Great New Friends and A Shorter Aussie Itinerary

We just spent three tremendous days in Brisbane lounging around, visiting and relaxing. Every day the kids played a variety of games from fort building, lego or treasure hunting (complete with custom maps in bottles!). Dinners were wonderful with Leesa-Maree’s spectacular seafood spread, one night of Dim Sum and the last consisting of amazingly juicy T-bones cooked over flame on a BBQ. Leesa was intreiged she said by my previous blog comments about all of the BBQ’s having flat pans that just fry everything. Even their own BBQ was a half combo pan & grill. The issue most Aussie’s consider is how to clean the dam grill afterwards. They personally took it out after every meal and scrubbed it with soap and water. I suggested the filthy(er) North American method of just burning the crap off for an extra ten minutes before the next meal, and then using the BBQ brush to rub off the crisp remaining pieces of carbon (formerly meat) from the grill. Any which way, they can now use the second half of the BBQ without tinfoil and have the juices of the meat locked in by searing. Mmmmm, Mmmmm, great! Other than just eating we of course spent every evening right up my alley of either playing 80’s music trivia games, watching 80’s music videos or just chatting about 80’s music while playing with all of their neat new computer gadgets. This was naturally coupled with a few bottles of wine or beer once the kids were setteled in.

For some crazy reason, Robert & Leesa-Maree invited us back right before we leave Brisbane to spend our last few nights with them. This is an option all four of us are very delighted to plan for! We (the four adults) all are “mostly” about the same age, have enormously compatible personalities, and have very closely alligned parenting ideals. Now we just have to figure out how to lure them to Canada for a few weeks in 2009!!! The only bad part of Brisbane was having to deal with the Chinese Consulate there to get our travel VISA’s. They were astoundingly rude, and as abslutely as unhelpful as I think they could possibly have been. I’ll save intricate details for “stories over beer” time with everyone, but it was a very unpleasant two mornings. (Yes, I had to go there twice…)

This afternoon before supper at the campground Claudette and I reveiwed our Australia itinerary with a calendar and decided to make some extensive revisions. Mainly, we are no longer going to go all the way to Cairns. We want to be able to spend a few days (read: two nights to four nights) at a place before moving on. Thus our schedule simply doesn’t allow us to travel all the way up. Instead we are going to go as far as Airlie Beach (between MacKay and Townsville). This is near the bottom of, but still close to the Great Barrier Reef. From that area we will take some snorkling tours out to the reef and some local islands which are supposed to be very nice as well. We have heard from many fellow campers over the last three weeks about the Town of “1770” and so are heading there tomorrow night for a few days. After that we’ll go to Airlie and take in their sights. On our way back down I am going to try and visit a Rio Tinto mine, and then we’ll visit some friends of Claudette’s girlfriend in Mooloolaba before going to check out “The Australia Zoo”. After seeing this new National icon, we’ll be back in Brisbane and getting ready to fly to Singapore, (while likely making more pirate maps, drinking more red wine, and listening to even more 80’s music!).

We don’t have South Asia planned out very well yet. So far we have a place booked in Singapore (almost as expensive as Sydney!) for two nights while we work on getting Laos & Vietnam VISA’s. We’re still toying with possibly visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia after hearing so many good things about it. We haven’t confirmed any dates with Grandma Vi for meeting up yet either…

2 Responses to “Great New Friends and A Shorter Aussie Itinerary”

  1. Leesa-Maree says:

    Things we have learnt from Canadians:
    * they don’t all wear red jackets, black hats and ride horses
    * how to make an igloo
    * how to use explosives to blast for diamonds
    * how to barbeque meat neanderthal style
    * that the band FLOCK OF SEAGULLS were big in Canada and were not just one hit wonders
    * lots and lots of computer/technical stuff that only geeks would know
    * what a skidoo is
    * how to do fairy cooking and play pirate games
    We look forward to learning more!

  2. AJ says:

    and how to stain a treasure map