The Friday before last (gosh where does time go) Steve and I were picked up by our taxi and taken to Perth airport for our first trip to Brisbane.
We arrived early evening, picked up a hire car, said no to the hire of a GPS even though we didn’t take ours and eventually thanks to some guidance from the iphone and misreading street directions by me, we arrived at the hotel.
We stayed in one of those nice boutique hotels, not corporate but funky, in a nice location, with a luxurious suite complete with washing machine and dryer & kitchenette (not sure I approve of that but it was handy) and to top it all off a roof top pool and sauna. If you need a place to stay in Brisbane just outside the CBD we would definitely recommend the Emporium hotel in Fortitude Valley, especially with the cute french patisserie next door complete with decaying mirrors, tiled floors, iron furniture and amazing coffee & croissants for breakfast.
So Friday night we were recommended the Italian restaurant a few doors away from the hotel, called Tartufo which was fantastic, the best meal we’ve had since arriving in Australia, Italian, yeah I know, they do the best food and drink in Australia, it’s crazy but there is a huge Italian population, thank goodness! Saturday morning we had breakfast then we were picked up by our relo agent who drove us around some of the suburbs near the city.
After the news of moving to Brisbane we decided we really wanted to go and see the place this time before we moved. I had done some research and Steve had asked around a lot to find out where nice places were to live. It’s slightly complicated as Brisbane is a much bigger city than perth and it seems much more city centric, like London, in that if you’re not in the city you’re missing out on stuff, but the city is along way away from the sea and the outdoor lifestyle we love. As we suspected on our tour of leafy but mostly built up suburbs, we’re just not city people.
It was going to be tricky weighing up where it was going to be best to base ourselves, we decided that if we were about an hour away from Brisbane we could cover all bases.
So Sunday we headed out in the hire car, and after a heated negotiation of AA routes we found ourselves on the “Bruce highway” heading to the Sunshine Coast. We saw thick forests, mangrove marsh land, and the Glass house mountains which looked incredible, even on a cloudy grey day.
After an hour we exited the highway and headed to the sea, exploring different suburbs on our way. We saw long beaches with lots of long board surfers at Alexandra Headland, yes at last, some long boarders! We wound up hillsides through canopies of trees, tropical plants, fruit and palm trees everywhere. It was stunning, like the most stunning place we’ve found so far in Australia. We liked Margaret river but it reminded us of home so much and this on the East side feels like we’ve found Australia!
Monday, I organised house viewings and on Tuesday we headed north again around the Buderim, Alexandra Headland, Mooloolaba region and went to see some houses.
The first appointment was cancelled as we were sat outside the house, an application had gone through and had been accepted already, damn it looked great.
The second appointment was a surprising stunner, an eco house set in a hillside surrounded by trees, the view from the lounge was the trees and more trees, a possible contender.
The third appointment was a total disappointment, it looked fantastic on the photographs but it was run down and the access to the canals was a soggy grassy path instead of a floating pontoon
The fourth appointment was a house which had been on line ever since I had started looking about a month ago. It was a stunner, with views for miles to the sea, high balconies, huge open plan living, white all over the place and a pool. It was definitely like something you might find in a magazine, but there was another couple there….and the description said No dogs!!!!!
So we decided to go for number four (after finding out they might well accept dogs on application) and live the magazine lifestyle if for only once, so we applied on Wednesday just before we flew home on Thursday.
All over the weekend we tried not to think about it, but we crossed our fingers and tried to distract ourselves.
Saturday we decided to go kayaking back in Perth, but I had a slight mishap and fell over whilst carrying the front end of our two kayaks, they and I went flying and we were left lying on the car park, poor Steve luckily didn’t check the kayaks he rushed straight to me, stood me up and get me paddling on the river, best way to get over shock apparently. But when we returned from our paddle and I went to get out, I couldn’t stand on my foot and it had swelled up quite badly. So after a trip to A&E I found out I had cracked my mid foot bone and needed to rest for a while!
So Sunday we chilled out, we had coffee with friends, then went to the Beach and found there was a long board surfing contest going on which was great to watch. People were sat along the top of the cliff wearing their hoodies all cuddled up trying to keep warm, it reminded us of surf contests at Whitesands beach back in Pembrokeshire.
Monday came the news……and we didn’t get the magazine house Probably just as well as it was a bit too posh for us.
So back to the drawing board and we applied for our second choice on Tuesday so now we’re waiting again.
All our fingers are crossed and I’ve had 3 bad things happen to me over the last few days, loosing house number one, my foot injury, news of a family matter which I received this morning (which I’ll might blog about another day) so bad things comes in threes, right?
I’ll keep you posted