Anyways… Pat spent the better part of May, June, and July away on exercises, and it was winter here, so Gunnar and I didn't do too much besides cuddle on the couch in front of our one little heater. I got sick of the cold, so I decided to plan an anniversary trip somewhere up in the sunny north. So in August we trekked up to Hamilton Island in the beautiful Whitsundays. It was the trip of a lifetime, and we loved every minute of it. Even when our flight home got cancelled and we were "stuck" on the island for two more days.
We opted to go without a view for our own little bungalow. I wouldn't change a thing either, it was so nice to have a stand-alone room, we were much closer to the beach this way, and within walking distance to everything.
On our first full day, we took a helicopter ride to the world famous Whitehaven beach. We knew with Gunnar's love of choppers, there was no other way to travel. He had SO much fun, and still talks about his ride in a helicopter. Our day trip included the best picnic lunch ever, complete with Hamilton Island Air's very own champagne.
Days 2 and 3 we stayed on the island to explore a little. We spent a little time in the resort pool, because Gunnar was dying to get in it. Then he realized it was freezing and wanted no part of it. So we then made our way down to the beach and hopped in a kayak to go see some sea turtles. We actually saw about 10-15 but we couldn't get great shots of them. I got a photo of Gunnar's face when he spied the first one, and it is priceless. Also, one popped up only a few feet from our boat and it let out a loud breath that scared me so much I screamed and scared it back under before we could get a photo of it. But we had a lot of fun out there! The next day we took a nice hike up to the top of Passage Peak, and saw some pretty amazing views! Gunnar decided on multiple occasions that his body was "too heavy" and he needed to be held. He ended up falling asleep on the way back down.
Later that day our flight was cancelled because of the rain. In fact, the flight we were supposed to leave on never even landed on the island, it was diverted to the mainland. We found out quickly that they couldn't get us off the island the next day, so we would have to find lodging for 2 extra nights on an already overbooked island. It was the beginning of race week, the busiest week on Hamilton Island, and we literally got the last room on the island. Since Virgin wouldn't cover cost of accommodation because our flight was cancelled due to weather, the resort was kind enough to give us an "emergency rate" which was probably a quarter of the actual price of our room (on the top floor of the hotel, overlooking the reef).
We took advantage of an extra full day by immediately booking a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef where we did some snorkeling (Gunnar even got into it with his wetsuit and boogie board complete with window). Highlights were a family of "Nemos", colorful parrotfish, huge angelfish, and even bigger maxima clams! We also took some trips on their glass bottom submarine to get some warmer, drier views of the fish and coral. On our 4 hour round trip to and from Hardy Reef, we saw even some migrating whales!