Friday, July 8, 2011

The Beginning of the End

My mom arrived at the Gold Coast Airport bright and early on June 25th slightly jetlagged, but excited to finally be in Australia. I’ve been anticipating my trip around the east coast of the country for a while and I was excited for it to begin. We began out journey on the Gold Coast for a few days. On Saturday night, mom, Julia, and I headed into Surfer’s so we could finally get to the top of Q1. Q1 is the tallest building in Surfer’s Paradise, but it is also the tallest residential building in the Southern Hemisphere. Looking at it, the building doesn’t seem that tall and I can think of at least 5 skyscrapers off the top lf my head that easily would dominate it, however, the fact is that Q1 is the tallest residential so every floor contains apartments, not offices and cubicles. From the 77th floor of Q1 it is easy to see over 20km on either side. It was a lot of fun for me and Julia to spot all the places we have visited in the past four and a half months; shopping plazas we’ve been to, the rugby stadium where we cheered like mad for the Titans even though we had no idea what was going on, and the airport wherein a few short hours she would be headed to go back home to Rhode Island. After admiring the view for a little while longer, we headed back down the fastest elevator I’ve
ever been on and met my mom. The three of us went out to dinner and then headed back to the Village. Mom was pretty tired after two days of traveling so while she was in bed, the girls and I played some games while remembering all the fun times we’ve had in Australia. I sent them off at 3:00 in the morning, not as sad as I was when saying goodbye to Tanya, but slightly emotional nonetheless.

The next day, mom and I got some breakfast and then I showed her around the area of the Gold Coast I knew best. We did a little shopping in Harbour Town and then headed into Surfer’s for the night. I took her to two Irish pubs (Waxy’s and Fiddlers, obviously) and introduced her to my favorites of Australian beer. She prefers Pure Blonde whereas I’m still partial to Toohey’s New. On Monday, our last day on the Goldie, I thought it would be fun to show her Brisbane. I’ll be honest, I’m not too familiar with Brizzy, but we managed to get a walking map and find our way around to all the places I had seen before and thought she would enjoy. We walked probably four miles altogether from one side of the river, over a pedestrian bridge, down the river, back over another bridge, and then all over shopping area in the city. We stopped at a little outdoor restaurant, had a beer and some nachos while we people watched and discussed how Australian people are quite the attractive race. After we took the bus to the train and back on the bus to school, we had to pack up five months of my stuff into two suitcases under 20kg. Needless to say, we were up late and didn’t even accomplish our goals, but it was time to move on from the Gold Coast- the place that had become home to me. I’ll always have a spot in my heart for that area of Australia. It served me well and I don’t think there is another time in my life that I’ll be able to appreciate all the Goldie has to offer than I did at the young age of 21.

Tuesday at 1:45am, mom and I woke up to a fire alarm, which I guess was the Village’s final goodbye to me. Three hours later, my alarm went off and we had to get up to catch the bus to the airport. Anyone who has used Translink will understand that the bus ride at 5:42am to the Gold Coast Airport was the most miserable ride of my life. I don’t understand why there were so many people awake at that hour taking public transit to the airport, but it was terrible in my opinion. If the bus ride wasn’t enough to put me on edge, it turned out that our flight to Cairns was an international flight so we were supposed to have been there over two hours in advance, not the 45 minutes we had allotted ourselves. We, along with a dozen other passengers, were rushed through one set of security and then the international security and customs and finally boarded the plane with five minutes to spare. The flight was luckily short and the process to go through customs once we arrived in Cairns was shorter. We finally arrived in our apartment. The apartment is in a suburb called Palm Cove and is about forty minutes outside of Cairns. It’s a cute little place, but it gives the Florida resort type feel with families of children ages 10 and under everywhere. Since it’s the dry season up in Northeast Queensland it should be beautifully sunny with a temperature of 25C everyday and not a cloud in the sky, but alas it is not. It has rained every day we have been here. I talked to Tanya yesterday and she said there had not been a rainy day in June until the 28th. We had all of an hour on the beach and then it started down pouring, but mom and I have been making the most of it… More on that later.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are spending time with your mom.. I am sure she is just absorbing it all and just THRILLED to be back with her baby.. Enjoy!!!!