Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Sandgropers in Queensland

In one weekend on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Roland and I fitted in a month's worth of fun and adventure thanks to my niece Heather and her husband Dave. 

The main reason for our visit was the wedding of Robin (Heather's son) to Jessica. Roland and I were there to represent Heather's side of the family because, for various reasons (mainly the tyranny of distance) we were the only ones who could make the trip. Indeed, I was representing my sister Win, Robin's Nana, who lives in South Africa.

Day One: We flew in from Perth late afternoon on Thursday. A long flight but some wonderful scenery as we flew over central Australia. 

Lake Eyre

After a we arrived in Brisbane (late) we waited for Heather's husband Dave who was flying in from the mines. Never one to waste a minute, Heather took us to a nearby shopping mall and we stocked up on groceries and had a welcome coffee.

Roland is known to complain about the traffic here in Perth but he was absolutely amazed by the volume of traffic in Brisbane! The commute from the airport back to Heather's home near Mooloolaba was an eye-opener for both of us. I was so relieved we hadn't hired a car otherwise we'd still be driving around Brisbane Airport! My sense of direction is non-existent and I've never quite mastered *left* and *right*; in fact neither of us managed to get our bearings the whole time we were there.

Day Two: In a household of early risers (must run in the family) Heather and I were ready for Yoga class in Mooloolaba. The joy of attending a class - even with mirrors in the studio - is wonderful. It is one of my *rules* never to pass up the chance of participating in a Yoga class and this one was a treat. 

In the afternoon Heather and I drove up to Maleny in Robin's ute to help with the preparation for the wedding. Well, I was wearing shorts and a T and soon discovered that at that altitude the weather was a lot cooler than on the coast! Heather was busy with the technology, being a self-confessed geek, and I wandered around getting in the way most of the time but lending a hand where I could. Eventually, Jess's mum found a tablecloth for me to wrap around myself, shroud-like, to keep warm. The views from Tranquil Park (the wedding venue) are superb.

View from Tranquil Park
Day Three: Early start and off to Eumundi to the Markets. What an amazing place; so many stalls and so creative. I bought presents for Rosie and Lily, not the usual T shirts but unusual gifts - which turned out to be popular choices when we got back to Fremantle and gave them to the girls. 

In the afternoon we drove up to Maleny for the wedding. First the ceremony which was lovely. Jess looked stunning in a dress she designed herself and her bridesmaids were so beautiful. Robin looked so handsome and the proceeding went on without a hitch. Yes, a few tears were shed but that is what happens at weddings!

Heather had the music and Powerpoint well organised even though the equipment at the venue came out of the ark. 

In the interval between ceremony and reception we went through to Maleny Cheese and sampled some delicious cheeses. Montville was next on the agenda and we stopped in at the Clock shop. I wish I'd bought the yodelling marmoset. Anyhoo, it was very impressive. We saw the water wheel. 

Somewhere in here I found the time to photograph the purple trees that abound in the area. I can't remember what they are called although Heather told me about six times.

The reception was great fun and my speech (speaking on behalf of my sister Win) went OK. It is a boon not to be nervous about speaking publicly; I guess because of long-time teaching and lecturing.

I'll continue this later because one of the highlights of the trip is still to come.

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