Experiencing something for the first time can be exhilarating, exhausting, and engaging. Looking forward to that experience can create feelings like anxiousness, happiness, and anxiety. It’s even more exaggerated when the experience is something you wished for but thought would never happen.

My recent trip to Australia falls into that last category. My wish: to go to Australia and photograph with Leanne Cole in Melbourne. You see, when she was in the U.S. in 2015, I had the great opportunity to take her to Santa Cruz and go down to Monterey for a day. She was visiting a friend in Saratoga. We both remember that day. I was amazed at how at ease she was with her camera. And the thought of visiting with her in Australia was a dream come true.

This exciting trip was with my friends Sandy and Peg who are sisters. They invited me along as their adopted sister. Peg was detained a day so Sandy and I flew the long trip together.

I had a day alone with Leanne, walking Melbourne, when Sandy went to pick up Peg at the airport. We had breakfast, lunch and met Sandy and Peg for dinner. What a wonderful day that was. Melbourne is an exciting city with amazing architecture and the Yarra river running through it. Here is a sample of images from that day.

The next morning Leanne picked us up and took us to Port Campbell where we spent 2 full days photographing iconic scenes—places I have seen in Leanne’s blog many times.

On the way to Port Campbell

Leanne had arranged a wonderful rental house for us at Port Campbell where we enjoyed our 2-night stay. We explored the beaches and sights.

On our way back to Melbourne, Leanne took us to a rainforest, Maist’s Rest.

I had never been in a rainforest before, and this was outstanding. The ferns (which I love) were huge. Here’s a peak.

We had a wonderful time and experienced new things. This was the highlight of my almost 1-month vacation. Thank you, Leanne, for driving and being our very own tour guide. I totally enjoyed our girl friend time and the fun with all four of us. We all appreciated your time. And I’ll admit that Australia has great coffee!

There will be future posts on my blog about this trip. From Melbourne we journeyed to Sydney and then cruised for 11 days. Maybe I can fit some into an LAPC post.

But today, your challenge is to show and tell us about a new experience you had. It could be a trip, the birth of a child or grandchild, a road trip to a new place, the possibilities are endless. As you respond, please link to this post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

We all enjoyed your responses to Sofia’s challenge of Spring. Your narratives and images were imaginative and beautiful. Some of you even got in the Spring mood while walking in snow! Next week, April 1, Donna Holland will be challenging you and she’s not fooling around! Be sure to look for her post.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

Lens-Artists Challenge #241 – Spring

I have two favorite seasons: Spring and Autumn. Choosing between them, although difficult, Spring would win. Both are photographic wonders, but I don’t have to travel so far to experience Spring’s beauty. Sacramento is a wonderland of blossoms and regeneration of wildlife. This week, Sofia of Photographias encourages us to share our thoughts and images of Spring.

Every Spring Ananda Village, in Nevada City, volunteers plant amazing tulips for visitors. It is getting so popular that we now have to make reservations.

North Table Mountain was formed by volcanic activity and has an array of beautiful wildflowers each Spring.

Speaking of wildflowers, there is nothing more beautiful than a mountain of wild California Poppies.

There are also beautiful rose gardens in the Sacramento area. These were taken at the McKinley Park Rose Garden.

Each Spring the owners of Maple Leaf Gardens used to host an open house for the public.

Wild mushrooms also make an appearance in Spring.

Spring is also the time for birds to nest.

Each Spring, geese families strut around the pond in my neighborhood. You’ve got to watch out for the dads though, they are very protective of their goslings.

Spring is definitely a time for renewal, hope and beauty. We will be ready for it after the Winter most of us have been experiencing.

Thank you Sofia for this challenge that brought beauty to our computers. When you respond, please remember to link to Sofia’s post and tag Lens-Artists. I will be challenging you next week, so look for my post.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info.