Sunday, September 17, 2006

17 - September 2006

We very much like Brisbane ("Brizzie")--even more than Sydney, though I suppose that's a must-see, at least once, for the Opera House and Bridge. Brisbane is a friendly, festive, and tidy city perfect for eating, shopping, and entertainment (you had me at hello!). And it's especially fun to be here on a Sunday, when you can hit the Riverside and Eagle Street Pier markets for all sorts of crafts, food, and souvenirs.

After strolling the many tempting booths, we caught the sleek and speedy CityCat (a catamaran for jetting around the river) to South Bank for more exploring. South Bank is a park, riverside complex, performing arts hub, college town, and shopping district in one! There, we found an even better weekend craft market (try as he might, poor Mike couldn't rein me in). We had a great falafel lunch at a ridiculously crowded falafel and kebab did many fine examples of the Australian White Ibis (they live for food spills, but they're more polite than the Hamilton Island Rainbow Lorikeets--these guys at least wait for you to vacate a table before they move in!).

Then it was off to "Dusty: The Original Pop Diva" at the Queensland Performing Arts Complex's Lyric Theatre (the hotel concierge secured us tickets this morning after we'd read about it in a local rag). It's a musical based on the life of Britain's "white lady of soul," Dusty Springfield, and it features a bunch of hits, such as "Wishin' and Hopin'," "The Look of Love," "I Only Want to Be With You," and "Son of a Preacher Man." It was a really lively and surprisingly moving show with a talented cast. Aussie audiences seem far more subdued than American ones, though--they clap only very politely and briefly, and they don't whistle or cheer or bob their heads or anything! It wasn't that they weren't impressed, either--everyone we talked to was raving at intermission.

After the show, we walked through the city to take in the lit-up city sights.

(Australia is the land of the sun tent--you see them everywhere!)

We found Brisbane's urban kangaroos to be especially friendly.

Back at the hotel, we're hunkering down to pack for tomorrow's flight to New Zealand. Room service is on it's way!

--There's a 24-hour 7-Eleven on nearly every Brisbane block (often they are literally across the street from one another, too!).

--KitKats come in every flavor imaginable in OZ, including Mint, Cappuccino, Cookie Dough, Honey Comb, Caramel Fudge, Coconut Eclair, and Hazelnut Praline.

--We've had countless Aussies ask us where we've been so far in Australia, and all have laughed that we've seen more than they have! Very few have ventured to Tasmania (they have no idea what they're missing--it was by far our favorite destination to date!), and few have traveled farther north than Port Douglas (which means they missed the Daintree/Cape Tribulation, our second favorite destination!).

Favorite sign of the day:


jessica said...

Alisa, you do pull off a hat beautifully--so cute! And yeah, "parts" of you are definitely looking pregnant--LOL! Can't see the belly yet (in photos, anyway), though... And wow on the KitKats--who'd have thought! Some sound intriguing, but others--hmmm... (And I want to hold a koala...)

5:20 PM  
Dina said...

Alisa, (or Alisar;) you do look great in hats! LOL about your pregnant looking 'parts'. I keep looking for a big belly and don't see it yet!!

I have thoroughly enjoyed 'seeing' Australia through your decriptions and pictures, and now I'm looking forward to New Zealand!!

The koalas look so cute to hold, but I've been told they're kind of smelly?

Mmmmm, hazlenut praline kit kats...

Hope Sawyer is doing well and I'm looking forward to your next post!

Dina (or Dinar;) )

7:33 AM  
Sonya said...

Hey, there's a picture of the paddle steamer I had my wedding reception on! How 'bout that!

Wow, things have changed...I've never heard of any of those kit-kats!

And, for what's it's worth, SOME Queenslanders have been all over the world... :p (I'd never move back there, either, I've become somewhat wimpy and can't handle the humidity anymore....)

I don't see any pregnant bits yet, either! Where's that belly you keep talking about?!

I hope you get to see some botanical gardens in NZ--they are spectacular!


ps--had any trouble ordering a glass of water yet? How's the apple pie?

9:14 AM  
reednose said...

I really loved these last pictures of the city lit up at night. Very cool! Hope you brought another suit case for all of those treasures it sounds like you're finding. What fun. Chuck and I still enjoy looking up at a metallic sun we got from Utah on a family trip.
Evan lost his third tooth- a front one! He is very much enjoying dressing up like Bat Man and Phantom of the Opera in his new costumes from his birthday. What a fun age. Looking forward to experiencing New Zealand with you both.
Hi Mike!

10:35 PM  
Kimbocita said...

Oh - you got to hold koalas! I am so jealous. They look so cuddly. Did you hear about the drunk Chinese guy who went into the panda cage b/c he had the urge to hug one? He got bit (no surprise) and then bit the panda. I'm glad that this koala holding went without incident -- they look like they have serious wolverine finger nails.

Mike - You must be in Kit-Kat heaven - have you been able to restrain yourself? Don't forget to bring me back some!

12:59 PM  

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