The Lady Meets the Queen

Two mornings ago there was quite an event in the harbour.  It was billed as "The Lady Meets the Queen".  Basically, there were going to be two cruise ships passing each other in the harbour - the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth.  I heard some folks talking about it and I also saw some signs up on the ferry wharves advertising it.  Quite frankly, I was pretty underwhelmed...  There are always cruise ships coming in and out of the harbour - after a while you just stop noticing them....  I wasn't about to take time out of my snoozing time to go look at some boats for goodness sake!  

Well, Tuesday morning the alarm went off at 6:30 (ugh!) and Joe went to take the first shower (I have arranged it this way so I can loll around in bed for a few more minutes and make myself tea without feeling too guilty).  Suddenly there was noise assaulting the peaceful morning - helicopters mostly; and two of the loudest ships horns (whistles? Do ships have horns?) I have ever heard.  Joe and I both went out to the office to check it out; and I have to say I'm glad I got to witness it.  I learned later that the Queen Mary 2 is the third largest cruise ship in the world and the Queen Elizabeth isn't much smaller so it was pretty breathtaking to see these floating cities pass each other in such a narrow part of the harbour.  

Luckily my camera was nearby so I have some shots to share with you; but really, they are pretty crap - you can blame it on me still being half asleep and not wanting to open the window and let the cold wind in!  Also because I had not had my tea yet.  

Oh, and did I mention the choppers?  There were eight of them circling the ships as they moved like snails through the water.  I'm guessing security was pretty tight on this - they didn't even have eight choppers for Oprah...

The next day when I got home, I checked the mail and got a nasty surprise - No, not the usual spiders and webs that are pretty much always in there.  It was a letter from the US District Court - Eastern Division of Kentucky!  I had one of those moments where your heart stops for a minute or so and then starts flinging itself against your ribcage.  Horrible scenarios started running through my mind - I was being summoned, subpoenaed, sued or something else equally as awful.  I ripped the letter open only to find a jury summons - Ha!  What a trick!  Needless to say, I do not qualify for jury duty in my present situation, i.e... living outside of Boone County for more that six months out of the last year and also living out of the actual United Sates. 

Back to the pictures of the cruise ships - I wanted to share them right away so I plugged in my camera that same morning and was completely embarrassed to see photos downloading from as far back as Australia Day (for those of you who don't know, that was on January 26th.... Oops).  So, it seems as though I need to do some serious photo editing and then start sharing them.  Maybe I'll work on that tonight?  Then again.... maybe not!

Helloooooo Manchester!! And...some pictures of Thredbo!

Hello all you eager blog readers!

First off, I want to congratulate the little town of Manchester, NY for bravely stepping into the breech left by the absence of South Korea - You are the number five city that visits my blog!  Hurray for you!

Secondly, I want to talk about the last leg of our Christmas trip.  Thredbo was gorgeous - the mountains were stunning of course; but what really made the stay there so great was the level of relaxation that we were all able to reach by the end of our stay.

There was plenty of hiking of course (like when Joe started at the bottom and climbed to the top on the most difficult track); but mostly I remember the spa treatments, the monopoly games, the yummy dinners and the evenings spent (in one room or the other) drinking wine and talking.  We decided to extend our stay there by an extra day and it was the best decision that we made the entire trip.  We stayed at The Denman which was staffed by a team of the most friendly and wonderful people I had encountered on the trip.  (So nice, in fact, that they did not charge us for a bottle of wine from the mini-bar that we accidentally broke.)

Joe and I went on a ski-lift for the first time.  I expected him to be a nervous wreck since he has a fear of heights; but he ended up being fairly calm.  The ride up was easy-peasy for me; but I surprised the both of us by being more scared on the ride back down than he was! I think I need to visit Cedar Point the next time I am in the States so I can ride some coasters and get back my usual ambivalence to high, dangerous places!

Anyway, here's some photos...  They don't even begin to do any justice to these incredibly beautiful mountains; but at least they can give you an idea of what it looked like!

The View from our Room

At the top of the ski-lift (arrow is pointing to our room)

Views from the top of ski lift and beginning of hike

A list of the available hikes

We did the sissy walk!

Views from the Hike - Notice the snow!!

Reaching the Lookout

The View from the Lookout

Us at the Lookout

Me in my Chrissy Hat and Scarf

This bird was only about a foot away from me and HUGE!

Back at the restaurant for some beer and burgers!

On out way out of Thredbo National Park - I was obsessed with getting pictures of these signs!  Joe was nice enough to pull over so I could run around on the road and take these...