Monday, March 31, 2008
1. Rubbing my nose in Sox's fur as his tail wags furiously for a very happy reunion.
2. Drinking plenty of cans of Diet Coke in glasses filled to the top with lots of ice.
3. Sleeping in our own bed again.
5. Being back at our home church.
6. Being with family a lot.
7. Eating mom's roast with carrots, potatoes, and rutabaga. (I know I'm picky, but I do like rutabaga.)
8. Spending Easter in Ohio with the fam.
9. Pizza from Peppi's. Nothing like it.
10. Lots of hanging out with good friends eating, laughing, and talking just like old times.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
A few edits from Scuba Phil himself...
For those of you who have never been diving- I think you need to put it on your list of things to do before you get old (ergo- the bucket list!!). Once you get over the extreme awkwardness of being under water yet still being able to breath, it's amazing. So yes, add one more to the "Phil's expensive hobby" list. Hmmm- maybe we should keep that boat after all ;)
Oh, and when you try it- go big, go Great Barrier Reef!! Actually the conditions were really bad (raining and "poor visibility" which in GBR terms means about 30 feet- sometimes you can see 150 feet!!). Sandra and I have done snorkeling a few times in the Carribean, etc but this is a whole different experience.
Just be ready for some open water boating and rough seas. Yes Faith- the trip home was much like our little adventure in the lower Delaware River (who knew the Delaware could get 10 foot swells with breaking heads??) except that you're in a much bigger boat that's not actually leaving the water... You move around a lot, but it doesn't feel unsafe.
For Sandra's benefit, I've been assured that the Australian Winter/Early Spring (August/September) is "guaranteed" to be calm and good conditions.
So all you pasty white East Coasters- get on a plane and get down here. I need a diving partner :) Although I had a very good diving partner on this trip, I'd love to actually go out with someone I know from the start. I met a lot of great people on this little adventure, as Sandra mentioned above a great couple from Munich, Germany- Marcus and Xenia (yes Cedarvillians, just like the city in Ohio- it's Greek for "hospitable" in case you were ever wondering). If you guys are reading this, thanks again for the good company and I hope that you're enjoying the rest of your Australian adventure! Hopefully some of our friends in Philadelphia will get to meet these folks at some point, as we are both trying to get the other couple over to our respective sides of the Atlantic.
I also met and got to spend some time with a few young folks (holy cow I'm sounding old now...) who were spending a year or so "backpacking" through Australia. I'm fascinated by this whole culture of people who spend an extended period of time in a foreign place with no plans or schedule. You see them a lot in Australia (there are a lot of youth hostels in Sydney), but to actually get to know a few of them it was really neat. And now that I've made my parents and Sandra's parents really anxious talking about it, I can assure you that I'm not going backpacking any time soon- I fairly sure that we missed that time in our life!!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
So Phil, until you come home and join us...here's a little taste of home, Sox style.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
But it did not compare to the 5 hour leg from San Francisco to Philadelphia. I'm sitting on the aisle with a man at the window mumbling to everyone coming down the aisle "Please don't sit here in the middle seat" over and over. As the flight attendant announces that this is a full flight the mumbling turns to "Please don't be big" over and over. I know...kind of rude, but you know that's what you're saying too. And of course, the largest man on the plane stops right in front of me with a jolly, "Looks like I'm in the middle." I am not amused. I'm really not amused when he moves my arm rest up so that he can fit into his seat and spill over into mine. And amusing is not what I'm thinking when even before we leave the runway for takeoff, his head is back and he's snoring very loudly with a loud snort every once in awhile for good measure. For four and a half hours of the five hour flight I'm lulled not to sleep but to homicidal thoughts of death by pillow-smothering my fellow traveller. Not my best moment, I admit.
After getting home and reuniting with Sox, (oh, so nice) I fell into my bed thinking ah...this is good. Not so good when I woke up wide awake at 2:00 am. Yes...a measly 2 hours of sleep the whole night. I picked up a bit of a cold on the way home as well, so here's to a hefty dose of some medicine that will hopefully knock me out for the next, I don't know, 8-10 hours. Please....
Saturday, March 8, 2008
I'm ready to see Sox, friends, family, home, my own bed, glasses filled to the brim with ice and Diet Coke, Chick-Fil-A, etc...but it stinks that Phil has to stay here. :( A minor detail named work. He will have a fun adventure while I'm gone, however. He is flying up to Cairns (pronounced Cans with that Australian accent) and then taking a helicopter to a dive boat that is (I was going to say parked, but I know that's not right) anchored off of the Great Barrier Reef. He'll spend a long weekend there diving and having all the fun that I have no desire to have. Seriously, I wouldn't mind seeing the reef, but the idea of spending a couple of days and nights on a boat does nothing for me. Neither does taking a helicopter ride. Keep me on the ground (I say as I think about the long plane trip ahead). Double sigh.
I will continue to post from home...Phil wants to see pictures of Sox, friends, and family so from tomorrow through the last week in March, my posts will look a little different...got up, petted Sox, watched some current tv shows, lunched with the girls- DAGS, if you will, went over to friend's houses to hang out, spent time with family, etc. Sounds good to me!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Yes...still nursing a little sunburn from the previous day. Forgot the old sunscreen once again. Today Amy and Dave are taking the ferry over to Manly Beach for a day at the, well, beach. I need to get a passport picture taken for our Visa application as well as stop at the office of immigration to fill out a form that will allow me to leave the country before the Visa is approved. Otherwise, I may not be allowed back in. Not much else new...may have some pictures later of Bondi Beach (where we're headed for the day tomorrow) or pictures of the Pacific Coast Highway which we're driving down on Saturday.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Today, Phil is working till 3:00ish so I'm taking Dave and Amy to the Botanical Gardens and the Rocks this morning and early afternoon. Early tomorrow morning we have a tour scheduled of the Opera House. Should be fun.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
The best part of the day was riding the street luge ride. The street luge is part go-cart and part-tobaggan. I pulled out in front of Phil right away but after an "Eat my dust" taunt, he flew past me and I tried to catch up the rest of the way down. But it was not to be. After getting off at the bottom of the hill, we took the ski lift back up to the top. Phil took some nice pictures while I white-knuckled it all the way up. I am not a fan of heights, especially when dangling from a cable. Below is part of the 650 meter luge track. Good times!
Saturday, March 1, 2008
On our way out we flew this huge airplane. It's a full double-decker airplane that seats over 500 people. The flight wasn't full so Phil and I got our own row of 4 seats just for us. The seats were roomier...even in Economy, we had big individual tv screens to watch movies, tv, and even play games on (lots of Who Wants to be A Millionaire) whenever we wanted to, meals that were actually good with real silverware (ok, still plastic knives) and real glasses, hot cloths to wash your face, etc. Nice. Refer to my above paragraph regarding our trip home on a smaller plane...not so nice.
2. There is a lot of humidity in Singapore.
Ever see that Friends episode where they all go to (I think) Bermuda and Monica's hair gets frizzier and curlier the longer they stay? Yep....I believe at one point Phil says to me, "Wow...your hair is frizzy." After my morning showers I would blow dry it straight but by the end of each day it would not be so. I think our last day there, the tour guide on our bus that we were driving around on said that it was nice today...not so humid...only about 80% humidity. Enough said.
3. The picture of Singapore in my mind was not what Singpore really looked like.
I'd never been to Singapore before so I really didn't know what to expect. Actually, I'd never really thought much about Singapore...I guess chalk that up to my American view of the world- not really thinking too much about the rest of the world outside of the US. I pictured men with funny straw hats pulling people in rickshaws down the street. A bit off...Singapore is full of busy streets (of cars), lots of lights, huge skyscrapers. It looked like any huge downtown US city. Of course all the Asians speaking other languages would tip you off that its not quite the US. It was a very weird feeling to look like a minority. Singapore is a small island country. I also didn't know it is an island off of the coast of Malaysia. You could drive from one end to the other end of the country in 40 min. to 1 hour. And then imagine over 4 million people living there. It's a bit crowded.