Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Shock to the system

After a relaxing day on Stradbroke Island, we knew our last week in Brisbane would be full of packing and goodbyes. On Tuesday night we went out in the city to say fairwell to Joe and Steph. We met at an Irish bar to grab some food and a few drinks. Once we were there we realised we were in the middle of a quiz for a laugh we jotted down a team name (Bananarama) onto a sheet and away we went. Unsurprisingly we didn’t come first, but saying that we didn’t come last either! All in all it was good fun and we finished it all off with a game of bowling. 
The following day was my last shift at the bakery. Most of the guys were there, giving me chance to get some photos and exchange emails. My time at the bakery has been enjoyable and not only will I miss the people but also the yummy cupcakes that they make :)

Jo finished work on Friday. Some of the crew weren’t working but they popped in to wish her well. She has enjoyed her time at the cafe over the past months and she can now make a mean coffee! They bought her a box of chocolates and gave her a postcard with messages on as a leaving present. She said she will miss the staff there as she got on really well with them however, the early shifts she won’t miss!
Friday evening was our last night in the house. After cooking our final meal and finishing off the biscuits it was time to pack. We both couldn’t believe how much we had accumulated since being over here. We just hoped we wouldn’t have any problems at the airport with baggage fees...
After a really good night’s sleep it was time to go. Before getting on the bus we gave one last wave to Morningside. We have really enjoyed our time in Brisbane and we now have lots of memories to take away with us.
Our next stop was Brisbane airport. We were flying with Tiger Airways to Melbourne as they are one of the cheapest airlines, and we were about to find out why. Whilst queuing to check in our luggage, we noticed a lot of people handing money over the counter. Once at the check-in desk the lady asked to weigh our luggage. We thought we would be OK as in the past no airline has weighed our carry on luggage or my laptop bag, giving us chance to spread our weight. However, Tiger weighed everything, even Jo’s handbag! We were informed it was $15 per kilo if you go over...$75 later and we were through. Oops!
The reason Melbourne was our next stop was to visit family. My dad has family there, who we visited last time. However, this time we planned to stay for a bit longer. We arrived at Melbourne airport just after 5pm. As we got off the plane we noticed a change in the temperature. Everyone had joked about how cold it is in Melbourne, however we didn’t believe them. Our last visit was in early 2008 and it was very hot. With summer just beginning over here we thought we would be OK. We were wrong. When you can see your own breath you know it’s cold! Jo and I both looked at each other in disbelief and darted for an extra layer. As we exited the terminal, Mark was there to greet us. The drive back to the house took just under an hour. We picked up the kids and headed off out. Mark said he was going to treat us to a meal so we headed off to a restaurant. It was a lovely meal and it gave us chance to have a catch up and talk about lots of different things.
That night we had our own room which was attached to the house like an annex. It was good as it gave us both a chance to catch up on sleep.
Mark, Jane and the kids all live about an hour from Melbourne in a place called Beaconsfield. We thought we would spend most of Sunday just exploring the area as Mark said how similar it is to Devon. We headed off towards a pub which both Mark and Jane recommended. It was a really nice walk full of greenery and lots to see. Some parts reminded us of home.
Along the way we kept on talking about the sudden change in weather. One minute we’re all in shorts and the next we’re all wrapped up. It just goes to show how big this country really is.
We stopped at a pub along the way to grab a worthy drink. This would hopefully give us enough energy for our short walk back (*cough*). The plan was to simply do a loop and approach the house from the other side. After one wrong turn we realised we were going the wrong way. It was too late to turn back so we just got on with it. It added another hour onto the journey but it gave us chance to take in some more scenery.
That evening Jane cooked lasagne for everyone. We spent another night talking about home and our time over here. We then huddled around the fire and watched a bit of telly.
The following day Mark dropped us off at the train station and we parted. After tackling the ticket machine we jumped on the train and headed for the city. Once at the YHA we dropped off our luggage and headed out for some grub. Last month we noticed that there was an exhibition on in Melbourne featuring all the work of legendary film director Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice and Batman) With us being film fans we thought we would go along. Unfortunately we couldn’t take any photos but I managed to get a few before we went in.
The whole exhibition was fascinating. They had everything in there from when he was a kid right up until his recent films. You can see from his early drawings that he had something special to offer. From poems to sketches all the way to costumes from Alice in Wonderland. It was all there. It was a pleasure to see and if it comes over to the UK we would highly recommend it!
The rest of that day was spent pottering around. Because we had already spent a lot of time here in 2008 we just enjoyed taking it easy. One thing that wasn’t here last time was a ‘bike scheme’ that the city is trialing. Basically, you pop your card into the machine and select the duration and hey presto you have hired a bike. You can hire it from as little as 2 hours all the way up to a year! It all looked very impressive. I wonder if Barnstaple will ever get something similar...!!
Later that day we popped into a shoe shop as my trainers were in need of replacement. With my birthday being the following Sunday Jo said she would treat me to a new pair. It was still over five days away but I had something to look forward to after our visit to Alice Springs...!


Jean and Geoff said...

Thanks for your lovely blog. We always enjoy them and it is so nice to read of you enjoying your time together. We are looking forward to seeing you soon! Take care! Love from us both.