A dream in the making for 45 years!

Jo dreamed to escape from hospital wards and treatments, and regain her sense of life and hope that can at times seem so lost during cancer treatments. She wanted to reconnect with her husband, David, and young son, Brodie, who had also been affected by her illness. These hopes crystalized in a dream to visit Broome with her young family – to have time away and reinvigorate her life. Jo had an amazing time, and documented all that she did on Facebook. Her words give a real perspective of what happens on our dreams and how much they truly affect our dreamer’s lives. After experiencing her own dream and realising how valuable and important it was for her, Jo has dedicated herself to helping fulfill other dreams. She is an incredible Dreams2Live4 supporter, and so generously donated her time and efforts volunteering at our TGIF Ladies Lunch and Lunch with David Gyngell. She was an indispensable part of the ‘dream team’ and an inspiration to all.


Very exciting (and a bit stressful) in the Douglas/Kulhan household as we head off to the airport. Thanks mum for the lift.

Huge line up to check-in our baggage, then off through security. Cost me another pair of nail scissors – happens every time I fly – always forget and I even thought about it this time, but put it in the wrong bag in the rush to get out of the house. Bag checked, scissors confiscated, bag re-scanned, time to board. It could have been worse, I could have said I was carrying dangerous items!

Great flight with Virgin. The plane wasn’t full so we got to move to a 4 seater with plenty of room. Stewards were very friendly and helpful. Brodie and David loved the inflight entertainment. I watched an episode of The Kardashians with Caitlyn and then had a nice nap. Brodie loves flying and is like a seasoned traveller with all the online technology.

After 45 years, I finally made it to Perth! First trip planned over 20 years ago and there was a huge airline strike. 2nd trip for work, but too sick to travel. 3rd time lucky – although only to the airport, but in my book that counts. 3 hour wait for our flight to Broome, but that went pretty quick once we had a bite to eat. Smaller plane and it was packed.

Was so excited to be in Broome when we got off the plane. Sun was setting and wow, the heat. Nice coach transfer to Cable Beach. The red/orange hues of the sun setting against the bright red dirt was pretty spectacular.Quick check-in and buggy ride to our room, where we were greeted by one of the resident wallabies that was grazing outside our room.

It had been a long day and it was dark, so we settled in, ordered room service and then sunk into the very comfy bed. Sweet dreams

Caption 1, Day 1Caption 10 Day 4

Day 2

Our first full day in Cable Beach and we woke to a beautiful 36 degree day. Made our way down to the Sunset Bar and Grill for a fantastic buffet breakfast overlooking Cable Beach.
After breaky we headed for the pool, where David and Brodie played and swam for hours, while I relaxed on a deck chair in the shade and went through all the tour brochures. The water was too cold for this whimp.

We had a late lunch by the pool and then back to our room for a shower and some downtime before dinner.
After studying all the resort’s restaurant menus we decided to go back to the Sunset Bar & Grill for dinner.
As we were finishing dinner, a guy walked past us who I thought looked like Richard Wilkins. Then I heard a familiar female voice and turned around to see Lisa Wilkinson walking past.

And then I ran into Karl Stefanovic!!! Such a nice guy. He was more than happy when I asked if I could get a photo. He put his arm around me, grabbed my phone and took the pic. Just a little bit star struck and couldn’t wait to tell mum.
Caption 4 - Day 2

As we were leaving I asked the waitress to take a picture of the 3 of us and we were photobombed by Karl which was pretty cool.

Caption 5- Day 2

After dinner Brodie wanted to show me the pool as it had nighttime lights which changed colours. The pool looked amazing. Brodie had been asking all day to play putt putt golf, but it was too hot and there was no shade. We went to have a look and there were clubs and golf balls there so we had a game. It was fun and Brodie and I putted ok – I even got a ‘putt in one’.
Back to the room and our very comfy bed. Such a great and relaxing day – just what the doctor ordered.

Day 3

There’s a brilliant view of Cable Beach from the restaurant where breakfast is served and we went a bit earlier this morning to get a better table. Another great buffet breakfast. Great view, great food, great company. No better way to start the day!
Although I had intended for us to leave the resort and visit some of Broome’s tourist spots, we decided to go the pool for the morning, and well, didn’t leave. Way too relaxing. Pool water still too cold for me, so while David and Brodie had fun in the pool, I loved watching them play from my shaded deck chair. They even had a game of putt putt golf in the 35 degree heat. David got a ‘putt in one’, making us one each (yep, still as competitive as ever).
Lunch by the pool, some downtime in our room, and then off to Sunset Bar to watch the sunset. It was amazing! The tide was way out so we went down to the beach. Vibrant pink and blue sky against the deep turquoise of the ocean. On the right the sun was setting and on the left was the full moon.
The Today Show were setting up for the morning’s filming and we got special permission to take some pics of us in the host chairs. That was pretty cool.

Caption 7 - Day 3

After our dinner of fresh prawns and fantastic fish and chips, Brodie wanted to play another game of putt putt. Yeah, another ‘putt in one’ for me! Not often I beat David in golf, so going to gloat while I can. Jo 2, David 1!
Today Show starts filming at 3.30am, so early to bed for us.

Day 4

It wasn’t too bad when I thought shooting started at 5:30am, but then I realised it was 3:30am local time – Not Happy Jan! But, it was so worth the early start. Love taking in the production part of the show and watching all the people running around behind the scenes making sure everything goes to plan. And of course, we got ourselves on TV in the crowd shots. I even got spotted by my friend, Dors, in Sydney. And my family were also watching and saw us a few times.
Lisa, Karl and ‘Dickie’ were awesome. Every time there was a decent break they’d come and talk to everyone in the crowd. Really sincere and more than just the polite hello and a handshake. Karl was just like his TV persona and often had to be chased to get back to filming as he would be having a laugh with someone in the crowd. Lisa is just gorgeous with a very warm nature and seems to be the bolder of the 3.
While Karl and Dickie were keeping their distance from the camels, Lisa was patting and feeding them. She also was the one who fed the sharks when they went on their aerial Broome adventure.

Caption 8 Day 4
Brodie and David soon got bored of standing around and opted to go back to the room and bed. I stayed, but had to sit down a few times as standing for long periods is tough for me at the moment. It was a beautiful scene as the moon set and the sun starting rising, but it wasn’t long before a sea mist took over and ruined visibility over the ocean. It was a real shame as we had all moved to the beach for a segment with the camels. The mist was like light rain so I decided to go back to bed and miss the last half hour of filming.
Slept for a couple of hours, had breakfast, and then a bit more sleep. The past few days and the early start must have taken it’s toll as I woke up feeling like absolute crap. It lasted about an hour and I must admit a bit of panic set in and I had visions of me stuck in a hospital in Broome. Decided to sacrifice a day by the pool, rather than push through it and risk being too sick to see the Staircase to the Moon. I stayed in bed while Brodie and David went to the pool, played tennis and organised our trip. Luckily a long sleep did the trick and off we were on the bus to the vantage point at Town Beach.

This amazing phenomenon occurs about 3 times a month when the tide is low and the ripples in the mud with the moon light create the effect of a stair case leading to the moon. It was even more amazing than I anticipated. Stupidly we didn’t bring a proper camera with us and the shots we took on our phone don’t do it any justice.

Caption 14 Day 5
Afterwards we had a look around the Town Beach markets before our bus came and took us back to the hotel. Room service, chilling out, sleep.

Day 5

No better way to start the day than with a camel ride along Cable Beach. After watching the camels on The Today Show and seeing how rough it was when the camels got up, I was worried that Brodie might freak out. No need to worry though, he loved it. As an added bonus Brodie got to be the leader riding the first camel in the pack with David.
Cable Beach is truly amazingly beautiful and even more amazing on board a camel. The colour of the ocean and the expansiveness is unbelievable. It was really interesting hearing about the camels from their handlers. They stand about 2 metres high and weigh about 950 kilos! Sounds like they have such strong and individual personality traits. They eventually do what they are instructed to do, but in their own time. Some love human affection, while others don’t. Some love spending time with other camels, while others prefer to be on their own. The camel Brodie was on is 17 and behaves like a teenager, apparently he was grumpy that he had to get up early.

Caption 11, Day 5
When it came to the end of the ride, Brodie’s camel gently sat down, but not so for my camel. He must have been keen to get us off his back that he just dropped to the ground. They say a picture paints a thousand words, so check out the pic.

Caption 13 Day 5
Afterwards we had breakfast while enjoying more of the amazing view. Then back to lazing by the pool. As this was sadly our last opportunity to view a Cable Beach sunset, we headed down to the beach. Absolutely magical!

The Staircase to the Moon could be viewed again tonight. Brodie and David weren’t interested, so they stayed at the hotel while I went to The Mangrove Hotel, which is the other viewing area in Broome. Big difference to Town Beach with the markets. There was a huge outdoor bar area with live music and I managed to get a nice comfy seat with a front row view. Again it was amazing watching the full moon rise, which surprisingly happens very quickly. The staircase effect wasn’t anywhere near as good as the night before though. I took some shots, but they’re not worth posting. So glad I went for a second time though. Still spectacular.
As I didn’t get back until late, we decided to stay in for the night, order room service and enjoy our final sleep in our very comfortable bed. Heading home tomorrow night…

Day 6

How depressing, our last day in Broome. Or is it???
Bit of a sleep in this morning, but eventually we got ourselves down to the Sunset bar to enjoy our last breakfast overlooking gorgeous Cable Beach. Brodie and David decided to hang out at the pool until we had to leave for the airport while I headed into the town centre. Roebuck Bay Hotel is at the top of the street where the entrance to China Town is. Appeared to be very popular with the locals at 10:30am, but it was empty when I went past again at 11:30am??? Broome was founded on the pearl industry and it was tough going for the divers with many losing their lives in the process. Check out the pics of me in the helmet.

Caption 15- Day 6
Found out all about pearls from a lovely lady at one of the pearl outlets. How the pearls are graded and their origins. Never appreciated the beauty of the pearl until now.
I was really enjoying my trip to China Town and walking around Broome until I got 2 texts from Virgin saying our flight was delayed and they had changed our booking. We now had a 10 hour wait overnight at Perth airport. After several phone calls and despite Virgin agreeing to put us up in a hotel in Perth, David suggested we just stay in Broome for an extra night. Didn’t take much to convince me, so I hit Wotif and organised for us to stay at Kimberley Sands.
Last night in Broome and we hadn’t seen one nudist at the clothing optional beach, and no sign of a cartwheeling nudist. Maybe the croc kept them away? They caught him by the way and also another croc near the airport. I also realised that for the first time I hadn’t rearranged the furniture in the hotel room or organised my clothes. Merely living out of a suitcase. Amazing how priorities can change.
We ended our day with a lovely, relaxing dinner by the pool. An extra day in beautiful Broome. How awesome is that!

 Day 7

Sadly, our last day in Broome, but we had a fabulous relaxing day. David and Brodie were poolside all day, while I decided to get a massage as we didn’t need to leave for the airport until 5pm. Absolutely beautiful spa and the massage was so relaxing. It started with a foot cleanse and foot massage, followed by a traditional Aboriginal wood burning ceremony. That was a bit strange, but hey while in Broome… Then an amazing massage which soothed all my aches and pains. Back poolside with David and Brodie for a late lunch. Food was so good.

Caption 17 Day 7
5pm came way too soon and we were off to the airport. At Broome airport there’s a wishing well, so I threw in 3 gold coins and made wishes for Brodie, David and I. I would have liked to have made many more wishes for everyone I love and care about, but it would have cost me a fortune. Flight to Perth was fine, but the Perth to Sydney flight was a new experience with the crazy lady that had to be handcuffed and the erratic guy that had everybody on edge. Safely made it home to Sydney, but have never been greeted by police on landing or seen anyone handcuffed mid-flight before.

Thank you Dreams2live4 for an amazing and very special trip, that totally exceeded my dreams.

We are so glad that Jo was able to experience a trip of a lifetime to escape the everyday difficulties of life with cancer and have a new sense of hope and adventure she can carry with her beyond the dream. Thank you to all of our donors and sponsors who helped make this incredible, once in a lifetime dream come true! And thank you Jo, for your continued effort to helping make Dreams2Live4 the best it can be!

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