Cairns, Australia

Cairns was the first city we stayed in while studying abroad. We were here about a week and in just that short amount of time we experienced so many amazing things!
Gorgeous beaches.
When you're flying in or out of Cairns look for the Great Barrier Reef out of your plane window! It's breathtaking!
This was the hairstyle of the trip. In the past year lots of girls have been braiding the front of their hair simply for the style factor, but for me it was all about how convenient it was to have my hair out of my face all day long.
Something I found very interesting in Australia - they don't use pennies and therefore they round your purchases to the nearest 5 cents. Just look at this receipt to see what I'm talking about.
Australian wannabe Pringles?
More beautiful rainforests.
One of the highlights of this trip was to go scuba diving along the Great Barrier Reef. How cool is that? This is the place where it all began. We met up here and then they drove us over to the first boat. We did two dives on the first boat, then after that they took us to another boat. This second boat is where some people did a night dive, we ate dinner and slept here. It was very bizarre to be rocked to sleep. But I was so happy to sleep in a bed again! At one point in the night the water got pretty rough and I felt like I was about to fall off my bed! I'm glad we did the live aboard, it was cool to experience that. One of my only regrets from study abroad was that I did not do the night dive. I'd already done a couple of dives during the day, was feeling cold and sticky and tired and just wanted to shower and go to bed instead of change back into my suit and get even more cold and sticky. At that moment in time that really was the best decision for me, but looking back I wish I could say I'd gone scuba diving in the ocean at night with sharks! Yep, there were sharks. This might scare some people but it makes it seem all the cooler to me.
Here we are getting ready to get changed into our swimsuits and go scuba diving! Speaking of change...I had an embarrassing moment on this trip. So while we were on the live aboard boat I went up to my assigned room while nobody was in there and changed out of my swimsuit. The blinds had fallen down earlier but I was on the top floor and the only thing out my window was just miles of endless ocean. So I changed and then I went up to the window and looked more closely and realized there was a small deck out there with a man standing down at the end. Uh-oh. But he was far enough away that I didn't think he could have noticed. I then laid down in my bed to take a short break and my roommate came back in and laid down as well. A few minutes later there was a knock at the door and a man comes in and says, "I'm here to fix the blinds." As soon as he left I asked M'lisa, "Did you ask someone to come fix our blinds?" She hadn't and neither had I which could only mean...yep, I was spotted. ahhhh! Excited for our first dive! It was incredibly awesome to dive along the reef. It feels like an entirely different world down there. Huge walls of coral from the deep ocean floor up to the top. Lots of fish and sea life. Silence except for the sound of your breathing through the regulator. Pictures from scuba diving will come later.
Waiting to get in the water. Because it was winter the water was chilly. But not terribly so. Putting on damp wetsuits is one of the most awkward and uncomfortable experiences. No matter how thin you are, they make you feel fat because you can barely pull them on when they're still damp. But they certainly don't seem so bad once you're in the water and you feel much warmer with them on.
Scuba diving was awesome, but getting unbelievably sick on the boat ride back was not awesome. It's winter down there and the weather and waves were a bit rougher than they had been previously. I even took prescription motion sickness medication, but out of the 70+ people on the boat I can say with certainty that I was the most sick person there. Don't ask me to share more details than that because it will gross you out, but I wanted to die. For those who were having a fantastic time falling over and laughing up on the top of the boat, well I don't think life has ever felt more unfair. Ok, there's the end of my sob story, but really I haven't felt that awful possibly ever in my life. This was the water going out the first time, when it wasn't all that bad, but on the way back it was incredibly choppy. All I could think about were the pilgrims who crossed the Atlantic. I don't think I've ever had such empathy for a group of people before! I can't imagine what they must have done through during rough weather knowing it would be a long while before they could get off.
The plant life is rebellious here compared to America.

Mandie is so cool. And what makes our friendship cooler is that she used to live in Bakersfield and has even been to my house before! I had no idea of any of this until we were in Australia. Love it! She's closer to my sister's age so that's why I didn't know her so well, otherwise I'm sure we would have been good Bakersfield friends as well.

1 Response to Cairns, Australia

November 15, 2010 at 7:35 PM

I am so jealous of your diving experience! I just watched Disney's Oceans and LOVED it. I love seeing the ocean and the life that lives underneath it. It's an entirely different world down there!

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