Entry #18

I sit in Cairns, Australia, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, in shock. And no, I have not been stung by one of the Blue Bubble Jelly Fish, which are fatal if stung by one. And no, I have not been bitten by one of the 8 killer snakes that are native to Australia. I am in shock because the Red Sox have won the World Series and can now call themselves the 2004 World Champions! Wow! Talk about a "Wonder of the World" I thought I would never see.

I, along with many of you back home, have spent the last 3 weeks organizing my life around baseball games, so I have to fill you in on what I have seen since my last entry. I have to back track to New Zealand, since my entries were quick notes sent off before frantically trying to find a place to watch the Sox games.

The blue penguins in New Zealand were very cool. They were very timid little creatures, they stood about 9 inches tall and they moved like E.T....a few steps, stop, look around, look at this 5 foot 8 inch person (me) standing still about 6 inches away, with a look that seemed to say, "Please don't eat me," then a few more steps, stop, look back at me. It was pretty cool to see them come ashore one by one, in a little procession.

Even though the blue penguins were cool, I must say I was disappointed once again to find out a "tramp" in New Zealand is hiking trip and not a term my mother calls most of my ex-girlfriends. I was hopeful I might find the next girl to bring home to Mom in NZ, but no such luck.

On to Sydney, Australia. My cousin Jenna was able too hook me up with her coworker’s sister, Lucy, and her boyfriend Shane. Did you get that connection? Lucy and Shane put me up for the nights I was there. They escorted me to the oldest pub in Sydney and Manly beach, which I was glad was not as "Manly" as the name would suggest, in fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that attractive female Australians like to go to the beach topless (Sorry Adam, I don't have any pictures of "the beach", nudge, nudge, wink, wink.).

Thanks again to Shane and Lucy for hosting me, and I hope to return the favor in Boston.

I saw the three highlights of Sydney: the opera house; the steel arch bridge over the harbor; and RED SOX Nation! I was wearing my sox hat and some folks from Lexington, MA and Jamestown, RI who moved to Sydney invited me to join them for a tour of the town. I spent Game 2 with about 10 folks from New England who worked in Sydney. They were all taking a 3 hour "lunch break" to watch the game. Red Sox Nation is strong in Sydney. It was good to talk about home with people familiar with my local haunts.

I am now in Cairns, Australia to get my Scuba certification on the Great Barrier Reef. Most of my days are spent in a class room, but tonight I was able to catch a tree full of fruit bats take flight at sunset. I tried to take a few photos but it was dusk so only a few came out. These bats are huge (I actually saw them first at the Boston Zoo a few years ago). They have a six-foot wingspan, so when they fly above you they look like the Dracula bats in movies. Very creepy.

That's it. You’re up to date. Tomorrow I actually go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef; hopefully I'll have a good story for you upon my return. In the mean time, please don't flip my car, or set my house on fire while your celebrating the Red Sox win.

I wish God Speed to the Chicago Cubs...may their Curse be broken soon too. Way to go Red Sox!


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