Here we go!

R&R 28th February–6th March

27th February: Travel day

5:45am I went to Tontoutel reception for checkout, the hotel workers were sitting nearby smoking and chatting, they told me that it doesn’t open until 6am.

6:05am I checked out of the hotel and walked to the airport, it took 11 minutes to walk (otherwise $10 for a 2 minute van ride!).

I checked in, and then waited for my flight.  Jonathan was leaving, to New Zealand for a couple of weeks before going back to Canada.

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As usual, boarding was slightly delayed.

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Breakfast in the plane.

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Then landed in Sydney.  Went to the lounge to shower and snack.  It was the day of the bad-news-day for Qantas.

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Then flew from Sydney to Perth. Had a meal in the plane.

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and had mango icecream bar! Yay!

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After arriving in Perth, Julie picked me up, went home for a little while then went to Heathcote for Steve and Wendi’s wedding rehearsal.

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28th February  I went to the city to buy a brown belt and white shirt for the wedding.  Also managed to get some socks,pick up my replacement safety glasses, adjust my glasses, have lunch, and drop by the office for a KEG session which was cancelled.  Then at night, went to see Steve’s hair-combing ceremony.

1st March Peter picked me up in the morning and we went to Steve’s place for preparation.  When we arrived, he was still in his ceremonial red pyjamas, reading a fishing catalogue while eating toast.

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He got ready really quickly.

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Then Ben Fong came, and Hunhao came.

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We were all ready, and had time (more than an hour) to spare!

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Then the van arrived!  It was fitted out really nicely!

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We went to Wendi’s place where the girls were getting ready, for the first look and pick them up to UWA for photos.  The photographer Rebecca was really friendly and we felt comfortable.  While she was busy taking photos of Steve and Wendi, I brought my camera out to play with ourselves.

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From UWA, we went to Heathcote.  The ceremony started around 12:30.  It was outdoors, and the forecast was 38 degrees.  It was really hot standing in the outdoor sun, wearing the shirt and vest.  I was glad that we didn’t need to wear jackets (except for Steve!).

At the ceremony, I was ring-bearer and was relieved once the rings were handed over (one responsibility down!).

After the ceremony, we had a good time of finger-foods, drinks, and chatting.

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I gave the best man speech, and was relieved once it was over.  I felt that all the weeks of staying in my room writing, had finally paid off, and I could move on with life, and spend Sundays doing other things, such as updating this blog!

Later we went down to the river with Rebecca for some more photos, before leaving, having a rest, and going for dinner.

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Congratulations to my dear friends Steve and Wendi!

2nd March After church, I went to Fremantle to meet with my friends!  Unfortunately, I had mixed the carparks up and parked at a carpark about 2km away from the bus stop I wanted to be at, and it was hot!  We went to Cicerello’s for lunch. _DSC1582

From there, we went for a walk.  I went to a gallery hoping to see the world press photos exhibition, but it was empty upstairs and only paintings downstairs.  When I asked where it was, the lady said that it was cancelled.

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So we walked around the market.

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We had icecream, then went to the Left Bank Bar for Paula’s after-wedding-party where I had planned to meet with Zeev who was back in Perth for his daughter’s wedding.  We were early (3:45pm), and when we arrived, where told that it did not start until 5pm, so we sat in the shade and waited.

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We went in, but knew no one, but there were many friendly people who introduced themselves to us and talked with us.  The decorations were very nice.

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and here’s a photo with Zeev!

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and a close-up of the cute badge he was wearing.

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3rd March It was a public holiday, so I stayed and relaxed at home.

4th March I went to the city, dropped by the office and caught up with some people.  Then I went to meet up with Ian for lunch.

5th March I went to the city, picked up the shoes for Joshoa.

6th March I had lunch with Julie, then dropped her at work.

I had a few things to sort out, such as getting the replacement of my hard disk.  I suspect it was only the cable that was broken, but Dick Smith Electronics needed to take the whole unit back, and did not have a replacement unit for me, so they could only refund me.  Unfortunately, I bought it while it was on special and there was no replacement with as good value as the one I had.  I ended up going to JB Hifi and paying a bit more and getting a higher capacity drive.  Then I went home and transferred everything onto it.  I was really tired at night, and went to the airport.  For some strange reason, I didn’t get the seats I selected, not even my window seat preference.  I was seated in the middle of the middle section, and to top it off, next to a big big guy!  So I couldn’t sleep well, everytime he would move, he would bump me and I would wake up, and his elbow kept pressing my lights button, so the light above me would be on.

7th March I landed in Sydney, then caught the train to Circular Quay, where I walked around.  _DSC1617

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Then I walked to the city and met up with Jon Chai!!! HE HE.  We had planned to meet up, but I spotted his back from across the road while he was at the ATM. 

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After meeting with Jon Chai,  I went for a walk, had icecream at Messina.

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At 11am, I went to catch the train back to the airport. _DSC1696_DSC1700_DSC1702

After getting through immigration and security, I went to Mcdonalds and had a quarter pounder.  It was a lot smaller than my memory of it.  At first I thought it was the wrong burger, but when I looked at the explosion diagram on the box, it seemed right.   Boarded the plane, and tried to sleep.  When I arrived, I slept very well in the bus!

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New Caledonian R&R (Noumea)

For my R&R on 26th January until 2nd February, Julie came to New Caledonia.

I packed my bags on Saturday night, so on Sunday morning, I just had to have breakfast, put the bags in the car, and drive to the airport.  However, it was not that simple! Sad smile

I had the car keys, my backpack, suitcase, esky, snorkel and flipper sets, and went out to load it into the car.  The problem was, I did not know where the car was, so I was walking around the whole camp from carpark to carpark, carrying all this, in the end, I gave up looking, and went to have breakfast, leaving all my things at the front of the canteen.

I got my phone out to call the fellow car-owners and found an sms telling me where the car was.  So managed to find it, put my stuff in, and started driving.

It was a beautiful sunny day, blue skies, and lovely hilly scenery, and three hours later, I arrived at the airport, waited a bit and then Julie arrived.

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We drove to Noumea, and were a bit early for our hotel check-in, so went up Ouen Toro to look.IMG_8407

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We sat under the tree for a little while, while waiting for the bus to move away from behind the car.

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The bus had a load of tourists (just like us).

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We went for a drive, saw the domestic airport, and then went to the Chateau Royal for check-in.

At the hotel, I realised that I had a major tan from driving all morning.

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As the room had a kitchen, we stayed in for dinner.

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The room was very nice, it reminded me of my apartment.

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Then we went for a walk along the beach.

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The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel.

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and then went for a morning walk along the beach.

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Later, we walked to Baie de Citron for lunch at O Boucher.

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I had garlic bread to start.

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Then carparccio.

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Then we finished it all.

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Then we walked to Amorino for icecream.

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We got two flavours (cioccolato and amerena I think…) in a crepe.

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Yum yum.

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Then we went to the supermarket, then back to the hotel to rest.

In the evening, I went to the beach to take some photos.

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Then back to the hotel for dinner.

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Tuesday morning, we had breakfast at the hotel.

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Then we drove to the market.

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Driving is so stressful!  But we got there Smile

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After the market, we headed back to the hotel.

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We went to the pool at the hotel.

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We checked out of Chateau Royal and moved to le Pacifique hotel, but it was too early, so we sat at Anse Vata beach for a while then had lunch at Le Fare.

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Then to Amorino for more icecream!

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We checked into the hotel.

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It rained in the afternoon.

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Then we had dinner at Stone Grill.

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The next morning, we were going to Amedee island!  The bus picked us up from the hotel in the morning.

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the bus dropped by a few different hotels, then got to the port (next to the market!).  We boarded the boat and were greeted by people playing music and singing.  Found a seat and a guide talked us through the program.

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It was a very bumpy ride, but we got there!

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I pointed out that there was a snake near Julie, and she started jumping up and down screaming, then the snake slithered away.  Can you see it?

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This is the lighthouse at Lighthouse island.

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After swimming at the beach, we went onto the glass-bottom boat.  It was amazing, we saw turtles and many fish.

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Then from the glass-bottom boat, onto the big boat for the reef tour.  The water was very rough, and we were at the top of the boat, getting splashed.

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The colour was unbelievable to the eye, but water too rough for me to enjoy.

When we arrived back on the island, there was welcoming drinks and then buffet!

 

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The welcome drink had alcohol, so I went red.

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At the lunch, there was music and dance performance.

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I was invited to dance as well.  I am such a bad dancer, I’ll show you the video if you want to see it…

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After that, we went to watch a coconut tree climbing demonstration, then I was handed a wreath to place on my head, and was climbing the tree!  Also on video, which I can post if you want to see Smile

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After climbing the tree, we went swimming, saw many fish and turtles!

 

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Then spent a while on the beach.

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and sent a post card from the smallest post-office.

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I wanted to go inside the lighthouse, but before closing time, they had already closed.

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Then we got on the boat to leave the island.

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After we got back, the bus dropped us at the hotel.  It was a fantastic day!

Then we went out for dinner at Dukes.

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I’m going to go for lunch now, I’ll write about the next part of my R&R soon… Isle of Pines!

Back in time for a party! Line 2!

I arrived back on site on Friday night.  When I arrived, I saw Scott who told me that there was Line 2 Met Plant Commissioning party on Saturday night.

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Then we arrived, and I took selfies with everyone.

 

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and drinking.

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Then it was time to eat.

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As usual, I went straight to desserts.

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Boon and Jacu as well!

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We ate, then lined up for barbeque.

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I had duck and salmon.

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Then I had another round of desserts.

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I think Jason had his shirt on reverse and had to fix it, or wanted to go swimming or something.IMG_0064

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Then the bus came and some left.

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While others stayed and danced, and danced, and danced…  They are dance machines!

Once the music stopped, we went back.  It was a great party!

Line 2 party over, here’s what Line 1 Party was like.

More updates coming soon from the past few weeks!