Well it hasn’t been long since I was home in Brisbane last (January actually), but it’s felt like a long time coming to this wee holiday home with Carmen in tow. We were both excited and weren’t going to let the traditional circus one must endure at LAX airport dampen our enthusiasm.
Now Carmen isn’t exactly the best “flyer” so I wasn’t sure how she was going to go with a 13+ hour haul from LA to Brisbane, but she did really well and after a movie or two here and there we were back on terra firma. I was really hoping for a smooth transition through customs, immigration and beyond… but I guess it just wasn’t our day.
I don’t know what ever made me think we could ever hope to fly through LAX without something going awry, but sure enough we ended up watching the same couple of bags going around and around the baggage carousel for about 20 minutes before we resigned to the fact that our bags just weren’t going to show and we’d just have to let the good people of QANTAS deal with the issue while we headed out of the terminal to meet Mum & Dad.
With hugs and kisses and first face-to-face introductions out of the way, we headed back to Mum & Dad’s place to refresh and make a quick, unexpected trip to the local shopping center for some clothing items for Carmen. Returning home, my sister Cobie, her husband Shaun and my gorgeous little niece Cara had arrived ready for a big BBQ brunch. Like a saint, Cobie came to Carmen’s rescue with some clothes to keep her going until we heard something more about where our luggage had ended up.
For the rest of the day we just relaxed in the gorgeous weather, played with my niece, Carmen became acquainted with the local wildlife that visit my parents place daily and we even slipped in a quick kip to tie us over till bedtime.
One of the reasons we left Vancouver on Thursday was to make sure that we would land in Brisbane this morning (Saturday), in time for Mum, Dad, Carmen and I to head out to “The GABBA” to catch a Brisbane Lions (Aussie Rules Football) game against Essendon. I didn’t expect Carmen to understand a thing that played out before her, but she seemed to grasp the rules pretty quickly and seemed to get right into the game by the time the final siren rang out, with the Lions having a good 7-goal win.
Most people have been interested to find out what Carmen’s first impressions have been of Brisbane. With that in mind, I asked her to jot down a few of her initial observations and this is what she came up with:
- Brisbane smells delicious
- Everything can be cooked on a BBQ – including eggs
- People drive on the wrong side of the road
- People eat meat pies at sporting events, as opposed to hot dogs or hamburgers
- Everything is clean – buildings, streets, houses, public bathrooms
- The city, and buildings, are well signed (it is easy to find things)
- There are more roundabouts in the city than there are fat kids in a candy store.