(Here are the pics from my trip, yes I know... FINALLY. Just so you know, all the pictures have captions but they don't come up if the set is viewed as a slideshow. If you want to read the captions/stories, click on "detail" and view the pictures 18 per page.) Volume 1 can be found here.
1. I say this list is in no particular order but for humor (humour) purposes the Infamous, Legendary, Completely Hysterical Stevie D Strip Show AT Loni and Paul's wedding has to be listed first. I'll let Paul's recap tell the story but literally, at one point we were all turning to each other in bewilderment and saying "Holy fuck, I swear he's done this before." It may be the first and last time we ever see a strip show AT a wedding, unless of course we get Stevie trashed at Ray and Matt's ceremony.
2. Surprising everyone was absolute fun. The looks on their faces were priceless. It probably is pretty weird to see someone walk into a room when they live 10,000 miles away and you had no inkling they were coming.
Kinda dark, but you can see Loni pulling the belt off.
We'll have to wait for the videographer's version, more lighting!
3. If I were a guy I'd be completely and utterly in love with Maz. It's lucky for Rhands that I'm not or he'd be in a closet wrapped in duct tape, while I pull a Borat trying to marry Pam Anderson in a "Kazakstanian marriage ceremony" on Mazzy (veerrrry nice.) One of the many ridiculous things we did during my trip was to make up our own superhero pose to match our motto "Interfriends Untie!" (Long story short, Maz calls me her interfriend and she initially meant to type "unite" but it came out as "untie" and just stuck.) We then proceeded to do this pose in as many different pictures as possible. We also have a secret handshake, which is really just two people looking like they're telling a secret while shaking hands. Also, the handshake kept getting added onto and eventually will be about 15 minutes long. Yes, we're 12!
At one point, we were doing it so much that my inner monologue started sticking the word "untie" in between every pause. "Hey guys (untie) what are your plans (untie) tomorrow night (untie)." I wonder if untie will smooth things over, like when you make a snarky joke. "The 80's called. It wants its clothes back. Untie!" Or if you have to apologize for something serious, "I'm sorry I ran over your cat. Untie!"
4. Koalas are so freaking cute!!! They're like little imaginary pet friends. Did you know that koalas can get stressed out and die? Even their ailments make you want to love them and hug them and squeeze them and keep them for your very own. G got to pet one while she was in Queensland, twice! *Extreme envy* Of course, we were joking around on the phone that it probably wasn't the same one, they could keep like 14 koalas in the back room that all look like each other in case one gets stressed out and dies.
5. Parasailing was awesome. I always thought I'd be freaked out but it more relaxing than anything else. Except probably, if you're Steve and can't swim and have to have a conversation like this in mid-air with the person you're tandem parasailing with:
Steve: We're heading downwards.
Me: Yeah, I told the guy to dunk us.
Steve: Our feet?
Me: No, our whole bodies.
Steve: You did what?
6. During Googz and Loni's wedding reception, Ray came over to my table and somehow we ended up having a picnic on the floor with Maz and Jacinda. Except instead of fried chicken and potato salad our picnic had wine and champagne.
7. Steve's mom picked us up from the airport and made sure we were coming to a dinner she was planning for Wednesday. During the course of the two-hour meal, I managed to show pretty much his entire extended family embarrassing pictures of him. The look on his aunt's face as she looked at a picture of him standing on the street in high-heeled, leopard-print mules was priceless. He was outside the entire time and eventually his 6-year-old nephew outed my antics by running up to him and yelling "Uncle Steve, I saw your BOOBIES!!!!!!"
8. Maz and I headed to Centrepoint Tower on Saturday morning and proceeded to go on Oztrek, this touristy "virtual ride" through Australia that almost had me saying hi to my breakfast again. We took an official "Interfriends Untie" photo with the superimposed background, walked only on the red parts of the multi-colored carpet and tried on the tackiest souvenirs we could find. When it was time to take the elevator down, I was looking at brochures when she called that they were holding the elevator. Instead of running straight through the poles for 5 feet to her, I for some reason knownst only to me ran back and forth along the velvet ropes which turned a 3-second wait for them into a 10-second one.
9. One of the things I'd really wanted to do in Oz was attend a rugby game or an Aussie Rules game. Awesomely enough, Steve's brother-in-law invited us to watch the Parramatta Eels play the West Tigers on Friday night. Through the game he explained how it worked, and we had a discussion on the similarities between rugby and American football. It was a great fix until the NFL season starts. Also, we got to hear the Australian national anthem sung (you know me, I'm a sucker for pretty much any and every national anthem. The medal ceremonies always get me during the Olympics.)
10. Wading in the fountain at Darling Harbour, racing across the bridge while Steve wore my high-heeled, leopard-print mules, round-off competitions, pretending to lose Jill's car keys at Blue Mountain, dinners with great friends, Rhands' giving an impromptu performance of the song he sang to Maz at their wedding, popping into the bar next door to circumvent the other bar's one-shot-per-hour rule, letting the male shopkeeper flounder when G asked him how to put on a dress with funky straps, Jill's guided tours, drunken karaoke at Kelly's pub with "serial killer Jesus guy" and the old woman who hijacked Maz's song, reading road signs like "Speed Hump Ahead" and "Give Way," shopping at Paddy's, watching Maz and Rhandy's wedding video, chicken burgers at Oporto's, Ed seeing us off at the airport, musical beds with Mikey and Steve (sounds kinky), the Sponge Bob game at Jane (Sarah) and Iven's and pretty much every minute of every day. I miss you guys!!! Untie!!!!!!