Friday, March 31, 2006

travelling back...

We left at 5 a.m. this morning to catch our flight back to Brisbane. That pretty much shot us for the day, we were quite tired.

Had John (Damien's dad)'s world famous fish and chips! They were the best we had on our whole trip!! Fresh fish, right out of the cooker!! yummy!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Exploring Cairns

Since you have to wait 48 hours after scuba diving to fly, we spent today exploring! We went to the local rainforest, the Daintree. It was very interesting - you walked on a catwalk through the forest (about half way up), they climbed a tower and saw the top of the forest, and walked back on the ground floor. It was great!

There was lots of rain, and we just missed it when we returned to the start.

We went into Cairns and went to the night markets. We walked around the downtown areas and found a local (not a chain) jeweler. His name was Mark and he was from New Zealand. He mines his own opals and creates unique jewelry. I got a beautiful opal, which I can't wear until my anniversary! And what a beautiful anniversary present it is!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Diving day!

We went snorkeling today on the Great Barrier Reef. We went out to one of the far out reefs, so it took over an hour to get there. The weather was a bit choppy, so we are thankful Christina and Damien brought sea sickness medication.

We donned some wetsuits and went out at the first stop. The waves were choppy, and we were kicking hard to get to the reef about 10 meters behind the boat. Only, when we looked up, we were beside it. The waves had pushed us backward.

We didn't stay out the whole time at our first stop, but the subsequent ones were increasingly better. It did rain a bit, and it was funny to feel it on my back and look down and see the beautiful coral and various fish. It was an awesome experience. Ry did great for his first time snorkeling! It is just amazing what you can see. Christina and Damien also enjoyed their scuba diving.

By the end of the day, we sure were tired. It takes lots out of you! But tons of fun!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Off to Cairns

Today we caught an early flight to Cairns. Since Christina and Damien travel lots, we had breakfast in the Quantas Club. Nice to see how the other half lives...

Once we got to Cairns, we went and saw the Mossman Falls and did some walking through the jungle area on a walkway about halfway up (kinda high for me). We then went to Port Douglas and found our little 2 bedroom condo. Very cute!

Had dinner at a place called Mango Jam - had mango daquiris and mango salsa on my pizza. yummy!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Australian Zoo

Christina had to work today, so Damien was our tour guide for the Australian Zoo. The Zoo is owned by the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. We saw a cool show about snakes, tigers, birds and crocodiles. We also petted kangaroos and koalas! We actually walked thru their exhibits.

Had an Aussie BBQ for Gill's birthday. A few different foods than a Texas BBQ - pumpkin, eggplant, and even eggs in addition to steak and chicken.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Ry went to Mass for the first time outside of the US, and was surprised how similar it was. We talked with the priest and he'd even been to Texas!

Then went to our first Rugby game - the Brisbane Broncos vs. Sydney Eels. It was a hot day, but we had a great time. We had front row seats, which were awesome. Ate the traditional meat pies and drank cold beer. The game is also quite quick - 2 40 minute periods with a 20 minute halftime. And they don't stop the clock! It was even more exciting that the Broncos won!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

We're in Brisbane!

We arrived in Brisbane at noon on Sautrday! Christina and Damien met us at the airport, and we went downtown. We saw both of their offices and did a walking tour of downtown. Even had fish and chips on the river! Lastly, we saw Christina and Damien's property where their house will be built.

Christina and Damien live with Damien's parents (John and Gill) now as their house is being built. They made up a comfy room for us to stay there. Damien's sister Katrina also lives with them, so we made a full house!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

the journey begins

Our journey began with the Super Shuttle picking us up at 3:20 today. Our flight left at 6 from Austin, then we connected at the crazy LAX airport. Then flew to Auckland! 12 hours passed quickly - the food was yummy, service great, and we actually slept.

Had a few hour layover in Auckland and made it to Brisbane.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


This week I have been wondering what I can watch on tv. I have been glued to the Olympics for th past 2 weeks. I saved the closing ceremonies for a couple days, just to extend my fix. I just love the Olympics, especially the winter ones. With the winter Olympics, it is more than just a test of strength and will, but a test of the elements. We cannot control nature.

In 3 weeks we will be in Brisbane. I'm getting a little excited - have started my preliminary packing! Have a few more presents to buy, but we are getting it done!

Happy first Sunday of Lent!