Wednesday, March 22

Awesome Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast is really an awesome tourist place. It is just one hour drive from Brisbane and Glasshouse Mountain gives a very beautiful scene on the left side on the way to the pristine coastline and lush hinterland. Timber plantation on both sides of the motorway provides the cool picturesque that make the motorist trip enjoyable.

And last Sunday, CJ and I headed to the Sunshine Coast. We’re a bit excited as we woke up around 4AM, but nah, it was mainly because we’re going to drop-by brother-in-law, G, to the market on the way. And yet, it gave us an early start. CJ chose to go the scenic way instead of using the motorway or the highway. We first stopped at Caloundra, the first town in the Sunshine Coast. The sand dunes make the place hilly. There was one point on the road where you can see the entire town with all its high-rise building, the ocean and the villages. The town is facing the Pacific Ocean and big boats and ferries are visible from the coast. Huge Pacific waves were lapping to the rocky coast. Water splashing all over was really a relaxing view. Tourist units are lining on the coastal residential area but the place seems to very peaceful and quite.

After seeing here and there, we took-off for the next town. But oh boy, we’re lost. CJ can’t remember the name of the street. We were using the short-cut way. But after a series of turns, stops and round-abouts, we were heading to the Mooloolaba, the next town. CJ intended us to the stay on the beach there for a while and maybe wander a little further.

We first looked for a parking area in Mooloolaba and found one close to the beach. We head-on to the beach and had our breakfast, seafood salad and coke. It was a bit early, and people were already splattered all over the beach, walking, jogging, surfing, swimming and some are just lying on the sun getting sun-burnt. I dipped into the water a little, but with no intention of swimming. CJ was left on the picnic table, the watch-dog for our stuff. Hehehe.

We stayed on the beach for almost an hour just sight-seeing, enjoying the sun on our skin and the sound of the water washing over the sand. We had a good view in-front of us. The long stretch of beach is quite a scene.

Another stop-over on the same town, was the Underwater World. It is the largest aquarium and oceanarium in Queensland. In there, are over 25,000 weird and wonderful sea creatures. The first stop inside, was the stingrays and other rays territory. There is a Honda car aquarium with small, beautiful and colourful school of fish. I have seen sea creatures that I have never seen before like, sea-dragon, stone-fish, saw-fish, jellies of different kinds, and many others. With their numbers, I can not remember all of them. LOL. I also saw the biggest live fish in my entire life. They’re really beautiful but also smell fishy. Hehehe. We watched the seal encounter where they perform different tricks. The seals waved, perform mischievous tricks, kissed the guest, and what have yous. The Otter show was not really that funny except the story told about them. They’re not in the mood to perform, they just want to eat but hey, they are really very smart animal. Our last stop inside was the Dinoworld. I thought the Dinos are alive because they’re moving. Silly me, of course, they are just electronically operated. Hehehe. But they really look like real.

The highlight of our trip inside was in the sea tunnel with the sharks. The tunnel is made of 250mm glass. The curvature decreases the size of the creatures inside in 30% and the tank has 1.5 million liters of sea water. Can you imagine how big it is? And the tunnel is on the third lower level of the place. The sharks are really wonderful creature. It was my first time to see them though so I was really amazed. It was just so disappointing that our camera battery was not fully charged and it was already flat when we were in the tunnel. Nevertheless, we have some few good photos.

We had our lunch inside the Underwater World though I don’t really feel like eating because I can smell Otter and something fishy anywhere. CJ even reckon that he smell like Otter even when we’re already outside. Hehehe.

After all the excitement, we already felt exhausted and sleepy. We then decided to head-on to the next beach and find a good place for siesta.

We drove for another hour, passing by the next town, Maroochydore. We didn’t make a stop there but just drive slowly and just have a look around. We use the coastal road so trip was still relaxing. The sun was not so hot and the wind was not so gusty. It was a perfect afternoon for wandering around and enjoying what the nature has to offer.

Our last stopped, was at the Coolum beach. I had first to find a loo as the drinking of cola was making its way over me. Our purpose was to find a shady part, lie down and have a siesta. Well, almost all of the tree shades were occupied so we went down the beach. Like the Mooloolaba, Coolum beach was also full packed. There were lots of hot-air balloonist and wind-surfer. It was a very long stretch beach of almost 5km. CJ and I found a nice spot, spread our towel and lie down. It wasn’t long after that I had fallen asleep and CJ as well.

Coolum beach will be inked in my mind. It is on this beach that I did the most daring thing in my life, so far at my age. Hehehe. Guess what it was? LOL.

Half-hour before 5PM, some people were already packing-up and leaving and so were we. Again, I dipped into the water before going our-way up to the parking area. CJ didn’t as it was already too cold and he was just being cautious.

I am starving again after the siesta, so we decided to have a big ice cream treat. We went to the Turkish food shop and bought sorbets and baclava, a Greek food. They’re yummy.

Seems a storm was brewing up and so we also head home. This time, we use the motorway for a faster trip. We arrived home few minutes before 6PM. We were tired and exhausted but we had a grand time.

It was indeed a chill-out Sunday treat.

Saturday, March 18

Wednesday, March 15

I will miss my soapies

My time here in OZ is quickly running out. Only one fifth of the hour-glass remains. But I am not counting. The days will just passed-by as they were for the passed eight weeks and probably more exciting and happy for us. But one thing is for sure, I will miss watching my favourite soapies. But of course, missing CJ is second to none and unquestionable.

One of the entertainments that amuse me here is watching soapies from Monday to Thursday which, I don’t religiously did back in the Philippines. And these days, watching soapies is getting frustrating because they are getting more exciting and thrilling but they are just showed once a week. Hummppphhh. You need to wait one whole week to know what will happen next. Thanks to the sneak peek sometimes.

But the good thing is, soapies are shown late a bit. When I say late, it means between 8:30 to 9:30 in the evening. This gives CJ time to play poker before dinner, gives us time to have dinner and have shower sometimes.

I am not a TV fanatic back then but maybe because I have nothing much to do here and it is CJ and mine’s another cuddling up time, I made this soapie habit. Aside from the fact that these soapies are really interesting. My soaps marathon is Commander in Chief on Monday, Dancing with the Stars (not a soapie though) on Tuesday, Prison Break on Wednesday and Lost on Thursday. Friday and Saturday are movie nights and Sunday is detective-like shows. Huh! My nights are pretty hectic. Hehehe!

I requested CJ to record my favourite shows every night after I leave for the Philippines. I just hope he had the patience to do, first, indeed record them, second, make one tape for each show and change it every night before starting to record, and third, religiously record them until each show has ended. I would be very happy if he can do it.

So far, the response I got was a bit vague. Let's see if he'll do it. =)

Strip Poker

CJ had been playing on-line poker for a long time now. I thought, he would stop for a while when I am with him, but I was wrong. He still play and had even taught me how to or should I say, I have learnt while watching him. Now, I am a good poker player. Why good? Because I can even beat him sometimes and I always won in tournaments. I don’t like loosing though so I really played conservatively until I had chips advantage.

Poker is always played in mornings while drinking coffee, at lunches while eating sandwich or just any light meal and before dinner time or sometimes after dinner when there’s no good movie or soapie on.

Well, last night was a different one. We decided to play poker while watching the tele. And what is more exciting was, it was a strip poker. Talking of being naughty. Hehehe! CJ and I have $25 chips each and if you lost all of them, you can buy another $25 with one piece of your clothing and after stripping two pieces of them, you have the choice to drink vodka or strip the last piece.

As the cliché goes, early winners are late losers. The first hand that I had was a double-trouble, a pair of aces, and I won. It was followed by two consecutive winnings. That made CJ stripped his two clothing and drank one shot of vodka. Well, he opt to left his last clothing on his body, as he knew, I will be very naughty and bad. Hehehe. But as the game was getting exciting, Lady Luck was no longer on my side. I had to strip three clothing. I didn’t drank vodka as full of the shot glass would sent me to the floating and dizzy world. =) I want to stay sane for the remainder of the game. The game was really exciting that we ended up in a steamy duel. I bet you know what I mean. Hehehe!

Ohhh well, what a hot and exciting night it was! Lady luck, flop, turn and river will surely tempt us again. =)

Autumn in Queensland

The past two months that I have been here was really very hot unless there’s a storm and it was summer. The summer here is the season when there were considerable numbers of storms. And Autumn had just started by heavy rain for a week. That was the week that I have to stay in bed reading or just lazing around.

Autumn is normally the time when the leaves of deciduous plants fall and for some country it is called Fall, just like in the song… winter spring summer or fall. =) I don’t really know what marked the Autumn season here as I will only be experiencing it for three weeks but N, my sister in-law said, it would be sunny and hot during day time and a bit cool at night time for three weeks.. and for the rest of the three months, it would be cool at both day and night. Ain’t it a cool weather. Well, sorry for me as I won’t experience it. Maybe, some other times. Hehehe!

These days, the day has also shortened and much like in tropical countries where the sun shines before 6 in the morning and sets after a few minutes from 6 in the afternoon. Beautiful flowers that bloomed in summer were all gone. Leaves turn to yellow then orange… then red.. and bang! Hey I am floating in the air. =)
I could not really complain on the atmosphere at day time. It is just around 32 degrees centigrade but not too hot on the skin. It is a bit cooler at night though. My mother in-law was too concerned of me not having a warm shirt or cardigans to warm me, as CJ had just instructed me to bring summer clothes before going here. Lucky, I brought one jacket with me. It was actually for the cool atmosphere in the plane. She even called my sister in-law N, when I was at their house, if her kids could lend me jumpers. Soo good and thoughtful of her. And when I came to have dinner, she handed me a couple of cardigans.

On the side note, this entry has been long overdue as Autumn had already started two weeks ago but alas! I have not posted anything about it until now. The lines that go with it have been playing on my mind for a fortnight also. The reason mainly is, I am trying to avoid visiting the blogosphere as we don’t have virus protection in our computer. We didn’t really know how Norton disappeared but, I just noticed one afternoon that the computer was bugged-down and after restarting it, the Norton didn’t load. CJ had to restart it again and even had to do system restore dating a week before but to no avail. We usually disable Norton while playing on-line poker and that one afternoon, CJ had just left it that way. Maybe, it was hacked or a Trojan virus attacked it. I don’t really know. The PC is running 24 x 7 unless there’s power black-out, so we’re also on-line all the time that the PC is up. When I knew about it, I was surprised because it is not energy-saving thing. But CJ said, he’s saving time because it usually takes time to restart the PC. Ironic, hey! We can’t find the CD for Norton, so we can’t re-install it. Pretty efficient way of keeping things… not finding it at all. Hahaha!

Maybe, CJ will find the time to look for the CD when I am back in the Philippines. =)

Tuesday, March 7

PBOZ Queenslanders’ Date

At long last, the meeting was pushed-through. The Queenslander ladies have been planning about it since the start of February. I am deeply honoured because the group really insisted of making it happen while I am here in Australia. They know that I am here temporarily.

Prior to the meeting, there were long series and several discussions on where and when to meet considering that our hubbies and one of the ladies are working. We opted to do it in the evening so everybody can join. It had been set on the 23rd of February but apparently, Leo and Ethel are working that night. It was pushed through on the 3rd of March. We met at the Queens Street Mall in Brisbane CBD.

We dine in Pig N Whistle. It was raining but all of us made it there. We had a lot of fun and laughs. It was the first time that we’ve met each other, well for me, but with the email discussions, it seems we knew each other for a long time. The meeting was just to put faces to the name that we’ve been talking with online. The discussion started from where everyone works, how did we met our lovey dove, visa application, life in Australia, Filipino stores in Australia, and anything under the sun. We initially parted ways about 9PM.. full (I reckon to have a bloated tummy..hehehe) and happy.

l-r:trina & ritchie, david & norie, me & cj, ethel & leo. more photos here.

By the way, PBOZ means Pinoy Brides in OZ. It is a yahoo group mainly concerned on helping Pinoys who married an Australian in their migration. You could ask the group about getting married in the Philippines, securing documents from public offices, visa application, CFO seminars, getting the cheapest air fares, food that you can bring into the country, Filipino stores in OZ, etc… All the group members are only too happy to help. It is a small but very active group. For a Filipino living in a foreign land, having this group is a big grace and help. You can vent out, share your daily experiences or just merely chitchat. This e-group has really helped us a lot.