My birthday party was awesome fun. Party like a Rockstar is a pretty good theme, a lot of people dressed a bit edgier than they might have ordinarily and there were some stand out cool costume efforts as well.
My friends are lovely generous people who give good presents, help clean up and generally make me feel very happy to know them.
Lee and I got up at 4.15am on my birthday to get to the plane. The flight was long but uneventful. I wrote in my real actual diary, which I hadn’t done in over a year. I also began re-reading Harry Potter 7, which is very good second time around. Although now that I know Dumbledore is gay I kinda want to re-read the whole series.
We arrived at 7.15 am in Brisbane along with a million other people who all had to go through immigration + customs with us.
We picked up our zippy little automatic rental car and headed to the Sunshine Coast, arriving way to early even with a second breakfast pitstop in some small town.
We left the car at out hotel (the Break free Caribbean Mooloolaba) and explored Mooloolaba. Underwater World was awesome. Giant sharks, giant rays, seals, otters, zillions of fish from around the world, turtles, a crocodile and a frozen giant squid (3 metres).
There were heaps of nice restaurants along the beach front, and we ate very well indeed. I shall make a whole blog on the food later. I also fell in love with a little chain store called Mobasa which stocks awesome clothes, quirky accessories, cheap earrings and funny slogan tshirts with nice art. I think it was made for me. I think I should open a franchise of it in New Zealand.
We went to Maroochydore on Monday and did some shopping (many DVDs), then on Tuesday we had a slow start, going to Underwater World again in the morning and then out to Australia Zoo in the afternoon. Australia Zoo was very good but very overpriced.
We saw the show at the Crocoseum with the birds flying about and the giant saltwater croc being displayed. Amazing stuff. I also got to touch a wombat, a kangaroo and a koala. I could have fed an elephant but the lines were very long.
It was astonishingly hot over there. I really really liked it.
Wednesday we went to the Eumundi markets, which I found to be not as cheap and interesting as I had hoped for. Then we checked out Noosa and I got grumpy from lack of food.
Thursday we had a nice nothing day, hanging about by the hotel’s pool and reading and catching a movie in the afternoon (it was much too windy to go to the beach). We saw Death at a Funeral again, and it was still pretty awesomely funny. Also bought more DVDs.
Friday we said goodbye to the Sunshine Coast and drove to Redcliffe, where we got on a big Catamaran called the ‘Eye Spy’ to go whale watching. It was a 1ish hour cruise around Moreton Bay and then out to the whale watching waters. The humpbacks calf around the East coast of Australia, so we saw a few different mummy and baby mini-pods.
They were very tolerant of the boat, and didn’t mind us coming quite close. They swam around and surfaced for air, didn’t see any tail slapping or leaping out of the water, but one of the babies did a little breach, which is when they come half out to get a look at you.
It was quite breathtaking even if they didn’t ‘perform’ like you see in videos, etc. They are just very big and it is quite hard to get used to that.
After the cruise we headed for Brisbane. Friday evening rush hour traffic is not the time to arrive in a large metropolitan city. Especially not when your hotel is located on a pedestrian only mall. The back entrance/car park was accessible through a one way side street, the entrance to which is through a poorly signposted part of the mall where you are actually allowed to drive but you have to turn a corner to see the side street.
Lee and I drove for about two hours trying to find the wretched place. I was close to tears by the time we parked in a parking building and went on foot to find the hotel, but it is to our credit that we didn’t get angry with each other. No fighting, no yelling. Just a lot of frustrated trying to navigate the one way systems and read the tiny street signs.
By the time we got into our 20th floor room at the Chifley at Lennon’s we were both a little anti-Brisbane.
I can’t recommend the Chifley, they charge you for parking in their carpark, their pay per view movies are $15 each and the rooms aren’t very well sound proofed. The room was teeny, although you get that at hotels, and there was no bath. The spa pool was nice though, and they provided towels for you to use at the pool.
On Saturday we went to IKEA, because Lee’s sister asked us to get a train set for Swearing Niece. Lee and I fell in love with IKEA. Lee bought a little barbeque. It’s silver and spherical and looks like a little alien UFO. I bought a giant dragon toy and some whimsical fabric amongst other things.
In the after-IKEA we went to Brisbane Museum which was very cool, although smaller than I would have expected. I really liked the Museum Zoo exhibit which was designed so you could see how big animals really are with a parade of taxidermy animals down the middle of the room and outlines of really big stuff on the wall.
Checked out the art gallery briefly too, but our feet were getting awfully sore by that point.
Sunday, our last day in Australia saw me being woken early by celebrating South Africans on the street 20 floors down. After checking out we headed to DFO, a big outlet mall right by the airport and more shopping than you can imagine was done. Lee got a whole outfit. I got new tog tops (2 for $15), high high top pink converse Chucks ($50), enough bras for a year ($80), the softest robe in the world ($30) and a Puma sweatshirt ($12.50) plus a Christmas present or two.
We spent a while after that chilling in the sun by a river (with a pelican in it!) and then went to the airport. The light home was way quicker, but there was some massive turbulence once we hit Wellington area and I had to try hard not to think about Lost.
Home again by 1am Monday morning and slept a nice long time into Monday. Labour Day was spent almost entirely in visiting our families; mine for lunch, Lee’s for dinner. It was extremely pleasant, especially since Wellington put on a nice sunny day to welcome us back.
PoF: “my inner child is a nasty little monster” tshirt from Mombasa.