Sunday, December 6, 2009
Visit in Newcastle
(Chris) Our second stop in Australia was Newcastle to visit a good mate of mine that I played baseball with when I was here in 95/96 - Sean "Doofus" Doudle. We caught the Greyhound for the 2.5 hour bus from Sydney to Newcastle on Saturday night, and Sean and his wife Megan kindly picked us up from the bus station. We were able to see a huge amount of the city and suburbs thanks to "Sean & Megan's Guided Tours"...Thanks so much to them for taking the time to show us their great hometown! They also treated us to a couple home-cooked meals on the barbie which included kangaroo steak and some burgers marinated in Guinness stout. Ahhhhhhh...!
It was also incredibly interesting to hear about Sean's experience on the TV show "The Biggest Loser" (Australia edition). He and his baseball mate Ben were lucky enough to be chosen to compete in the past season of the show which aired in Australia this past February. If you are interested you can check out the show and his profile at www.thebiggestloser.com.au/contestant15-profile.html. His story and success are truly inspiring! He ended being the "biggest loser" (lost the most weight) of all the elimated contestants on the show, and he looks great. There's a picture of me with Sean and Ben when we went by Ben's house to meet him on Sunday. There's also a picture of us with most of Sean & Megan's family - Brooke (14), Damon (12) & Tiarnie (16) (missing is David (18). Another picture shows a cool army bunker along the Pacific Ocean from WWII, and another picture shows the beautiful St. Michael's cathedral in Newcastle. And finally, Teri had the honour of riding Damon's bike up the steep street a couple times and survived despite the bike lacking any functional brakes...thanks Damon!
We jumped back on the bus for an overnight trip and we are now in laid-back Byron Bay for a couple nights to do some sea kayaking and try out some surfing. Next we're off to Brisbane to check out the sites there and hopefully catch up with a couple acquaintances.