Monday, October 31, 2005

Makybe Diva - it's a horse!

Another day, another major sporting event here in Australia – but today it’s the Melbourne Cup. The most important horse race on the Australian calendar occurs on the first Tuesday of every November and is titled “the race that stops the nation.” Makybe (pronounced ma-kie-be) Diva took home her third straight win this afternoon making Melbourne Cup history – the nation’s pretty stoked. In Melbourne it’s a holiday (however, as Hannah and Michelle put it – it’s instead of Halloween) and the holiday has some of the more atrocious hats I’ve ever seen, but the rest of the country just seems to call it a day at noon to head off drinking…which is of no great surprise.
Chris and I celebrated this wonderful event by betting on a horse (when in Rome), well two horses to be exact, and neither did anything, so we’re out $8 – but the nice thing is – that’s what I was expecting. We’ve been up in Cairns since Friday staying with my mom’s cousin Penny and her family who have been incredible! Spoiled yet again, we’ve now been to a real Aussie barbie with lot-s-o meat and two Australian sports stars. Apparently my 2nd cousins (well they are mom’s cousin’s daughters) have a knack for dating celebrities. The eldest is married to a footy star who’s team actually won the Grand Final (great sporting event from September in Melbourne) a few years back (his name is Ben) and the youngest Nicole is dating a rugby superstar Billy Slater and the two of them were in the paper this morning. However, Chris and I – although we were close to these sports stars, didn’t manage to speak to either one of them…mind you we didn’t know at the time what we were dealing with!
Tomorrow we’re off to the Reef – the big Great Barrier Reef – I understand that I can head home after this…then on Thursday to a crocodile farm. So we’ve been kept busy here in Cairns. Yesterday we went up to a small town called Kuranda (I think) in the Rainforest and took a gondola down (we both took amusement in the fact that it was made by Pomma) and it was absolutely beautiful. Everyone’s been dudes here – just unreal – we are really very lucky – well if you discount the fact that we didn’t win anything better on the Melbourne cup and Chris’ sunglasses were devoured by Penny’s dog Keela (who is adorable).
Saturday we’re off “home” to the Gold Coast, where with any luck, Berdt will have kept the air in his rear right hand tire (which seems highly unlikely at this point) and we won’t have another escapade with the car (again, highly unlikely) – so again, nothing but fun from the Ford Falcon (there was a horse in the race called Leica Falcon – Chris remarked that they might have to push start it!). Life’s great – no complaints…I’m super stoked to see the reef!!!

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