Tuesday, 26 September 2006

The Honeymoon

Bedarra Island is paradise!

Instead of a desert island, it is a tropical rainforest island. If I were to be stuck on there, I'd want to take Giles. London and Paris would also love it there and with there hunting skills the native fauna would thrive.

Giles and I stayed in a pavilion - room 16. It was the furthest from the main complex. That made for tranquil surroundings. The pavilion had a plunge pool on the deck overlooking Wedgerock Bay. Our wedding rubber duckies enjoyed the view for the entire time we were there. The staff that cleaned the rooms each day had seen them and told everyone else about them. They were quite a hit.

The romantic newly wed rubber duckies watch Wedgerock Bay

Ain't love wundiful

The main complex centred around the pool. This is a view of the pool from the restaurant. If you stay long enough on Bedarra, your life starts to revolve around each meal. You wake up for breakfast and sit there eating it while you decide what to do between that and lunch and if lunch should be eaten on a private beach in the sun. Then there is dinner...

The view from the restaurant

This spider is a golden orb [Eriophora biapicata and E. transmarina]. It was the star of the restaurant. Each new guest to the resort would stare out and the pool and then focus on the spider. Shock would be followed by "ooh"s and "aaah"s before cameras came out. Apparently they only live for 12 months and this one is a girl. They have small fangs so when they bite, it's not that bad. You'd probably get a nice helicopter ride over the reef to Cairns hospital and some nausea.
Bedarra's golden orb

The main beach at Bedarra is where the deck and rooms 1-14 look out on to. Cyclone Larry tore up the island, the beach and the nearby reefs but it's still gorgeous.
Looking at shells

Giles on the main beach on our first day

There are a few walks you can do around the island that give great views. The lookouts around the island are set up with deck chairs. Giles and I started a walk but after 5 mins of walking uphill (Everest style), we decided to stop and eat all our supplies and then return to the bar. Afterall, you don't go to Bedarra for the tramping.
Giles at the lookout overlooking Wedgerock Bay

The best way to see North Queensland and the method I will employ on our next visit to Bedarra will be to do what a couple of guests did on our second day there. They had spent a couple of days at Bedarra and took a private helicopter to Lizard Island for a few more days. There are luggage restrictions so some of the luggage might have to be shipped up later but if you take too many clothes on this kind of holiday, you really are missing the point of the tropics.

Watching the helicopter that landed on my beach and interrupted my nap with all the noise

The day after we arrived, we arranged for a boat and driver (or whatever a boat driver is called) to take us out to our own beach with a picnic. We were abandoned for a few hours and spent the time snorkeling, eating and relaxing. No one else shared this beach with us. When we were landing on the beach (in style of ANZACs but with less dying and my feet didn't get wet) there was another boat from Dunk Island hanging around. Our guide/boat driver guy told us he'd drop us off and then tell them to leave the island immediately. We said we were fine and didn't mind but he told us that it was our island and they would be driven off. It felt exclusive and all that but a little mean.
Our own beach. Debris from the recent Cyclone Larry is evident even three months later

The view from where we had our picnic. We snorkelled here

After the lovely picnic and swim, the boat driver picked us up and took us for a spin around the island. He showed us the old deserted resort (very "I Know What You Did Last Summer"), the private residences on the island and the view of our room from Wedgerock Bay.

Leaving the site of our picnic to circle the island by boat

Wedgerock and our room above it

After a long hard day of relaxing and being pampered, we would come back to our room and swim in our plunge pool. I came out of it a prune many times. That's one thing I really miss to this day. This is the kind of thing people should go home to every single day.

Swimming in our private pool after a long day

The pool and our bedroom taken from the sun lounge

Drinking french champagne on the deck of our room

You can only get to Bedarra Island by boat from Dunk Island. Both resorts are run by Voyages but Bedarra doesn't allow children under 16 and YAY for that!
The view towards Dunk Island from our room

After lunch on most days, Giles would go snorkeling and I would read a book on the deck by the main beach. We would also have a bottle of wine and just hang out. Most of the guys would stand and watch Giles floating around (snorkeling) and then go out and join him. The reef out there was mostly destroyed by the cyclone. Hopefully it has a time to recover before global warming kills it.
Sitting on the deck reading while Giles floated around in the ocean

Giles at lunch on the deck

Sitting on the desk

Dinner on the deck

Dinner on our last night with the message-in-a-dessert from the kitchen staff

Congratulations from the staff at our last dinner

Giles' last game of chess on our last day

On the jetty before leaving Bedarra Island

Every day, I want to go back there.

Thursday, 21 September 2006

The Reception

After the wedding ceremony, the guests walked up the stairs to the reception venue in the rainforest canopy. It was about 5:30 in the evening and the sun was setting in that slow, romantic tropical way.

Dave + Julian climb the stairs to the reception - the first to arrive

The food was not supposed to come out until 6PM so the guests mingled and drank a lot of champagne. In Tim's case, he sat and contemplated for a while. I think the earlier part of the day was a little bit stressful for him.

Tim chills

We had the seafood extravaganza. The menu had everyone talking.

Mum + Dad discuss the menu

Giles + I discuss the menu

We had four tables of guests at the reception. One table for the Maddens, one for the Alexander family, one for the bridal party and the final table for our friends.

Adam + Kylie at the "Friends" table

Vicky in pink

I made sure my mother was fully aware of how much seafood she had to consume over the next four hours of dinner. There were two vegetarians who got a set menu but everyone, including them, ate from the seafood buffet. There were steaks and chicken for non-seafood eaters.
Uncle Bob, myself + Mum

Taylor + Katrina at the family table

Geoff + Dave examine the menu at the Alexander family table

The food

Tristram insisted that he take silly photos of the bride + bridesmaid and the groom + best man. There were many silly photos taken. These are the ones that were not too silly and ok for people to see.

The boys

More crazy boys

The ladies

Give us a kiss

Giles + I actually got to talk to everyone and shares some lovely moments that will mean a lot to us forever.

Bianca + Giles get to talk

I stand with Mum + Trina while they set up the gift table

Uncle Bob, Annabel and Tristram serve themselves some food

Environmentalist Dave recycles the crayfish antennas as a costume for Cray-Dave

Everybody say ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Giles and I spent many dance lessons learning to do the bridal tango, instead of a bridal waltz. Our wedding instructor told us that people always choose to do a bridal rumba to "be different to everyone else" but these days that's what everyone does. It's rare to do a bridal waltz and even more so to do a tango. We loved out tango.

The bridal tango

Tim + his fan

The dance floor

Rebekah say outside on the grass after the ceremony and finally relaxed

The photographer

Friends After the Wedding

Everybody has a Kylie in their life. Us geeks do anyway. She's the one that likes you for who you are, even if you aren't the person you are going to be yet. She taught me to drink coffee, "do brunch", wonder what my dream super-power would be and to get out there and enjoy life. Kylie introduced me to the "girl crush", vegetarian bacon (facon - pronounced fake-en tm) and why DIMIA (at the time) were a bunch of fascist, incompetent, right-wing Nazi jerks with too much power over peoples lives (6 years before Vivian Alvarez Solon). If you haven't met your Kylie yet, go out there and find her! She'll be the person in the centre of the room holding the attention of every boy and girl in room - all of them with crushes on her.

Kylie congratulating me

The bridal party standing in order of height

Janet, Giles, myself + Alan

Bianca with Giles + I

No matter how hard you try, sometimes your wedding guests act like wandering cattle.

Organising the guests

Bianca + Bek

Kyie + Tim

The manicurist who did my nails for my wedding day suggested a cute flower on my left hand ring finger, to ensure he put the ring on the right hand and finger.

Our wedding rings

My bridesmaid and best friend, Bek

Adam + Giles looking at an uninvited turtle :o)

People who will travel thousands of miles to attend an important party of yours, are your friends forever (BFFs). I guess friends help you move but real friends help you move bodies.

Tim, Kylie + Bianca

Janet, Alan and Rebekah are three of my oldest and dearest friends. You know that someone qualifies for that massive over-statement when you can LIST the things they contributed to your life and the things they taught you. Janet was the first female professional I worked with. She mentored me when I was a graduate fresh out of university. Despite her angelic appearance, she told me how Machiavellian the public service was and how to deal with it. She taught me how to stay a girl, no matter how many boys I had to work with in IT or the world. She's glamorous, intelligent and kind. When I was 22 years old, I wanted to be like Janet... I'm 30 now and... I still want to be like Janet.

Alan, Janet + Bek