After 20 hours of traveling, we have finally made it to Cairns, Australia - woooo hooo! We were on the last row of the plane for both flights, but managed to get seats together. It's myself, Jen and Marie traveling together and the other three are coming on a separate flight.
Cairns is gorgeous - lush, green, tropical and warm - very humid with a light rain, as I write this. Our rooms aren't ready yet so we are having a beer "Cascade Lager" in the business center waiting for our room and for the others to arrive. We are on a traveling high right now - can't wait to go out and explore this amazing city.
I got so excited about my upcoming trip to Australia that I forgot to mention my next big triathlon challenge. Today I signed up for the International Distance Triathlon in Las Vegas in April 2008. It's an all-women's race and I am going there with some of my triathlon friends (see the Halloween pictures - they are as crazy as I am).
In less than 48 hours I leave for two weeks in Australia!! There are 6 of us going - myself, Eric, my husband and four other women. That's right, Eric and 5 women. Stay tuned for those reports!
I will be taking my trusty Sony toys and testing out how the GPS works down under, mate! I even got an underwater case for the camera so that I can take pictures while diving the Great Barrier Reef. We are starting in Cairns and hopping on a live-aboard dive boat for four days - check out this beauty!
My friends Kim and Chris joined Eric and I at the Burger Lounge after the bike ride. It's a new restaurant that just opened in Kensington. Great, retro ambience with delicious burgers, fries and onion rings. They keep the menu simple which helps us all make faster decisions.
Here is a satellite view of where we were today. Pretty cool!
Today we did a bike ride called Honey Springs. It leaves from Chula Vista and goes up a store in the mountains, approx. 40 miles with a hefty elevation climb. It was the most surreal experience this time because of the recent fires in San Diego. Last time we did this ride it was green, with pretty rolling hills. This time, it was charred, smelled of smoke and the road was lined with signs from grateful inhabitants saying "Thank you firefighters for saving my home." Some people were really lucky, some others not so lucky. This area was really hit hard from the fires.
Roger and Gary hosted a dinner last night where we all made some recipes from the Sonoma cookbook we received as part of the Wine and Food Festival. Everyone's dishes turned out very well. Roger, Gary and Paula live near us in a complex similar to Melrose Place - everyone hangs out together and has a lot of fun.
Eric and I made a delicious couscous dish with ginger, cranberries and apricots. Here is sassy Roger showing off our dish.
You asked for some Halloween pictures and here they are. This was a great party, not only because it was Halloween, which is the best holiday on the planet, but also because it was my BIRTHDAY! It was great to celebrate with everyone's alter-egos. Let's face it, some of you were just plain scary.
My sister Lara, Michele, Jen and David flew in for the party - what a treat. It was Jen's birthday too - Halloween witches unite!
Here are my new triathlon buddies - these gals are awesome athletes!
I couldn't resist this picture - here is Lucy taking a stick for a walk today. We have a great neighborhood for walking around. Everyone is dog friendly and Lucy has quite a few buddies along the way. Some are inanimate as you can see from this shot. At the end of each walk, she gets a special treat - a drink from the hose. Drink up Lucy Loo!
Here is what my GPS generated for our walk: !Lucy walk.JPG!
I thought that I would share where we went in Sonoma - here is a great map using my Sony GPS Tracker and digital camera. When you click on the red markers, it shows you the pictures from that location - how cool is that!!
Sonoma is absolutely gorgeous, and this wine and food festival is amazing. Several wineries open to the public just for this weekend which makes it even more special. In case you are interested, here is a link to the website for the festival: http://www.wineroad.com/
I could track where went using my Sony GPS. I just hung it off my jeans and forgot about it all day as it recorded where my pictures were being taken - now that's low maintenance.
This year we had about 16 people join us for the wine and food pairing festivities. Here we some of us at one of wineries, having a great time.
That's right - I am starting my first official blog ever, thanks to the generous folks at Sony who selected me to be a Sony Ambassador for their products. I received my Sony digital camera, video camera and portable GPS and decided to test it out right away on my favorite subject, Lucy, our 17 month old Golden Retriever puppy. She is just the apple of our eye and sure takes cute pictures, if I do say so myself. Here she is snoozing under my desk, one of her favorite activities.
Stay tuned as I start using these fun Sony products on my travels. My next stop: Sonoma Wine and Food Festival.
I currently write this from the western part of Puerto Rico. When I get back, I have 2 weeks before I leave for Australia - I'll be taking the new Sony GPS unit with me to track where I go and the fun places I'll be hiking and diving. Can't wait!