Sunday, June 19, 2011

Explore Life Challenge - Day 18

Such a perfect day for a drive to the mountains but while it was super windy so I knew it would be cold up on the mountain. 
Between Wivenhoe and Esk 
The evidence of the floods are still evident in the districts surround.  I tried to go to spring bluff train station because it so pretty at this time of year and cold. 
Spring bluff ...  the old railway station
But it was still shut because of the floods and you can tell when you go across the crossing as you head up the hill it is still badly damaged.
Downtown Toowomba
One of the reasons why Toowoomba is so significant to Queensland?  It is the gateway to the outback and first discovered by Alan Cunningham in 1827 – hence Cunningham’s gap. It is the largest inland city in Australia and it is classed at the economic and commercial hub of Darling Downs.
Sunflare by the creekside 
It is beginning or the end of Great Dividing Range depends on which way you look at it.  So I did a fair bit of driving and just enjoying the sunshine. 
Pretty creek with some sunflare... 
Ended up coming back through esk to Wivenhoe then Northbrook Parkway to Mt Glorious then Samford so it was a good drive.  What a fantastic day to explore the scenic rim!  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Explore Life Challenge - Day 17

It was such a beautiful winter’s day today… cold but not too cold and the sun was giving some beautiful blue skies…  I was thinking if the weather is like this on Sunday I might do this…
Another kind of Park ...  Central Park - "The Mall" 
Drive down to the city cat terminal at Hamilton then catch it to New Farm park…  Have lunch at Watt and then see the photographic exhibit at the Powerhouse. Apparently it is very powerful this year so I would love to go. 
Central Park from the Met and looking down 5th Ave..  
What would you do on the perfect winters day? 
How our parks would look like right now  

Explore Life Challenge - Day 16

I am officially becoming the “anywhere but here girl”.  As I sat at my desk yesterday watching plane after plane take off… I began to think about the adventures I hope to undertake as a tour guide.
Niagara Falls - Ontario Canada 
I hope to share my enthusiasm for discovering new places or revisiting old favourites with any tour group I have. 
Golden Gate - California USA 
I want to someone to marvel at Niagara the way I did … enjoy Washington and all the symbolism and history the way I did…  Marvel at the rockies and all their beauty the way I did. 
Peyto Lake - Alberta Canada 
Can’t wait to show my groups those views and experiences which I can only hope they loved them as much as I did.
Bow Lake - Alberta Canada 

Explore Life Challenge - Day 15

Tonight full moon was awesome … especially when the Ash from the volcano in Chile created a red effect. 
As I walked to my car I marvelled at how beautiful it really was also the fact that somewhere in this world that someone was else was looking at the moon and enjoying it.  It could be the Rockies, Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, Tasmania, Peru, Nepal the list goes on and on...  It makes you feel less alone in the world. Also to think it doesn't matter where you are in the world or off exploring the world beyond someone will be watching the same moon you are.    

Explore Life Challenge - Day 14

Good food …. Good company… 
Yummy Food 
Just enjoyed another dinner with my friend since he was stranded here because melbourne was shut down due to the ash cloud…  Nothing better and lots of laughs 

Explore Life Challenge - Day 13

Tell it like it Is…  by Anne Marie White…  a must read… 

It is a inspirational stories of breast cancer survivors and those who didn’t make it.  I loved it … cried and laughed. 
http://www.nbcf.org.au/
It reminds you to keep things in perspective and to live in the now rather than the future sometimes because the now is when it is happening.
http://www.nbcf.org.au/page.asp?category_id=6&page_id=197
It is a tough battle and it one of the reasons why I volunteer for the NBCF because it is so important to give back and the research programs they have in place is invaluable.  

Explore Life Challenge - Day 12

After cancelling on my friends on Saturday because I was too sick I was determined to drag my sorry arse out of bed.  So headed off to dinner with my wonderful friend and got to meet his wonderful new girlfriend. Well not so new because last time I saw him they were just starting out.

I have known him since … hmmm I think 1995 and one of my friends developed a big crush on him when she met him at Rowers… oh those were the days me and him… well we became fast friends… I think the fact that we are only 11 days apart in age has helped.  We have fallen in and out of contact with each other over the years but always been great friends. So when in Brisbane he would catch up and I would catch up when I was in Melbourne… 

So I got to enjoy dinner with him and his beautiful GF and then desert … I love dessert… nothing better than dessert… and wonderful company…  

Explore Life Challenge - Day 11

Eye Candy Time... 

Since I have been in bed sick with a dumb cold due to the fact someone brought into our office this week.  NOT happy !!! 
Pieces of Me ...  First Task 
Well I have decided to do the next stage of my photography course that I did in November 2009. When I did the course I have to say that I felt like a utter novice compared with some of the work that everyone produced.
Week 1
Sheye ..  whose blog I stumbled upon looking for cupcakes … don’t ask…  and her stories bring me to tears, make me smile, just inspires… and her photos … wow wow wow …  don’t even me started because that would lead to all this kind of crazy gushing.  So to do her course it was simply amazing and because I didn’t own at dslr at that stage and battling depression I didn't feel like I really fitted in. But some of the girls were so wonderful to me and I can't thank them enough for that. 

Week 3 
So I hope that this time I can produce the kind of work that is comparable with my classmates and feel less of a novice. At least time I won’t be indescribable pain and having to battle to just get out bed each day..  Let’s hope the creative juices flow…  

Explore Life Challenge - Day 10

Today I sent off a very special box to the USA in my bid to be creative in getting a role either here or in the USA.  Packed with some Australia love and tenderness…  So fingers crossed for me because I really want this … so I can explore the world and adventure everywhere. 
Australian Goodies heading to the good ole USA ... 

I am starting to drive myself nuts with being here … I need to go and start my life again.  I am sick of existing… I need to start living and exploring all that life has to offer through travel…. 
Miss you all !  
I have some amazing friends overseas who I ache to see again …  and I am sooo excited for our road trip in January so I am going to see how I go with my tax return next month because I am a contractor now so not sure how that will all go now.  Otherwise I think I am going to have to get the lawyers involved with the food poisoning … because quite frankly I am sick of my bottom hurting and stomach every time it has a “special” moment.  Every time I am reminded of what happened in San fran…  ok I will stop ranting… 
shoes are like me ...  itching to go again 
I might have to sell my life again in my garage but all the big ticket items are gone now… decisions decisions!  I want to be on that plane again!!!! See my classmates..........  

Explore Life Challenge - Day 9

As I sat at my desk getting yelled at by a customer as per usual I was watching a plane rise above the cloud cover and me wondering where it is going. 
hmmmm  where to go ? 
Where are they off too …  me well I want to be anywhere but here… 
Hello my ole friend 
I want to still see … More of the USA …  Canada, Alaska, Peru, Puerto Rico (thanks CL for inspiring that one) Ireland (my twinkling eyes showed how much I want to see) Great Britain, Paris, Rome, Greece Islands, the list just goes on and on… 
Best way to travel ...  Passport and princess on a budget accessory  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Explore Life Challenge - Day 8

Made the first steps to ensuring that I am exploring and living life to the fullest.  I used to be super fit despite my weight. I thought I did quite well then all hell broke loose… depression took over and the fitness along with it then a nasty tear in my shoulder didn’t help the situation.
One of my favourite places to walk  
So in order for me to fit and healthy on the road I am determined to get that level of fitness back again.  So I am going down the PT track to ensure I manage getting my fitness back without hurting myself which has happened before. 
My other favourite place... Sandgate/Shorncliffe
So I will be mixing it up with walking and PT and eventually back at the gym…Although I think I need a new gym but there is not a lot of variety in the area.... because I don't like my atmosphere at mine...  too full of knuckle heads and it is too busy

My other favourite place... Sandgate/Shorncliffe
 
Wish me luck!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Explore Life Challenge - Day 7

Day 7 – Remembering

8 months ago I was exploring life through my very first helicopter ride at Niagara Falls.  What an amazing way to see a truly remarkable part of the world.
From the sky... wow 
One of the cool parts is the shear amount of water that goes over the four falls which is all from Lake Ontario.
wow... 
With a lot of see and do in the Niagara area from the floral clock to the whirlpools, along the most picturesque drive so named by Norman Rockwell. The main shoreline is lined with the maid of the mist along with the behind the falls opportunity. Enjoy lunch at Tabletop as you watch so much water falling over the falls. I loved it especially on a beautiful sunny day.
From the Maid in the mist  
While downtown Niagara is tacky as and almost a amusement alley it is a fun area to visit with lots of beautiful gardens between the falls and the downtown area. The Niagara ferris wheel is well worth the trip.
Downtown Niagara  
Also the light show at night time then the fireworks during the majority of the tourist season it is simply breathtaking. It is so worth going out during the night in the cold to see it.  It was a memorable experience.
Fireworks + Lights + Niagara Falls = WOW!  
I would go back again and again…  I hope I get on the Cosmos Tour which at the moment is my dream tour.  Ride that helicopter with clients who are excited as me to going on their first helicopter ride…  Think of when! Rather than if…
Downtown Niagara   

Day 35 - Ellis Island

Caught the ferry to Ellis island..  brrrr it was cold crossing the water and windy.  Can’t believe it had turned so cold but I was looking forward to Ellis Island. 
Ellis Island Main Immigration hall
You walk into the main hall and you can’t believe so many people passed through those halls. They have an awesome display of a wagon in the foyer with many bags from the immigrants in the hall.
Wagon full of Baggage 
They also had this awesome flag display which depending on where you were standing in front of the flag or off centre you can see the faces of the immigrants and their descendants.
Immigration numbers  
Also to look at immigration numbers and how they have dwindled over the years and me thinking I really have no hope. 
Faces of Ellis Island   
I then wandered to the receiving hall where the immigrants would be processed and determined if they needed medical care etc. it is a humbling experience to think of the people that passed through there.
Faces of Ellis Island  
I wandered upstairs through the dormitories and then the various museums and how many people began to resent these immigrants and how they were treated.  Times haven’t really changed from that point of view in the world.
Main Immigration Hall - Imagine the stories that would get told here 
It was interesting to see the catholic nuns display and realise how much they contributed towards the immigrant effort.
The many displays on the upper levels  
They are currently in the process of restoring the hospital and the dormitories that were attached to them.
the view from the dormitory level
If you have the time if you are there to take a look at the wall of the names of the immigrants that have been recorded there which is done in a manner similar to the Vietnam memorial in Washington. The family descendants can apply to put the name on the wall.
the wall outside with the names  
By this time however, I was frozen it was so cold and windy so I decided to head back to the city and it was one of the last ferries.  I really took advantage of the full day out there because I had been on the boat at 8.30am and now leading up to 4pm…  So I headed to the wharf to wait and froze…
Dormitory Room  
Got back to battery park and the wind had picked up but I was checking the time so I could send the twinny a birthday text.  So I headed back into the subway with the rest of the New York commuters.
The restoration of some of the older buildings 
Because I had to change at 59th Street it was kind of cool to watch all the grumpy faces along with a pair of chickens playing some instruments in the subway station.
Red Nose and me freezing...  
I did try to get a photo of the grumpy non smiling faces but got kind of busted but it was funny.
SOOOO Busted ...giggle  
Headed back with every intention of heading over to the met once I warmed up … but best laid plans. As soon as I walked down the stairs my iphone starting going off with the birthday messages – ah it was so nice to hear from everyone.
Late afternoon   
It was so cold when I got to the apartment and had to send a message to Judah to see if that could be rectified because I couldn’t just turn on the radiator but in the meantime I rugged up with the 2 doonas and trackies and a few jumpers.
Immigration statue in Battery Park 
So needless to say I changed my mind about going out … it was just too cold for me but I got a phone call from S which made my night. To wish me happy birthday for the following day.  So sweet…
One of my favs...  Happy and enjoying Ellis Island  
It was actually a fun night with all the birthday messages that were coming in and chatting to everyone …So thank you for helping to celebrate everyone…  My celebration to come  
video

A couple of hints here:  Pre Book when you book your airline ticket because the crown books up about 2-3 months in a advance and it is only a few extra dollars.  It is worth climbing it – while there a small elevator for disabled or less able guests you do have to climb the last 10 or so steps and it is really narrow.  Plan for the whole day if you have crown tickets because you get special access to the museum which is fascinating and also Ellis Island takes a while to go through. If you get a new city pass or similar you can’t access the crown so you can always come back with that.  Overall have a amazing time.