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19 June 2012

Earthquake! and other news

Tonight we had an earthquake! It was a mere 5.2 grade but it still scared the living daylights out of me! We live on the 13th floor of a high rise apartment building and it was just a little too strange to feel the whole building swaying. At first I thought my husband was being cheeky and jiggling the couch, but it was actually the building moving! I started to panic and I worried that the building was going to collapse. Let's hear it for architects and engineers that plan for this kind of thing! The building still stands, praise Hey-zeus!

Matt swears up and down he didn't feel a thing. My heart was pounding and I was panting like a dog talking to him about it. I don't feel the need to live through any more of those, thank you!

We've been pretty busy here at Casa TexStralian. Matt is working his arse off and I am starting photography school next week! It's after work 1-2 nights a week. Hopefully, I'll have a ton of great pics to post on this here blog!

Speaking of cameras, my old point-and-shoot met an untimely demise on our vacation to Cairns last month. (Cairns is on the northern shore of Australia and is a jumping-off point for seeing the Great Barrier Reef).

The land surrounding Cairns has a ton of waterfalls. We saw about half of them. There were some rocks and they were slippery (did I mention it rained 5 of the 7 days we were there?) and I slipped and the camera ended up in a rushing river. It was bad. We saved the memory card so the photos we saved but unfortunately that was before our trip to the reef.

I'm not sure how I did it but I convinced my husband to take a boat trip from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef (Matt hates boats...after this trip I am on board with that opinion...punny!). The day consisted of a 90 minute boat trip out to a platform where we could snorkel or dive for about 5 hours, then take the boat back.

When we arrived at the boat terminal, the people working at the desk ADAMANTLY advised us to take sea sickness medication, which we did. What they don't tell you about sea sickness medication is that sometimes it is bloody ineffective!

On the boat ride out to the reef, we were okay (much better than the 50% of the boat that decided to skip the sea sickness meds. I felt really bad for these folks...no break from retching for 8 hours! Can you imagine?)

Apparently, you can get motion sickness while snorkeling and even diving! Did anyone know this? Half way through my snorkel adventure, I had to stop looking down at the reef and focus on the horizon (this was after downing the 4 of 5 maximum pills allowed!) I felt like Mark Walburg at the end of the movie a Perfect Storm when he is in the ocean in the middle of a hurricane (there were swells of several meters that day due to the wind). I decided right then and there that the open ocean is no place for a person. It looks so blue and pretty, but it pretty much sucks if you aren't a fish.

The wind was whipping up those waves something awful. I did get a sweet as picture of me petting a fish in the water with my snorkel on. The reef was absolutely fantastic! Marvelous! (but God help me I never want to get on another boat ever again!)

After taking the fifth (and maximum allowed dose) of motion sickness meds at around hour 7, I had pull on my Zen face at the back of the boat while focusing on the horizon. I managed to keep my lunch down. Just barely...

I hate that sea sickness is now imprinted on my mind when I think of the reef. But some people were not made for the sea and I am not ashamed to say I am one of those people!

The vacation to Cairns, while not particularly relaxing, scored very high on the adventure scale. Caines has a much more relaxed vibe than Melbourne which I totally dug.

Fingers crossed for no more earthquakes tonight/this year.

Cheers y'all,
Laurie