by Amy K. Bredemeyer
I always get excited when I hear about another special coming to TLC about the Roloffs. I know that there are plenty of people out there who try so hard to make sure everyone is aware of the mistakes that various family members have made in the past, but I think that the family's television specials are still pretty neat. I think that this one was a little different, in that there were only a couple of moments that highlights how this trip was different for little people than it would be for any other family... primarily when Zach struggled with all of the steps on the Sydney Harbour Bridge because of their size. And, speaking of Zach, part of me wondered if he'd be proposing to Tori on this trip... I know they haven't been together all that long (she was kinda introduced last pumpkin season), but he looks at her so endearingly. Plus, it was her birthday. Of course, when he mentioned on-camera that he's still getting used to holding hands in public, it was a red flag that no engagement ring was in the works... yet. And I'm fine with that... this family is large enough that I don't get bored with them, though small enough so that everyone gets some screentime on these specials. I'd still like to hear more from Molly, as she's so different from her brothers, but it was nice to hear quite a bit from Jacob for a change, even if it was mostly about the dangers down under!
Little People, Big World "Down Under" (Special): Matt has decided to take the family on a whirlwind trip to Australia. It'll only be a week long, so they have to plan a tight schedule. [that is CRAZYSHORT for a trip that far away!] Amy (who has a speaking engagement right before the trip) and Jeremy (who has now been in Santa Barbara about a year) will meet the rest of the family in Los Angeles to fly to Sydney, but the more surprising trip component is Zach's request that Tori be allowed to tag along. [hmmm... I wonder how the logistics of that worked... the Roloffs don't exactly do things in the most frugal way...] Amy immediately wonders if the girl can handle the Roloff family for that long, but they decide to allow it, even celebrating the sweet girl's birthday on the vacation. [Molly's hair is so different! sitting in the back row of an airplane for that long would drive me crazy!]
The trip starts with the kids climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge while the parents took a water taxi to watch. It's 1600 steps to the top! Then, they meet up with an old LP friend of Matt and Amy's who married an average-height woman. [Zach seemed happy to receive some encouragement about his "mixed" relationship.] Jeremy brought a small photo printer and did a scrapbook as they went along! With stickers and everything!
Then it was on to the Great Barrier Reef area, which was the part of the trip that really got Jacob nervous, because of the dangerous animals in the water. Before the reef, however, they go to the Cairns Tropical Zoo and feed kangaroos and hold koalas! [anyone else wonder if TLC has a hookup with that zoo? I mean, was it the same one the Gosselins visited?] The next day, they take a boat ride to the Reef, don "stinger suits" (because there are jellyfish the size of your fingernails!), and go snorkeling. Well, Matt hesitates because of fear, then winds up jumping into the water without a suit! [they didn't mention how dangerous that might have been OR if he got any "stings."] Zach, Jeremy, and Matt also take a helicopter ride over the Reef, and the trip ends with a barbecue at the beach. [Jacob didn't feel left out?]