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Michael’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 25 Jun 2008

Location: Noosa, Australia

MapNoosa, first time I have been there and I fell in love with the place. We got off the plane at around noon, and it was beautifully warm and humid… ahhh, it has been so long since I have been privy to that sort of weather! At least all of my time away from the European summer wasn’t totally in vain.

Anyway, I jumped in with Jaime and Paul in their hire car and we drove into Noosa. Within a couple of hours, I had my shorts on and was wandering along the beach watching the surf. A quick test, and it proved the water was nice and warm.

Dad and I went for a wander and found the Noosa River and headed all along the beach to the spit. There was some pretty nice scenery and plenty to see. After that we ducked into a bar for a quick drink before heading back to the apartment to get ready for dinner. This was the big dinner combining the two families at a neat little Italian restaurant. There was the happy couple of course, then Mum & Dad, Aunty Paula and Uncle Tom, Paul’s mother and two sisters and myself.

After dinner, which involved a few drinks, we headed to Zachary’s a pizza joint that was still serving drinks around 1030 pm. At that point, a bunch of Jaime’s and Paul’s friends arrived as well and the drinks started flowing a little more freely. I think it was also the point in time which when I asked Mum what she would like to drink, she said, “anything, you decide” and the Jagerbombs started dropping. It was a trend, that for Paul and I at least, would last for way too long. After Zachary’s stopped serving drinks, a bunch of us, including Mum and Dad, headed to the Rolling Rock night club which was at first empty. It didn’t take too long though for it to start filling up, and by midnight the place was full of local hospitality workers and backpackers alike. With Mum and Dad cutting a rug o the dance floor, and Paul keeping a VERY watchful eye on all the guys hitting on Jaime, we continued to throw money at the local economy in the shape of money over the bar… much of it still on Jagerbombs. Anyway, spent a few hours there and by the next morning we were all feeling somewhat worse for ware!

Friday was spent largely at the beach. I bought a cheap football and Dad and I spent a bit of time kicking it around down on the beach. At 3pm we had the wedding rehearsal and once that was done, there was a bit more footy kicking. The late afternoon was spent enjoying the evening sun and water (I was still feeling precious from the night before) and then dinner was had with all of Jaime’s friends that had come up for the wedding. The night before the wedding, contrary to the previous night, was very quiet.

Saturday morning, Dad and I headed to Noosa Springs Golf Club with 16 others for an early wedding day 9 holes. What a beautiful course, but with a bit too much water! Dad and I were in the first group, paired with Brett, one of the bride’s maids boyfriends, and Gary Sweet, who had already played the back 9 starting at 7 am! My first hole was great, a par, and the 9th was pretty good too, with another par. Everything in between was ugly, with more water penalties than you could imagine! I shot a 58, but that included 6 balls in the drink. Dad posted a 40, but only played 5 of the 9 holes, having lost all of his golf balls pretty early on in the piece.

After golf, and a cheeky schooner, we headed back to Noosa for wedding preparations. Unfortunately, I spent a bit too much time having to look for a blank DVD for the camcorder that nobody thought to get beforehand. Shirt ironed and suit on, I headed to the beach and waited for the ceremony to start. And what a beautiful ceremony it was. With Jaime and Dad walking down the isle, tears welling in both their eyes, the rest of the crowd started tearing up as well.

It was an incredible ceremony. The sand, the water in the background, the green trees overhead and the temperature was just perfect. Warm enough for a beach wedding, but not too warm that it was uncomfortable.

After the ceremony, there were a few photos, and then everyone, except the bridal party, headed off to a boat for a trip up the Noosa River with a few drinks as the Sun started setting. After the hour long trip, we all headed to Sails, where the reception was held and met back up with the bridal party. The speeches were great, and the food was awesome. The bridal waltz was something of a ‘modern’ re-incarnation, but I guess that would be expected when the bride and the three brides maids were all professional dancers.

The long and short of it all, it was one of the most fantastic weddings I could imagine. No offense to anyone else, and maybe I am slightly biased as I am the bride’s brother, but it was the most beautiful and incredible wedding I have been to.

After the formalities, a bunch of us planned to head to the Rolling Rock again, but with the line so long, we headed to the Pink Flamingo instead, a bit of a swanky cocktail joint. That turned out to be a bit of a blast with all of the people from the wedding there, decked out in fancy dresses and suits etc. Crazy fun night.

So the next day, everyone seemed to be milling around town, coming down off the wedding high, and chilling out in the Sun. The Sunday was spent most of the day at the beach, swimming and exploring the local region. There was a bit of football kicking with Dad again as well. Sunday evening, we ended up having dinner at Zachary’s, some great pizza there, and a few drinks as well. After that, it was all about packing everything away for the long trip home.

Monday morning we were out of the apartments at 9 am, and I bummed a trip – gate crashing the honeymoon already – with Jaime and Paul to the Brisbane airport. I had 11 hours to kill till my flight, and tried jumping on an earlier flight to Singapore. I managed to get on the 2 pm flight and only had to wait a couple hours. The problem was on the other end when I got to Singapore and still hadn’t managed to get on an earlier flight from Singapore to London. That equated to more time on stand-by, and unfortunately, the 11 pm flight from Singapore was full, so I had a 13 hour lay-over, not flying out till 9 am.

After a dreadful layover there, it was another 14 hour flight to London, followed by a bus, then a ferry, and finally I was back at home, at around 830 pm, with just under 12 hours to recover before starting work the next day. Wednesday at work I was feeling a million bucks, and then suddenly on Thursday I was feeling crook as a dog, and then Friday I took the day off work. It too time to get back to normal, and for whatever reason, I was pretty crook for a few days. I don’t think it was jet lag, but who knows, maybe it was. Just when I thought I was getting back in the swing of things, life became more complicated again with the trip to Spain for the Running of the Bulls… more on that next time!