Wednesday, September 13, 2006

13 - September 2006

We caught our shuttle to the airport at 4:30 in the morning (much too early to be awake and attempting to function, we can assure you!) After sacking out at the airport before boarding, we had the pleasure of riding in a prop plane from Cairns to Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands. The trip was absolutely beautiful, and we spent the entire hour-and-a-half admiring the ever-changing Great Barrier Reef below.

We arrived at about 9:30 AM, much too early to check in to our room, so we toured the marina and resort on foot. (Most people get around on golf buggies here, but we feel the need to work off all the fantastic food we've been eating--my bulging belly can't be all baby. And Mike's, well, he hasn't got a chance of his being baby.)

Hamilton Island is a funny place. It's an entirely private island with several eye-sore hotel and apartment towers, and it clearly caters to folks who have a hunkering for things like sequined "resort wear," big jewels, and life-sized marble and bronze dolphins and sea turtles. It's also clear that happy hour starts uncharacteristically early on Hamilton Island (there's a thatched bar at every palm-tree lined pool--and there's a palm-tree lined pool everywhere you look). It's sort of like being on a giant cruise ship docked in the middle of paradise.

It was windy, and a few splats of rain fell, but there was never enough to get wet, and we were always plenty warm. We shared lunch along the marina with several of the island's wild cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets (not exactly by choice--they're cheeky little critters!).

Our private bungalow looks straight from an Annette Funicello movie. We love it! It's got a great retro feel to it with its lime green and orange cushions, rattan bar with leather barstools, and framed old Whitsunday Islands map and deco canvas angelfish print. The view from the porch window is lovely, too. It's wonderfully relaxing here, and time seems to stand still--so we felt zero guilt about checking in and immediately taking an afternoon doze!

We had an early dinner overlooking the pool and ocean (Mike fell hard for a drink called Mud Baby, with creme de cafe, brown creme de cocoa, liquid chocolate, and fresh cream), and then we befriended Craig, the Aussie behind the counter at the movie rental shop on our way back. Craig came here to work for just three months...and loved the pace and lifestyle of the island so much that he's stayed for twelve years and counting! We were open to recommendation and ready for some quite time back at the bungalow over the coming days, so we ended up renting three of Craig's favorite movies: "Whale Rider" (set in New Zealand, where we're headed early next week), "Mozart and the Whale" (pardon the whale trend) and "Rent." He even popped us some popcorn for the first viewing!

More on how to speak Australian:
--"candy" = "lollies" (Craig confirmed that it's for all candy, not just lollipops!)
--"baby" = "bub"


JenLouie said...

Hey guys! Love reading your blog, and I'm growing insanely jealous of your wonderful adventures. Sounds like you're on a well-deserved vacation. Alisa, when you get home, you must tell me about your new baby, I'm so happy for you!


P.S. Didn't you just LOVE "Whale Rider"??? One of my favorites!

7:45 AM  

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