the weekend in review.

once again, jim and i had a FABULOUS jam packed weekend.  

well, ladies and gentleman, i played my first game of golf with my new clubs and my third game of golf EVER on saturday morning.  we went to a local course here in mackay.  the course wasn't much to talk about, but jim and i had so much fun.  let me just say, jim is an excellent golf instructor.  he gave me wonderful advice that i really tried to soak in and apply.  i don't want to brag, but i feel really good about my game.  i think i could get into this!  here are a few pics of us doing our thing...

after we were done golfing we ran a few errands, had lunch and decided we wanted to hit up a beach that is relatively close to where we live (about 30 minutes away).  it was crazy.... the tide was down so the beach was huge and there were only 5 other people, besides us, there.  

oh, and we met a friend - this is pippy!  she was so sweet and followed us around for quite some time.

to give you an idea of the size of the beach and how vacant it was - that is my beach bag.... far, far, far away in the middle of the beach looking super lonely. 

we aren't sure what they are, but there were a ton of these all over the beach.  they look like really dark (and alive) sand dollars.

we ended the day with a movie at the cinema - this means war with reese witherspoon.  it was pretty cute.  we also saw the vow the night before - it was a GREAT movie and unbelievable "based on a true" love story.  definitely worth seeing. 

then, on sunday, we went out with a guy jim (and soon i will, too) work with - peter - and his wife - kylie, daughter - emma - and daughter's friend - jackie.  we headed up to eungella national park.  it's located in the mountains and is known for being able to see platypus in their natural environment.  

did we see platypus?  platypi?  what is the plural of platypus??  anyway.... back to the point.  the answer is no, but we still had an absolute blast.  we started off with a hike through the rainforest.  

that's a turtle... we saw LOTS of these as you will see below.

you can't tell in this picture, but i actually had to be hoisted onto this branch.... this was a really cool swirley branch that was hanging down in the path.

then peter and kylie made us all a delicious lunch.... thanks, again, guys!  

afterwards, we burned off our lunch playing a little game of french cricket.... i guess it's kind of the lazy man's cricket - very fun!  

after lunch, we headed over to this chalet which had the most beautiful view of the valley.  in fact, there was a hang gliding ramp that people run off and glide through valley.  maybe, just MAYBE, we might try this some time.  

this is peter and kylie - i cannot say enough about the people we have met here.  everyone has been so nice and welcoming.

as we were trying to see a platypus, we started feeding the turtles and had about 15-20 of them coming from all over the river.  then this eel came up.  I thought he might be dangerous, but he seemed harmless and just wanted a few breadcrumbs himself.

i don't think either one of us can believe how blessed we are to be experiencing what we are experiencing together.  i think i can speak for both of us when we say this is truly a once in a lifetime experience and we are not about to waste a second of it.  

we love and miss you all back home a lot!


without further ado.

at the end of my last post i left you with the cliff hanger that i got a job!  this is, indeed, true.  i just didn't want to say anything before i got all the details.  however, it looks like i won't be getting ALL the details until sunday so i am going to tell you anyway.

basically, jim is the best.  he has been telling his coworkers about me since day one of meeting them. so, with all the hype we know that jim can conjure up when discussing someone, they immediately thought of me when they decided they needed some sort of administrative assistant working at the same mine jim is working - burton is the name.

it had to go through approvals on a lot of various ends; but, through what sounds like a lot of work, they got me the job!

now for the questions:

did i have to interview?  no.  crazy, right?

am i working for peabody?  no, i am working for a man named tony (who works with jim) and has his own company - fdp mining.  fdp mining does contract work for peabody, which is how tony and his other co-worker, peter, are working at burton mine.

will i be staying at the mine?  yes, i will.  which is wonderful because now i won't feel like i am in a long distance relationship in australia!  yay!!

is it a permanent position?  no.  my working holiday visa only allows me to work for one employer for 6 months, anyway, but this position is sort of an "as needed" position.  initially, it sounds like there is enough work to fill up 10 hour days, monday - friday.  if there is not enough work, though, it may taper off to monday, wednesday, friday.  it just depends.  either way, though, i am good because i wasn't expecting to have this kind of job while i am here.  i was expecting more of a part time retail position, which wouldn't pay all that well and wouldn't give me that many hours.  so, this is way more than i ever dreamed.

will i get vacation?  i will not get paid vacation, but the beauty of it is that i will be able to take unpaid days whenever i want.  so, if i need some time off because we have visitors then i can do that.  if i need time off for a long weekend, i can do it.  it's perfect!

will i be working directly with jim?  i will have a working relationship with jim in that our offices will be in the same trailer with peter and tony (the other guys i mentioned above), but i will be in no way reporting to jim.  he will be out in the field 80% of the time anyway, leaving me in the nice air conditioned trailer... how nice it is i will miss him while he is gone.

when do you start?  i actually start on monday.  goodbye, daytime television!  i have to go through training all week next week and then the following week i will be going in with jim to work at the mine.  whoever thought i would work on a coal mine?  funny where life takes you, isn't it?

any other questions, feel free to comment!

i just want to end this post, saying how incredibly grateful i am for this opportunity.  jim has gone above and beyond trying to make the moving transition seamless for me, and this is just another way that he has done just that.  i am a lucky girl!


daytime television.

so, since i don't have a job yet, i have a lot of spare time on my hands.  

so, i watch a lot of daytime television.

which is good because it keeps me connected to the US with shows like ellen & the view. 

i did have an exceptionally excited moment when i saw my favorite old time tv show was on.... that's right... baywatch!!!

it's amazing how terrible the acting was and how silly the story lines were.  this episode, in particular, was about a sea monster.  hilarious yet so AWESOME!

oh, and my daytime television watching time is going to be limited very soon since I just found out that i got a job... i start monday!  

stay tuned for details.


outside looking in.

i have received a few requests to see the outside of our apartment.  maybe because they are wanting to know where they are going to stay when they are going to visit... maybe not.  

either way, here she is from the outside!


wow... this IS an adventure.

this weekend was nothing short of AMAZING!  

it started with a lunch outing with my new friend, jo.  jo is a new friend to me and an old friend to jim because she is the one who set jim and me up in our amazing apartment.  jim met her back in october and she has been helping jim get everything ready for our move since then.  she has been such a blessing and now a great friend of ours.  her husband keith is also a gem and i think we will be seeing a lot of them during our stay here in mackay.  

after lunch, jim was home from working all week at the mines.  it was so great to see him and have him home for the weekend.  he actually kept the surprise from me all week that, on saturday, we were going to travel north to airlie beach to visit TWO of the whitsunday islands on a charter cruise line.  

for those of you who don't know, the whitsundays are comprised of 74 islands right in the heart of the great barrier reef.  it's sort of like a scene out of the bachelor-ette.  and here is where our journey begins. 

DAY 1:

this is the view from the car that the mine is letting us use during our stay. 

we arrived at shute harbor to catch our boat.  here she is.... ain't she a beaut?!?

just a little scenery on our way to our first island.  

jim and i on the boat on the way to the island.  you can't see them here, but behind the camera is our new friend vinnie and his girlfriend, lauren.  more on them later.

and here we are at hamilton island.  hamilton island is fairly commercialized.  we took a tour on a free bus that transports locals around the island.

jim relishing in the first time he has touched ocean water since he has been in australia.

one of the stops, on the bus tour that i mentioned earlier, dropped us off at one tree hill (no relation to the show... don't worry, i asked).  i think this is the most beautiful view that i have seen since i have been here.  absolutely stunning.  apparently, during wedding season, they have up to three weddings in one day here.

after our little bus tour, jim and i decided to do a little kayaking.

afterwards we made our way back to the vessel that would take us to our next location:  whitehaven island.  this is a well known uninhabited island that is constantly rated one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (it ranks in the top 10 almost every year).  

here we are in our stinger suits.  stinger suits, you might say?  yes, stinger suits.  

apparently, there are irukandji jellyfish in the water from october to may in australia, resulting in the need for the stinger suits which will protect you from their venomous stingers.  just a little lesson on irukandji... they are no larger than the size of your thumbnail and are clear in color.  most victims need to be hospitalized and if you have a heart condition there is a very good chance you will not survive a sting.  symptoms from an irukandji sting can last anywhere from hours to weeks.... yup, that's right.  weeks.  here are just a few of the sypmtoms:  severe pains at various parts of the body (typically excruciating muscle cramps in the arms and legs, severe pain in the back and kidneys, a burning sensation of the skin and face), headaches, nausea, restlessness, sweating, vomiting, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and psychological phenomena such as the feeling of impending doom.

so, when the opportunity arose to rent stinger suits, my response was, "yes, please!"

and here are lauren and vinnie (remember, i mentioned them earlier?).  lauren and vinnie are our friends that we met about 5 minutes into our trip.  they are from london and are taking a 3 week hiatus in australia.  meeting them made our trip to the islands even better since we got along from the start and really enjoyed each other's company.  thanks for hanging out with us, guys!

look at how magical that beach is!  the sand is 100% silica and it is like getting a free exfoliation wherever it touches skin.

sadly, it was time to leave, but we had a wonderful time visiting the islands and making new friends!  cheers!

Day 2:  

while we were on our excursion on saturday jim received a phone call from jo and keith, offering us to join them and their friends on their friend's yacht.  um, let me think.... should we go?  YES, PLEASE!!!

and what an amazing vessel she was!  the proud owners of this 38 foot catamaran are our new friends laurie and glynis.  so far, australia has not disappointed us with its natives.  we have loved everyone we have met!  laurie and glynis were no exception.  

here is a picture of laurie (the skipper) and me. 

i had to pinch myself just to ensure the day was real!

ladies and gents, jim and i are now proud owners of our own yacht stinger suits.

jo and i under water.

that's me snorkeling.... we didn't see much, though, since the tide was up.

here is the BEAUTIFUL meal prepared by jo and keith.  we had shrimp and chicken kabobs, potato salad, coleslaw, bread and another salad that was all DELICIOUS!  thanks, again, jo and keith!  you are excellent cooks!

pineapple tree on keswick island - another island of the whitsundays.

we sailed the entire way home and their gorgeous sail was designed by glynis and her daughters.

jim, the deckhand.

again, what a wonderful day with new friends and memories of a lifetime.  thanks, again, glynis and laurie for letting us spend the day with you!

bon voyage!