PhotosSaturday, February 9, 2008 - 09:08:23 pm
(Posted Under: Travel, Queensland Trip)
Today we headed off for Queensland, the first day of our week long holiday. I have really missed flying (it's been about a year and a half since I was on the plane back from the US), and have been looking forward to flying, let alone having a week off.

Once checked in, we went over to McDonalds for breakfast, which is more or less a Melbourne Airport tradition for me. It was really cool doing that with Katie, since the tradition was formed from going over to see her. After a much welcome breakfast, we went down to gate and waited. Being on a plane again, was really cool, both because it had been so long, and because we were finally getting to fly together. Katie had been excited about the Fox shows on the plane (particularly the Simpsons), and was devastated 20 minutes or so into the flight when it became apparent that it was a teaser, and was a paid service, if you wanted to watch any more. Poor Katie! It was however an opportunity for me to pull out the iPod and listen to the second hour of this week's Point Of Ventre show, which we only listened to half last night. I must admit, while it didn't take away from the excitement of heading to Queensland, I couldn't help but long for being on a plane headed for the deserts of the south west. [wink]

Photobox ImageOn this flight, I finally got an opportunity to take some photos from the plane (why I hadn't done this on my last trip to Arizona I don't know) which was really cool. It didn't seem long, especially given being used to the long flights to the US, until we were touching down in Maroochydore. Katie was fairly excited to be walking across the tarmac to the terminal, liking herself to Dr. Gonzo in the closing scenes of Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas.

Pete was clearly excited to see us, and I noticed immediately that he was wearing the Dos Equos t-shirt I'd got him from Mexico. Too cool! Did I say how incredibly small Maroochydore airport is? [smile] It, as well as the climate (duh!) reminded me a lot of Townsville, although the Townsville airport is a reasonable amount bigger.

On the trip out to Coolumn Pete said I wouldn't recognize it. I expected this to be true too, since it's been 14 years since I was last there, but I was surprised that it wasn't really. It's maybe somewhat busier, but that's about it. But maybe my memory of 1994 isn't that great, who knows! On getting to the house I changed into shorts pretty much immediately, before having some lunch, and then hitting the road. Driving out through the back of Coolumn, the cane fields were ever so familiar. Many childhood memories of that being the last thing on a long road trip to see Peter. It was interesting to discover the land is now basically useless as it floods, and the sugar cane industry is dead.

Photobox ImageThe first stop was the Big Pineapple, which Katie had been excited to see. Once she learned of it, and further more, all the big things in Australia, she came up with a new life goal - to see them all. There was some confusion as to whether it was still open, but to her delight she established late last week that it was. On arriving there, it was obvious where the confusion came from. The carpark was fairly empty, and it was obvious that the Big Pineapple's glory days were in the past. However, we still went through, climbed to the top, and what not. It was great to get to take Katie their, but also made our trip planning over the past three weeks, in terms of how much time we'd need to spend there pretty comical. We weren't sure if half a day would be enough, but as it turned out, half an hour was plenty. [smile]

Photobox ImageFrom there Pete drove us up to the Ettamogah Pub, which I thought was a great Australiana thing for her to see. Living in Melbourne for the past year, she hasn't seen too much of that stuff. By this stage, while it was really nice when we touched down, it was absolutely pouring rain. After having a drink at the pub, Pete drove further south, before we decided to head back, because the rain really wasn't letting up.

Photobox ImageOn getting back to Coolumn there were several cool waterfalls coming off Mount Coolumn, in light of the downpour (which was over by the time we got back to Coolumn), which we stopped and took a look at. The most impressive was one around the side, which came all the way down the mountain, and across a guy's driveway, and continuing down further.

Photobox ImageAfter a short pitstop out the house, we headed back out again, this time headed towards Noosa. Pete explained to Katie the yuppyness of Noosa, etc., but we both agreed we were big fans of the area (not that I haven't been there before). By this time the weather had definitely cleared up, and the beach was perfect. We drove around all the places to see, and it was definitely a great opportunity to get some great scenic shots, my favorite one to the right here.

After this we headed back down to Coolumn. Without planning it that way, today has been pretty jam packed (yet, still very relaxing) and we covered a whole lot of ground.

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