Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Recovery, Mountains, Zoo, and Sand Storm of Queensland, Australia

Wonder what we've been up to these first few days in Queensland? Here's a quick recap, and a few tips on things to do while visiting the Brisbane area. (But there is also much, much more to come!!!)

The Day of Recovery (Sunday, September 20th)
Napped, had sandwiches, enjoyed Viera's home-made beef stew for dinner, walked aroung The Gap (an upscale community north-west of Brisbane) in the evening... beneath the soaring cockatoos and noisy parrots. At night, wondered if we had made a mistake by subjecting our kids to such extreme jet lag, as they perked up at 10 PM. With a little creativity (walking with the stroller outside, a late-night dinner, warm milk, and a quick bath), by 11 we were all sleeping soundly once again.

The New Farm Day (Monday, September 21st)
Woken up by the calls of an early-morning Kookaburra. And as the suburb of New Farm holds a special place in our heart, that's where we headed next. It's where we used to live. We lunched at the Italian-owned New Farm Deli, walked beneath the jacarandas in New Farm park (pronounced "New Fom Pok"), played amongst enormous fig trees at the historic New Farm Playground, followed the footpath along Brisbane river to Sydney Street, had coffee at Café Moray, walked down Merthyr Road. Then enjoyed Viera's home-made lasagna back at her cozy hilltop home in The Gap.

A Day in the Glass-House Mountains & Australia Zoo (Tuesday, September 22nd)
Missed the croc show with Terri and Bindi Irwin, but enjoyed the later "Wildlife Warriors show". Also liked cuddling with the koala for a Kodak moment, meeting Luca (our "adopted" Koala), seeing the wallaby cuddling with it's binkie, and getting up-close-and-personal with numerous water dragons. The drive back down to Brisbane was spectacular, as the sun set into the oddly shaped peaks of the Glass House mountains (although I was slightly heartbroken that there was no good spot for a photo). We ended the day with some brilliant grilled barramundi, fried calamari, and a bottle of BYO wine at one of our favorite Brisbane eateries: "D'lish Fish & Chippery" in the historic little suburb of Winston.

The Sand Storm Day (Wednesday, September 23rd)
Another day of R&R, to offset the chaos. Ate breakfast at our friends' house in the suburb of The Gap, took a nap, went for a coffee, enjoyed a pedicure in the trendy James Street district. All in the midst of an eerie sandstorm that overtook much of the East coast. Hope it clears up soon, so we can visit the incredible light house at Byron Bay, hike the hills of Brisbane Forest Park, and meander through rainforests in Lamington and Springbrook National Parks. We do love this place, and there's little question why.

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