1 August 2010
Today after homemade "toad in the hole" (egg in a box, for the Yanks) and french toast circles, we left Toorbul, Queensland and drove south to Brisbane. Arriving into "Brisi", I felt like Dorothy and her mates must have when they arrived at the Emerald City. The sparkling skyscrapers and river welcomed us after our month plus of driving around much smaller towns and The Outback. After driving around the CBD (Central Business District/Downtown) for at least half an hour trying to find any parking spot that wasn't a loading zone, bus zone or taxi zone - or a car park that our campervan could clear height-wise - we gave up trying to do the City Sights Hop On Hop Off city tour and continued south of the city to IKEA in the suburb of Slacks Creek. There, we had lunch and bought replacement drinking glasses for the four of six that we've cracked or broken along the trip (AU$1.99 for six...ah, IKEA!).
Brisbane is a sparkling, major city
We enjoyed 50 cent ice creams on our way out and then drove about 45 minutes further south to Gold Coast. The caravan park closest to our destination tomorrow (Sea World) was the Main Beach Tourist Park. This is by far the nicest caravan park we've stayed in. The facilities have recently been updated and there are ample washers, dryers, and irons in the communal laundry. There is a pool, playground and game room for the kids and they even hire out (rent) body boards, surf boards and videos at reception. I was also able to purchase discounted tickets to Sea World for tomorrow.
I did laundry and some shopping while Rob and the kids had a swim in the heated pool. Then, after showers, we all walked a few blocks to Mai Thai on Tedder, a recommended Thai restaurant. We were greeted with huge smiles and excitement by the head chef, Gina ("Oiy" in Thai). She gave the kids a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen and made a few special entrees (appetizers) for them. We very much enjoyed the food and invited Gina to come to Denver, where there is no really good Thai food. We exchanged e-mail addresses and, well, who knows? Perhaps there will be a yummy Thai restaurant opening in Denver next year!
After dinner, it was back to the campervan for some much needed rest for our big day with the sea creatures tomorrow.