and maybe subscribe. It would mean a lot to me to have some subscribers, and besides, you could see some of the amazing things I see!

Thanks for reading, and watching, and just being one of the people that follows my life.

Love & the Desert y J.D. DeLemont



Not long ago, I wrote about my first book, “The Vampire’s Sister.” That was a Choose Your Own Adventure for the app Multi-Path Audio Books and it was a lot of fun.

This time I am trying a romance. The Book is called “Love & the Desert” by J.D. DeLemont, and it’s a fun book set in Phoenix, with all my favorite folks making a guest appearance, including the bands Element a440 and Hardwire, and The Poison Pen Bookstore.

I wrote a guest post with more information on a friend’s blog. But the main point is, please check it out on and help me promote!

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