To all the Vancouver crew who wanted to hear about my travels, and anyone else who's interested, here's the first installment. I'm sitting in Sydney airport waiting for my flight to Canberra where my family lives. It will be the first time in 7 yrs that I've seen them. But I'll start at the beginning - a flight from Vancouver to LA, and a few hours in LA - so we went into town to see what we could see and found Olvera St - the historic heart of LA and a little slice of Mexico in downtown LA. It was fun - a couple of Latin bands, and lots of little stalls. I really wanted to see the Walt Disney Concert Hall (an incredible building designed by Frank Gehry) but it was about 15degrees and raining. In LA! We were freezing so went back to the airport. From LA we flew to Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands, a gorgeous South Pacific tropical dreamland. We'd seen the pictures, but nothing prepares you for the reality. Whatever those pictures of tropical paradise look like, the reality is 100 times better. We rented a little cottage on poles right on the beach. The entire island is surrounded by a coral lagoon. I hardly know where to start to describe it. Later when I get to my sister's I'll post some links, but I can't seem to find them atm. All the stuff about white sand beaches and coconut trees and azure seas and blue skies and endless sunshine is true. I'm going to try to post this now. I tried to preview it but when I click on preview post is tells me I'm not logged in. More later.