Friday, June 4, 2010

Sydney Opera House Conspiracy

What image comes to your mind when you think of Sydney, Australia? Pretty sure you are imagining a stark white Sydney Opera House. Well we have news for's not white, it's cream. Yeah, that's right. We have been lied to our whole lives. Take a look at the pics below - unlike the other photos you have seen, these have not been photo shopped.

PS - sorry if we just turned your life upside down but we thought you should know the ugly truth. The lies must stop.

Bula Fiji

What a difference a day makes. We boarded a plane in Queenstown as
snow was falling and after two quick flights, we were in a tropical
paradise. Following a brief overnight stay in Nadi, we jumped on the
"Fiji Magic" for a smooth cruise out to Octopus Resort on the Yasawa
islands. The boat anchored in a beautiful blue-green bay and we were
transferred to the beach just a short distance away. After a welcome
drink and a brief introduction to the resort, we were shown to our
bures (Fijian-style huts)...hollah bure #7 and bure #13! the
local ladies who worked at the resort.

Almost immediately, we changed into our swimsuits, grabbed beach
towels, and checked out some snorkeling gear at the dive shop. We were privileged to have an expert snorkeler/diver/lifeguard with us who
taught a crash course in snorkel...thanks Marina!! The corals and
fish were amazing. After exploring the reef for a while, one in the
group may have been overheard saying "let's just swim around like
mermaids now". It's Fiji, so why not?!

For the remainder of the day, we slept on the beach loungers or in a
hammock or relaxed in the pool. Life is hard in Fiji. After a
beautiful sunset, we had dinner on the sand floored restaurant and
laid out on the beach under the stars.

On our second day, it was more of the same. Lots of sun, lots of
resting, lots of snorkeling...and massages!! Later that night, we
attended a Fijian welcoming ceremony where we got to drink some
delicious kava (two whole cups each, actually). After dinner, it was
time for international crab racing. We each picked out a hermit crab
on the beach and registered it with the resort. It was lots of fun and
each crab raised three dollars for the local childrens' scholarship

All good things must come to an end and we had to return to the
mainland before heading off for Australia. Remember that "smooth
cruise" we mentioned earlier? Well the boat ride back was the
complete opposite. The winds had picked up and the seas were angry. We
braced ourselves for a long bumpy ride back to Nadi. There were some
tense moments when we thought we might be swimming in the middle of
the Pacific.

P.S. - After dark, Fiji gets hot and all the bugs come out. What looks like quaint huts during the day become crawly bug ovens at night. Out of desperation, Sara removed her mosquito netting in the middle of the night to take advantage of what little air was circulating from the fan. Big mistake. She woke up with mosquito bites covering her face and neck. John wouldn't leave the safety of the nets under any circumstance so he was fine. Needless to say, we promptly upgraded to Poppy's suite the next morning. Those were the best Fiji dollars we had ever spent. The suite had a/c, satellite tv, real walls, and private beach loungers and hammocks. Poppy's you saved our life!!