I committed a “Federal Offense” in Surfers Paradise……

…..but fortunately for me no convictions could be made. :)

It all seemed innocent enough, but then doesn’t everything before you clearly see that it may not be as "legal" as it may have seemed "logical."

But let me start from the beginning as to not leave out any important "evidence." After our teary farewell to our adventures with Brother and Kristi last Friday (from which I will later describe in great detail) we headed towards the skycraper-tastic’ city of Surfers Paradise. Land of the legendary skycoaster that led to me meeting the cooky looking Brit with the blue tinted sunglasses and "dwarf shorts." I thought he worked in cosmetology (later realizing he said "culinary") but followed him and his friend Phill onto the famous party cruise that then ignited our "full blown wackalooo" passion that ended in creating nothing other then…. well, then zee’ Wyatt’s- of course!

Ahhhh…. lets take a moment to reminisce…. Oh, but no need! As we made sure to re-create the journey all over again for none other thenYOUR very own reading pleasure.

Just imagine our shock as we roamed around the streets of Surfers locating all our "hazy memories" of 7 years ago (not much changes here in the land of Oz) and stumbled upon none other then the VERY same Party Cruise that paved the way to well….us. Folks, it was even the same exact boat. How could we even resist?! So we forked over the $55.00 each for our chance to show Surfers we could still cause trouble and headed towards the first bar (still the same as 7 years prior) and started our "magical" journey into the past.
Lets just say we didn’t let Surfers down…. our ourselves for that matter.
The evening started off with the exact same "nuts and bolts" game that, again, we played that very fateful night when I became "smitten" with Ray. And it was that very match your "nut" to someone’s "bolt" that got everything rolling all over again. We immediately met 2 Aussie sisters that ended up to be part of our "posse" of friends for the evening. We were also very relieved to find that we weren’t the "oldest" ones on the booze cruise either– as "schoolies" (Spring Break for 17-18 year olds) were in full form and we had envisioned ourselves amongst "teeny boppers" for the entire 4 hour boat cruise with no escape.
***Slight break here as I had to stop to feed a lizard some cheese– I just love how they eat***
So the booze cruise began and we were in rare form. As always.

4 hours and an arm full of prizes later from the games we played (the Wyatt’s swept up) we walked off the boat with hats, t-shirts, bungee jump and ripcord vouchers– and there was hardly a teeter to our step. (it was more like a "sway")

We woke up with smiles on our faces the next morning as we could say that "we still had it."

Again, not that we were worried our anything…..
After we arrived in Byron Bay last Sunday we got thinking that we could earn a few extra buckarooooos by selling our bungee jump and ripcord vouchers to some unsuspecting schoolies. So yesterday (Thursday) Ray, Steffen (otherwise known as "fancy pants" our newest German friend) and I headed towards Surfers for a day trip to make some cold hard cash. If only we knew what we were getting ourselves into. It all seemed so easy… sell the tickets for just enough less to make it appealing and WHAM– Aussie $$’s in our pockets.

Within the first 20 minutes we had sold our ripcord vouchers for $20 each– wow, thats almost 2 nights of accommodation, orrrrrr a case of bear (however you may see it.) However, management started to get a bit suspicious of our presence in the park as I was trying to sell the bungee voucher as we could have easily gotten $60.00 for it. Meanwhile, I was getting too greedy and not being aware enough of "managements" eye on us as I had just negotiated my way into selling the ticket to a sweet girl as she was going to take me up on my offer. I told her that I would make sure she got on the ride before I walked away (hey, I’m no criminal, well….) and sat down to await to see if it was a done deal with the $60 burning gloriously in my pocket.
Moments later management was in front of me waving the voucher in my face and telling me that I have committed a federal offense by selling these vouchers for cash. Clearly I played dumb and told them I only thought it meant I couldn’t redeem the tickets at their booth for money, but could sell them at my will…. but alas, "illegal" over rode "logical" and I was asked to hand the money back to the girl (which ended up with a free bungee, mind you) and then told to leave the park.

But NOT before they "reviewed" the tapes to see if I had tried to sell any other vouchers (oops) but they thankfully didn’t have enough evidence to "convict" me.

I may have been slightly shaking in my boots then, but man— have we laughed about it within the past 24 hours.
Ahhhh… Surfers. Again we have made our presence forever known. A little "Wacky Wyatt" stamp, if you will.
11/29– I am sitting at the campground picnic bench overlooking this incredible ocean that spans out before me at Byron Bay right now…..And suddenly a tight clench in my stomach as snuck in as I have just realized that we have only 3 more days left here in Australia.

Is it possible that 6 weeks have really just raced passed me? How many moments have I taken for granted? Its know purely impossible to grasp everything that you experience– appreciate every picture perfect landscape–soak up each and every exquisite day. I would be lieing to you if I said I did. But what I can do is take moments such as these RIGHT here and RIGHT now and realize how fortunate I am to be a part of it all….
But whats even better then all that combined is when you are able to share what you are a part of with your family…. And that just what I was able to do with Brother Bear and his Kristi. What a beautiful lil’ adventure the 4 of us had last week.
On Sunday the 18th of November, Ray and I braced ourselves through a fit of giggles as we watched Kristi and Adam get off the plane (yes, thats right- even allowed in the gate area here!) and followed them down the stairs as Ray pulled his "oye, those bloody Americans…." finally Kristi looked behind her, and there we stood…. grinning from ear to ear and incredibly ecstatic to see them. How odd it is to see "family"… but oh’ how incredibly FABULOUS it is to see "family." I was beside myself… Could they really be standing before me!?

That night we stayed at Kristi’s friend Scott’s house just outside of Brisbane (Kristi also studied abroad here in Australia and still had maintained many friendships) and Ray and I welcomed our bed and pillows as we finally tore ourselves away from Adam and Kristi for the night.
Monday we headed towards the Australia Zoo– home of the legendary Steve Irwin- it was sensational! And we got to see it all… from kanga’s to crocs, we were immersed smack dab in it. (I even had my first wombat encounter– I was thinking of you Sarah!) Its amazing to see how loved Steve Irwin was and how much he really did for not only his country but for wildlife and the environment. (Beckey, you would be proud my sweets.)

After a big ol’ show at the "Crocosseum" and a picnic lunch in the park later– we were off to the quaint town of Maloolaba where Brother got to stay in his very first hostel.
****Sidenote: Let me just add that "Travel Guide Kristi" booke THE most amazing accommodation AND tours over our 5 days together. How fabulous it was just to be able to "go with the flow" and know that everything was taken care of. You have no idea what a gift that was!
The next morning we were up bright and early to get to our meeting destination in Noosa. (a bit too early, on my part– but hey, dats’ the Jode in me!) And before we knew it we were finally swooped up and on our way in a can with one German (oh Martin), on Brit, one French, 2 Canadians and the 4 of us. What a group– and such a dynamic mix of people at that. It was a beautiful ride to the Fraser ferry as we were able to to a lil’ bit of a secret ninja shortcut as the tide was down and we drove over 50 KM on Rainbow beach…. Stunning!
This was the very day that I had been waiting for… Oh geeez~was Fraser all that I had remembered? Did I build it up to be something so much more? There is a picture in our bathroom at home of magical Lake Wabby from my first visit to Fraser 7 years ago. It was one of those places that words couldn’t describe– and it encompassed all the beauty that I had encountered in Australia. that very picture was the very first thing that I looked at every morning when I woke up– it was my motivating force- my inspiration, if you will- to get back and see that place that once left me speechless.
And as we climbed along the white sand dunes under that deep blue sky my heart raced as we came up over the edge to find ourselves staring down at a "mirage like" lake. Surrounded by a steep hill of sand on one side and a rainforest on the other, it was still everything that I had dreamt about…. and more. I had made it. I was in that picture on my wall at home.

Hows that for a incredible surge of pride?

….oh and to share that with some of the people that I love the most. Indescribable.
Oh yes… we got to see all of my "favorites" of Fraser. Elly Creek (a super clear creek that you could slowly float down….) Lake Makenzie (a majestic aqua blue-green lake that you can’t help but splash around in like a 3 year old) and finally the shipwreck right off of the beach. One after the next, still just as extraordinary as before… not one memory let me down.

Tuesday night we camped on Fraser under the massive bright stars and ate spegetti with all our new friends (cooked by our fabulously cooky tour guides Wes and Brandon). With just a titch’ of goon (boxed wine) and great conversation later, we headed off to our tents (which was bigger then our own– how luxurious!) and welcomed the thought of sleep after a very full-on day.
****Sidenote: Brother found quickly that the zippers in tents are hard to find in the middle of the night after a "bit of goon"… heee!
We had a magnificent tour on Fraser (thank you again Kristi for finding it!) and couldn’t have experienced it in a better way. Or with BETTER people, for that matter. Little did we know the fabulous accommodation that was waiting for us for the next 2 nights…. Based right in very posh Noosa, a quaint apartment sat with 2 bedrooms, a full on kitchen, bathroom, laundry and deck (with pool, no less) to suit all our needs. With the most important being placed on Thursday’s Thanksgiving Feast.

Chef Ray had his own kitchen to prepare one of the most delicious Turkey Day dinners I have every layed my eyes on. Thanks to the INCREDIBLY generous donation of Rita we were able to go completely ALL out.

With Hawaiian lays around our necks we ate to celebrate we ate……

*Garlic mashed potatoes

*Mashed sweet potatoes with crispy bacon

*Roast Potatoes

*Roast sweet potatoes

(do we see a theme?)

*Roast Parsnip

*Cabbage with bacon and onions

*Chicken with sage and onion stuffing (We had to pass on the OVER priced Turkey)

*Stuffed chicken legs

*Sauteed carrots

*Cranberry "jelly"

*Lots o’ BUNS


*And for desert….. Rhubarb crumble with cream and ice cream.

Um, did I mention there was only 4 of us!?
We had such an amazing night– patting our full belly’s, playing skipbo for HOURS and laughing so hard our eyes watered (mostly due to Brother Bears antics…."oh look, FOOD!") It was such a memorable Thanksgiving. What a better way to celebrate it then with ocean air, sun and family. How very lucky I am.
****Sidenote: Let me make sure not to leave out the courageous feat of Adam and Kristi as Thanksgiving 2007 also will forever be momentous as they got TATTOOED! An emblem of a Kanga’ with a G created by Adam is now proudly shown on them both. (you’ll have to check out the photos) It was perfect…. And Adam only cried a little. Ooooh… just kidding brother.
So like everything else has sped by in such a great pace, so did their visit. It was hard to let them go on Friday morning, in fact– I almost kidnapped them right back.

Thank you both for everything– Ray and I had such a fantastic time being able to share a piece of our adventure in Australia with you… it meant the world and more.
Because our time in Australia is so sparse– I am going to quickly fill in the gap of this past WONDERFUL week in Byron Bay so we can get back to our campsite and celebrate our final night with Steffen as he leaves us for Sydney this evening….

Easy as this, really:

Wake up……Surf…..Mingle around (aka, keep Ray Ray entertained)….Set ourselves up at a picnic table overlooking the ocean at the campsite at 7ish…..See where the conversation takes us…..and meet HEAPS of incredible people.

And have we ever made some amazing friends this past week.

Just to name a few….

Oh Steffen! My Fancy Pants…. you are our favorite German to date. What would have we done without you this week? Whom would we have to pick on!? You are going to be so very missed…. good luck to you!!

Julia and Nicky…. what an absolute pleasure it was to meet you both! Thank you for the wonderful "beach picnic" evening and your fancy cheese… you made Ray so very happy.

Alinda and Stefan…. Never stop travelling! Your presence in our life the past week has been just as bright as your light that keeps us out beyond "time-out" hours. Take care!
….and a few shout outs’ to my friends and family back home….
Happy Birthday to GRANDAD in ENGLAND! Please send our love and hugs…. We are thinking about you!
Happy ALMOST birthday to Holly! Last birthday that you aren’t a WIFEY!! :) I will drink a margarita for you girl! Miss you….
And we hope that Ray and I can make it to the "ugly sweater" Christmas Party my girls…. I miss you all so very much!!
….and to the rest, I guess start gearing up…. as we are home in just over 4 weeks. :)

Gulp. Double Gulp.
Thanks for all your emails via Hotmail… I love reading them and I will get back to you as soon as I can!…. (or you’ll just have to see me on the flipside, is all)
Speak soon…

All our love,

Alyssa and SURFER RAY

P.S. Photos have been updated… check er’ out!

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