Not a regular post (or semi-regular as it has been a while since I blogged).
For those who follow me on the Twitters, Facebook and Path know, I won Tourism Queensland's Vitamin Me competition.
I have had a lot of questions on how it all works, how I got it and what I plan to do with it.
So, since I am, at my heart, incredibly lazy - read on.
Tourism Queensland ran the Vitamin Me competition, promoting having a break in Queensland to recharge yourself - getting your dose of Vitamin Me. This competition was part of a larger marketing strategy - which is still going on. By visiting their webpage, you could test your own levels (feel free to post your score in the comments). Since I am often away , am always thinking about what I might do for my next adventure, and 90% of the time love my work, I scored very high. This high score did nothing to help me win, but made me feel better about taking some many weekends away.
There were 175,000 entries, of which some 44,500 were unique. I only entered once.
From these 175,000 entries, my entry was randomly drawn and I won the prize - $10,000 of Vitamin Me time in Queensland.
The prize works similarly to a gift voucher. I don't have to use it all at once, however it expires in 12 months.
I can use the voucher on anything that can be booked through SunLover Holidays - the travel agency associated with Tourism Queensland (these are the same peeps who did "Best Job in the World). This means flights, transfer, activities, tours, hire cars etc can be attributed to the voucher. The only time food/drinks would go on, would be if they were part of a resort package or cruise etc. Unfortunately I find the SunLover Holiday webpage terrible to navigate but if I search on google, then search for the provider there I can generally get around it.
So what am I planning to do?
Well, firstly I am using a small amount to do a day trip diving out of Port Douglas on the SuperSonic. I will be in Cairns over the break anyway, so this will be my first chance to put the prize into use. I was going to do a day trip anyway, this just means I do it on Tourism Queensland vs my Visa card.
Other things I am planning are (in no particular order):
- The Dinosaur Stampede at Winton
- Diving the Yongala
- 4 day Coral See Mike Ball Dive expedition (was thinking of doing it at Easter but some friends are thinking of going in May, so will probably go then).
- Mt Isa Rodeo
- Mountain retreat with some friends and some wine (and spa treatments if I can find somewhere)
- Mackay - so I can eat at Sorbellos again!
I will be flying Qantas as much as I can as I am hoping to reach Platinum status (geek moment).
All in all this is an epic prize. Crisscrossing the state is going to rock. I love Queensland - such an amazing state! I can't wait to experience more of it.
Bridget is a screw up - has been for a long time. Alcohol, drug addiction, stripping and/or prostitution. She witnesses a murder and finds herself a protected witness, getting clean. One of her steps in AA is to get forgiveness for her wrongs, so she contacts her twin sister, the successful and wealthy Siobhan. On the day of the murder trial, Bridget does a runner to her sister's. Her perfect sister commits suicide and Bridget becomes the happy and perfect Siobhan. Only her perfect sister isn’t quite so perfect after all. And that folks is just the lead in!
Sarah Michelle Geller.
Really well written.
Such depth to the characters.
Ion Gruffudd. You forget how well he can act with those big movies, but wow. So under acted and perfectly portrayed.
Great supporting cast too!
Just when you think there can’t be ANOTHER twist or turn, there are TWO!
Not sure on a couple of the characters yet, especially Bridget’s sponsor.
The boat scene looked super fake.
The twists and turns aren’t solved before more come along, so there is no sense of resolution, but in a way this just continues to build the suspense.
This show asks some interesting questions. How similar are we really and how far would we go to be happy? The depths of the human animal they explore, within a modern society, is really interesting. On top of this, it is a great character driven piece that had me hooked by the second commercial break.
We reminise over the year that was with our favourite study group as they work on their 20th diarama. We look back on all the classic moments while they poke fun at clip shows, and themselves.
Red long underwear.
A slicked up Chang.
The diarama itself - loved Chang's placement.
Sing, sing, sing.
No Starburns (but I am just trying to think of a negative).
Yet another 5 panda outting from the brilliant mind of Dan Harmon and the whole Community Crew. Each time I see such a brilliant episode from Community, I wonder "Where to from here?" as the bar is set and reset so high, but they do not disappoint.
Wang Wang and Funi are the "loaner" pandas currently residing in the Adelaide Zoo. Wang Wang is a bit of a boofhead and Funi is a bit like a puppy - naps like a champion then plays like the world is ending.
Housed in a custom built duel exhibit, Wang Wang and Funi have access to a pond, which I labeled a Panda Spa, and a special chilled rock for when it gets too hot. Each have a protective glassed in area for when the public get a bit much and a large open air area with lots of area for exercise (NB. Panda exercise is walking to the next treat hidden by the keepers). In the glassed in area, the pandas are given "toys" (like a box of sawdust) and bamboo for nibbling - so even if they are behind the glass, they are still putting on a bit of a show for the fans.
You should to book to see the pandas. You buy your tickets to the zoo on line, then book your chosen time for the panda enclosure. You may get in without booking (as I got to see them twice), but since it doesn't cost anything extra to do so, why not? On the day I went, the Clipsal 500 was on and the weather was pouring with rain, then hot and humid, then pouring with rain etc. As such the zoo wasn't very busy - as such it was lots of pandas (and other great animals) with no waiting. What was even better was that after about 25-30 mins into the last session of the day, everyone left because they were both behind the glass. I was left alone in a giant enclosure with two pandas. Once it was silent, they pandas went out and played. I got so close to Funi as she played, making the funniest noise, before romping around her enclosure. Wang Wang then went exploring in his enclosure looking for more treats.
There is limited Panda merch available at the dedicated Panda Shop - I bought a Wang Wang mug, Wang Wang boxers and a Panda Stamp (that prints a panda and a set of panda paws walking across the page). Unfortunately, Funi is drawn way too silly and girly, whereas Wang Wang is just a little anthropomorphised.
Insanely cheap - $28 for a full day's fun.
Free to book panda time (Other paid events are $130 and $495 for a much closer and personal experience).
Zoo staff (keepers and volunteers) were incredibly helpful and chatty - I got "adopted" by a senior volunteer who was telling me best spots and what to look for.
You can get within inches of the pandas.
You get to see Panda junk.
They are even cuter and fluffier than you can imagine.
Free bus and close to the city.
If they are asleep, they aren't that exciting and yet still cute.
Some visitors totally ignored the signs and the ropes - so no wonder the pandas stay in the glass when there are lots of people about.
Not a lot of options for food and drink at the zoo.
I had a brilliant time and can only say...
We go back in time to 1985, 6 months after Peter was taken from Over There. We see life in both universes, how both families deal with the grief, and how Peter is dealing with that knowledge.
OMG So that is how Walternate knows!
Peter and the city below the lake.
What made Walternate.
Why Walter was using the Cortexiphan kids.
A field of white tulips.
Crossing over and seeing sky ships.
Orla Brady is once again outstanding as Elizabeth Bishop (in both worlds).
John Nobel plays the same character, the same person but different so well.
Peter and Olivia (the two child actors were amazing).
Peter's choice of a toy. I wonder if that is because he wants to go home.
BSG - though I remember BSG as before 1985.
Elizabeth's lies - heart breaking.
How far Walter was willing to go.
Peter being so careful in his words to Olivia.
Why didn't Peter remember?
Some of the attention to detail was off, but that didn't detract for me at all.
After an iffy episode last week that didn't leave me inspired to blog at all, this one took my breath away. The Peter development. The greater understanding of early Olivia (not just what happens at the clinic). Amazing.
George gets a shock when Herrick turns up in the psych ward of the hospital, and he is a vampire again. Mitchell shows his true colours while desperate to keep his secret hidden. Nina steps up, George gives an ultimatum and Annie hovers.
Where to start!!!
Jason Watkins’ Herrick was magnificent. Fragile, evil, lost yet in control.
George standing up to Mitchell.
Wendy the over worked Social Worker.
Annie getting her compassion on.
George’s fears and Herrick’s response.
Nina’s reaction to what Herrick finds and Herrick’s manipulation of the event.
Annie and Mitchell (both very powerful scenes).
Comedy, darkness, pain, loss, fear - it was all there in spades.
Cara’s misguided beliefs.
Every word, every nuance - perfect.
When a lie becomes truth and all truth becomes lies. Pillow fort of gigantic proportions. Professor S. Professorson. Britta in a den in iniquity. Best chase scene ever.
Everything from the moment it started to the last second of the closing credits.
So many brilliant lines, infact there has been a lot of quoting going on today in twitter.
Said chase scene.
Zing, double zing, triple zing, quadruple zing.
Seriously just everything this week was brilliant.
Not a single thing comes to mind.
From brilliant lines, comebacks, to set pieces and the end credits, this episode is now up there with the bestest ever in Community. I can't believe they managed to get Annie a gun, let alone say "Annie's got a gun!" The bar has been reset on what can be done in a primetime sitcom, and we have finally seen the allocation of the mythical and mystical #fivepandas. In other news, Community is going to be up against Idol in the States - but I think we are safe, because only people with brains watch Community - so totally a different market to that of Idol.