Sunday, November 18, 2007

Airlie Beach - Beginning of Week #3

The weather is looking good for this week, so we booked our dive trip! We are so excited! It's 3 days and 3 nights and includes 10 dives, 2 of which are night dives and 2 are wreck dives! The wreck is a ship that sank hundreds of years ago and has some awesome coral growing on it and some of the best sea life on the Reef. We may even get to see sharks and huge stingrays! We read up on how to take better pictures under water, so hopefully our next set of pictures will be clearer and more exciting!

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! We will post the pictures when we get back next weekend!

Airlie Beach - End of Week #2

Well, as you can tell, we haven't been up to much of anything. The weather hasn't been great, so we didn't want to waste money on diving and fishing trips that wouldn't be as good. We did find a 3 day/3 night dive trip we want to take that includes 10 dives, so we are praying that the weather is better next week so that we can go on it.

So I have been doing some work for CACI and Paul has been playing some WoW (World of Warcraft) in the mornings, and in the afternoons we have been reading or just hanging out together. We go to bed so early every night, it's hilarious. We've been to the bar at night only once or twice, and it wasn't much of an event (I think we went home at 10 or something). I think we are getting old :)

Once we go on our dive trip, we will post some great photos. Until then...

Oh yeah, and we got up early to watch the VT game, which started at 6:30 AM our time and we watched our boys beat Miami down! The second quarter was a little nervewracking, but our boys really brought the pain in the second half, even with some of those awful calls the refs were making! GO HOKIES!

Unfortunately, the game that seals our fate in the ACC is at noon EST, so that is 3 AM our time! There's no way I'm staying up for that, so we will have to watch it in ESPN 360 after it is over and recorded. At least here we don't have to worry about anyone ruining the score for us since no one cares about college football!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Airlie Beach - Diving Certification

11/6/07 - 11/8/07

These 3 days we became PADI Open Water Scuba Certified! We rock! It was fun but also a lot of work. We didn't get to take pictures until the last day because a lot of the time we were underwater the first 2 days, we had to do skills that they taught us, like taking off your mask underwater (I hated that), taking out the regulator and using someone else's, taking off our BCDs (Buoyancy Control Device - basically the vest that goes around your chest) underwater and putting them back on - so hard because the air tank wants to float away!, learning how to control our bouyancy through breathing in and out - very cool, etc. Every day we came home so beat, we went to bed so early and didn't do anything. Anyway, here are the pictures we took on the last day, but a lot of them aren't very crisp because the visibility wasn't great and we are still figuring out the best settings for taking pictures underwater, where the deeper you go, the more color you lose (you lose red first) (so Jerry, if you can figure out the right settings we should use, that would be great! :) ) Plus, the fish don't always cooperate - why don't they stay still when you are trying to take their picture?!?! We took a couple of videos, but we haven't been able to successfully upload videos here, so we'll have to figure that out later and the pictures will have to be good enough for now :)

We had a pretty large group of people with us. There was a German guy from Munich and a guy from Switzerland, both of whom were very annoying because they kept running into us underwater and kept doing things wrong. The Swiss guy was especially annoying (I think he was like 16 or something). Surprisingly, he didn't understand English very well, and he also didn't seem mature enough to take all this seriously. There was an Irish girl named Orla in our group too who lives in Brisbane now (she came to Australia for a year long trip with some girlfriends 3 years ago and ended up staying here by herself!) and she was really cool. We actually had her over to the apartment to hang out and have dinner the last night of the certification. She goes back to Brisbane on Saturday, but we got her email address to stay in touch, so that was cool.

Our instructors and the other people on the boat were cool. There was one guy named Tom who is English and just helps out on the boat as an Advanced Scuba Diver. It seems like a lot of Europeans move to Australia, and a lot of Australians move here to Airlie Beach because it's so beautiful and fun, but we definitely couldn't live here. It's too small and just caters to tourists. I definitely don't want to live in a place whose sole purpose is tourism. But it's too bad that we don't have any place as beautiful to visit in the U.S. on the East coast. Oh well.

On our last day, there was an American girl going through the first day of the course and she just graduated from Wake Forest, so we talked some smack about football. If I remember correctly, Tech plays Wake this weekend! Man, we wish we could get college football on tv here. We actually saw NFL on ESPN earlier this week, but we really doubt they will play college football, but we're going to check anyway.

So far we haven't really met anyone to hang out with, but that's probably because we haven't been going out at all and we've been going to sleep so early :) We are going to go deep sea fishing next week and we plan on signing up for some diving trips for next week too, so maybe we'll meet someone we want to hang out with on one of those trips. It was nice to have Orla over last night and talk with her about stuff. But it's also been nice to just relax in our apartment, which is so much different than being trapped in a hotel room. It's such a different feel. Well, that's all for now. We'll write more in a few days. We miss you all!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Airlie Beach - Day 2 or something

I interrupt this broadcast for the following message ...


It's like low to mid 80's with a constant breeze and almost no humidity here during the day. At night it's low 70's and maybe dips into the upper 60's but the breeze has a nice warmth to it. The pool temperature is pretty much perfect, and I'm fairly certain you could easily turn yourself into a lobster here laying out in the sun because you never seem to get hot enough to break a sweat, but always warm enough to take a nap.

... and now, back to Kritie ...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Airlie Beach Day #1


Today we went to the airport to start our 2 day journey to Australia. We left around 1:00 pm Scotland time, which is 5 hours ahead of EST, and landed in Proserpine (the airport near Airlie Beach) around 3:30 pm Airlie beach time on November 3rd, which is 15 hours ahead of EST! So it was Saturday for us (and we left Scotland on Thursday) and Friday for all of you. The flights were long, the layovers were long, but it’s worth it because now we are here in paradise. It was so funny though – the Brisbane airport actually had trash cans labeled “Rubbish” instead of “Trash”!

We road a coach bus to our apartment in Airlie beach and we were kind of nervous to see what we would be living in for 4 weeks. We were not disappointed! Check it out! These are pictures of the apartment, the view from our balcony, and the view from the pool, which is right next to our apartment.

I think it’s even bigger than our apartment was in Fairfax! Although it is more expensive, it has beautiful views and is in a great location. We have a full kitchen, big shower, huge balcony with great views and a nice table, and a nice pool right outside our door! Unfortunately, we don't have internet, so we'll have to find internet cafes to keep you all updated. So we won't be able to update you every day. Welcome to paradise!!! This is what we've been waiting for.

Belfast Day #1


Today we drove from Galway to Belfast to spend a night with Paul’s sister Mel’s friends Sinead and Pete. The drive was even more stressful and crazy than the drive from Dublin to Galway, but again it was very beautiful countryside. We had Google directions and a map, and it still wasn’t 100% clear where we were supposed to go, especially when we got to Belfast. But we got there, and Pete met us at a bar downtown so that we could follow him back to their house. We were all exhausted, so Sinead cooked and we got to eat a home-cooked meal and hang out with great people and just chill and talk in a real house! It was so great!