Saturday, September 30, 2006

Here we go again!

We're off on holiday yet again - this time to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Fraser Island (the world's largest sand island). Lots of stops along the way including Taree, Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Noosa Heads, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and back again. All in all about 2500k round trip!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bateman's Bay

Perry, Andria and Pammy arrived this week for quick tour of New South Wales. After checking out the city for a couple of days we decided to show them the quieter parts of NSW and took them to Bateman's Bay to visit the Dinuccis. Also on hand were Violins as well as Chris and Mark from Owen Sound (Mark is also on exchange).

(L) A bit jet lagged but happy to be here. (R) Sublime Point looking down on Wollongong.

The Dinucci's place is located 15 minutes outside of Bateman's Bay in the country. They live on a 5 acre property that really reminded us of the cottage. The beach was a short drive away and as expected all 10 kids loved it! We stayed at a holiday park on the beach not too far from Phil and Jenny's place.

Birdland Park in Bateman's Bay provided a fun day for the kids that included snakes, wombats, koalas, roos and more. Happy Birthday Izzy!

Georgia shooting some hoops!

Who needed Birdland! Most of these birds were hanging out at the Dinuccis.

Thanks for a fun weekend Jen and Phil!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Swan Song!

Charlee arrived home after school on Tuesday and informed me that I had to call her teacher, Mr. Hidson! If Adam had delivered a similar message I wouldn't have been surprised but Charlee!!! My worries were quickly squashed when Charlee gave me Glen's cell number and said to call him in the evening! Glen has been trying to set us up with Swan's AFL tickets but we always seem to be too busy to use them. I assumed our luck had run out as the Swan's were now in the semi-finals and with a win would secure a spot in their second grand final in two years. (The finals are always in Melbourne as that's where the fan base is). They won last year and the the city went crazy.

I called and Glen told me two tickets landed on his lap and asked if I was busy on Friday night. After about a milli-second pause I said I'd love to go. To put things in perspective for you Canadians, imagine being invited to game 7 of the Stanley Cup semi-finals (and Toronto was playing - ok so you have to stretch your imagination). Only it gets better - it wasn't for cheap seats in the nosebleeds, it wasn't for good seats at the 50 yard line, it wasn't for a seat in a luxury box - it was for the Millennium Room at Telstra stadium that included a full sit-down dinner with 850 of the who's who of AFL and Sydney highlife.

Glen informed me if I wanted to go I'd have to borrow a suit so I quickly found one (thanks Tim!). The league commissioner was there, a couple of local mayors, radio and TV personalities, quite a few millionaire supporters and even an injured Swan player who spoke to the audience about the Swan's chances of repeating as champions! Hard to imagine a full banquet in the stadium an hour before a major sporting event begins!

Once the pre-game festivities were complete we walked across the hall to our seats to enjoy the opening half of the game. Glen's quite a sports fanatic and to my surprise knows a lot about football (gridiron) and hockey. He spent a couple of years in the US and Canada and I'm convinced he attended more sporting events during that time then I have my entire life! We enjoyed comparing favourite North American teams and players. Halftime took us back to the Millennium Room for more refreshments!

In the second half the Swans took control of Fremantle to win by a comfortable margin. Then the singing began! All 60 000 fans seemed to know the Swan's Song and sang it at the top of their lungs. (I think the Leafs need a song - although we wouldn't get to sing very often!)

Thanks for an awesome night Glen! One I'm not soon to forget.