Viva Bris Vegas…

We arrived in Brisbane the morning after a huge thunderstorm, but thankfully that had all pass by the time we got there. The flight was as flights are – long and boring, ‘specially those overnight flights. The only thing defferent was that I’ve never been so cold in a plane! My feet in particular were freezing, though I was cold all over – I could feel cold air blowing on my legs and feet for the entire flight. I had socks and sneakers on, a blanket, a jacket, and an additional cardigan draped over me. Anyway, no major dramas. After arriving we picked up our rental car and headed to the Redcliffe Peninsula. We had some time to kill before we could check in (our flight arrived at 6am) so we drove around a bit, getting our bearings, then stopped at a cafe on the foreshore in Redcliffe for some breakfast before making our way to our waterfront unit in Margate. The unit was quite nice, ground floor with a glassed-in balcony where we could sit and watch people walking along the boardwalk, watch the ships come and go and watch the planes come and go.
We spent the first few days driving around, checking out different areas that we thought we might like to live. Brisbane is an older city than Perth and sprawls over a large and hilly area. Roads go up, down, sideways and around hills. The traffic is crazy as, in addition to the hills, a lot of the roads are quite narrow.
It didn’t take us long to narrow down our desired possible-future-home-suburbs as Sangate or Shorncliffe with Clontarf coming in a distant third. The thought of living in Clontarf had been quite nice as we’d stayed in Clontarf Castle when we were in Ireland. But the shine wore off that idea a bit when we drove around Clontarf Qld.
Our girls would absolutely love Sadgate beach anyway. So much shallow, calm water – just made for dogs to play in. It might look a bit like mud flats but it’s not. It’s very enjoyable to walk along.
We’d love to buy a renovated Queenslander, but they are very pricey and with 2 large aging golden retrievers a high-set home may not be the best idea. We’d probably also want to sell the house in Woolgoolga if we wanted to buy a Queenslander of any size. We’ll keep an eye on prices over the next few months and just see what the maket in the Sandgate area does. One of the big bonuses with Sandgate/Shorncliffe is the proximity to a train station and an easy train trip for Stephen to work.
We had a look through a couple houses while we were there to see just what you get for your money. None of them were exactly what we’d want – which is probably a good thing as we’re not ready to buy yet.
We also spent a day up at Mt Coottha and in the botanical gardens. That was really pleasant and the views from Mt Coottha are stunning.
I think everyone should be away from home on holidays on their birthday, and I achieved that while we were away. We hopped on the train and headed into the city on my birthday for lunch at a Japanese restaurant we’d been to a couple of thimes before, on a previous visit to the city. Unforunately we discovered that Sono isn’t open for lunch on weekends so that was very disappointing. Never-the-less, we did find a Japanese cafe/take-away with ready-made but good food – not classy like Sono but better than some fast-food Japanese we’ve had.
We caught up with our good friend, Sam, mid-way through the ‘holiday’. We had a lovely time. We saw her new home – very nice. We met her new squeeze. He’s very nice too.
Mum caught the bus up from Nambucca Heads a few days later and stayed with us for a couple of nights before we drove back down to Nambucca with her. We had a lovely day up in Montville while she was with us. Weattempts to contact Paul made several in the hope the we could catch up with him, though we got no response to email, text message or phone call. We were really disappointed about that.
We had pretty good weather in Brissy. It was a bit overcast and rainy some days, but not enough to stop us getting out and about, and not even enough for us to put on coats.
We headed down to Nambucca with the intention to spend a few days with mum and also doing an owners inspection of the Woopi house. All went as planned except for mum having picked up a bug os some sort on the morning we left Brisbane and being unwell for our stay with her.
The house inspection went well, everything is ok and our current tenants are taking care of things, unlike our previous let’s-not-go-there tenants. We detoured back to Nambucca through Coramba so we could have a look at Mountain Ash Pottery to see whether there was anything new we could add to our collection. We decided not to buy anything this time, but filed a couple of pieces in the memory banks for if we do move to Brisbane.
On the Sunday before we left we went for a walk from mum’s to the V Wall and then stopped for some lunch at the tavern. There were dark clouds and rain on the horizon and it drizzled a bit while we sat on the balcony eating. Then as we headed back the drizzle got heavier and turned into rain. Luckily we made it to a Lions BBQ shelter and were able to wait the rain out without getting wet. We headed back to mum’s and soon after the rain started again. It was still raining when we left for Brisbane on the Tuesday. We drove through water twice in our little rented Hyundai i30 as we went through Grafton; that was interesting! The rain stopped soon after and by the time we got to Brisbane the weather was hot, humid and brilliantly sunny.
We couldn’t believe the weather reports the next morning when we heard that Coffs Harbour flooded and the highway was closed later in the day on Tuesday. We were so lucky to get out!
All in all I guess the trip was successful in that it achieved it’s goals of finding us a suburb we’d be happy to live in and gave us an indication of what’s for sale and how much we’ll have to pay to get something we’d really like. It wasn’t a relaxing holiday, ‘though, in fact it was quite stressful.
I’ve decided this post is long enough so I’ll post the photos in a separate post.

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