After a cold night in the Blue Mountains, maddy got us up at 530 AM. Mike and I and Maddy had slept pretty well with warm clothes on, but the boys had been more optimistic and had gone to their bunks wearing boxers and t-shirts... so the next morning you can imagine their complaints. We had thought Maddy would be the one doing most of the crying, but not true; we have come to realize that she doesn't care where we are just as long as we are all together. She loves the confined quarters in the RV becuase we are all next to her-- all the time! They say that camping is a family bonding experience, and we're certainly proving that to be true; picture Cody and Tyler snuggling together for warmth instead of arguing :-)! We went and ate breakfast at a place that was quite popular and had been reccomended to us, and were once again underwhelmed by the Aussie breakfast options. When it comes to decadent, well-prepared breakfasts with high-quality ingredients, we really are quite spoiled in the US
. Even in the most upscale town in New South Wales, it seems an omelette with ham and cheese is considered "gourmet". After walking around the town a bit, we went to the food co-op. Cody got his first white chocolate bar and we were amazed he can eat it because it is made out of rice milk. Fortunately he loves it, but let's hope he doesn't develop a taste for more of these in the future, because that was an $8 candy bar! Speaking of money, it is so easy to spend quickly here because everything is expensive, perhaps prices are normal to them, given that the minimum wage here is 15.00 per hour! While in the blue mountains we went to Echo valley to hike up the Grand Staircase to the top of the Three Sisters (a spectacular rock formation). To get down to the bottom of the stairs we went to a place called "scenic world" and took the steepest railway in the world. This would have been fine, except that we didn't know what we were getting into! It was a near vertical drop from the top of the cliff down to the bottom where the trail across the valley began! Of course we survived the trip down, and then hiked across the valley and checked out the cliffs above us, as well as amazing plants and birds and a nice waterfal. The mountains on the horizon are blue because of the oil of yucaliptus in the air. At the base of the three sisters, we found a flight of stairs consisting of 998 steps going up the rock. It was a great workout going up there carrying Maddy and she was all smiles as the boys raced for the top and taunted us "slow-pokes" from their perches far above us. The views were spectacular in the mountains, but we left that evening looking forward to a real camp site in a warmer region as we head up to the wine country. As luck would have it though, we ended up getting nearly all the way back to Syndey, taking a couple wrong turns (no GPS) and spending far too much time in the concrete jungle of suburbia. When we finally made it to the open road, it was late and we were tired, so we settled for parking the RV that night at an abandoned rest stop (reading between the lines --> no showers)!