Australia : 12/17 – 12/23

Mackay >>> Gympie >>> Brisbane >>> Mudgeeraba [Housesit with Rupy and Teebo]

12/17 – Long Driving Day
12/18 – Visited Australia Zoo, Returned Camper and Started Housesit!
12/19 – Took Family to Airport, Explored Brisbane, Grocery Shopping for Housesit
12/20 – Catching up with stuff online
12/21 – Rest and Planning
12/22 – Lounging around watching videos and reading
12/23 – Christmas Shopping at the local Mall!

12/17 –
Long Driving Day
+ Nothing much was on the agenda for today other than lots of driving! Since we needed to return the camper the next day and we were still about 11 hours north of Brisbane, we needed to knock most of those miles out of the way today.
+ Drove south for 9 hours from Mackay to a small town called Gympie. It was about 45 minutes north of the Australia zoo.
+ Along the way we stopped and made sandwiches at a rest stop. The meat and cheese were a little gross since they’d opened a little in the cooler and gotten cooler water all on them, but we tried not to think about it and ate them anyway!
+ Camped at Cooroy No Worries RV Stop. Nice place and friendly owners, but only 2 bathrooms for the whole place so not the best design.

12/18 –
Visited Australia Zoo, Returned Camper and Started Housesit!
+ Had to stand around in line for 20 minutes in the morning to get a chance to shower. Then we packed up and headed south.
+ Drove down to Steve Irwin’s Australian Zoo. We were finally going to visit the home of the famous Crocodile Hunter!
+ Explored zoo for 5 1/2 hours. Saw Cassowaries, Koalas, Kangaroos and Wallabies, Lemurs, Giraffes, Tigers, and Water Dragon Lizards running around all over the place. We got to pet some Koalas and watch a cool Tiger show featuring a blind tiger!
+ Drove 1 hour south down to Jucy office, cleaned out van and returned it.
+ In the past 6 days we’d drive about 2225 kilometers, or 1383 miles! It felt like a lot longer though since instead of driving around 70/80 mph on the highway like you would in the US or in Europe, we had to drive 50/60 mph the whole time due to smaller roads, construction, and the threat of kangaroos and koalas crossing the road.
+ Ian graciously picked us up from the Jucy office in Brisbane and drove us 1 hour south to his house in Mudgeeraba. Ian introduced us to the two cats, Rupy and Teebo, and showed us around discussing details of the house.
+ Melanie came home with the 3 kids and we all got to meet each other and talk for a bit. They made a yummy spaghetti dinner for everyone and then we had dessert too!
+ We walked around with the kids through the neighborhood looking at all the Christmas lights. They showed us their favorite ones and Liz made lame jokes!
+ They packed up for their departure the next day and we all went to bed.

12/19 –
Took Family to Airport, Explored Brisbane, Grocery Shopping for Housesit
+ Woke up early at 5:45 am. Drove Ian and all the suitcases to the airport. Melanie and the kids took the train.
+ Dropped Ian off, said our goodbyes and then since we were already in the area decided to explore downtown Brisbane.
+ Spent an hour walking around South Bank Parklands looking at all the Christmas decorations, the Brisbane Eye, and their big man-made swimming pool/beach area. They had a Christmas market set up but we were a little too early in the day for once. Usually we’re too late!
+ Drove back down to Mudgeeraba, got some brunch at Subway.
+ Went to the grocery store and picked up some stuff for the next few weeks.
+ Went back to the house and got all settled.
+ Relaxed for a bit. Corey watched NFL game highlights and Liz browsed pinterest.
+ We did laundry, got organized, applied for some more Australian housesits, and knocked off some items from the to-do list.
+ Cooked some hot dogs on the grill out on the back patio.
+ Texted some friends and family and then passed out around 10 pm!

12/20 –
Day 2 of Housesit – Catching up with stuff online
+ Skyped with Liz’s dad and Lyla back home.
+ Spent most of the day catching up on emails and doing various things online.
+ Pizza and Minestrone soup for dinner.
+ Watched a few episodes of “Black Mirror” at night before bed.

12/21 –
Day 3 of Housesit – Rest and Planning
+ Skyped with Corey’s mom for a while.
+ Corey watched the FSU vs. UF game (finally!) and a few episodes of The Walking Dead and The Talking Dead
+ Liz browsed around online and chatted with friends back home.
+ Uploaded Youtube Videos and worked on this here blog.
+ Made enchiladas for Corey’s (late) birthday dinner! Liz always makes the best enchiladas!
+ At night there was a thunderstorm and we couldn’t get one of the cats (Rupee) back in for the first 15/20 minutes and we were worried. But then he finally showed up at the front door completely dry somehow!
+ Applied (and got accepted) for a RV relocation deal from Brisbane to Sydney for January 11th when the family was returning.
+ Watched some episodes of Community before going to sleep.

12/22 –
Day 4 of Housesit – Lounging around watching videos and reading
+ Corey woke up a couple of hours before Liz and talked with his dad and newfound cousin back home, plus read some sports articles.
+ Had some Coco Pops for breakfast and watched a bunch of YouTube videos while Liz read the newest Harry Potter book.
+ Talked with Liz’s brother, Chris back home and enjoyed the cooler weather outside that followed the rainstorm from yesterday.
+ Got completely caught up on the blog!
+ Liz worked on pictures.
+ Enjoyed a nice evening together hanging out and watching the rest of the “Black Mirror” series before bed. Then some episodes of Community to cheer us up again! Black Mirror is just too heavy!

12/23 –
Day 5 of Housesit – Christmas Shopping at the local Mall!
+ Today was our shopping day where we were going to walk around a mall and find each other some small gifts for Christmas!
+ This would be the first time we’d really explored a mall and gone shopping since before we left on this journey! Crazy!
+ The mall was very large and had a good mix of stores which allowed us to actually find some nice deals instead of being handicapped by the expensive Aussie prices.
+ After walking around together for a few hours, we took a quick break for Happy Hour. After a drink enjoying the perfect weather outside, we then split up for an hour to find each other some gifts. When we’d finished our secret missions, we reunited at the food court and had some Indian Food for dinner.
+ We’d originally planned on going to see a movie today but we were pretty tired so instead we just went back home and hung out watching some shows before bed.

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