This post is long overdue but hey, better late than never. Since returning from my extended mid-sem break I have been staying put (relatively speaking of course) around Brisbane and surrounding area a bit more.
On my first weekend back in town Elai came up to visit from Canberra! On Friday I showed her around Brisbane CBD and we went for a great Mediterranean dinner at a restaurant in trendy New Farm. On Saturday Elai went to a free Crossfit class at one of the gyms in my area and then we headed towards the Gold Coast for my rugby game. At night we had dinner on Caxton St. in Paddington–another hip suburb packed with restaurants and shops–before coming back to my house to host a surprise birthday party for my friend Zoe. On Sunday we headed up to the Sunshine Coast for an overnight stay in Noosa; I absolutely loved Noosa the first time that I visited so I was keen to go back and show Em my favourite beach town in Queensland! We chilled out on the beach, went for beautiful walks down the beach and around the headland, had a yummy tapas meal for dinner, and had a look around the cute shops in the morning before heading back to brissie. It was so awesome to see Em one last time in Oz; the next time we see each other will likely be on the pitch when our club teams play against each other this summer!
The following week was a catch-up week for school and such but of course I still squeezed in some activities. On the Friday I climbed Mount Warning–the tallest peak in my area and the first place to see the sunrise in Australia. The track was approximately 9kms return and took nearly four hours but the view was totally worth it! The way up was fairly moderate for the majority of the track until the last 400m, at which point it was more of a free form rock climb with a chain to help you. Needless to say it was great training for my family’s Mt Kilimanjaro trip at Christmas time!
Saturday I had rugby as per usual. Our team has been playing really well lately and we came out with a big win against the second placed team in our league. We were in third prior to that game, so the win put us into second in the league. It is going to be cool for me to watch the World Cup this year considering how many players I will know on the Canadian team. Two girls on my team here in Brisbane have been named to the Australian squad so that will also be super fun for me to watch! The teams are actually set to play each other and New Zealand in a test match in a couple weeks on a tour to New Zealand–I’m really looking forward to watching those games and seeing the results.
That Sunday we went to the Customs House in Brisbane for High Tea to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The venue was absolutely beautiful–a really old building with a great outdoor patio where we sat with a great view of the Story Bridge. This was my first high tea experience and certainly not my last. Great food and an excuse to dress up–count me in every single time.
On Wednesday of this past week I went to Dracula’s in Surfers Paradise. Dracula’s is a vampire-themed cabaret show and dinner. All staff, including servers, are in full vampire make-up and stay in character all night. The show was super entertaining and the food and drinks were also quite tasty. The show went quite late so we decided to stay the night in Surfers and enjoy the beautiful morning the next day!
On Friday Matt and I headed up to Bribie Island for the afternoon. Bribie Island has a number of inhabitants and normal elements of civilization but the far side of the island is all national park and the miles of beach is accessible almost exclusively by 4WD. So we drove up the beach until we found a spot to our liking and proceeded to play a bit of rugby, relax, swim, and BBQ up some kangaroo sausages for late lunch. A very Aussie feeling afternoon on the whole.
Yesterday my girl friends and I got off to an early start and headed to the Doomben Cup Day Horse Races at a track just a 20 minute drive from the city. I would by lying if I didn’t say one of my favourite parts of the whole day was simply people watching at this event. Everyone in attendance is dressed to the nines. But the coolest thing for fashionistas to admire are the “fascinators”–extremely elaborate headpieces worn by many of the girls that match their outfit. We watched the first couple of races to get the feel for the event and then I decided to try my hand at betting. I lost my first $5 on an underdog but doubled my second $10 on Arabian Gold. As gambling goes, I kissed my winnings goodbye on the next race when my “safe bet” first-ranked horse under performed. Overall it was a super fun day and one thing is for sure, I will most definitely purchase a fascinator for my next race!