We arrived back in New Zealand in the early hours of Monday morning after a fabulous ten nights in Brisbane. And now I'm freezing ;p After been a bit worried as to whether or not we would handle the heat (yeah, laugh it up all those natives in Aussie, I know it's Autumn by your standards) we were pleasantly surprised. So after our first 3hr flight with minimal turbulence (to Glenn's disappointment) we dragged our heavy ass bags to the outer door. Stepping out into a hot breeze was an absolute first for us! I know people have described it to me as 'like having a hair dryer in the face' but coming from NZ Wellington and our forever cool breeze, it was a shock. We stood there for five minutes, marveling at it. Then promptly returned to the air-conditioned airport to a toilet and changed into something lighter *lol*
Driving in Australia had been a concern. As is driving anywhere that you don't know, but oh wow, were the roads awesome! We had to get to Ipswich to Pixie's for the first night and that was a bit of an adventure. The motorway's were super easy - until all the lights went out that is… The new section of motorway that we did actually need to take was fully out of lights and that makes it damn hard to check the map. It also makes you feel like you're driving out into the middle of absolutely no where… So Glenn bailed on my directions and took the next exit before we ended up in the middle of Aussie making a call to Pixie along the lines of 'Help!' Thankfully that small dip in the drive only took a brief stop at a petrol station to fix it (yes, when the male takes the early turn off then he gets to ask for directions ;p). Five minutes later and we were off toward Pixie's, waving at a family who appeared to have gathered for the momentous event (until they realized that we weren't who they meant to wave at *lol*) and there was Pixie, bemused expression and all as we parked our sick little rental car on her almost vertical drive.
Ahh the rental car. One of those eency weency 3 door things that coughed and wheezed its way into third and then tentatively fourth gear on the motorway with both of us leaning forward chanting 'go little car, go!'
Catching up with Pixie and Chris, in the flesh instead of via Skype was great fun. We stayed up way late considering our already big adventure, laughing, drinking and eating a delicious roast dinner courtesy of Pixie and a yummy cake baked by Chris. The next morning we were up early and given the grand tour of Ipswich with Pixie - including checking out the Uni library complete with a creek running through it *grin* Very cool idea! Then I got to drive us to Broadbeach, where we'd booked the apartment for a week.
This long week in Aussie has taught us one valuable lesson. I suck as the navigator but ace as the driver and Glenn, vice versa.
We arrived at Broadbeach by lunchtime, hot, hungry and grouchy. It didn't improve when we dragged those massive bags to the tiny 1 bedroom apartment and discovered no air-con…
Yeah, that wasn't going to work!
After a low-blood sugar spat (you know, when you growl and snap at each other with excessive gesturing then one of you storms off while the other spends the next hour feeling guilty for being a brat ;p) Glenn returned super excited and dragged me and our copious amounts of luggage to a new apartment. And with fumbling hands (hunger & excitement) he flung open the door to heaven.
Or rather a two bedroom, totally done up with gorgeous leather couches, huge flat screen TV's, BIG kitchen and two bathrooms and of course AIR-CON, super apartment. *swoon*
Suddenly we were loving the resort *grin* and after a quick unpack and scramble for swimwear, we were neck deep in the enormous pool, complete with two spas. Yup, we'd died and gone to heaven (and back at home, there had been a massive storm with trees down and horrible under 10°c temps). The next ten days were a full on tourist bash of the Gold Coast. Dream World, Movie World, the Zoo, the National Park, Surfers Paradise and of course shopping! Swimming at least twice a day - it was more swimming in those ten days than I've done all of the summer here in NZ. We ate far too much rich food (I put on nearly 2kgs, Glenn nearly 1… I hate how that works!) We also had to return our sad little car and get another after a major hiccup with it. As we were driving to Dracula's (best night out ever!), I commented on how economical the car was with petrol. Then all of two seconds later I glance down and notice the petrol light blinking! When just the moment before it was on three quarters full. It was a tense drive to Coolangata to switch the car over the next day. The next little car we had was fantastic and made up for it fully as we tackled three theme parks, the national park and Surfers in the next 9 days.
*whew* Okay, I'm falling asleep as I type this (still recovering ;p) and I'm going bush with Dad tomorrow so I better wrap it up. In short, great to be back, had some awesome planning sessions of creatures with Glenn (he's fantastic for brain storming with, even though he hasn't read either book and constantly declares I should kill everyone off ;p) so back in to writing! Also, I'm rather chuffed to report that the sales of Awakening in Feb were just shy of 1000 as opposed to 550 in Jan and they look to be in track to beating those sales this month (and this is just for US Amazon) so it's awesome to know there are lots of happy (and now impatient ;p) readers out there.
Take care all!
The Arrival, available for free right here on this blog!