Tuesday, April 26, 2011

River Tubing - April 17

River Tubing - Sunday April 17

We were picked up at Tjapukai carpark to take us to our final destination at Behana Creek.  We passed Mt. Bellenden Ker and Walsh's pyramid.  This is the world's largest tallest natural pyramid at 944 m.  There were 9 of us in our group, Jo and her son Riely, as well as Josh from across the street came with us for the afternoon, the two others we just met.

We got our helmets, lifejackets and tubes (which are from Canada, but made in China) and we were ready for the short walk to the Behana Creek.  We went over a few safety rules and we were off.  We stopped often along the way, waiting for others to catch up.

Tea Break - we had juice, water, popcorn, snacks and apples for our break.  Then we played in the river, sliding down the rocks.  Hailey had a blast painting herself with the natural paint rocks!
We continued on our way, I really enjoyed drifting along enjoying the beautiful scenery and wildlife.  The natural tree tunnels were so interesting.  We all had an enjoyable afternoon!

Walsh's Pyramid

Getting ready

Darby sets off on Behana Creek

waiting for the rest of the gang

Relaxing with Aussie Drifterz

Brody chilling

Brody & Hailey, a great team!

I had fun too!

Little artist with natural paint rocks!!

Spectacular Behana Gorge

Natural tree-tunnels

Tablelands April 16 (Ms. O)

 Tablelands Saturday April 16 with Ms. O

We picked up Ms. O, from her hotel near the Esplanade in Cairns.  Pat was Brody and Darby's grade 1 teacher in Carstairs and Hailey's P.E. teacher.  She has been living and touring around Australia for the last year.  Scott was away on a shut down at Groote Eylandt, so the 5 of us headed up to the Tablelands for the day.

Our first stop was Tichem Creek Coffee Farm.  We looked around at the coffee beans growing on the trees and then after the kids had chocolate covered coffee beans, we were all BUZZED to go!  Our next stop was Crystal Caves in Atherton.  This is a gem shop with a fantastic display below the store.  You had to put on your hard hat with lights and go into the cave to see all the gems and minerals.  It was a self guided tour with a manual to match the number beside the gem to the explanations.  There was so much to see, especially the large amethyst!  When we finally came out of the cave we did some shopping right there.  The girls each got a geode that they got to crack open.  Then the lady explained what was in each of their geode.  They had chalcedony or trancas, quartz crystals and druzy quartz in their geodes.  Very neat experience knowing they were 44 million years old!

Once we left we found a park to have a picnic lunch around 1:30pm.  We continued on our way stopping at the Gallo Dairyland, a Cheese and Chocolate factory.  After a few samples we saw how they made the cheese.  On our way out enjoying our purchases we walked through the small barn of livestock.  They had calves, chickens, sheep, pigs and cows, nothing too different from home.

Our next stop was to show Pat the curtain fig tree.  Then we made our way to Malanda Falls.  We had never been before so we were excited about swimming up to the falls.  The currents in front pushed us away, while on the side of the falls it pulled us in.
We finally made it to our final destination, Lake Eacham.  We swam in the crater lake for awhile enjoying the sunny day!
We made our way back down the Gillies Hwy to Cairns and went out for supper at 7:30 pm at Outback Jacks.  The Esplanade area was really lively on Saturday night!

coffee beans growing at Tichum Creek Coffee Farm

Ready to enter Crystal Caves with Ms. O

Hailey in the purple room

World's Largest Amethyst

Darby cracking her own GEODE!

Thought we were back in Calgary!

Making cheese at Gallo Dairyland

Curtain Fig Tree

Malanda Falls

Playing in the falls

Beside Malanda Falls 

Swimming with Ms. O in Lake Eacham

Cairns Art Gallery - April 9

Cairns Art Gallery - April 9
One Saturday afternoon after Brody's field hockey game, we decided to explore the Cairns Regional Art Gallery.  We really enjoyed exploring the three floors of the gallery, the kids really showed a lot of interest in the art.  We were amazed by the glass masks the most, too bad we couldn't buy one to bring home!

Malu Minar: Art of the Torres Strait

Reading about the intricate line print

Ranamok Glass

The Make Believe

Glass Mask

Glass masks were the hit of the gallery for the Gales

Reminded me of Jesus' crown of thorns

Friday, April 15, 2011

Holloways Beach - April 3

Sunday April 3
We went to discover one more beach in the area with my teaching partner Jo and her son, Reily, who is the same age as Brody.  It started with a drink at the cafe right on the beach called 'Strait on the Beach'.  The tables were hand carved out of trees and the chairs were shaped like large hands, a very unique place.  Then we played in the water and dug in the sand all afternoon.

be careful where you sit

Reily, Jo and Darby

Hailey starts on her project

The beginnings of a bunker

Darby's creation. OMG somethings growing out of her head!

Getting closer

Bunker built for two

cleaning off

Hailey's final creations

Sunday, April 10, 2011

F1 Races in Melbourne

March 25-28

Dad and I went down to Melbourne for the F1 car races. Friday morning I skipped school to get on a 10:10 flight on VIRGIN BLUE, it was a 3hr flight. We took a really nice cab to our hotel about 30mins from the airport. We arrived at the hotel called the NOVOTEL and went up to the room to unpack and veg.  Our room had a queen bed, a TV, shower, tub, toilet, sink, desk and a couch. We went to the restaurant on the ground floor and had a big dinner. After that we went up to our room and fell asleep as soon as we hit the pillows.

The next morning the 26th we went to Albert park race track to watch the Formula One practice race. During the race we went to the heli pad to get a flight around the track twice while they were racing. Next we went to the Porsche Carrera Cup Championships, which there was a big crash! We watched the V8 supercars until it was time to go. When we got back we went into the (HEATED) pool until we got hungry and ordered room service, then we crashed.

The 27th was the most exciting day of all because it was the F1 grand prix. Just before it started they had a huge flyby with a huge 747 Qantas airplane, instead of fighter jets. At 5:00 the noise was insane as the cars started reving up, even with the earmuffs on it was extremely loud! Sebastian Vettel was in first the whole 58 laps of the two hour long race, in the end Sebastian Vettel was first, Jenson Button second. When it was over a whole herd of people went to the podium and climbed on the fences to see the winners. While in the meantime we were tring to get out before they all came out the #1 exit. After we got through the whole crowd we went back to the hotel for a well needed rest, because we had to get up at 4:00 a.m. to get a taxi to the airport for a 5:30 flight to Cairns. We slept for most of the 3hr flight.   

By: Brody Gale

Ocean view from hotel

Looks like we are back in Canada, Brr

Going for my first helicopter ride

View of race track from chopper

Tasman sea

Boys weekend without the girls

F1 car at start of  the race

Sunrise from plane window

Thursday, April 7, 2011

March 25 - Cindy's birthday weekend

March 25 - My birthday - 30 degrees and sunny

Arrived at school to find my door knob covered in vaseline, streamers hung all over the room and as soon as I turned on the fans, red glitter went everywhere!  I even had glitter on my chair, in my hat and my desk drawers.  Later in the day I discovered vaseline on my drawer handles too!  I guess you can say I have been fully accepted on staff now!  Many birthday wishes during the day and finally a Chai latte tea, yummy!  After school we opened a bottle of champagne and celebrated in the staffroom.
On the way home the girls and I stopped at the cable park for knee boarding and wake boarding!  Lots of fun, we stayed at the park till it closed at 6pm!!  Ordered pizza and watched a movie to finish off the day.  Brody and Scott were in Melbourne for the F1 race, so it was a girls weekend.

We went shopping and to a movie on Saturday.  We saw Rango at Cairns Central, cute movie.

gifts before going to work - jewelery

homemade cards, the best!

streamers everywhere

Cheers mate!!

I even got a tattoo! "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie"

cards arrive right on the day!
Sunday we continued our girls weekend with mass and then shopping at Rusty's Market.  Then we went for a walk along the Esplanade and a swim in the lagoon.  We finished the day with dinner at Grill'd.  We had the best burgers in town, all homemade with love, even gluten free buns!

Rusty's Market

Guess the vegetable?

Want an A Cha Cha?

Wharf along the Esplanade

Esplanade exercise area