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Diary Entries

Tuesday, 31 January 2006

Location: Newcastle!, Australia

And have been since Sunday! You may ask why i havent updated my page yet and i would answer that i havent even unpacked yet:)
Soon i will be motivated enough to put some photos up but at the moment....i'm still jet lagged.

So where did i so rudely leave off last time? Austria i believe? We had been snowoarding for three days was it? Man, feels weird to even think about it since its so hot at home:) Anyway, so after snowboarding for three days and not sustaining any permanent injuries (i did get a lovely bruise which is still there) we had two days to kill before heading to Rome. We got Innsbruck cards which are little credit card looking thing thats let you into certain museums and attractions and also let you catch the bus for free (well not for free, i mean we had to pay for the crad). So we got a two day one and planned to avoid every museum and just look at cool stuff. Basically i wanted to lay off on the history until we reached rome and i wasnt paticularly interested in visiting the 'Folk Lore Museum' or whatever else they had. So on the first day we went to The Swarovski Crystal Museum or the 'Kristallweltan.' I was expecting grandeur and interesting exhibits and lots of sparkle but unfortunantly the person they quoted on the pamphlet who said it 'should be one of the seven wonders of the world' was either deaf dumb and blind or severly misquoted. What they should have said was 'it was like a year 12 art project'. or 'boring as hell, go only to look at the huge Swarovski shop'. So yeah, but at least it filled in half a day. In the afternoon went to the alpine zoo which was a bit weird to walk around a zoo covered in snow and at first we were a bit worried coz we couldnt see any animals and i was thinking 'dont most animals hibernate in winter?' but we saw a bear and wolves and a moose which was pretty much all i cared about. I also got my entertainment because as we were approaching one enclosure Mitch says 'Those are small deer' i looked up and started laughing. "Um, those are goats." So that lasted me awhile and i was still laughing about it for about an hour, past which Mitch no longer thought it was funny. Oh Well.
The next day we thought we'd check out this castle thing that people kept talking about (OK, one person and we had a pamphlet on it) and were slightly miffed when we arrived. After walking around this old museum thing for awhile, where there were no signs and we had to keep opeing doors to find out where the museum ended and i inadvertanly set off an alarm (apparently that WASNT part of the museum) we wondered around outside and i was looking determinedly (if thats a word) to find this so called castle. Eventually we went into the gift shop (even a toilet in Austria and well, actually everywhere we went would have a gift shop if it could) and found a postcard of the 'castle' and then went searching for it only to find it was right outside the door. Duh. So i got a photo of me in front of it looking slightly bewildered. I mean, where were the TURRENTS, the GARGOYELS? I was pretty unimpressed and made sure we didnt miss the next bus outta there. In the arvie we went to the olympic ski jump which was built, strangely, AFTER they hosted the winter olympics (Don't ask me for a date, i've got SUCH a bad memory!). It had a great view of Innsbruck and we flucked a really clear day so the view was awesome rather than just a big grey nothing. I dont know whoever first thought 'hey, lets jump of the biggest frickin slope we can and see how far we go!' was bloody crazy. I certainly wouldnt do it. Anyway, so with those attractions out of the way, on the morning before we left for rome we really didnt have anything to do. So we went for a walk. A really long walk. In fact, i would say a very long, cold and mostly lost walk. See we first started looking at random shops and then Mitch decided (Yes, i agreed) that we should walk in the sun coz it was so cold. And eventually we realised we had walked way to far for comfort and we didnt really know where we were. Luckily we came upon the river and guessed the right way (Mitch would say we were never really lost and he knew where we were...) and thus didnt miss our plane.

Unfortunanly in the end, it was too cold for us AND the plane. Yes, we had boarded and were sitting with our cameras ready to get some aerial views of Innsbruck (it was only 3.30 and rhus still light. Just. It got dark half and hour, forty minuttes later) and the pilot asked everyone to get off. We obliged and it turned out that the door had frozen open or something. I didnt bother with details. Anyway so we ended up missing our connnecting flight and the one after and had to be deferred to another airport and got to Rome at 1am in the morning rather than 7pm or so at night. The trains had stopped and the airport hotels had shut for the night. Crap. So we ended up getting rorted (ripped off for thos not in with Jess speak) and paid 25 euros each to get to out hostel thru and airprt shuttle. Oh well, we got there in the end and got a few hours sleep ready for a day of sightseeing.
Rome! What can i say? I liked it alot. I had gotten stories about it being 'grotty' and 'dirty' and there definantly were parts like that. Once a lady grabbed me when i was walking thru the train station and held out her hand for money. I just shook her off and said 'dont touch me' disgustedly before stalking off again. I mean come on. So there was lots of homelessness and poverty but the city itself is beautiful and has even older history than Paris. I mean, how can you beat the Roman Forum which has remains from 2000 years ago? the answer is you cant and the walk into the city on the first day was simply awesome. People rushing around and sooo many scooters and mopeds and little cute smart cars whizzing past. People pretty much ignore traffic lights, not in the main areas, but leading into the city we were weaving between traffic and dodging motobikes. Not to mention dodging cars that decide to park in the middle of the road /double park in a one way alley. It was awesome. And then we suddenly hit the city and a whole lot of crumbling buildings with the colosseum in the background. Nothing is enclosed or even looks like it trying to be preserved and you can pretty much go up and touch anything you want which is actually pretty disturbing. I mean, dont you think they'd want to at least TRY to preserve these monuments of history? Anyway, so on that first day we looked around rome and the city including the Roman Forum, The colosseum, and the Palantine. They were all awesome and we did a great tour of the colosseum which also included a free tour of the forum. Both were excellent and we even got a native english speaker for one! Yay! Could understand EVERYTHING they were saying! So we learnt alot, most of which i have inevitably forgotten. We even had lunch at this little cafe thing outside the Pantheon even tho we didnt go inside the Pantheon that day and had pizza and pasta (ofcourse). And ofcourse some Gelato afterwards:)
The next day it was time to go to another country...that you dont need a passport for (Thank god coz i forgot mine). Vatican City! We were going to book thru the hostel but they couldnt get themselves organised so we ended up rtunning to get to the tour run by the same people that ran the colosseum tour (including going on the icky subway at peak time. Gross old italian men. Eww). We neednt have bothered. We turned out to be the only people that turned up and got a first class private our of the Vatican for the price of a group tour! Crazy! The guide was awesome and he kept saying that it was so quiet there and he had never seen it so deserted (mind you, i thought there were still a fair few people there. I would hate to see it at peak time when he said there is usually a two hour line up just to get in let alone once your in to get to the sistine chapel. We walked straight in to both needless to say.) And he kept noticing stuff he'd never seen before which i thought was pretty cool. The Vatican is really interesting but i would never do it without a guide unless i was like an academic scholar or something. There is soooo much stuff there and so much confusing history. So many popes and mixing up of popes and painters not liking popes and putting faces of popes on other popes and yeah. No idea how ANYONE keeps it straight. The only bad thing was out the front St Peters in the square for some unfathomable reason they had put a huge slightly tacky christmas tree and VERY tacky manger scene. I mean, it was JANUARY. Anyway, so it ruined out pictures and i had to try and keep it out of them Sigh.
After the Vatican we stumbled across the best restaurant for lunch down this little side street. One of the things i love a rome, cute little family run restaurants with yummy italian food!
We also went inside the Pantheon (anti-climax. Really not that much in there to look at), had some more gelato, saw the Trevvi fountain and the Spanish steps. Actually the spanish steps were under construction and had a tacky advertisement covering them. Ew. At least draw a picture of what it would have looked like and stick it over the top like they did in England on St Pauls. Just one more thing the Romans dont really get.
The next day we had untill 2 or so until we had to catch the train to the airport so we did a bit of shopping before grabbing our bags and making sure we didnt leave anything.
And so to home!
Well actually it would be a day and a half until we actually go home. First we had to wait three hours for our international flight to Munich. Yes Munich. From there we waited only thirty minutes to catch our plane to Bangkok. 9 hour flight to Bangkok. There we expected a free hotel that they had promised us in London for our 9 hour stopover. Oh, but you know. They dont do that anymore. Ofcourse they dont. Luckily they let us wait in theyre buisness lounge which still wasnt that nice but i got a few hours sleep on the uncomfortable couches. Then FINALLY we had our 9 hour flight home.
Coming into Sydney i was so happy to be home. Everyone at the airport had Australian accents. Most people on the plane were autralian (excpet fot the thai people ofcourse). And then once we finally got screened and tested and samples of our skin taken (not really but oz really is the most strict on quarrantine, thank god. I mean all the crap that came into oz because of idiots who had no idea what they were doing to the ecosystem) we walked out into the airport and there were my family! Yay! Ofcourse we all embarrassed ourselves by crying and hugging and me dropping the bottles of alcohol id just purchsed duty free on the floor and basically acting like id been away for years (well i was away for five months!). Mitch meanwhile calmly walks over to his family gives them a hug and some presents. Man is our family sad or what?
So i'm home! Having a welcome home party on Sunday so if your in the area come along! I'm not putting the details up here obviously but just email me.
As i said i'll put the photos up soon (whittled down from over 300 photos) and you'll get to SEE my experiences rather than just read about them which is far more fun!
Unfortunantly the photo CD i copied in London cracked in hald on the trip but luckily they are still on the computer i used so they will be along in awhile and i'll put them up then.

Over and out!
Love Jess

Thursday, 26 January 2006

Location: Rome, Italy

Hey people!
I dont have much time but this is basically just to say that we are now in rome and have been for the last two days and that tomoro, yes you heard right TOMORO we are beginning our very round about way home! Yay! Feels like ive been away forever even if it is just less than5 months. So yeah, we leave tomoro and get home on Sunday....(stupid stop over in thailand and annoying having to go thru munich).

Anyway, Austria was really nice but very cold. We spent three days snowboarding in two different resorts, Axamar Lizur and Stubai Glacier which were awesome and because it had been snowing the whole day before but was sunny the first two days we went it was like the best snow ive ever seen. So much powder and on those days totally uncrowded. The only bad thing about powder is thart at the start i didnt know how to do it and kept putting my weight on my front foot so i keep having the front of my board plough into powder and id go head over heels. Then i would be stuck for the next fifteen minutes looking like a total retard trying to get up on my feet in knee deep powder without having my board buried. Pretty frustrating but on the whole it was excellent and i figured out the powder in the end (kinda....). The last day it snowed REALLY heavily and it was scary but slightly exhilarating to have no idea of what was 2 meters in front of you and having to dodge peiople as they loomk up in front of you. Excellent. But it cleared in the end and got some good runs in.
Anyway, enough about snowboarding coz ive only got one minute left< on the computer and i have to sign off. Damn!

Anyway, cant wait to see everyone and for those who want to i will put my europe photos up as well as an in depth account of Rome.

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Recent Messages

I've decided that you have to return to Calgary or I will fly over there and hurt you. (But while I'm over there I give you permission to show me around for awhile until I drag you back to Calgary with me).
Response: You retard! Well i'm home now and i will have time to look up that Live Journal thingy so maybe you wont have to go into Jess withdrawels:)
Have fun in good ole Calgary!
From Melissa
Hey Jess,
I had a great nyt with you tonight, its good to see people from home so far from home!! Anyway, my site is pretty easy, thank god, so now you can keep up with me as well!!!
Let me know when you get home and how you go in Austria and Rome!!!
Love Melissa xoxo
Response: No worries mate! I had a great time too! Sometimes you just need someone different to talk to:) So glad i have been to a 'walk-about' as well!
I'll check out your page right now and will keep in touch as my journey winds to its end...
Love Jess xo
From Mum
Hey Babe, good to see you're still having a ball. Just a quick note in case we miss talking before you go to Austria. Uncle Rob said Ron (see Rosie message) is actually in Innsbruck, so it might be a good idea to try and get in touch, never know what you might score. 17 sleeps to go....yay luv ya sooo much
Response: 17 sleeps! That seems like a pretty long time...But i'm sure it will fly!
I will try but our methods of contact are not that great and we are pretty pressed for time so we'll see how it goes!
Miss you so much and can't wait to see you again soon:)
Lotsa Love
From rosie
hello again!
hows your year been?
well.. so far?
dad knows someone that can get you in for a free ski.
but please write to him(dad).
or if your already there look for mreiseburo montana- tours and ask for ronald fritz.
he'll be glad to help. he's stepmum's ex.
hope you get alot of skiing in! AS LONG AS YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!
yeah... gonna go now. luv your fav little coz Rosie.
Response: Hey Rosie!
My year hass been awesome so far! Canada, France and England so far:) How bout you? Did you have good new year?
Thanks for the offer on the skiing but no skiin now until we get to Austria:( I will definantly tell you about it and show pics and stuff the next time i see you i promise!
Lotsa Love
Jess xxoo
From Tanya
Hey jess,
hope you had a very merry christmas and an even better new year. trust me you didn't want to be here in newie where the temps been 40+. I can't belive its only a month till you are back home, can't wait to see you. enjoy the rest of you trip
Luv Tanya ooxx
Response: Thanks mate!
40+! Thats crazy! And here i am snowboarding in minus 9! Can't wait to get back and i will be having a pool party/ BBQ when i get home so we can catch up then! Yay! Be ready to be bored to death by a multitude of boring stories:)
Luv Jess:)
From Erin
I don't care if you finally gave me the address to this page.
YOU AREN'T ALLOWED TO LEAVE! Maybe no one told you, but once you enter Canada and make friends with me, the government forbids you to leave. Understand?
Response: It's times like these i wonder why i give out my page address so freely....
But seriously you better come up for new years or i'm going to kick your but!
If not you better come to Oz in Like 2 months.
From Rosarna Geerz
hey jess!
how you been???
got the yearly o'brien letter and thought i'd give you a letter...
hope you have a lovely white xmas!!! tell me all about it!
loving you, Rosy
Response: Hey Rosie! Good to hear from you! I haven't read the O'Brien letter yet but i can imagine what they said:) It's not so much a white christmas at the moment as a GREY christmas but what can you do?
Hope your chrissie is hot and sunny!
Love Jess xxoo
From Louesa
Hey Jess,

You must be so excited to be finishing your exams! I know you will be a little sad to leave calgary though :( I was just wondering about your plans when you leave Vancouver. You are going to Lake Louise right? Do you two have plans there? How long are you staying?
Looking forward to seeing you!
Response: Hey Louesa!
I am excited and sad at the same time....
We leave Vancouver by bus on the 28th and arrive late that night. Then it's Lake Louise until the 31st and Banf for new years until the third of Jan. Why, thinking of joining me? :)
Talk soon!
Love Jess
From Sista
Hey Shrub just wanted to wish you good luck on your physics exam! We're really missing you back home, it's kinda lonely without you being here during the day to keep me company! Mum told me about your plans for new year tho and they sound awesome! At least by then it'll only be one month till you're back! I'll prob give ya a call 2mo morning (before I go off to the beach hehe!) to try and catch ya after your exam!
Love you lots and lots and lots xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoox
Response: Thanks sista! It's pre-exam now and i'm all good:) can't wait to hear from you this arvie and if you wanted to make me jealous and miss home with the beach statement...mission achieved!
Love Jess
From Misty
Jess! You're email is not working for me so here's the message I tried to send. I forgot about your website unitl Lou told me. You seem to be having a great (yet ohmygod cold) time! Write me back when you can.
November 30, 2005 7:17:23 AM
Hello Jess!

Are you still having a good time? I'm im the middle of marking a chem test right now and was thinking about you. Are you getting excited about Christmas? Are you cold enough yet? My update is that I've got a job at a high school teaching Math and Science (it's a great job) and am seeing a really nice guy. What about you? I heard something about a boyfriend coming for Christmas too... Lou and I are working on the holiday plans right now. Take care and let me know what your plans are and how school is going.

Love, Misty.

Response: Hey Misty!
Yes i am coming for christmas (arriving in Vancouver on the 22nd of Dec and leaving on the 28th) and i can't wait to see you guys! I'll send you an email now with some more details and hopefully it works for me, i don't know why it wasn't working before....
Love Jess
From ma & shrub
hey snow bunny, do ya think ya might check out where your falling (snowboarding) BEFORE you go down the slopes! We're getting a little scared down under. Must say very impressed with your consistent ability of falling on your arse. Shrub is trying to keep up - with soccer injuries (yes, really, she played) ps, we're putting up the xmas tree 2mo. will send piccies. miss ya heaps, luv ya xxxxxxxx
Response: Soccer? But why? Are we talking about MY shrub? In any case it would be hard to beat me in the falling on the arse stakes:) Miss you guys and feel sad i won't be there to help with the chrissie tree, but you know, think of me when you put the star on!
Love Ya's
From Tanya
Hey jess,
You will be pleased to know that I visit you web site quite oftern to keep reminding myself how boring my life is. Its sad really but your holidaying sounds like so much fun. Although it took me a while to work out what barry was before i read your caption.
Keep partying on
luv Tanya
P.s I agree The new Harry Potter was the best one yet.
Response: Well that is a relief i must say:)
Not long now though and i'm leaving Canada:( but then i'm going to europe so i really shouldn't complain.....
Luv Jess xxoo
From Belinda
Hey Jess,
Give me an email and let me know where you are staying and then maybe we can catch up on the weekend. Hopefully I get it in time! I know it will be hectic but we'll see what we can do!
Response: Will do immediately!
From Dad
Hi Jess. Yes we are here Jess and Lovin' your page. As Sista no doubt filled you in we have Grandma & Poppy here. Trying to get poppy onto the net to send yah something ....Yepp still trying. We were in Sydney for Starsha's engagement and had a wonderful time catching up with family and meeting the new half. I'll send photo's soon via direct email. Lotsa Luv & kisses Mum & Dad
Response: Thanx dad! Yeah, sista updated me:) Looking for those photos!
Love ya
From Belinda
Hey Jess, Good to see your having an awesome time!! I had my last shift at work last night!! I fly out two weeks today to San Francisco, then Vancouver and I arrive in Calgary on 1st Dec, then straight to Banff!! I've been checking the snow reports every day! Can't wait to get there! Party hard chick! I'll be in touch! Love Belinda
Response: Yay! How exciting! The snow season starts TODAY but unfortunantly we had a chinook during the week and it melted all our hard earned snow:( But i will definantly be in Banff on the weekend of the third of December so we will be able to catch up! So excited! Can't wait to hit the slopes:) Oh and i'm there for new years too which is gunna be huge! Love Jess
From Dad
What's the go here. I've been checking every day and yet no update for like 7 days. What are yah doing? Studying or something ? You should be merrily adding new stories everyday to keep us poor stuck at home types jealous and green with envy. If this keeps up you'll fall off my favourites page. Don't forget to take those traditional embarrising "O'Brien Tourist" photos at the Mall. have you got a timer ? Looks so much more dorky if you run to get in the photo. Lotsa Luv & Kissess Dad XXXXXxxxxx(On the new Laptop ooooohhh aaaahhh.)
Response: As a matter of fact i am studying! Or tryng to... i will try to do another entry tonight just so when you look at my page tomoro there will be something there:) Yes i have timer and yes i will do the dorky 'run to get in the photo' photo. I am a tourist and proud of it!
Love ya daddy!
P.S Aren't laptops great!?
From Sista
I know I only just left a msg but have you looked at the names of some of those places in that wacky country of yours? Boffin Island? Happy Valley Goose Bay? I mean really!!! Were they just making those up? Hope the rest of your midterms went fine, I'm just bout to start so wish me luck!! Keep on frolickin that snow!
Response: I know they have some weird names but how the hell did you find that!? Shouldn't you be studying....;) Good luck with your'll do fine!
Oh i'll frolick. Don't worry.
Love ya!
From RoSiE
Heya jess! how ya goin? bet ur having the time of ur life!!! hadnt had a chance to send ya an email cos for starters i only just got bak from the moto gp at phillip island and secondly i didnt have ur email address! silly me. ur photos r funny. my sis is jealous cos she wants to go to canada and i showed her the photos to rub it in her face, arent i the nicest?! have fun and dont drink 2 much! luv ya :)
Response: Hey Posie! Good to hear from ya! I'll send you an email so you have my email address:) Your sister should come to Canada, it's frickin awesome!
Luv Jess
From Sista
Sexy gear sista, you're actually gunna look like a professional when you hit those slopes! Just remember - DON'T BREAK ANYTHING! Hope you've recovered from the weekend and got your costume all sorted. Halloween in Canada - should be fun, I expect millions of photos! James says hi! Tamworth is hot but pretty, cant wait to go back!
Love you baby!!!xoxoxox
Response: I'll TRY not to break anything but i can't GUARANTEE:)
Haven't got my costume yet and starting to worry! I can't go shopping till thursday night and i need the costume for friday! Gaaah!
I'm sure it will all work out.....
Luv ya!
From kristin
hey sexy its your big cousin just thought i'd write (type) and say hi and let you know that i'm pregnant yeah i'm 8 weeks so still early days but going good. i've got grandma and pop here and they gave me your address so we've been on your sight having a look. sounds like you've had lots of fun. i'll talk to you soon. stay safe and don't drink as much i would. lots of love kristin
Response: Mum told me! I was going to email to congratulate you but i didn't have it. It's so exciting! The first great granchild! Gma and pop must be stoked (like everyone else i would imagine!). Can't believe my big cousin is pregnant! Hope it all goes well and keep me informed! Mum said it's due june 5th so you'll have to hold off until the 7th(if thats even possible!) and have 3 generations birthdays then (Mum, Becky and the bub).
Lots of love
From B-E-N-G-O and bengo
Just letting you know that i am in the process of reading all of your emails caz i lost the address but HA HA.... keep your hands away from my cookie jar!!
Response: Good luck! I reckon theres at least an hour of good solid reading and i don't know if you have the dedication....tho i guess your procrastinating from doing uni stuff so maybe it's possible:)
From Mum
I don't know if I'm shocked that you actually ate mashed potato or feeling insecure about mine (is there something you girls aren't telling me?), you can bet there'll be some on the menu when you get home.... so glad you got to have the full 'thanksgiving experience', Can't believe you're out of vegemite already. Keep up the good fun and good study. missing ya heaps. love ma xxxxoooo
Response: I think it was just the mood of the whole thing.The gravy, the turkey, the gravy, the potato, the gravy....It didn't even taste like potato when i poured gravy over it and ate it with some turkey:) I was guilted into coz there was so much. So unless you can replicate those exact circumstances i wouldn't whip out the mash just yet...
Love you and miss you
From Pop & Grandma
Hi Jess,
At Wally's place in Hervey Bay. Had a look at your photo's etc. Looks great and you are having a ball. Don't forget your studies with all the partying. Catch up with your expoits next time we get to a computer. Both well and will be at Mum and Dads before Xmas. Luv ya Heaps.
Response: How could i forget study:( Unfortunantly the partying is only once or twice a week and uni is ALL week! Miss you guys and kinda sad that everyone will be together for christmas without me. But i'm excited about my white christmas and i won't be devoid of family having my extra sisters here in Canada (Dads sisters daughters louesa and misty). Luv you both and take care xxoo
From Tanya
Wow what great photos...
Glad to see you are having a good time... will catch up with you again... Uncle Bens Bathurst Breakfast BBQ today so a day full of car races and beer. U Ben got a great shirt from his mates will send you a photo later... Take care... love you Daltongang 4
Response: Ahh Bathurst. Yes, dad did mention something about the day filled with the sound of car engines in the background! I'll be looking for that photo!
Love you guys and take care:)
From Dad
Love the stories Jess. Lots of fun adventures interspersed with lotsa Engabeering. Speaking of Cougars, (By the way that story just sounded so like you. I could even picture the raised eyebrow and leaning back look you do when you say those sort of “scary” things. Saz will learn eventually) the puppies are fine. Minnie keeps looking for you. Each time I let her in she dashes off to your room, just in case ! Scully … well you know Scully. He knows your not there so doesn’t even bother going there to look for food anymore. Lotsa love and cuddles. Have fun. Love Dad
Response: Hay daddy!
Ofcourse Minnie misses me! i tell her she's BEAUTIFUL every day, not an 'ugly fat arse b--ch' like some people i know:) And i'm sure Scully misses me on the inside.... maybe.
Got a maths test today but tonight the enginbeering will begin all over:)
Love you lots and lots and lots and miss you more xxoo