We arrived safely and, even better, without incident yesterday at Hervey Bay. Our swapping partners for this leg of the trip are very organized, and that made things easy at the airport. We had a short flight up to Brisbane, collected all of our many bags, hopped the shuttle to the long-term parking lot where they left the car, and we headed further up the coast about 4 hours. It's warmer and sunnier but more remote in Queensland. They have more small towns as Brisbane and Cairns are about their only big cities. We arrived at the house in the dark, but found it okay and had no trouble getting inside. They had left us a nice bowl of fruit and much to our delight, a package of Lindt truffles. The house is big and full of rustic antiques that Richard has collected (Theresa says she doesn't get much say on the decor :) I thought I'd take you on a tour of most of the house. Two of the rooms belong to teenage boys, so they aren't too exciting.
So, here's the front of the house, although it's pretty clear no one uses that door.
To the left of the door is one lemon tree, to the right of the door is another lemon tree, a mandarin tree, and that giant green blob on the far right is a lime tree. Here it is a bit closer:
To say that it is a prolific lime tree still seems to be a bit of an understatement. I collected 20 plus limes just off the ground and probably left 30 under the tree where it was too prickly to reach. This does not count all the ones still on the tree, or the 40-50 limes she already had inside. I will be making a lot of limeade it seems. I also had a good dozen lemons to pick up off the ground and have already made a pitcher of lemonade complete with a bit of mint from her pots of herbs.
This is the drive, on the right side of the house. We drove that black tiny SUV from the airport, and we also have the use of the white car. I'm not sure the classic car even runs. On the same side of the house, just beyond the carport is the BBQ area.
They have a mammoth grill called the Outback. I expected no less of Aussies. It's in the back corner where you can't see, so I had to take a picture of our barbie itself.
We haven't thrown any shrimp/prawns on it yet, but it looks like it could hold a lot of them. So, from the barbie area you go through the side door, which I believe everyone uses. It is a lovely stained glass, which is very common in both doors and windows in houses here.
Once you are in the door, if you turn left, you see this long hallway:
The first and second doors on the right are the teenage boys bedrooms I mentioned before. The first door on the left is the office. They left a note saying that if Daniel felt so moved he could try to repair their CPU tower. He already has a computer job!
The next door to the left is the spare bathroom. I told Daniel I guess we could each have our own bathroom, but that would mean double cleaning, so we thought we'd share like normal.
The last door on the left is the laundry room. No dryer, but there's a massive clothes line on the left side of the house along with the kayaks.
Finally, when you get to the end of the hall, it opens out on their second lounge, which I think mostly the boys use, as it has the Playstation hooked up to that TV. The door there is the front door to the house.
Okay, now that you've seen the side of the house we don't really use, we'll show you the side we do. If you come in that pretty side door and go to the right instead, it opens up to a great room with dining area, kitchen, and lounge (as they call living rooms). Here's each side of it.
To the right of the lounge is the master bedroom. Here's one end of it. The bathroom is on the left and the right is a closet. Once again I caught Daniel sleeping.
Here's the other side of the bedroom with a nice bay window. I should have opened the curtains so you could see the view, but it is the same view from the veranda, which I'll show you next.
So here's the lovely veranda out back. We have some very friendly birds that Theresa hand feeds, so they are looking to me now. I'll have to get a picture of them. It's not hard. Basically you just walk outside and they swoop down to greet you. Those are grape vines growing up the sides that I imagine will be much prettier when they leaf out in the spring.
The rear of the house backs up to a park, which reminded me a lot of Daniel's parents house. Here's the view from the veranda.
Now right about the middle of the treeline, you can actually see the ocean, but you can't tell in this pic, so I zoomed in:
So that's the place. Very nice and spacious. We'll have some better pictures of the beach once we visit it. Today was wake up late and then marathon grocery shopping at Aldi, the produce market here, and then Cole's, which is big grocery store like a Kroger, but more expensive than the previous two. We go there last to just get the things we couldn't find elsewhere. For those of you born in the 70s or earlier, you might be interested to know that Woolworths still exists here, both in it's "dimestore" form, although I dare you to find anything in there for 10 cents, and is the biggest supermarket chain in Australia. They even have gas stations and bottle shops (liquor stores) all owned by "Woolies" as it is affectionately called. We have a Woolies in HB, too, but it's not as cheap as the Coles. There's, of course, a McDonalds which were were told they call Mackies (they really like to put an "e" sound on everything here). It has pretty much everything we could want here, even a Target, their version of Home Depot (Buntings) and movie theater, so we probably won't have to wander far for anything.
We found a 6pm Anglican service again. Also small, about 20 people, although they said they can have as many as 50 at that service. Most people go to the morning service. Why? Why do people want to get up? I just can't comprehend it. It was a nice service and a very friendly bunch who I think just about all of them shook our hand at some point. The pastor said he's been trying to set up a barbie for the young adults (20s-30s) and said he'd let us know when that was if we where interested. I was a bit confused because for all the barbie talk amongst ourselves, we hadn't actually heard an Aussie (which is pronounced Ozzie, by the way) say it. I thought he said baby. I kept thinking he was inviting us to a baby shower for a young couple in the church, so I was a bit lost, but Daniel recognized "barbie" right away and was nodding emphatically. It's his main goal while we are here to get invited to a barbie.
Well, it is almost 11pm here, and I'm tired, so that's it for now. We'll keep you updated as we keep exploring.