Tag Archives: dancing

Snorkel Safari, 2017

The next day I decided to treat myself to a manicure and pedicure at the hotel spa. The beautician was from Jamaica and entertained me with stories of her life on the islands.

After pampering, we had a little more beach time and took in all the water sports on offer out front of the hotel. There were jet boots, parasailing, beach volleyball, two person sailing boats, paddleboards, water skiing and banana boating.

We decided on a snorkel safari that included riding on Jet Ski’s to two different snorkelling locations.

Having never been on a Jet Ski before, I was quite happy for my husband to drive. After donning life jackets, packing our snorkelling gear and a few short instructions on how to drive, we were ready to head off.

We went slowly at first, but found this was too rocky. So we sped up and were soon sailing past our South African tour guide.

At the first snorkelling site, I was lucky enough to see a small black stingray trawling the bottom of the ocean.

The second snorkel site, near the cruise ships anchored in Georgetown harbour, was much deeper and better.

We saw large schools of blue fish swimming in between the crevices of the rocky reef, bright green parrotfish and even bigger schools of silver fish that swam right up to the surface and past your face.

Then we had another Jet Ski race back to the beach, just in time to get ready for dinner back at the hotel.

There were tables were set up by the pool for dinner. The pay-as-you-go family sized canvas lounging chairs were finally free as daytime was over, so we settled in for some pre-dinner drinks.

A DJ set up near the pool, which was deep blue in the moonlight. The night ended with much dancing here, fireworks on the beach and a nightcap at the hotel bar.

Related posts: Rum Point, 2017Crystal Caves and Stingray City, 2017Caribbean rum, 2017Grand Cayman, 2017,  Isla Mujeres and Cancun, 2011

A Hawaiian Wedding, 2014

I had never been a bridesmaid before, despite having attended 50 weddings; so it was awesome to be asked by my bestie, have a dress and jewellery bought for me and get my hair and make up done. Most of all, I felt incredibly honoured to be a part of my bestie’s special day and to have the opportunity to feel like a part of her fantastic family.

The day of the wedding, it was raining. There had been talk among the locals of a 50-year storm that had been brewing, but I really hadn’t paid much attention until then. But raining it was, with waves so high, they were crashing over the sea wall onto the area reserved for the ceremony and reception.

Panic ensued, as well as a trip to Walmart to see if we could stock up on umbrellas, gumboots and tarps. With the ground soaked through and the waves and rain showing no sign of abating, the groom put in a call to the bride to postpone the wedding until the next day. My bestie took it quite well all things considered.

Being housebound due to rain, the evening turned into a pre wedding party with much drinking and dancing- Australian style. The groom was an Aussie after all, so there were enough of us around to take control of the tunes.

Wedding day take two went much more according to plan. The beauty team returned to make us all look more beautiful than we already were again and there was pre ceremony photos and champagne for the ladies of the wedding party.

The sun was out and the waves were still curling beautifully, but not too big; except for that one where my bestie, my bestie’s sister Janeen and I were taking sunset photos with our back to the ocean and it sneaked over the wall, making us run!

The ceremony was lovely and the guests were few enough that we could all fit on one long table under chandeliers for the reception. Dinner included gazpacho and lobster with an ice cream station- definitely my kind of desert.

It rained a little on the dance floor, but that didn’t stop anyone. Some of the wedding party ended up jumping in the pool, including the bride and her two bridesmaids. Hair and make up came out unscathed and the party continued – now that’s value for money.

Related posts: Hawaiian Road Trip, 2014, Solo trip to Hawaii, 2014, Canada, 2011, Fiji, 2011, Destination Thailand, 2010, The Seven Year Itch

Canada, 2011

In the Canadian summer of 2011, I travelled to White Rock, Canada to attend my cousin Kate’s wedding. It was important to me to be there as despite the distance of where we both lived, we were the only girls on the side of the family, so were close.

The wedding was held at my aunt and uncles place with a view of the water. Many friends and family had come from all over the world to attend. I had arrived a few days before the wedding, so had time to catch up with Kate- we even fitted in dancing and a movie.

I also met my cousin Glen’s girlfriend at the time, Tara. We got along well and had pre wedding manicures together. My cousin Jay and his family had flown in from Australia too, so it was a full house buzzing with preparations including marquee and stage building.

I caught up with Celina on my first night there over too many red wines at the local pub. She had a toddler now, so it was lovely to meet him and go for ice cream on the seafront on another day.

One night, Jeanette picked me up and we went over to Celina’s place for dinner. I was impressed to learn that Jeanette had started a successful business of her own.

The garden wedding itself was held on a bright sunny day. It started in a beautiful Apex shaped church and ended in dancing, party crashers and a bit too much wine.

It was great to see Geoff and Genevieve there, who now had two boys, and catch up with the groom, Ben, and meet his family. My personal favourite touch were the table centres that were formerly grandmother’s teacups.

I left the day after the wedding to catch the bus to Seattle and an internal flight to visit my bestie in her hometown of Nebraska for 4th July. I had never been to an Independence Day celebration and was very much looking forward to the experience.

Related posts: New Year’s Eve on the Island, 2007Christmas in Canada, 2007, Canada, 2005, Canada, 2002, Canada, 1997-1998, Canada, 1997, Canada, 1990, It’s a Canadian Thing

Destination Thailand, 2010

In 2010, my husband-to-be (HTB) and I returned to Kaw Kwang Beach where he had proposed one year earlier, to get married.

The idea had been planted by the Cha Da Beach Resort & Spa manager as we had left post engagement in 2009. We didn’t want a big wedding, but we love to travel; and so the decision to have a destination wedding was made.

The resort were quite happy to accommodate our request and provide their first Western wedding ceremony (and third wedding ever), including accommodation upgrade to a Diamond Villa with private plunge pool.

We politely declined the offer of a Thai celebrity to perform the ceremony or a local band to play at the reception and proceeded to invite as many people as we wanted, thinking that we would be lucky to have family and a few friends there.

I am fortunate enough to have both a photographer and hair/make-up artist as friends so that was easily taken care of; and we purchased last minute table gifts of carved wooden candle holders from a local artisan in Ban Saladan.

Having our wedding Thailand was awesome as the people are so friendly and they added little cultural quirks that unintentionally made us smile, like writing “Welcom Black” in flower petals on our bed for our arrival.

As it was off-season, the only other people at the resort was a German family so we mostly had the place to ourselves. In fact, the day after the wedding the monsoon kicked in it poured rain at the exact same time we got married on the beach the previous day.

In the end, we had 50 guests attend from all over the world. It truly felt like an international wedding with guests from Europe, America, Asia and Australia. I was lucky enough to have a few of my besties and a couple of cousins in attendance which was fantastic.

Most people arrived the week before, so by the time the wedding day arrived everyone had gotten the chance to know one another as they had bumped into each other at the pool bar in the day, attended a large group dinner in town or a late night drinking session in our plunge pool. Some of guests even chose to explore the area by going on day trips with newly made friends they had met at the resort.

The ceremony was held at sunset on the beach and the little extras that I didn’t know about that the resort provided were very touching. They threw flower petals on us as we walked along the beach and all the lovely staff came to watch the wedding.

The reception was an amazing Thai seafood BBQ buffet dinner, it was hot and everyone was drinking. By the end of the night people were dancing crazily, had the food labels from the buffet on their sweaty heads and ended up jumping in the pool once we had left for the night. People are still talking about how much fun it was years later.

I would do it all again in a second and am looking forward to returning to Cha Da for one of our wedding anniversaries soon. Hopefully with a few of our wedding guests in tow.

Photography by Richard Miller.

Related posts: Thailand, 2009, Thailand, 2002

It’s a Sri Lankan Thing

It’s the people, it’s the place.

Welcoming faces.

Tasty tropical mangosteens.

Unrivaled hospitality.

Old colonial leftover hotels with kamikaze cocktails.

The locals love for children.

The lethargic heat.

Respect for the ferocity of the sea.

Whitewashed walls and stupa’s.

Joy and jubilation mixed with enthusiasm.

Busy bustling markets.

An easy going attitude.

Short eats and orange Kandos chocolate.

The way that everyone wants to do something for you.

The cool breeze and beautiful clear blue water of the Indian ocean.

The acceptance of the foreigner.

A peaceful temple oasis in the busy city.

Where the locals go.

Their willingness to go above and beyond.

Members only clubs.

The genuine wish to make your trip better.

Homemade margarita’s and little girls dresses.

Their sense of humour and camaraderie after years gone by.

A fortress by the sea.

Polite service staff.

Fancy restaurants in renovated dutch hospitals.

Their persistence and patience.

Orderly school children walking in a line.

Dining on the beach with the added danger of the strong swirling currents of high tide rising.

A Rastafarian brothers greeting.

Listening to the crashing waves as you drift off to sleep.

Early morning exercisers and sunset surfers.

Palm trees aplenty.

The familiar tune of green sleeves as the bread seller passes by.

Friendly tuk tuk drivers.

The largest roti in the world made while you wait.

The elephant on the side of the road and the monkey on your balcony.

Crashing waterfalls.

Dogs with a death wish daring elaborately decorated trucks.

Windy climbing roads.

Their craziness about cricket.

Hillsides of tea above rocky rivers.

Tranquility, peace and quiet.

Flower sellers following you up and down mountains for a sale.

Showing me what is not in the guide book.

Speciality hand rolled white tea.

Cooling afternoon rains

Egg hoppers and fresh coconut sambol.

A private tea taste testing.

That Singaporean couple we bumped into 3 times before we finally exchanged details.

Stone crafted to look like wood.

Drinking out of coconuts.

Dizzy display of Kandian dancing.

150 Buddha’s in a cave.

Feeding an elephant and then watching the herd bathe.

Seafood platters and long island ice teas.

It’s all this and more.

Thanks to all my family in Sri Lanka for making my family trip a delight. Hope to see you all again sooner rather than later.

Related posts: Sri Lanka, 1998, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, 1994 , What’s your obsession

What’s in a number?

I am going to my cousin’s 21st birthday this weekend and I must admit I am a little afraid.

If it’s anything like the year of 21st’s that I went to when I was 21 it will involve buying a hip flask or a vase as a present depending on your gender, dressing up in impractical fancy dress, drinking far too much and mixing drinks, dancing crazily, throwing up, drinking some more and waking up in either a car or a barn.

I feel like I am far too old to be contemplating such activities and am quite glad it’s actually not expected of me at my age. It has a time and place, but I prefer to enjoy my weekend DAYS now rather than spending them hung-over until it’s time to start drinking again.

So, it got me thinking about what makes me feel old?

When I delayed university for two years and then had to enter as a mature age student- that label made me feel old.

When I asked one of my younger friends if they liked “Things that make you go Hmmm” and they didn’t know who C & C Music Factory were- that made me feel old.

When I realised I got my belly button piercing BEFORE it was cool- this made me feel old, but also very cool so that was ok.

When I turned 25, I had a quarter-life crisis. So by the time I turned 30, I was over feeling old due to the age that I was.

When I think of all the technology advances I have seen in my lifetime- that is the best indicator of the path of time. In the past, the move from records to tapes seemed huge. But now, technology moves at such a fast rate I have seen the move from tapes to CD’s to MP3 players to iTunes.

When I went on my first trip to Europe by myself I had to use pay phones to keep in touch with my parents. Now there are mobile phones, email, Facebook and Skype.

Finally, when I got a mortgage, got married and had a child- this really made me feel old! So maybe feeling old is directly proportionate to the amount of responsibilities you have in your life?

But at the end of the day, age is just a number, not how we feel. And we are all still 21 on the inside right?

Related posts: Cocktail Hour in Sydneytown, Get your groove on, By special request

Get your groove on!

I always loved dancing and despite being uncoordinated, I have some natural rhythm. Or perhaps it’s a love of dancing coupled with a lack of self-consciousness.

My cousins and I used to put together dance routines to entertain the adults at family functions. One year we dressed up in crepe paper buttercups and sang and danced to the song from the Three Amigo’s movie.

When I was in high school I took part in the Rock Eisteddfod for three years. I was a piece of lava for the Pompeii themed year, a harem girl for the Arabian night’s themed year and a card- the queen of spades- for the casino themed year. The best thing about it was when we got into the finals, we got to perform at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and mix with all the Sydney schools. My mum still have videos of all the performances.

At the age of 18, it was off to the local ex-servos club in Nowra to hit the dance floor with friends and students from other local schools to hip new music by Salt- N- Pepa and such like. I also managed a few nights clubbing in Wollongong with my cousin who lived there.

And then I graduated to the big time- clubbing in Sydney. I became a regular at Home while it was still one of the most popular clubs in the city. Now I always feel a little old and out of place at nightclubs. I’m out of touch with the hip music and the cool places to go- which brings me to the subject of parties.

I used to go to lots of parties in my twenties when I had a lot of acquaintances- dress up parties, birthday parties, New Year’s parties, house warming parties, just because it’s the weekend parties- you never knew who you were going to meet!

Now that we are older and everyone owns property, it’s no longer fashionable to invite everyone you have ever met over to your place to turn up at 11pm and trash the floorboards. Parties involve small gatherings in the garden or picnics in the park at 11am. But you still can BYO alcohol.

I never liked to have parties for myself- I find it a bit strange having a celebration for something I haven’t achieved.

My first and only childhood birthday party was when I was five at my house in Berry. We had semi- legal fireworks from Canberra and played pin the tail on the donkey. My friends threw me a surprise 21st party at my flat in Sydney and I had a great 25th with 70 of my closest acquaintances at The Slipp Inn- where Mary met her prince of Denmark. I was not as lucky as her that night!

I had a surprise 29th courtesy of my boyfriend and organised my own 30th party in the backyard of my parents house in Berry. It was vampire themed and I was the only Buffy. Scary to say I already had the whole wardrobe, including the leather pants, and only had to buy a blonde wig.

Related posts: What’s your handicap?, The Seven Year Itch, By Special Request, TV Replays and Movie Marathons, Friendship: Great Expectations?, Home is where you make it, I first started writing