Cuddle a Koala

We finally took our first real adventure to somewhere outside of the city…the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary!  It was fantastic and we will highly encourage everyone coming to Brisbane to make the trip!  There is a river cruise offered from Brisbane City so obviously that was the way to go.  We got lost finding the infamous Miramar 2 but after making our first local phone call we found the dock, bought our tickets and boarded the boat for the 1 hour and 45 minute boat ride to Lone Pine!

The boat had commentary giving information and details about the neighborhoods we floated through and the famous stories, buildings & people along the way which we found to be very interesting!

Me and Ben on the Miramar 2!

 

Once we got to the sanctuary we were on our own…well, kinda…us and about a million koalas and half a million kangaroos, not to mention the many other animals!

We immediately ran to buy our tickets to cuddle a koala… they actually allow you to hold koalas!

If Tilly had been there it would have been our Christmas card…

Isn’t he cute?!  So, is the koala… 😉

 

The koalas are SO CUTE and soft!  But they are sleepy little guys…they only allow the koalas to stick around for 30 minutes each.  Thank goodness!  They looked like they were about to fall asleep every time they were held.

 

After the koalas we were 100% satisfied but to ensure we brought everyone we know back…they let us play with the ‘roos!  The kangaroos!  And yes, you get right up close to them, touch them, feed them, lay down with them…whatever you want!

 

(and if you’ve seen Ben’s bottle opener this guy proves that those things may be real…ick)

My standoff with an emu – these guys were fearless!

The wombat!

The crocs!

No, no, that’s not a picture of Tilly sent from home – it’s a DINGO!  And they let us pet them…

Despite the floral leash Ben had no interest in petting the wild animal.

Now, that there is a Tasmanian Devil. Ben wouldn’t have gone home happy if we hadn’t seen this little dude.  It was sleeping.

This wasn’t even half of the animals there.  We saw a sheepdog show, a sheep shearing show (which I didn’t enjoy at all!) a platypus, a echidna and a lot of birds!

Overall, we give our first adventure an A+ and if you come, you will be going too! 😉

Footy!

Well – Ben and I ventured out on a Friday night with people other than just ourselves!   Some of Ben’s co-workers asked if we wanted to join them on a Friday night trip to a *footy* match!  Since we’re locals we call it footy…you can continue to call it rugby.

I asked Ben to blog about it (after all he does play the sports reporter role in our relationship) but he wasn’t thrilled about the idea.  Since he wasn’t interested – you’ll get my version of sports commentary 🙂

I introduce you to FOOTY!

we’re here!

As promised, I’ve started a blog…it’s been almost two weeks and there is already so much to share (if I haven’t already done so with you!)  I am definitely what you’d (I’d) call a “fun pusher”…or something like that.  I am guilty of sending as many texts, posting as many pictures and check-ins as I feel appropriate to make sure others are significantly jealous. 😉  Have I succeeded?

Ben and I have had a 2 week whirlwind!  Every time I sit back and think about what we are doing and where we are I literally can’t believe it!  It seems like months ago that we left for our 20-some hour trip Down Under!  For all of you coming to visit, ahem ;), I want you to know that it is not nearly as bad as it seems it would be.  I was enamored by the plane alone – it was huge!

Me and Ben at the airport before leaving…only a few tears

Our plane!  It was a double decker!  (and no, there isn’t a great bar to socialize at or a movie theater up there…it’s just for those important enough to fly First Class…i.e. not me.)

First, let me start by saying this city is *GORGEOUS*. (and I will be using the word ‘gorgeous’ much more often.  The Aussies really know how to make someone feel good or describe a tasty dish…they are all GORGEOUS!)  Every chance we get we are walking around and exploring the city.  The Brisbane River runs right through the middle of it, which makes for beautiful scenery and quite the view out of many of the boardwalk restaurants and coffee shops.

I like to compare the city to Chicago…just on a much smaller scale.  There isn’t the extent of buildings and the downtown precinct isn’t nearly as expansive but the “feel” is very similar.  There really isn’t much of a need to take public transportation unless you’re just sick of walking which we haven’t hit yet.  Although, we did take our first City Cat ride. This is the public water transportation, the stops zig zag across the river.  We did it just for fun…and ended up in no man’s land only to walk another hour back home.  But it was fun!

Almost a week after arriving, a relocation associate that Peabody set Ben up with, picked us up *just on the footpath* outside of our temporary apartment.  We visited 22 potential homes for the next year.  We liked about 4 of them and we loved one!  Pictures of our future apartment are to come but let us just say we are thrilled to be on the 31st floor of a perfectly located building with a *marvelous* (yep…that’s another common word!) balcony overlooking the river (the corner of the river counts, right?) and Ben’s office is just a few blocks away! YAY!

I must say, though, getting used to city living is going to be an adjustment – let alone getting used to a new city on the other side of the world!

1.  Grocery shopping now requires a *trolley*

2. Buying deli meat was the most stressful thing I’ve had to do yet!  I mean…who knows how to convert lbs to kilos?!?

3. Speaking of meat…

4. The self checkouts have an Aussie accent.  It’s English but it’s oddly hard to understand…I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

5. No one jaywalks. Everyone stands patiently waiting for the walk sign to chirp and let them know it’s time to go…even if a car hasn’t driven by in 3 minutes.

6.  There are NO dogs.  This means that every time we see a dog – whether it be a mastiff or a miniature poodle – I mention Tilly (who I literally can’t wait to Skype with!)

7.  My desk is my computer in my family room…

It’s pretty weird getting used to TV too…It seems that shows start whenever they want.  We are really into Australia’s Master Chef.  The shows are on every night of the week, which is awesome – no need to wait til next week for the next episode but the time it comes on each night varies…Monday it could be on a 7:30 then Tuesday it’s on at 7:14 (literally, I don’t think they start on the hour or half hour all the time!) and Wednesday it might be on at 8:07…and The Price is Right is prime time!  Who doesn’t love that?!

We did stumble upon this on Monday morning at about 7:00am 🙂

What a pleasant surprise!