Weekend Edition: Marapalooza

Another weekend, another great flurry of fun!

Pia’s cousin Mara graduated from the University of Queensland on Friday night, congratulations Mara! We celebrated with a family dinner that lasted so long the restaurant had closed and we didn’t even notice. However we did notice when they asked us to leave…ha!

Saturday was spent running errands and then heading to Mara’s Birthday party at her childhood home, Hunchy. It is a beautiful modern home situated on a bluff that overlooks a valley and then out to the coast. Both the views and the home are stunning plus the party was pretty darn fun too!

Allie took these photos on Sunday after the party.

Although they no longer live at Hunchy the family pets, the cows, still enjoy the beauty of Hunchy.

Happy Birthday Mooey and congratulations on graduating!

Another Late Weekend Edition: Thanksgiving

A few weeks ago Allie, Ryan and I hosted an American-ish Thanksgiving dinner at our place. It was great fun to make all the traditional foods with the added challenge of finding all the right ingredients!

We set-up the tables outside as we were having a little over 20 people over and crossed our fingers for good weather.

Eat Turkey nothing more needed, just do it!

Our Non-American friends enjoyed trying all the traditional dishes and our American friends loved eating Thanksgiving despite the 80 degree weather. Additionally there were lots of nice cold salads and dishes to accommodate the weather.

The spread, we had it all! (even some BBQ)

We had a great day with excellent food, weather as well as new friends.

Lots to be thankful for!

A soggy one but that’s alright.

We had a pretty wet weekend in Brisbane but we didn’t let the weather get in our way.

We had a picnic under cover in New Farm Park on Saturday night with new friends. It was lovely.

Pia also went up the coast for some family time.

This photo was taken from the roof of Trish’s building. Maybe there will be a break in the weather soon?

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Happy Halloween?

Last weekend we celebrated Halloween with a party at Allie’s place. There were lots of vampires, dead people, blood, etc. We had a great time and enjoyed meeting some new friends!

We went as a Magpie and a Cyclist…..

For those non-Brisbane-ites consider yourselves lucky you do not know about the war that is being waged on the bikepaths of Brisbane. Magpies are a common breed of bird in Brisbane with their mating and breeding season between September and the beginning of December. For some reason Magpies are fine with pedestrians but not with those on bikes. People are swooped or “magpied” as the phrase has come to be. As you ride your bikes through their area they will fly towards you screeching and try to hit you in someway be it your face, head or shoulder. They want you gone!

There has been many methods touted as the best way to deter magpies from swooping such as attaching zip ties to your helmet, screaming, gluing eyes to your helmet, the list continues on! There are even entire websites devoted to the tracking of magpie nests:

Magpie Maps

And videos of magpie swoopings:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES_n4DgJDHs]

Both Ryan and I have been swooped with little damage but our dear Allie wasn’t soo lucky….OUCH!

It would be an understatement to say we are looking forward to Magpie breeding season to be over with!

Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween!

Mt Coolum

Last weekend in addition to spending some quality time with great family friends up the coast, we climbed Mt. Coolum. We had climbed Mt. Coolum while we were visiting last year finding it to be a bit  of a climb as the trail was pretty worn down. During our dinner on Sunday night it was mentioned that the trail up Mt. Coolum had been redone and recently finished so we said why the heck not?

The view from part of the way up.

The steps that have just been finished in all of their glory.

Happy hikers at the top.

The view from the top look south towards Trish’s place.

We loved our newly improved trip up Mt. Coolum and are looking forward to doing it more often!

Byron Bay Part II

We are back for part II of our Byron Bay tip (part I here). Before we left for Byron Bay a few people had told us that we absolutely must watch the sunrise from Cape Byron. Not only was Cape Byron the most Eastern point in mainland Australia but it was also the first place to watch the sunrise each day (makes sense eh?).

So we decided to get up at the insane hour of 4:45 for a 45 minute walk out to the Cape making it just in time for a 5:58 am sunrise. Although there were a few clouds on the horizon blocking the sun, it was still a great sunrise.

How Ryan spent most of the sunrise.

The most eastern point is at the top of the hill behind us.

Once the sun had fully risen above the horizon our tummies were growling for some breakfast and we made the 45 minute walk back into town stopping for a few photos along the way.

After breakfast and a nap we visited Byron’s weekly market.

As expected in a hippie town there were plenty of beautiful fruits and veggies for sale.

After some coffee we then headed out to the beaches on the eastern side of the town. The wind had died down from the day before and we enjoyed a few hours on the beach.

You can see the lighthouse peaking out from the top of Cape Byron in the picture below.

Once again our tummies started grumbling (seeing trend?) and we packed up from the beach and the strong sun to a shaded picnic table to enjoy our lunch beachside.

yummmmmm

We caught a bus later in the afternoon back to Brisbane. Our time in Byron Bay was short but sweet and we can’t wait to return with guests from out of town (hint hint!).

Celebrations and another few weekends

We have been enjoying spring in Brisbane. The trees have been blooming, the days a smidge longer and warmer!

My birthday was on the 10th and to celebrate we went for a day trip the Burleigh Heads about an hour south of Brisbane.

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It was an unbelievably perfect day with highs near 80 and a cool breeze coming off the ocean.

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Also in celebration of my birthday Ryan organized a round of barefoot lawn bowls with family and friends. Lawn bowls is similar to bacci except the balls are not weighted equally and it is played on a very well maintained grass square (think putting greenish). We played at the Merthyr Bowls Club which has an excellent riverside location. We weren’t experts but it was a great time and we cannot wait to bring all of our visiting family and friends back!

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We also ventured to our local farmers market at the Brisbane Powerhouse which is just down the road from our place. The markers are very popular due to their fresh produce, delicious treats, flower bouquets and anything else you can ever want.

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Handsome market shopper.

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Successful market purchases!

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Needless to say we will be back to the Saturday markets!