Sunny (?) er, LAZY Days Down the Gold Coast!

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year's Eve should always go off with a Bang!  Last year, Colin & Melissa celebrated in Manhattan and the year before that they succeeded in keeping warm in the frigid cold of Ottawa.  This time around, they intended to ring in the New Year in Brisbane, by watching the fireworks from the top of Kangaroo Point.  Unfortunately, it rained that day - In fact it rained A LOT and continued to pour down all across the coast of South East Queensland.  The fireworks were all but cancelled so we decided to have a low-key celebration at home.  There wasn't even any coverage of the Brisbane festivities either - Nope, nothing this year but a couple of guys in rain coats setting off their own version of pyrotechnics, to whatever happened to be playing on the radio.  A very quiet New Years for us, of watching the Sydney celebrations, quite enviously, on TV and wishing that we were in there amongst it all.
The day after New Years, we traveled with Colin's mum and brother down to the Gold Coast, to hopefully escape the rain.  It seemed, however, that the only place in South East Queensland that was in any way dry was right next to the water supply dam - Perhaps we should book our next vacation there!  As it turned out, the Gold Coast beaches were torn to shreds by the stormy surf, for which there were no red and yellow flags marking 'safe to swim' areas.  In fact, it would have been more appropriate to use a couple of 'scull and crossbones' flags, to mark the five meter swell as 'dangerous' or suicidal to surf upon.
Not too much was happening in the rain swept 'Surfers Paradise', with most of the tourists (and surfers) hiding from the rain in the shopping malls.  We did receive a chance email from our friends Meg and Brian, who live on and sail the world in their 48 foot yacht.  We had met with them up at the Sunshine coast before Christmas, during calmer weather, where they had told us of their plans to travel down to Sydney before heading across to Wellington, New Zealand.  It turned out that the weather had not been in their favour and they had only made it a few hundred kilometers down to the Gold Coast, before they decided to anchor up in port there and await calmer weather.  So we met them in the pouring rain, climbing out of their water soaked dinghy and drove them to the nearest shopping mall, to have lunch and pick up more provisions. They planned to cross the sand bar on the next day and make their way down south - sensing (or perhaps hoping?) for a calmer sea change.  Unfortunately, things still didn't look any better for them on the next day, but as with all things at sea, the storm eventually did pass and their ship successfully crossed the sand bar and they set sail for Sydney - Bon Voyage to the both of them!
Just as the weather was clearing up, it unfortunately was time for us to leave. So we made our way back to Brisbane, for what turned out to be MORE rain.
On a sad note, we received some bad news just prior to the New Year.  We heard, with sadness, that David, our cuddly cat, passed away back home at the age of 14.  It was comforting to know that, while overseas these past months, 'The Dave' was cherished and treated as one of their own by Melissa's nephew, Stephen, her sister and brother-in-law, Michelle and Steve.  It turned out that his heart (of all things) had failed.  Without a doubt, he will always hold a place of affection in all our hearts.  His 'brother' Onslow, is adjusting to losing his buddy and we understand that he is now being spoilt more than ever.
Next up: The Summer Sun and Winter Nights of Melbourne
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