Tag: Mackay

603. A surprise birthday party. Can you guess her age…?

LOTS OF PHOTOS.

Donnis had four surprise Birthdays this year.

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From L to R. Errol & Nicole with Hannah, Crystal Murphy, Donnis and Frank, Chris with Amelia, Alecia and Peter.

We are only a third of the way through. Should we expect more surprises?

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L to R. Errol with Amelia, Donnis with Hannah, Peter, Chris and Alecia.

The first surprise was on 20th March when her daughter Alecia and sister Linda and niece Simone arrived from Canada and called out surprise when they quietly entered our home and waited until she came out of the bedroom.

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Bill Percy, Donnis, Marie Percy.
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L to R. Donnis sister Joan, Hannah a& Amelia, Donnis, Frank, Donnis other sister Linda.
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Donnis and daughter Alecia who was the organiser all the way from Canada. What a great job she did.
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Karen, Donnis friend from when she arrived in Australia last century.
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Frank’s family from L to Right. Ken and Enid (or Sue ), Peter married to my sister Be and on the right Sandi married to Dave.
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Donnis sister Linda with hubby Doug. Not a bad looking specimen of a man for a 78 year old or is that 79? He had a birthday a few days before this photo. We celebrated with dinner and drinks at Southport Surf Life Saving Club.
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Donnis neice Simone, sister Linda, BIL Doug, sister Joan and friend Marilyn.
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Donnis with niece Simone. Its difficult with three cameras flashing. You never know which one to look at.
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With Robyn.
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Wencke and Graham with Donnis.
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L to R. Nicole with Alecia and Errol with Amelia and Hannah in front, Donnis, Karen with her grandsons Liam and James, Donnis son Peter and Karens son Mat.
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Regelyn with her son and Donnis grandson, Chris. At 13 he is going to be a big boy.
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My sister Sandra on the left with Karen.

A few days later the second surprise occurred when son Errol arrived from King Lake in Victoria with wife Nicole and their daughters and all went out on a houseboat on The Broadwater for three days.

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On board the SHADEE LADY Houseboat on the Broadwater. While Errol rows the dinghy, kite surfers can be seen at Runaway Bay.
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Hannah and Amelia saw something…what was it?
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Simone enjoys steering SHADEE LADY.
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In the lee of Wavebreak island Hannah and Alecia do a spot of fishing.
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On board the houseboat with Donnis, Simone, Nicole, Amelia and Hannah.
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Simone on the houseboat somewhere on the Gold Coast Broadwater.
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Hannah catches her first fish…ever.
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Amelia and Hannah on the houseboat.
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It’s meal time again with Errol, Nicole, Donnis, Simone Hannah and Amelia.
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This is the life Hannah Donnis Errol and Amelia wallow in the warm water around Wavebreak Island.
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On the beach at Wavebreak Island. Alecia nd Amelia, Donnis, Nicole, Errol and Hannah
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Life is tough for Alecia and Donnis but somebody has to do it.
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Jump for joy on avebreak.

Next was the BIG surprise birthday party when her other son Peter arrived from Atherton in North Queensland, her other sister Joan arrived from Calgary in Canada.

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Amelia with her party mastermind aunt, Alecia.

One day we took a drive to Springbrook to see Purlingbrook Falls

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Frank Joan and Donnis at Purlingbrook Falls.

and the Best of All Lookouts.

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Alecia, Joan Donnis Frank. A couple of locals being tourists took the photo at Best of All Lookouts from an ancient volcanic caldera overlooking Murwillumbah in NSW.

My sisters also arrived along with family friends from her past, invited by Alecia, arrived and hid in our Clubhouse until I conned her into going there to see somebody…just for a moment. That moment turned into a 6 hour party. Suddenly about 30 people jumped out from around the corner and called surprise!!! They were all surprised because Donnis did not fall down with excitement.

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Somehow the crew found time to have a day at Sea World. L to R at back. Fred, Peggy, Linda, Simone. Front Alecia, Joan, Amelia, Errol and Hannah and Donnis.

Visitors were from Vancouver, Calgary and Prince Edward Island in Canada.

King Lake in Victoria, Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland. Noosa on the Sunshine Coast Queensland, Mackay in North Queensland, Townsville North Queensland, Brisbane Queensland, Gold Coast Queensland, Gymea Bay Sydney New South Wales.

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At yet another BBQ at the clubhouse. Peggy a visitor from Canada with Donnis sister Linda, Donnis and Nicole.
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…and this is the BBQ in the outside BBQ area. from L to R, Fred, Peggy, Hannah.Simone,Joan,Doug,Nicole,Peter, Errol, Amelia, Donnis, Linda and Frank. Photo by Alecia.

Finally, her real birthday occurred on Thursday and came as a surprise creeping up unexpectedly after the other three surprises. Alecia, Donnis and I went to a Thai Restaurant for a birthday dinner.

Alecia flew home to Prince Edward Island in Canada the next morning.

All  the photo credits, taken with an Olympus Digital is by Alecia Wilson.

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542. Wednesday 22nd February 2017. We’re on our way home…

Wednesday 22nd February until Friday 24th February

Overnight we began the long cruise home from the Solomon Sea through the Coral Sea and home to Brisbane.

On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home

(thanks to the Beatles – specifically McCartney & Lennon)

ARIA passed well to the East of the Great Barrier Reef which extends from a bit North of the tip of Cape York as far south as Gladstone. The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with some of the world’s most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches.

The distance covered by the reef is over 3,000 Klm and lies offshore variously between 15 Klms to 150 Klm from the Queensland coast. In places it actually adjoins the land north of Cairns before veering offshore again. The average width of the reef is 65 Klms, The entire Barrier Reef is a protected Marine Park – the first in the world – so most shipping must stay outside the reef. Some commercial ships do need to enter and navigate inside the reef so special Pilots board the ships to guide them through approved but narrow passages through the reef to ports such as Bowen and Mackay.

While the ship was travelling, day and night, passengers continued to enjoy the facilities as we had done for the previous 11 days.

Naturally Graham and I challenged each other to table tennis and anybody else who wanted a game. No bragging of course but we were the players to beat.

Donnis enjoyed Astrology presentations every day. We also attended presentations in the Marquee Auditorium by Reef Pilots and PNG Patrol Officers. Of course there was lounging around, swimming, eating, table tennis, eating, table tennis and stage shows at night.

A word about our ship, PACIFIC ARIA.

  • It is part of the P & O Pacific Line and based out of Australia. For us the cruise line and the smaller ship was to our liking for a number of reasons.
  • Smaller ships mean it can get into places other ships cannot go.
  • The ship departs and returns to Brisbane. That is ideal for us. Brisbane is only 75 Klms from our home and if traffic conditions are OK only an hours drive.
  • All power outlets are 240 volts so adapters are not needed.
  • Hair dryers are supplied.
  • There is no tipping, nor a tipping surcharge. If you feel like tipping, please do so. It is not compulsory.
  • Even in winter a South Pacific destination is still warm.
  • All costs are in Australian Dollars. No exchange rate hassles.
  • Cabins are clean and spacious…according to the Gilling scale.
  • Food is too good so be careful how much and how often you eat. Going ashore is good so you can skip a coffee and cake and pastries.
  • All rooms have a TV and telephone. You can phone service or any cabin on the ship. You can also call your cabin or friends from public phones scattered around the ship.
  • We had a bonus of on-board credit totalling $450 which covered all our extra’s such as, shore tours, duty free spirits, wine and beers etc when required. We overspent by $33. Graham and Wencke booked their cruise earlier and being previous P&O travellers received $600 on-board credit and were able to buy clothing and jewellery duty free and still not exceed their credit.
  • I am not aware of any outbreak of on-board sicknesses and that is probably due to hand cleaning stations everywhere, all food is served (no buffet style) and public areas especially toilets are cleaned at least twice a day.

The ship is fitted with eight lifts, four aft and four forward. 220217 villaThe cute thing about the lifts is each had a themed photographic wall. 220217 stairsThe carpet in each lift was matched as close as possible to flooring or roads shown in the photo wall.220217 road

220217 jetty220217 cornfield220217 cloisters220217 bridgeI continued to wake early and go to deck 11 The Pantry for my 5.30am coffee and cereal at 6.30. It was a ritual other passengers did as well. I got to know some passengers during this time while others were on a nodding hello basis. The hour between 5.30 and 6.30 were the same faces almost every day.

All too soon we were entering Moreton Bay then Brisbane River and as we neared our berth, local tugs turned ARIA around and nudged us into the Brisbane Cruise Terminal at Hamilton.

Disembarkation was carried out by a number system so there were no long queues on the stairs and in Customs and Border Security and Immigration. All went smoothly, our PNG carvings and weavings were inspected and passed as OK.

Graham was in an earlier disembarkation so by the time we arrived at the agreed area we only had a few minutes wait before he arrived with his car. We were home by midday.

Aaaah. The cruise was great but being home is special.

Now begins all the washing.

I hope you enjoyed our cruise.