halloranelder: (Default)
(Yes, I'm still here. Still reading everything, just not posting much, ok?)

This year marks a first for me. This will be the first time in my life that I won't be having Christmas as my parents place. They're having it at mine!

Mum and Dad are on a cruise at the moment (two weeks going around New Zealand, then two weeks going around New Caledonia, Fiji and the like) and get back to Sydney the morning of Friday the 23rd of December. Of course, Mum didn't want to have to try and organise Christmas in the day and a half after they get back, so I'm hosting it instead. Mum and Dad fly in to Melbourne from Sydney once they get back, and my brother is flying down from the Sunshine Coast on the same day.

They are here from Friday the 23rd till Friday the 30th. Part of that will be doing the Christmas thing, but also there will be tourist stuff.

What suggestions do people have for the tourist stuff? Keep in mind that I don't have my own car, so preferably would like things easily accessible via public transport, or organised tours and the like.

I'm not planning on making an itinerary, just collecting all the options and letting them choose what they want to do. Already pencilled in is the Queen Victoria Markets, Melbourne Zoo and Melbourne Aquarium. What else?
halloranelder: (Default)
Don't expect this to carry on the entire time I'm here. It might, it might not. I just have the time and I'm in the right mood at the moment.

Today started at my parents place in Maroochydore. after breakfast I wandered down to the bowls club to watch my parents playing bowls, where the usual happened. I don't watch sport much, don't really care about it. However, if I actually watch a sports match and care about the outcome, the team I want to win will loose. When I got to the bowls club, their team was down 8 to 7, and won a point on that end brining it even at 8 all. They ended up loosing 17 to 8. Once I arrived they couldn't get anything to go their way, and the other team simply outplayed them. Oh well.

Then it was back home for a quick lunch and heading off to Brisbane airport. No flights to Cairns from Maroochydore so I had to book the flight from Brisbane instead, and Mum and Dad were happy to drive me down. The drive was uneventful, however I didn't realise we were close to the airport until we were there. The area surrounding Brisbane airport has changed dramatically since I was last down. The duplication of the Gateway Bridge is done, and all those weird-ass roundabouts on the way in have been removed.

Dropped off at the airport around two, checked in and headed up to the newly renovated Virgin Lounge. I have to say I don't like the renovations. It's all light and airy and hip and happening, or at least I think that's what they were going for. I just found it sparse. Weird counters that jut out for no apparent reason and waste space, and it didn't look complete to me. Anyway, the food and complimentary wireless was just as good as always.

My visit to the Lounge was a bit different to all my previous visits though. I think this is the first time I've visited when I've been going to someplace, all the other times it's been coming home. I pop into the Lounge if I arrive at the airport early and have time to kill. I doubt I'll ever do that coming from home (if I have time to kill, I'll do it at home, thank you very much) so it's only ever been when I'm leaving wherever I've been and am heading back. I think this made the visit much more relaxed because I had nothing to care about at the other end of the trip.

Flight was boring (which is a good thing) and we touched down in Cairns about 5 minutes early. For a change I didn't pull out the inflatable pillow to wedge in the small of my back (which I usually do to keep my back for seizing up during the flight) and surprisingly enough I didn't have a problem. Either the seats on the plane were better than normal, or my lower back is holding itself together better, or the week visiting Mum and Dad actually had relaxed me somewhat to begin with. I'm guessing a combination of the three.

Landed, grabbed my bag and got a ticket for the Cairns airport shuttle bus ($12 one way). I ended up sitting next to a hunky young man with one of those huge backpacks in his lap. Him and his mate (who was sitting the row behind) were probably the first ones on the bus so they spread out but when we left we had 19 out of a possible maximum of 20 passengers, so they ended up with people next to them.

I'm not complaining, as the one I was sitting next to was quite a hunk. They ended up chatting during the drive into Cairns (very short, less than 10 minutes) and the American twang in their voices was very distinct. I would probably place them as from the southern US (but not the deep south), something like southern California or across to Texas, or something like that.

Got to the hotel, unpacked, and decided to go for a walk. When we landed the pilot said it was a pleasant 20 degrees, and it was beautiful. By the time I'd finished unpacking it had gotten a bit of a chill in the air, but still beautiful. My hotel (the Mantra Trilogy) is right on the Esplanade, and I have a view of the water from the balcony. I wouldn't call it a beautiful view, as it's nighttime so I can hardly see anything, and it's low tide, so the harbour is currently a mudflat. Oh well, still nice anyway.

I walked up to the point, then back the other way to skate park (where the lights had just gone out, so I didn't hang around and watch) then back to the hotel. I bought a carton of orange juice and grabbed a whole heap of tourist brochures from the lobby before heading back up for the morning, and now I'm here.

I'm planning on leaving the curtains open so that the rising sun puts heaps of sunlight into my room (balcony is eastish facing) and we'll see if that's a good idea in the morning.

Holidays!

Aug. 14th, 2011 01:16 am
halloranelder: (Default)
I'm on holidays for the next two weeks.

I'm visiting my parents from Sunday the 14th till Saturday the 20th, and then I'm up in Cairns until Sunday the 28th.

My plans are to do as little as possible in the warmer weather.

I may or may not be looking at my feeds, depending on the availability of internet (especially at the hotel in Cairns).

I'll see you all on the flip-side.

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Desert Rose

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams that tie two hearts that will never die
And near the flames
The shadows play in the shape of the man’s desire

This desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this

And now she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing’s as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
The rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of hidden hearts and souls
This desert flower
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love

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