Thursday, December 30, 2010

Aussie Lawn Bowls Anyone?

For the last 6 months I have routinely seen these Lawn Bowls clubs around Australia. I have wondered what the big deal is? Is it like real bowling? Like Curling? Or just an excuse to drink beer in the sun on a Sunday afternoon?

Answer.... All of the above!

While in Iluka, I went for a trail run which happened to finish at the 'Bowls Club'! I decided to randomly pop into the club to see what was going on. After talking to Bruce the Manager and explaining my travels through his great country, I convinced Bruce to let us 'have a go'.

After Pete acquired the standard Lawn Bowls Uniform, he & I and the kids embarked on a quest to figure out Aussie Lawn Bowls. Turns out... there is much more than meets the eye. An older guy with a club members badge (read....drunk but reasonably understandable) decided to give us a quick lesson. We got some tips and played a few rounds. I am here to say that it was a very educational experience.

Natural Sea Water Wave Pool

YAMBA sports this amazing waterfront sea water wave pool. Its sooo hard to explain how cool this place really is. A concrete 50 metre pool sits right on the edge of the ocean. As the tide comes in and the waves crash over the edge of the pool, it begins to fill. When a KING TIDE roles in (higher than usual) it gets really exciting!On really windy days like today, the waves crash over the side of the pool attempting to flush you from the deep end back to the shallow end. We had an amazing time just chillin' in this pool while over in Yamba.

Escape To ILUKA

Can you say RAIN! Unfortunately, we can!! For six straight days in December, Queensland Australia was getting drenched! On the third day of this crazee stretch of rain, we decided to ESCAPE and drive south. We were going bonkers and just needed to bail out of the Gold Coast.
After being "Radar Boy" (as Wendy called me) for a couple days staring at radar screen, I strategized that this weather system was sitting over Queensland and NOT moving. Actually, much of Queensland (north of us) was declared a state of emergency with flooding of whole towns!
Anyway, back to my storey. We decided to pack the car early on the fourth day of rain and drive SOUTH. Sure enough, 3 hours after departure, south of Goldie and back at our friends beach house in ILUKA , we found perfect sunshine and great waves. Big Smiles on everybody's faces... good call!
We settled in for four days and had a total blast in that part of Australia. Caught some massive waves! Returning to the Gold Coast today we talked to a few locals and we timed it perfectly with the rain finally ending three days after we departed.

Tournament of Christams Games

The Glass Family & The Simms Family Unite in a Christmas Dinner in OZ - sure to be remembered for many years to come. The theme for the night was of course.... "Consumption combined with Competition & Celebration". The evening started off with a friendly World Championship of Ping Pong, followed by a Nerf Warfare Game in the McKinley Common Room at TSS (Watch video of Wendy struggle with Anna's Combative Skill and accurate Nerf shot). The evening finished with cards and the watching of Avatar.

Side Note... Our dinner was AWESOME... fresh Prawns from that day on the BBQ - ie... "SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE". Very Australian?

Simms Xmas Morning

We wish everybody an exciting holiday and family time. We have had a fabulous (and yes.. WARM) Christmas day! Santa found us down here in Australia.

My only request was a family surf down at the beach and I got it! The kids wouldn't let me get in a SURF B4 presents but after the unwrapping of a few gifts we made our way to the beach.

We managed to get a tree up this year which was different than our Florida trips where we use a palm tree planter in the condo for a Christmas Tree.

Thanks for the gifts that were sent from Canada. I know the kids are keen to head out and do some shopping with their "Aussie Dollars". Hannah off to the Roxy Oultlet and Noah to the Apple Store.

Presents of choice amazing new Long Board Skateboard for Kevin since I have been seeing everybody cruise the waterfront, A new Beach Volleyball for Wendy, a cool Roxy snowboarding hat for Hannah & Noah got a cool helicopter - check out video below. All in all, happy and thankful kids and parents all day.

Hope everybody has an amazing rest and relax holiday and a fantastic new year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tour Guide Review

As many of you know, we have hosted a few visiting families from Canada over the last few weeks. After dropping the Taher Family off at the airport today, we received our first "Tour Guide Review" from Sarah.

Sarah Writes....

"We would Highly recommend the Simms Family Adrenalin Company for your next adventure in Australia! You will not be disappointed with any aspect of your trip! They have definitely achieved a 5-Star rating from us!"

"Hospitality... Transportation...Entertainment...Food....Leech Removal....Surfing Lessons.... Off-Site Planning are all rated at 'EXCELLENT'."

"As for the staff, all four company members have achieved 'SUPER' Uncle, Aunt, Niece and Nephew Status!"

TSS Straddie Island

Headed to Straddie island today. Quick boat ride out on the Broadwater to get over to Straddie. Hooked up with Steve Johnson, the head guy around the TSS camp. Steve gave us a wicked tour of the facility and the animals in the area. Much appreciated for the opportunity to visit the island. beautiful day!

MAHENO Ship Wreck

The Maheno is a shipwreck on Fraser island and was one of our stops along the tour. The storey goes... Pirate Pete was the captain of this vessel back in the day! Great part of the tour.

Lake Wabby

Wabby Creek is a very cool inland lake on Fraser island. After a 30-40 minute 4WD into the interior, you come across this HUGE sand blow that has blown righ over the forest and into Wabby lake. Check out Hannah's sand boarding episode!

Random Photo's

Just doing some Blog's and thought these were all Randon shots!

Kevin played "Entertainer" in the back of the 4WD's in Fraser island. Anna and Megan were my two buddies for most of the journey.

Hannah showing off her ice pack after getting a stinger from a jelly fish. the stingers tend to blow in whenever the wind blows from the North for a few days in a row.

Megan showing off he impression of a 'Mini Auntie Wendy'

Noah wins award at school - Most Consistent Academic Award, way to go Noah!

Monday, December 20, 2010

LaKe MacKenZiE

Lake Mackenzie on Fraser Island is an amazing place to visit. Picture crystal clear water and sand that is super soft. Everybody had a blast swimming and checkin' out Lake MacK. Uncle Kevin and Eric getting a chance to mess around in the water

Hannah Doing some "exfoliating" .

Emily & Hannah doing some deep sea diving.

Noah's video with our skill testing child development session.


We are up on Fraser Island this week. Rented a couple big 4WD's. Check out Pete Glass driving through the mud on the way to Lake Mackenzie.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Purling Falls

Purling Falls is a local spot that we scoped out a few months ago. We finally got a chance to check it out. We loaded cars up and headed to the trail head. We taped our bodies with Team Canada Hockey tape and addressed all passer byers with a Team Canada chant

The most interesting part of the day was dealing with a few 'leeeches". Megan was the big target by drawing some blood from a leech however dealt with it very well.

The Swimming hole we swam in was soooo beautiful. I shot some great video, check out the link on You Tube (see above)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Well, itz official, we have a full house! The Glass Family arrived on Monday! They had a very successful flight over and we managed to keep them awake for the entire first day they arrived in hopes of getting on Australian Time! Pete, Mel and the kids are a fantastic addition to the Simms and Taher gang that have been travelling together for the last few weeks. Luckily, the Glass' have arranged to take over one of thehouse masters houses at TSS (school Kevin teachers at). It is beautiful and the perfect place for them to call "home" for the next four weeks.

We have decided to do a big Road Tour north of the Gold Coast up to the Sunshine Coast and up to Fraser Island. I have decided to take the role of "TOUR GUIDE" (hat provided) and give everybody a small glimpse of the area up here is like compared to Goldie. Currently I am sitting beside the pool in Noosa just reflecting on the last few days. Glass airport pick up, welcome to Australia dinner, quick tour of Main Beach and then ready for the Tour. The trip up here was successful with some good little beachie waves in Mooloolaba. Today we are going to mess around in Noosa, surf some more and a few are going to climb MT Coolum.

The kids are havin' a blast going to all the new destinations. The van has been rockin' beats froma variety of ipods. The music of choice seems to be "Magic" by B.O.B. . Next few days we will be up on Fraser Island doing some 4WDin'. I told the Newbies (Glass' & Taher's) that they were responsible for drivin' the big Troop Carrier 4wd's! Don't get it stuck in the sand people!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lives of the Rich & Famous

I have always felt that presents for Birthdays and Christmas should be "experiential" rather than materialistic - although..... I really could use a new longboard skateboard for Christmas since I left mine back in Canada.

Back to my point... we decided that with Wendy and Sarah were requiring birthday presents (Sarah's immediately and Wendy's slightly forgotten). We decided to create a scavenger hunt down at Marina Mirage at the top end of the Gold Coast.

The girls were dropped off at the marina with a series of pictures and clues for the hunt for thier present (some clues a little more "risque" than others but nonetheless exciting to find!). Sarah thinking she was going to get wet or go fishing and Wendy along as the staff photographer (ha ha! so she thought! All part of my scheming plan).
After finding the clues and arriving at the helipad, both girls realized their lives had been upgraded from "mom, mom, mom"... to a more rich and famous status.
Meanwhile, Karim, Myself and all the grommets raced down to the beach and carved out a HUGE Happy Birthday for the girls to see from the air. It was some fast work on all the kids to get organized on the beach in time for the flyby - good thing our sand castle making skills are soooooo good from years of experience in Florida.

The Taher family, even more famous than us), jumps onto a plane this afternoon and heads up to the glamorous Great Barrie Reef.