Gold Coast / Brisbane / Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays – 9-20th June 2010

What a wild last few weeks it’s been!  I’ve met people and been places that I will never forget.  Actually, a new development to the saga of “where to willie” has just arose!  While on a two day cruise through the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Airlie Beach, I met a group of six Irish guys, all about my age, who I became quite close to over the course of the four total days we spent together.  So close, that they invited me to come to Ireland after I leave Romania to spend a week with them!  So…. wtw’s newest destination, Dublin, Ireland!  This, though, does mean that Italy is likely going to be canceled from the trip, but due to some circumstances with the person I was planning on visiting there, and his school schedule, looked to be not the greatest time to visit him anyways.  All things work out in the end.  Good or bad, they will work out; the best thing you can do is just keep your eyes open and your friendship welcoming, and opportunities never cease.

Well, when I first stumbled into the gold coast (which is both a town and a stretch of beach), I happened onto the Winter Sun festival, which is a Rock & Roll and classic cars weekend.  Both of these two bad boys could sit in my garage any time they wanted to.  Aussies and Kiwis both have a strong appreciation for classic cars, and it was cool walking around and seeing both American and non-American classics all running together.

Gold Coast / Brisbane / Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays - 9-20th June 2010

This Koala looks pretty awesome in my aviators.  I couldn’t actually put them on him, but the idea is there, and I think it’s a good one. Outfit Koala’s with aviators, and their population will flourish.  I mean, what female Koala could resist this?

Gold Coast / Brisbane / Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays - 9-20th June 2010

Enjoying some time learning how to lounge like a Kangaroo

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And how to stand like a Kangaroo.

Gold Coast / Brisbane / Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays - 9-20th June 2010

Lorikeet feeding time at the zoo.  Matt (Dave) and I with our feeders.

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Joe (Dave) giving the birds a questionable look.  You know what I always say, never trust a Lorikeet farther than you can throw them.  You can quote me on that.

Gold Coast / Brisbane / Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays - 9-20th June 2010

The infamous (and now even famous) four Dave’s at Byron Bay.  So now is a good time to explain the four Dave’s.  I’m not sure who started it, but it was decided that when we introduced ourselves to new people, each of our name would be Dave.  It was a bit difficult to remember to do at first, and what would happen would be two or three Dave’s and one or two with their real name, but after a day or two, it never failed.  The best part was trying to keep a straight face as the other people began to realize that a group of guys all traveling together, could have very little chance of actually all being called Dave.  Hence our enjoyment of trying to justify ourselves with on the spot made up stories of how we met and came to travel together.  Trying to explain it seems not quite as funny as it was at the time, but we ran with it, eventually coming up with additional names to describe which Dave we were actually talking about, the easiest of which was just adding the real name to the end, such as Dave-Will. Some other, less appropriate adjectives were thrown about as well, but they can remain unnamed.  Several phrases became common place on our little journey, the Dave, the “What’s worse than…”, “You’re going to have to call your dad…”, “Dogg”, “Roll Tide”, and “Bow Ties”.  All fairly inconsequential in this writing, but quite a good laugh on the road trip. Left to right, Matt, Joe, me, and Cameron; great Gold Coast Road trip 2010.  P.S. Cameron is from Birmingham, Alabama!

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The Dave’s visiting the Eastern-most point in Australia, Cape Byron Lighthouse.

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The Dave’s made it to Surfers Paradise.  Beachfront town with a renown surf break and nightlife.

Gold Coast / Brisbane / Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays - 9-20th June 2010

Unfortunately time came to end the saga of the Dave’s, and that left me heading further North, to the town of Airlie Beach, and from there, a boat cruise to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands lying just inside the Great Barrier reef.

Gold Coast / Brisbane / Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays - 9-20th June 2010

Dolphin sighting at sunset, moored at a bay in the Whitsunday Islands.

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Full sails ahead!

Gold Coast / Brisbane / Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays - 9-20th June 2010

The beautiful beach of Whitehaven, consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

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Ahh the Irish-men.  Left to right, me, Sam, Conor, Taylor (not Irish, she is from Canadia, but joined up with us), Dave, John, Ray (also known as Roy), and Paddy.  We are officially making fun of the strangely common photograph of people jumping at random locations.

Gold Coast / Brisbane / Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays - 9-20th June 2010

Playing a little football (soccer) on the beach.  I, of course, was the worst, but I made up for it in yelling and cheating.  I would like to thank Uncle Steve and cousin Tony for teaching me those skills young, while they tried to bead my Pops and I at barn hoops.

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I think that’s about all for now.  Yesterday I arrived at Cairns, my last stop in Australia.  There should be some good diving pictures from my scuba trips in the Whitsundays and today at the Great Barrier Reef, but I’ll leave any more talk on that till I get them developed.

Cheers!

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