Saturday Feb. 7, 2009
I am having a great time sipping champagne and trying to figure out how
these seats work! My first time in the flat beds! See you on Monday – hope
I don’t miss anything exciting on Sunday!
Monday Feb. 9, 2009
What a fabulous flight! The seats are amazing. I slept 6 hours, watched
two movies, ate dinner and breakfast and now it’s just about time to land.
Almost need a couple more hours on the plane so I can fit in one more nap!
Can’t wait to start our holiday!
After a short lay down, without sleep, we went looking for a bite to eat and
ended up at a Turkish deli and grabbing a wrap for me and a burger for
We walked around town all afternoon, in the botanical gardens where we say
cockatoos, the biggest bats you will ever see, ducks and birds that I don’t
have names for. We took pictures of the Opera house, walked along the “sea
wall” holding hands and enjoying our first day of holidays out of the plane.
We met up with Kate and Eric at their hotel and made plans to get together
for dinner the following night since Kate was feeling under the weather. Of
course Eric and I couldn’t make dinner plans without a “couple” glasses of wine.
After a quick visit with our friends we walked back to our hotel(in the
rain) and caught up on our sleep.
Tuesday Feb. 10, 2009
Another showery day so made plans to go to the aquarium. Saw TONS of fish,
a croc, a Dugong(closest relative being the elephant), penguins, rays and
sharks which you can get a better look at by going in the underwater
Wednesday Feb. 11, 2009
Damon and I made dinner reservations for 8p.m. at the Wharf restaurant for
four. Damon and the steak, Eric and I had the fish special(a wonderful
white fish) and Kate ordered the mussels. Instead of dessert we ordered
another bottle of wine – mmm! By 11:00p.m. We were ready to hop back on the
bus and head back to our hotel. Can’t wait to meet up again for another
dinner at home to exchange travel stories.
We are now on our plane headed to Brisbane and looking forward to another
leg of our journey. G’day.
Friday Feb. 13, 2009
Let’s just start out by saying today is Friday the 13th and all
I’m going to say about today at Mackenzie Lake that it was an absolutely
beautiful rain water hole, the most gorgeous soft white sand I have ever
seen and is now the proud owner of Damon’s wedding band. Let’s leave it at
that. There have been enough tears shed.
We spent a lot of time driving around in the back of a jeep getting to know
the 8 others sardined in there with us. Thankfully they were all lovely and
I will tell you that we were the oldest. Not that I am bragging about my
age or anything but we did leave the young’uns in the dust on our long
hike. We were heading towards Lake Wabby and it was like we were walking in
a desert. The lake was breathtaking and we swam with the catfish and these
little fish that would come and eat the dead skin off your toes. It felt
like someone tapping a finger on you - hee hee!
The lodge we stayed in was fairly nice but we only got to enjoy it for one
night. We were exhausted from the birds waking us up so early at Heather
and Ian’s that we went to bed at 9:00p.m. and with only a couple “wake ups”
between, woke up at 7:00a.m.
Today was quite rainy so we didn’t do as many beach stops today. Oh well,
we had so much driving to do anyway that it didn’t matter much. Looking
forward to spending the weekend with Heath, Ian and the kids. I hope this
rain doesn’t stay. They are such a great family – I already adore them.
They have made us feel so welcome and as if it is we that are doing
them a favour by staying the weekend. We are just now waiting for
Heather to pick us up so we can watch some soccer or football or whatever it
is! They’re here so gotta run!
Wednesday Feb. 18, 2009
Got an OK start this morning – 8:30a.m. and on the road. Spent all last
night writing postcards so thought I could do some journal writing on the
roads. As long as there aren’t too many roundabouts I shouldn’t start to
Had a great time getting to know Heather, Ian, Gracy, Lachy and Hayley. The
mornings in that house are the best! Hugs and kisses from all the kids.
Best huggers ever!
Drank too much wine with Ian every night but managed to keep somewhat under
control and be fine the next morning. My trick – white wine instead of my
preferd red. Red kills me.
Saturday night we went for dinner at Denis and Jenny’s house. They live in
a rainforest at the edge of Nambour.
Had a nice visit with them. They are great people and got to spend an
entire evening with born and raised Aussies. I adore the Australian accent
and they always laugh when I ask where the washroom is. They say toilet or
loo because generally the toilet is a separate room from the sink and
Woke up sunday morning, had breaky and coffee then made our way to Noosa
River for a fundraiser for all the bushfire victims. Huge tragedy here in
Australia. So far 200 dead and more bodies are expected to be found in the
coming weeks. There have also been amazing stories of survival and it makes
you realize what is important. A lot of people lost EVERYTHING not just a
wedding band. Puts things in perspective.
After a hot and sticky afternoon we went back to our home base and all
jumped in the pool. Gracy had a couple of her mates with her so made for a
great game of submarine.
Before having a wonderful dinner of prawn stir-fry we went to Hailey’s
school to look for kangaroos since I had never seen one before. We found
two. A male and female – so cool! Totally worth the huge bruise I acquired
jumping the fence illegally.
Ian made an amazing stir-fry and we of course drank some amazing wine.
Monday morning we jetted out to the Australian Zoo which the late Steven
Irwin started as an animal sanctuary.
We saw birds, elephants(asian), snakes and things I had no idea even
existed. We went to the crocasium to see a wildlife show with birds zipping
around your head and of course the croc feeding. They also showed us how to
avoid being eaten by a croc which is to stay at least 4 meters from the
waters edge as the crocs are slow on land and humans can easily out run
them. Anywhere near the water and you are toast. Good to know.
We were able to pet the kangaroos and was not expecting them to be so soft.
They love being scratched behind the ears, just like a cat. We also got to
pet a Koala. The longer I watched them the cuter they got. I didn’t
realize how tiny they are. I guess to Canadians bear means big.
The Williams have a beautiful salt water pool in their backyard so after the
zoo, Hailey(5) and Lachy(2) came for a swim with us. So fun!
After yet another great dinner by Ian, we had to get packing so we could
start the next leg of our journey.
We went for a hike at Noosa National Park before heading out. Very sticky
but gorgeous. Good to get a little hike in before sitting in the car all
Saying goodbye to the Williams family was really difficult. I totally fell
in love with this family. They are kind, energetic, welcoming, patient and
extremely caring people. We already miss you.
Yesterday the first half of the drive was miserable. Narrow roads and rain
didn’t make for the best driving conditions but the last half was dry. Much
D is filling up the car and I think it is my turn to drive – yikes! My
first time on the other side of the road. Wish me luck!
Friday Feb. 20, 2009
The driving went OK since I didn’t have to turn at all and the weather was
beautiful – while I was driving at least. Damon had a couple wicked storms
to get through where we could not see a thing. Good thing the storms didn’t
last longer than 15 minutes.
Made sure to keep really hydrate so had to stop every ½ hour sometimes for a
“toilet” break. Damon had to keep asking “for real?”
As I sit here on our sailboat named Enid I ponder whether I should have a
nap or write in my journal.
We are into our second day of sailin’ the Whitsunday Islands and I can’t
describe to you how beautiful it is here. The sand is as soft as flour
because it is actually silica(99.8%), not sand. Cleaned my wedding rings
until they gleamed!
Spent most of the day snorkeling yesterday. We saw the most beautiful
coral, tons of colourful fish, a turtle swam right under me (not common) and
there were some jealous staff members when Damon and a few of the others saw
a white tip reef shark – very rare!
The dolphins were also swimming around however the couple we saw had babies
with them so they were being very shy.
Had trouble sleeping last night due to the heat. Somehow a mosquito found
me in the middle of the ocean and woke me up with that high pitch buzzing.
I think he must have got me eventually because he stopped bothering me after
awhile. Tonight I am going to put my mattress on the deck and sleep
This morning we went for a bike to get the picture perfect postcard view.
Think we got it. Thank goodness the hike was only 10 minutes because even
though we were there at 8:00a.m. it was stinking hot! Perfect for having a
dip soon after – with our lovely stinger suits. I feel like I’m from Star
Trek walking on some planet or something. Really funny to watch. I may
even have pictures! Anyway the boat is anchoring and I need some sunscreen
and a stinger suit.
Sunday Feb. 22, 2009
Had great weather for the whole sailing trip although the last day was a
little more windy so the snorkeling was not as smooth as it had been which
was fine except my snorkel was not working so I had to keep spitting out
water every breath which is quite exhausting, and filling! The staff on
Enid was amazing. Trent was our Captain, Emma was our host and Pierre was
the deck hand. What a fantastic crew. They really made our trip extra
special. They really made an effort to find us the best and most unique and
of course remote snorkeling and beach spots – fantastic! I can’t say enough
good things about that trip. We were really very lucky as the boat holds 21
people and there were only 7 of us aboard. I don’t know how it can be fun
with that many people on the ship.
We had a 3 hour drive to Townsville yesterday so found an outdoor shower,
cleaned up and even got in trouble from this guy who told us they were
private showers and we shouldn’t be using them. Totally worth all the fuss
as we hadn’t showered in 3 days – even 2 shampoos didn’t get all that salt
water out! One of the best showers we ever had!
We found this great hotel in Townsville, did some laundry, had dinner and
slept in an air conditioned room, heaven. The room was very spacious and
the staff extremely friendly. When we went to bed last night it started
pouring – and I mean pouring! It rained all night and poured more cats and
dogs in the morning. Glad to be leaving all that rain but too bad because
it was a really cute town. We looked on the internet and knew it wasn’t
raining in Cairns so off we went and never looked back at the dark clouds
looming over Townsville.
I am now laying in my king size bed in our gorgeous 1 bedroom apartment with
kitchen and deck in Port Douglas. Damon and I got some veggies and chicken
and coked up a ton of vegetables (severely lacking by eating out all the
time, nobody here eats salad!) It’s 9:30p.m. and we are relaxing with the
AC on and the Aussie news in the background. We are headed for a snorkeling
trip to the outer part of the Great Barrier Reef. We will be gone all day
and back to our lovely apartment tomorrow night where we are going to look
at grabbing some kangaroo steaks and cooking up the rest of the veggies.
Can’t wait for more snorkeling! We are supposed to have nice weather
tomorrow and also for the next few days so hopefully our luck will last and
we will continue to have good weather when we need it to be. Cross your
February 25, 2009
Loved the snorkeling! Had an absolutely beautiful day. Saw some beautiful,
colourful coral – blues and pinks – some looked like antlers and others
mushrooms. The fish are used to having people around so they go on pretty
much as normal. I got to touch a sea cucumber and I also saw my second
white fin reef shark – cool! Took tons of pictures and I think we were
snorkeling a total of 4 hours that day. Could have stayed longer but the
top of my head was getting really hot except we had to go anyway. They tell
me the water temperature is in the 30s. Makes it easy to get in anyway.
Spent the day in the car mostly hanging around the Daintree area. Took a
river cruise on the Daintree river looking for crocs and managed to find a
little 2 year old croc. The temperature outside controls the sex of the
crocs, same as turtles, so most are female. The weather and high tide
didn’t make for good croc hunting so we settled with seeing a green frog, a
couple birds and a couple green snakes too.
Arrived in Cairns around 4:00p.m. and had a few chores to do. Our
underwater camera broke so had to find a place to rent one. Found dinner,
walked around in the sticky heat, found a cool place to check our e-mails
and post a few pictures and had to pack our bags(for the umpteenth time) to
get ready for our overnight at the Great Barrier Reef.
We are just now on our 2 hour boat ride to our overnight boat so I thought
perfect timing to write in my journal but now that the sea is not being as
kind I must put everything away.
Thursday Feb. 26, 2009.
Love this boat they call Kangaroo. The rooms are air conditioned and Damon
and I are in the “honeymoon suite.”
So excited to say that after years of snorkeling and being scared of diving
I finally did it! I went diving for the first time yesterday. I was of
course calm, cool and collected – until we got 4 meters down and he wanted
me to take my air out of my mouth – WHAT?!?!
Took me about one minute before I finally got up the courage and voila, so
easy, no problem. Damon got down to 4 meters no problems but I knew I would
have trouble with my ears. I was determined to finish once I started and
managed to wow the dive instructor David by staying at 7 meters for 35
minutes! Wow!! Couldn’t stop smiling all day.
Now that I had a taste of diving I of course couldn’t wait to do more. When
the announcement of a night dive came on over the intercom I couldn’t
resist. Unfortunately my ears being so sensitive, two dives within a few
hours was to much. I was about 6 meters for 20 minutes but that was all I
could manage. Too bad, I wanted to do it so bad.
I am sitting on the top deck relaxing by myself after breakfast and a
Damon has gone diving with David and I thought it was in the best interest
of my ears to stay at sea level. So jealous! My ears are still plugged
from the dive so best no to push my luck.
What an exciting day yesterday and I even forgot to mention that we saw
another white tip reef shark. This one hung around for quite a while so got
a good look at it while snorkeling. I did figure out that the fish are much
bigger when diving than snorkeling. Good thing I was snorkeling when I saw
On this morning’s snorkel the cutest yellow and black baby angel fish
followed me for 20 minutes all the way back to the boat. I heard it say
“will you be my mommy?” So had to say no.
Hope all is OK with Damon. I hope he gets some good pics.
Friday Feb. 27, 2009
Without me and my ears Damon managed to dive 8 ½ meters! So jealous!
It feels like our wonderful trip is coming to an end. We are on our way to
Sydney out of Cairns. We spend on full day in Sydney and then we are out of
here. Kind of sad. Not feeling an overwhelming urge to get back to work or
anything. This holiday went by so quickly. I guess that is what happens
when you pack your schedule full of activities. Our last couple days will
be geared more to relaxing. We did a couple loads of laundry last night.
Couldn’t wait as nothing ever dries here and will start to smell quickly.
I also realized why everyone is a blonde – the sun bleaches it! Even my
hair is looking quite light. The purple streak – blonde!
Damon and I have of course been talking about our holidays next year. I
think it will be more low key since he Olympics are coming and Damon is only
allowed a week off at a time. Did I mention we have bronze medal men’s
hockey and men’s final speed skating tickets?! It looks like two holiday’s
next year – a week in Mexico and maybe Hawaii? I’m even toying with the
idea of a girls trip. Hmmmmm………
Sunday March 1, 2009
Spent yesterday lounging at the Mariott’s roof top pool. The room was
beautiful and the bed so comfortable. Hadn’t had a chance yet this holiday
to lounge by the pool. Perfect day for it, not too hot and a lovely breeze
with a view of the everyone in Sydney who went sailing.
After our lovely day of sun baking, we washed up and went for a walk in
King’s Cross where we saw lots of people getting arrested on every corner.
After a few more steps we saw a couple cops with a dog. Ah-ha, drugs!
Stopped for dinner and watched all the strange people (Saturday night had
weirder people than Friday night) and then headed back to our hotel to pack.
I am enjoying a lovely glass of champagne on the plane although it is not a
time of celebration. I enjoyed this time very much. I loved getting to
know the Williams family. I loved learning about Australia and it’s under
sea adventures, and believe it or not I enjoyed spending all this time with
my lovely husband, he didn’t even annoy me that much!
I hope this journal gave a little insight into our journey but I will tell
you that is was even better than you can imagine.