Monday, January 31, 2011

Hurley Burleigh Pro

Junior Pro Surfing Competition in the Gold Coast this past weekend. We went down and watched the action. 64 kids entered, 4 days to go through heats, best judged wave in 20 minutes on the water, single elimination, top two duel it out inthe final. The final was a local Burleigh boy named Thomas Woods and a Brazillian kid, both surfing for $25,000 USD. Very cool atmosphere down at Burleigh Heads - tons of locals cheering for Thomas as he walked through the crowd. We got a cool explaination of "surf scoring" in a competition.... just in case I decide to enter the next comp! Amazing that this 16 year old 5'4" Brazilian kid recieved the final prize cheque. We wondered how long he will be able to live off that cash? "Skull Candy" was a sponser as well. Noah grabbed a bunch of "give aways" in the throw off for the 'grommets" (kids).

GBR Photo's

Well, we are back at school this week. Our "Australian Routine" has kicked into gear. Kev @ TSS, Hannah @ St. Micheals and just got asked to play district Volleyball, Noah @ Worongary and is House Captain this year, Wendy on supply list and awaiting her first calls of the term.

I was flippin' through photos and picked out a couple from our last trip. Sunrise shot is overlooking the island after a morning run.

I love this beach shot, I think it will be my new screen saver. Plus its where we swam with the Sea Turtle.

Wendy was feeling like quite the jet setter booking a flight on one day and flying the next. She rather enjoyed the aircraft exit right on to the runway.

Noah at the top of Passage peak which was an amazing hike up to a huge lookout.
More News...
Lizzy & Geo arrive on Thursday.
Rick & Bubba arrive end of Feb
Ryan & Joel arrive March. R 7 J and I are going to head off and do a surfing safarii - should be sweet!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gotta Watch Sea Turtle Videos

OK........ highlight today was meeting up with a HUGE live sea Turtle. All we could keep saying was that Auntie Wendy (BC Wendy) would have gone as balistic as we did when we saw it.

Kevin yelled out loud when he saw it "hey hey hey guys, over here". Kids and Wend thought is was something scarey but when they saw the size of this turtle they were as amazed as me. This guy let us swim beside him for a while. Soooooo cool. Check out these two Youtube Video Clips.

Life on Hamilton Island

Arrived on Virgin Blue and met by our host Esther, who had a cool sign for Wendy who had done all the work for this tour.

Amazing pools everywhere and waterfront beach is beautiful. We are in our own little condo with a beautiful view of the island. The cool part is the golf cart we get with the condo. The whole island has very few cars, its all golf carts. We load up the buggy and get around the island.

Went for a run this morning and takes about 20 minutes to run to the far side of the island. Feels very much like "Fantasy Island" - I am sure they must have filmed some of that show on this island years ago.

Last Minute - Great Barrier Reef

Totally LAST MINUTE Club this week. Wendy scored a huge deal with a last minute flight and accommodation on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef. Book

ed on a Friday, fly on Saturday. Love it! Totally spontaneous trip. We are up here for the week and lovin' it!

Today we got a lesson on SCUBA diving. Tried on the tanks and messed around in the pool to see how the breathing works. You end up really chomping down on the mouthpiece to the point where your jaw is tight when you are done. After messing around we scuba, we grabbed snorkel gear and headed out onto the reef and saw some amazing underwater wildlife.

Check out Hannah with her little yellow friends (fish) - they followed her around the whole time, must have been attracted to her bright orange rashie.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Four Years Later

Our family at Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island, four years after our last visit.

Staff Photographer

Last week we enjoyed the opportunity to live up in Coolum Beach, our old stomping grounds. We have fallen in love with Paul and Pauline Nicholas' Beach Side house a few doors down from the school I taught at last time we were here. Paul and Pauline have been life long friends of my Mom and Dad. Amazing that we landed on our feet here in Australia soooo close to them. The house is perfectly designed and so relaxing to live in. We all felt like time stood still last week.

We managed to get over to Noosa almost every morning for a family surf. I played staff photographer for the rest of Team Simms and clicked off a few good shots. Fabulous days in Noosa on 2-3 foot waves. Tons of repetitions for the kids and an easy paddle out the back for everybody. Sunshine and very warm sea temps making it a great time.

Many thanks for Paul and Pauline for the great stay in Coolum Beach.

Lords of Dogtown

I love my new longboard and apparently so do my children as the scooped it and took it for a spin in Coolum. Here is a little "Lords of Dogtown" clip for ya. Spent the week up in Coolum and had some great longboard skateboard sessions.

The Gold Cost Blaze

New Years Eve 2011 we decided to check out an Australian PRO Basketball game. The local squad is called "The Blaze". Great value for court side tickets. They cranked amazing tunes throughout the game with the Blaze being defeated by the Perth Wildcats - but not until they came from behind to rival in the dieing minutes. The Glass Family joined us and followed the game with fireworks down at Surfer's Paradise. Amazing show all along the coast line of Australia. That's Barry Blaze - the teams mascot!

On a sad note, that same day (earlier) we watched this helicopter search and rescue right in front of us on the beach. All swimmers called out of the water while jetskies, helicopter and lifeguards on paddle boards searched for a missing swimmer. Scary and interesting all at the same time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Newsflash....Simms & Money Finally Meet

Many of you know this exchange is not our first time in Australia. Five years ago (almost to the day), we began our first exchange to Australia with the Money Family from Buderim. The ironic thing was that we would never cross paths with our exchange partners.

Everybody else - neighbors, parents, colleagues, friends etc.. - EXCEPT US! It might have been a bit bizarre but all worked out just fine at the time. While here in OZ, we met both of their Mom's and neighbor's but never them. Upon return to Canada, we would always run into people who told us about Chris, Cathy and their Money Family but we never officially met in person.

Well, last night, while up in Coolum, we had a BBQ with the Money Family. We met in "real life"! It was non-stop stories of the exchange and people we had encountered and kids we taught or news from schools and the community. Cathy showed us some photo's of our house back in Cathedral Pines. It was amazing to catch up with these fantastic people who made our first exchange so positive. We loved looking around the Pine Street house and even playing that game of LIFE that we used so many times at the dining table.

I am sure will meet up again! Thanks again Chris, Cathy, Lauchlan, Claire & Alice.

The Simms'