And so, after 3 months in mostly Italy we returned to Australia in November 2017. We were fortunate in being able to stay with our good friends Rick & Bridgette in Sydney for a few days as we recovered from jet lag. We certainly enjoy using their spa – a nice way to relax.
One of Walters first reactions back in Oz was – sticker shock – the price of everything seemed so much more than we were used to. On one of our first mornings we went down to Balmoral Beach for a muffin and small coffee which cost more than $20 – 4 times what we spent in Italy. The worst of it is that despite our best efforts we both lost our muffins to the very smart seagulls L
Just before we left on our trip we had the misfortune of hitting a possum which damaged the front of the car. We had arranged for it be fixed on our first day back and fortunately they were able to have everything ready and repair it in one day. We then took the opportunity to have our car serviced and on the way the air-conditioner broke. Knowing we had a long trip to Brisbane we were able to arrange to have it fixed a couple days later (under warranty as the car is still relatively new).
Our trip up to Brisbane was uneventful and having left early in the morning we arrived with the peak traffic. We did have a very full car with all our luggage. Having been to the apartment we rented last year, check-in was quick and easy.
The primary reason for choosing Brisbane is that Glenda’s Mom lives their – and with her dealing with the insidious Melanoma cancer. We decided to extend our time in Brisbane for a few months originally planning to only be there until end of January. Our current plan is to stay in Brisbane until end of Jan, go travelling for Feb and back in Brisbane for March and April before heading off to Canada and Florence for 6 months.
What we love about Brisbane is that the temperature is fairly consistent in summer and we can get dressed in shorts in the morning and stay in them until going to bed even if we are out.
Christmas was spent with the family on a VERY hot day. Whilst most spent time in the pool, we did not. It was nice getting together with family but we appreciated getting back to air-conditioning back home. New Year was similarly a VERY hot day. We were invited to spend the evening with friends we met at church and were able to enjoy the time together overlooking the fireworks on the Brisbane river. It certainly was not as busy as Sydney is at New Year.
One of our favourite things is being able to get out early an run along the river. With our apartment in Kangaroo Point, we have easy access to the river and the city. We have been able to go and visit some the sites including the museum of art amongst others. We have also taken the opportunity to visit Stradbroke island just off Brisbane. The day we visited we encountered very rough seas resulting in most beaches being closed. We plan to go back when the weather is better.