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Anna's Amazing Adventures

Sunbathing in Brisbane

USA | Wednesday, 24 December 2014 | Views [456]

The morning after the siege was gloomy, literally and figuratively. There were police everywhere and a part of the city shut off from cars and foot traffic. So I walked over to Darling Harbor and then up to Circular Quay and grabbed a ferry to Toranga Zoo. I didn't actually go to the zoo, just took the ferries there and back. I don't know what it is about ferries, but they're so calming and I always get some good thinking done on them. Chicago needs more ferries, or rather, I need to go on Chicago ferries more often. Once back in Sydney, I hopped the free bus back to my hotel and was picked up for the airport. My flight to Brisbane (pronounced Brisbinn) was quick and uneventful. Once I landed I took a cab to my hotel and this Hilton wins for best shower and exec lounge. I'll get back to that in a minute, but my friend from college Audrey is currently working in Australia for the next several months, she's staying about 2 hours north of Brisbane in the Sunshine Coast (real name). She came to the hotel, and it was so nice to have a familiar, friendly face. I dropped my stuff and we took a bus to the apartment she was crashing at. The three girls who live there are Kim, Cathy and Mai. Audrey met Kim and her family working her job in Harvey Bay and they became friends. Kim cooked us dinner and we made her partially watch 'A Christmas Story', she was hooked enough to re watch it by herself to actually understand it. Kim loved my accent, and I mean would ask me to repeat words because she got so giddy over it. She completely lost it over the word Fanta...as in the pop brand. I told her that's how it was done in the '00s jingle, wanna Fanta, don't you wanna Fanta? And they pronounce it rhyming with Santa. She was also impressed with my ability to properly pronounce Melbourne. This went on for some time. I now understand how British and Australian people in America must feel. The roommates then took us to Mt. Coot-tha lookout that overseas Brisbane. It's so dark out here I can actually see stars. So I bought an app called skyview, which shows you what constellations you're looking at. Kim and I were fascinated by it, trying to find the southern cross, no such luck. Since it was a work day, they dropped me off at my hotel before heading home. Audrey and I had made plans to go to the Gold Coast to a beach called Surfers Paradise.

We began out two hour journey via train and bus. Once there we laid our stuff down then jumped in the ocean. It is hot, like 95 degrees with humidity that would make someone from the south swear about how hot it was. In the water about 5-10 minutes before I see a loofah floating near me. Not a loofah. It was a jellyfish, to which I promptly screamed at Audrey JELLYFSH and ran for the beach. Turns out these kind don't produce a rash or hurt, but can give you sea lice. I didn't want to test that theory, so I avoided them like the plague. Then  I laid out, Audrey hung back in the shade and once we were beached out, we went into town to see the shops and grab some food. We grabbed the train back and agreed to meet back at the Hilton later on to do happy hour and then head out for a bit. Kim was supposed to come as well, but she go caught up with packing for the holidays to see her family, so Audrey and I enjoyed the perks of the exec lounge and it's glorious free bar that comes with it. Then we grabbed some froyo and sat by the town square overlooking the Christmas tree and chatting. She then Headed back to Toowong, the suburb she was staying at, and I headed back to the Hilton. The one thing I wanted to see in Brisbane was the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Not necessarily for the koalas, I had seen those several times, but for the Kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, and most importantly, platypi. I saw a momma and Joey kangaroo and one very, hot, and tired Tasmanian devil (join the club buddy), but 90% of my time was spent in the platypus enclosure. There was one platypus, I named him Perry, just swimming ridiculously fast, then cork screwing through the water, he'd hit the bottom sand and then shoot up like a pinball being released. It was awesome. Then I had to catch my bus back into town to catch a cab to the airport. My final domestic flight to Cairns (pronounced Cans) to do the Great Barrier Reef.

Tags: australia, beaches, brisbane, jellyfish, sydney

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