Thursday, June 22, 2006

On The Way to USA

Hey Everyone!

My last day in a foreign country was nothing too special. I ate at Hard Rock and shopped around. Im at Sydney airport about to go to Hawaii. I get to have two Thursdays! Yay!

Just a few more days! See everyone soon.

In His love
Bill <><

On The Way to USA

Hey Everyone!

My last day in a foreign country was nothing too special. I ate at Hard Rock and shopped around. Im at Sydney airport about to go to Hawaii. I get to have two Thursdays! Yay!

Just a few more days! See everyone soon.

In His love
Bill <><

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sydney!!! Woot!

G'Day Everyone!!!

I missed last night so I decided to make one big one all about our journeys in Sydney.

Well yesterday morning we started out at 8 AM for a bus tour around the whole city. Sydney is built on an absolutly gorgeous harbor. Our first stop was at Mrs McCreary's chair. Mrs McCreary was the first governor's wife and he decided to build her a chair that faced the harbor built from stone carved out of the side of the mountains here. I got my picture taken in the chair! We then toured a little and ended up in the country's Opal Collection. People shopped (I didnt). It wasnt very interesting to me, but after that we finally got to see the Sydney Opera House. Contrary to the pictures I have seen, it is not white. Its actually baige! We went inside and looked around and had a tour. Next was lunch...

After lunch we were treated to a boat tour of the Sudney harbor. The houses built on the water's edge are old-timey looking and very appealing. We were showed houses belong to the governor, Russell Crowe, and John Travolta. We came back home and had dinner. Our hotel is directly across from China Town, so dinner was interesting to say the least.

This morning I woke up at 11ish. It felt really good to finally sleep in. A few of us walked to McDonalds (they stared at me very strangely when I asked for my burger plain). At 1230 6 of us met in the lobby of the hotel to go to the Sydney Harbor Bridge. We took a taxi (my first ever cab ride) and arrived there and were told we could go early if we wanted. So we did.

Let me just say that climbing that bridge was an experience that I can compare to no other. It was completly worth the 165 dollars it toook to walk across it. I wish I still had Aussie money and time so I could walk across it again tomorrow. The whole journey took about 3 hours to do and man, am I glad I did it. I was the first person to sing the Carolina Alma Mater at the top of the bridge... did my school proud! Straight up!

After the bridge, some people went to the Opera House to watch a show. I would have gone, but the show was one of my least favorite ever (Wizard of OZ) so I decided to walk Sydney seeing as it is my last night. It wasn't even a play of WOZ! The company had sold the movie to the Opear House yet removed all the music so the symphony could play the music along with the movie. Plus it was $$$$$. No thank you. :)

Im back at the hotel now. We have our last afternoon in a different country here tomorrow. Then its off to Honolulu!

I love you all. I hope you are all doing well! I'll see you when I come home in just a few more days.

God is amazing

God be with you
Bill <><

Monday, June 19, 2006

Fooled Ya!

Dear Mothers:

I was kidding about the tattoos.

Dear Everyone Else:

Havnt done much for the past two days. They have been traveling days on our way to Sydney. We made a stop yesterday at Cape Byron, the most Eastery spot in Australia. I got my picture taken there. We stayed there for a few hours and I bought some more gifts. Last night we stayed in Coff's Harbour. Big, nice resort. Went on the beach and found some naturally round stones. (Bringing them home if I dont lose them)

Woke up this morning and have been driving all day. Stopped in Mooney Mooney. That means "bridge bridge." There was absolutly nothing there. I am now in Sydney. We're staying very close to China Town so of course I ate dinner there. Stomach hurts, but thats what I get. Tomorrow should be fun, but I'll fill everyone in on that when it occurs.

I hope everyone is doing fine. I miss you all.

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!

Love
Bill <><



God loves you...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

All Caught Up

I posted 4 blogs today. Maybe 5! Make sure you read them all. Sorry for the delay. Tomorrows a driving day... ALL DAY! Eck!

Love you all
Bill <><

Rainforest and SmoGo

Today was the most fun I have had on this entire trip!

Our OKA left at 730 this morning to go on our 4 wheel drive excursion through the rainforest! An OKA is an Aussie car that is built like a tank. We got to see wild kangaroos and koalas! After about an hour, we stopped for some SmoGo where we had Scones with fresh cream to eat and Mocha to drink. Then we got back on and rode for a few more hours. We stopped to have lunch. STEAK!! Word! At lunch we were taught to crack a bull whip and throw boomerangs. Who was the first to master both? Me! I mastered the over head crack so well that a guy thought I had been in the rodeo. He asked "Hell you from, Texas?" I responded "Georgia" *CRACK* All the people around me were like "OOOOH!" Got back onto the OKA. Saw more wild roos and wallabies and koalas. Then we went for a walk in the rainforest. Saw a waterfall. Walked on a swinging bridge and fed birds (one ate my finger).

Now Im back about 10 hours later in the hotel. I just had Hard Rock Cafe and I headed to watch some more rugby!

Love you all!
Bill <><

Fresh Off the Ferry

G'Day!

Off the ferry!

We headed to the city of Mooloolaba to go the Underwater World - a pretty big aquarium in the middle of a harbor. I saw a pretty cool (over rated) seal show. Mrs Saunders got kissed by the seal. The aqarium had turned a Honda CRV into a fish tank for tropical fish. I then proceeded to the otters. Just as cool as I had ever imagined. There was an underground chunnel where you stood on a moving sidewalk and it took you around as fish and sharks swam over you. I saw a really cool crab. Got his picture.

DinoLand was part of Underwater World. I didnt see the connection but I went in anyway. Nothing special. Took a picture to show yall.

We are now in Surfers Paradise! This place is exactly like Daytona. Everyone on the trip agrees. We got here a little late so we went out for dinner. The next part you wont believe.

4 people from our group... 5 tatoos. Your lucky mom! I got talked out of getting a piercing and I want my inheiritance so I didnt get any ink either. The hot tub was closed when we got back. My TV is busted! :(

Love you all! Hope everything is going well. Your in my prayers!

God be with you
Bill <><

Fraiser Island

Woke up... got on a ferry. Not a bad way to start the day.

And what goes better with a ferry other than Swing Dancing? Of course I did it, yall! Why doubt me? After the dancing I went to front of the ferry and saw the absolute brightest rainbow I have ever seen in my life. Dolphins swam next to our boat. We figured our that if we leaned directly into the wind, the wind would push us back up. Paula and I played out the Titanic scene "Im king of the world!!!"

Eventually we disembarked onto Fraiser Island, the largest naturl sand island in the world. The resort I am at now rivals the Cloister back home....WOW!!! Dinner was interesting... They serve their burgers here with beets, carrots, and a fried egg on top. (Not to bad but not to good neither) After dinner we headed to the pub where we watched the big Rugby game. Such an awesome sport! Ended the day with 4 hours in a hot tub.

The next day I was able to sleep in for the first time all trip. I woke up and did what else? Laundry! Then 4 more hours in the hot tub. After dinner we went star gazing. The Southern Cross is beautifully amazing and amazingly beautiful. Below it runs the milky way. We lied down and watched as 5 shooting stars passed by.

Wake up t 530 tomorrow. Then back to the ferry. Need to sleep... I guess.

It was nice to talk to the Family! Love you all!

God loves you
Bill <><

Noosa - Zoo(sa)

4 hour flight from Aukland to Brisbane. Yep! I have finally made it to the Aussie!

Got off the plane and our Tour Guide announced that he had a surprise for us. Welcome to the Aussie Animal Sanctuary. I saw every Aussie animal except the platapus. I got to hold a Koala, scare an emu and get bit by an ibis all within a few hours. The kangaroo cage was so cool! I got to go in it and pet them. I held my hands out to one roo and he thought I had food so he put his hands in mine. Got that picture. Perhaps the coolest animal ever is the echidna or spiny anteater. I have a picture of one eating cat food. Sweet!

Got some gifts!

We then proceeded to Noosa, my favorite city thus far. Absolutly gorgeous beach! Great ice cream! Great looking girls who serve the ice cream! Great looking girls who serve the ice cream and flirt with me at the same time! I took the mountain trail. You have got to see this picture I took of me on a rock above the ocean. Very nice!

Im back in Brisbane now for some sleep. I have a ferry ride in the morning. Only about another week! Hope everyone is doing well!

In His love!
Bill <><

SHEEP!!!

Hey Yall!

Today was my last day in New Zealand and what a day it was!

First we set out for the Agrodome. Thousands and thousands of sheep everywhere! 4 million people in New Zealand and 40 million sheep. We met 19 different species of sheep. A true dream come true! At one point they showed us how to sheer a sheep and how to use pressure points to make it "comfortable" but then I got called up for a contest. YES!!! A contest involving sheep! I can do this. It was a lamb feeding contest and yes I did win. So what did I win? An arm full of wool which I cant clear at customs. Oh well :(

Now for what I promised you...

It was pouring down rain... "Hips dont lie" was on the radio... I was 150 feet in the air.... I jump! THe bungee cord snatches me back and forth! WOOT!!! Such a rush! Yes! I did in fact bungy. However, I have no pictures to prove it so everyone will have to take my word on it.

Then something relly strange happened... I had met this girl at USC orrientation whos sister was studying abroad in New Zealand. Well, today I met the sister... small world. Amazing.

Gotta go to bed. Early flight!

Love you all
Bill <><

SHEEP!!!

Hey Yall!

Today was my last day in New Zealand and what a day it was!

First we set out for the Agrodome. Thousands and thousands of sheep everywhere! 4 million people in New Zealand and 40 million sheep. We met 19 different species of sheep. A true dream come true! At one point they showed us how to sheer a sheep and how to use pressure points to make it "comfortable" but then I got called up for a contest. YES!!! A contest involving sheep! I can do this. It was a lamb feeding contest and yes I did win. So what did I win? An arm full of wool which I cant clear at customs. Oh well :(

Now for what I promised you...

It was pouring down rain... "Hips dont lie" was on the radio... I was 150 feet in the air.... I jump! THe bungee cord snatches me back and forth! WOOT!!! Such a rush! Yes! I did in fact bungy. However, I have no pictures to prove it so everyone will have to take my word on it.

Then something relly strange happened... I had met this girl at USC orrientation whos sister was studying abroad in New Zealand. Well, today I met the sister... small world. Amazing.

Gotta go to bed. Early flight!

Love you all
Bill <><

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Checking In

G' Day Everyone!

Just letting everyone know that I am alive. I havnt had a chance to write in 3 days. I have had an absolutly amazing time and now am on Fraiser Island. The resort Im staying at rivals the CLoister. It is absolutly amazing. I said "Wow" as soon as I walked in and would have dropped my bags but they had been carried to my room already by the service here. I have three days of blogs to catch you up on which I will do tomorrow as I have almost two full days of leisure here. I love you all. God loves you more.

Come back tomorrow or the next day and I will have the three blogs up.

Bill <><

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Day with the Mau Ori

Kia Ori!

Above you is the traditional greeting of the Mai Ori people, the true natives of New Zealand, with whom I have spent the past two days. You have to understand that New Zealanders (who call themselves Kiwis) are very proud of thei Mau Orian history or else none of this might make any sense.

After getting off the plane and saying bye to Anna (:-p), we traveled from Aukland to a place called the Waitomo (water in the hole) caves where we got onto a boat and travled deep into the caverns. We came to a spot that was pitch black and were told that it wo0uld be like this the entire rest of the way but not to be worried because there would be natural light. I looked up and saw thousands and thousands of glow worms. They lit the rest of the way and kinda looked light a big stained glass window. I tried to take a picture but was yelled at... so I took a picture without them knowing and it didnt even work one bit. Oh well...

The rest of the afternoon was empty until dinner where we were treated to a traditional Mau Ori feast. Lamb, clamb, sweet potato, fish, venicine, rice, chicken, pork. Yes... all of that and more on one plate. After the dinner the Mau Ori community put on a tribal show where they displayed their dances and songs of their people. Naturally, given the opportunity, I joined in and went on stage. That night I crashed into bed at 9... about 5 hours earlier than I usually do.

Woke up and had breakfast at 730 where I had Vegemite which is just as bad as I had heard it was. Turns out they make it with the yeast thats too bad to get into beer. Nasty. We then traveled to the Mau Ori cultural center (absolutly boring), but on the other side of the center was a geyser park. The geysers were boiling sulpher and reeked or rotten eggs but were very pretty to look at. I have pictures but our hotel does not allow us to upload them so you'll hjave to wait to see them. We then went to lunch.

At lunch, we had the chance to take a Luge ride - so take it I did. A luge is a sled that you sit in and twist and turn all down the side of a mountain. A great rush! I flipped once on th beginners course and became filthy but got up and tackled the other course with ease. Won the race both times! Woot!

On the way back to the hotel we passed a building over the water. We were told that inside the building was a statue of Jesus that looks as if He is standing on the water as He did in the Bible. However, Jesus is depicted to be Mau Ori. We got back to the hotel and went swimming in the hot pool and then ran around in the cold (dont forget its winter here). Im now waiting for dinner.

I leave Rotorua in the morning for Aukland. I wont tell you what Im doing there because I want it to be a surprise but let me just say I'll have a new experience to write about. I hope all of you are all doing well. We all miss you. Oh! By the way! We are the only highschoolers on this trip. The rest are really old. So far, thats the only set back. Ask me abvout Huunga when I come back home! I have to show you that Cat!

Gotta go watch some Rugby. THe All Blacks are playing Ireland.

God loves you!
Bill <><

P.S. I saw a kiwi bird. They are huge! Like the size of a coconut!

Quote: "Pukana! I want to eat your flesh!" - Mau Ori

Friday, June 09, 2006

...Friday?

Well... my Friday June 9 only lasted 3 hours. At that moment, I crossed the international date line and it became Saturday June 10. The flight turned out to be 11 hours and 59 minutes. Wow. But you know what? It wasn't bad at all.

My seat number was switched again at check-in which put me at the very fronbt of the plane while everyone else in my group was in the very back. THe first lady to my left was named Lisa and she was older and therefore liked to read and ignore teenagers, but right before the plane took off our other seat-mate came aboard. Anna, an Australian in her early 20s came and sat on my right. Wow! THat made my flight ten times better. First she was very nice. Second, she was very attractive, and third she had the Aussie accent that made her even more appealing. She explained to me that her friend had flown her in to California and now shes on the way back home. She gave me the candy that she had bought for her friend's children. Yes! So we shared her "jollies" (candy) and talked most of the time. THen I finally saw Crash which was an absolutly amazing film. The airline provided us a choice of over 50 movies and games and TV shows to watch. NOt a bad way to spend 11 hours :) "The Best of Simon and Garfunkle" knocked me out and I woke up in time for 2 meals and to watch our decent into Aukland, an amazingly beautiful city. Im now in Roturua and am running out of time so I must sign off.

Ill write back sometime within the next day or so to tell you all about what Ive done. Keep up the postings! Thanks for reading and caring about me!

Love you all
Bill <><

Quote:

"Soccer is a game for Nancy-Boys" - Peter, our bus driver

Thursday, June 08, 2006

First Official!

Greetings everyone from LAX! I have been on a plane almost all day and am exhausted!

Got to the airport today in Jacksonville for my 4AM flight up to the ATL. My first flight in 6 years and its only 45 miinutes long. I had the plessureof watching the sun rise all the way through the cluds and it was absolutly breath-taking! The ground was a sea of clouds displaying every color you coud ever imagine. As we passed through a huge cloud and came out the other side, my good friend Holly turned to me and asked, "How can someone see this and not believe that there is a God above. Beautifully put. 45 minutes later we began our decent and thats whenthe weak Bill Culpepper ears kicked in. The pressure took such a great toll on me that I was blood red in the face and my nose was running uncontrollably. Yes. It hurt. Ouch. But then my ears finnaly released ad all the olor returned to myface. How was that image for you, Mom?

2 hour lay over in Atlanta was uneventful except for the electric shock that took over me. Turns out that static electricity can travel up a blanket, into my MP3 player, into my headphones and finally shock e in both ears. Myears did not have a good day.

WE left Atlanta and traveled 4 hours to LA. Turns out Claifornia looks unmistakably like Florida. LA looks EXACTLY like Orlando in most places. 12 hour lay over in LAX gives us time for a bus tour with a tour guide who thought tht since we were from Georgia, we must be hillbillies. He felt the need to explain to us the entire OJ SImpson trial for some odd reason becuase he thought we had never heard of it...?? Yeah... Anyway we traveled to the many many many "towns" of LA. Stopped in the Mexicna on which was awesome because we got to bu Luchador masks and now look very fearsome. Passed China town and Tai Town and then apparently Ethiopia Town which took me by sur[rise. The walk of stars is very cool as is the Kodak Theater and the Great Chinese THeater. Pictures will be up when I dont have to pay for a time limit onn the internet. Be up soon. I promise. THe Hollywood sign is indeed real contrary to mysister's belief and we have pictures of that as well. I met the freshest new face of Hip-Hop (Julian J). So fresh that he hasnt released anything. Sweet. He has potential. Got to listen to his demo. Pretty nice.

THe Chinese food is bad. Dont get it at LAX whatever you do. My next flight leaves in about 2 hours and is an 11 hour over sseas trip. THe airline screwed up and split up our entire group so that noone is sitting by anyone elsefrom our group. I will have arandom person to my left and to my right. I see it as a chance to showcase my unique Bill-ness. TImes running out on my Internet so I have to go

Miss you all.Hope yall can get on with out me. Write yall again when I can get to a computer. Love you all. Comments are appreciated.

God loves you,
Bill <><