A Day and Night in Brisbane

16 Mar

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We landed in slightly sunny Brisbane around 7:30am, right on schedule, exchanged our remaining pounds from our whirlwind tour about London and lined up to go through customs. We were told to stand inside a box that was painted on the ground and to have all of our bags with us inside the lines of the box. The customs officials then walked a sniffing beagle up and down the lineup of the 4 of us and our luggage to ensure we hadn’t brought any food over with us. Not drugs, food.

Once through customs we each got a much-needed coffee (hot chocolate for J.J. – he still doesn’t understand the addiction) before going our separate ways. The plan was to split up for the next 10 days as we had different pit stops planned along the coast, and meet up at our friends’ (Kiera and Dave’s) place in Sydney.

Tal and Jonny left us to catch their train to meet our friend Keith about 2 hours north of Brisbane and J.J. and I picked up our rental car from Hertz in the airport ($390 for 10 days of unlimited kilometers, including the Sydney drop-off fee!). Our ride for the next 10 days was a little blue Yaris –Toyota to please my dad (Toyota or Honda, right Dad?).

We had a few hours to kill before we were able to check into our Brisbane hostel so we decided to rely on what I will call ‘the Aussie playbook’, which is a very comprehensive guide to the east coast, complete with a custom-made design template of an Australian flag and an image of a kangaroo in the background, that my Australian cousin Jamie put together for us. We opted to wander the busy Queen Street area to do some coffee drinking, window shopping (okay, I did some real shopping, I admit it, but it was at Target, it was on sale and I can wear it as a dress or a skirt, and I am in fact wearing it right now) and J.J. lost a few dollars playing poker at The Treasury (which he later made up at the craps table). The area reminded me a lot of downtown Calgary, only warmer.

Finally it was time to head to our hostel, YHA, to check in. Our main goal was to get on Brisbane time as quickly as possible so in spite of being exhausted (after a 12-hour flight, a 13-hour tour of London, another 12-hour flight, a 4-hour layover and an 8-hour flight), we busied ourselves with chores like laundry and researching places we wanted to visit.

We headed out in the pouring rain only to grab a quick dinner at the train station just up the street as it was the closest place we could get food. We got back to YHA wet and exhausted, changed into dry clothes and were sound asleep within minutes – it was 8:30pm.

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