Australia: 12/31/16 – 1/6/17

(Australia) Mudgeeraba [Housesit with Rupy and Teebo]

12/31 – FSU Bowl Game and New Years Eve on Broadbeach!
1/1 – Research and Planning on the back patio!
1/2 – Housesitting at it’s Finest!
1/3 – Exploring a Glow Worm Cave and Hiking Mt. Tamborine National Park!
1/4 – Making progress on our to-do list!
1/5 – Movie Watching and Mall Shopping
1/6 – Work Work Go Away, Preparing to Explore Another Day

12/31 –
Day 13 of Housesit – FSU Bowl Game and New Years Eve on Broadbeach!
+ We woke up super excited to watch the FSU bowl game vs. Michigan. It had been over a month since the last game and we’d have to wait another 245 days until next season began, so we were happy to have 1 last game to hold us over. Plus we had quite a few Michigan fans who had all been overly confident they’d pull off an easy win.
+ Luckily we got the game pulled up on the tablet with absolutely no problems and for the next few hours we hung out drinking beer and eating pizza and enjoyed watching the Seminoles beat Michigan! Wooo!
+ After that Corey watched some episodes of Fear the Walking Dead while Liz read more of the new Harry Potter book and worked on a few other projects, like sewing up some items and duck taping others.
+ We pigged out on a bag of chips and then had some pasta for dinner.
+ Since today was New Years Eve, we wanted to watch some fireworks and celebrate the New Year! After looking up some things to do around the area, we decided to head over to the Surfers Paradise/Broadbeach area since it was close by and would have fireworks displays right from the beach!
+ We found parking much easier than we’d anticipated and walked around the Broadbeach area before going through the park and down to the beach. Then we walked along the sand for half an hour heading north up towards Surfers Paradise before turning around so we’d be back in Broadbeach in time for the show to start.
+ Once we managed to find a spot on the sand dune, we settled in and enjoy the Australian fireworks show. It was neat because we could see the Surfers Paradise display just a couple of miles from us to the north, as well as the Coolangatta display a few miles south. So it was like we had 3 shows!
+ When that was over, we walked back to the parking garage and panicked because the gate was down (that wasn’t like that before! Oh no!). But we managed to get into the garage through the attached hotel and then followed another car out. Whew, disaster avoided!
+ We grabbed a snack from McDonalds on the way home and then back at the house we watched some OitNB before bed (our new nightly routine it seemed).

1/1 –
Day 14 of Housesit – Research and Planning on the back patio!
+ In the morning we enjoyed some bowls of cereal while watching some more college football bowl game clips from back home.
+ Thankfully it seemed to be a little cooler than yesterday so we moved back out to the back porch and worked on our devices some more.
+ The pool cleaner vacuum wasn’t working properly, so we finagled with that for a bit. After many YouTube videos and Google searches we had done a lot of tinkering but still to no success.
+ Talked with Liz’s mom a little bit as they rang in the New Year back home (they were 15 hours behind us).
+ That night Liz was feeling a little creative and decided to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch! It was tough converting all the measurements from the US system to the Aussie Imperial amounts. In the end, the cookies were delicious!
+ While we were enjoying the cookies and watching tv, the cats were doing their usual nocturnal activity of racing around the house chasing each other! They’re so funny!

1/2 –
Day 15 of Housesit – Housesitting at it’s Finest!
+ Most of the day was spent hanging out at the house relaxing and doing some research and planning. We managed to secure another housesit- this one in New Zealand. Liz also posted Ireland and Northern Ireland pictures.
+ The pool still wasn’t working right still so we spent a while trying to figure that out, and decided the pool needed some more water so we put the hose in few hours.
+ Right when we took the hose out about 2 hours later, a big rain storm hit that continued until the wee hours in the morning. By the time that was finished the pool definitely had enough water in it!
+ The cats were extra friendly today and we gave them lots of belly rubs and treats! It was hard to not take a million pictures of all their cute poses! We certainly missed our cat Tumbles back home but having playful kitties around definitely helped.
+ For dinner we made stir fry consisting of Bulgogi Beef and mixed vegetables and it was delicious! One of our favorite meals we’ve cooked and made us want to get some more before the housesit was over.
+ Later in the night we posted some updates to the blog and figured out our rough New Zealand itinerary (where we’d be starting and ending at least!). Then watched some OitNB before bed.

1/3 –
Day 16 of Housesit – Exploring a Glow Worm Cave and Hiking Mt. Tamborine National Park!
+ After a nice breakfast of eating cereal and watching some of the previous weekend’s NFL game highlights, we got dressed and ready to go for another day trip.
+ We headed up north to the Tamborine Mountain area. Our first stop was at some Glow Worm Caves! We knew we wanted to see glow worms in New Zealand, but didn’t know they existed here in Australia!
+ The place was actually on top of the mountain inside a man-made cave and on the same property as a Vineyard/Winery! The Glow Worm program had started a few years ago with about 500 of the little critters and they now had over 7000!
+ After watching a short little film about them, we went inside the cave and saw the thousands of lights (emitted from their bums!) covering the walls. With the guide’s redlight we were able to see some up close which was neat. Not the most riveting experience ever but neat nonetheless.
+ From there we drove over to Curtis Falls which was in a nice little secluded area and had a little swimming area too, although we didn’t jump in. There were some local families there though and they were all breaking the rules and climbing over the fences! Corey tends to do that whenever he can so we decided he needs to move to Australia to fit in!
+ Besides the waterfall area, there was a nice hiking trail that looped through a pretty section of forest. We hiked it to a point where a a few huge trees had fallen down and blocked the pathway but instead of turning back like all the other hikers, we managed to rock hop along the creek for a few hundred yards until we re-joined the pathway and then finished the loop. Adventure!
+ Before we got back to the parking lot, we heard lots of different bird calls (and saw some lorikeets) and some weird noises we couldn’t figure out. It turns out those were from some Kookaburras and they flew right over to us. In fact, one flew right down the pathway at us but veered up into the trees at the last minute. Thankfully they all sat on a low enough branch to give us time to snap some close up pictures and admire all 3 of them.
+ Cedar Creek Falls was the next destination we wanted to hit so we drove on the extremely steep roads up to the beginning of that hike. This pathway was much shorter and basically a boardwalk most of the time but still gave good views of the different leveled falls and had some nice overlooks.
+ Again on the way back to the car we were met by a cacophony of bird calls and managed to spot a whole colony of Sulphur (Yellow)-Crested Cockatoos! They were making a whole bunch of noise but eventually settled down to roost for the night. It’s so neat to see these tropical birds in such large numbers just flying around both out here in the more wilderness areas but also in the neighborhoods!
+ It was an hour drive from there back towards the Gold Coast area and we were both starving so we decided to eat out tonight and go to Sizzler Steakhouse which the family we were housesitting for had mentioned. On the drive, it was getting dark and the bats were all coming out. Instead of just seeing a handful though like normal, we saw hundreds if not thousands of them! They were all flying overhead and just by looking up we could see tons of them! Crazy!
+ Sizzler was delicious even though we didn’t splurge for a steak and instead just opted for their AYCE salad, pasta, and dessert bar. The dessert was what really hit the spot in the end and we both left with little food babies!
+ When we got back to the house, neither one of us wanted to do much so we just hung out on the couch and watched a few episodes of OitNB before going to sleep.

1/4 –
Day 17 of Housesit – Making progress on our to-do list!
+ Today was another work day so we spent our time during daylight hanging out on the back porch with the tablet and computer.
+ Booked our flight to New Zealand and worked on the blog and pictures.
+ Also managed to knock off a few more items from the to-do list. It was slowly but surely dwindling down!
+ For dinner, we made steaks and some vegetables and a pasta side to go with! This was the first time out of any of our housesits (or ever) that we cooked steaks! As such, they were a little too well done, but still quite tasty.
+ Dessert and some OitNB episodes in front of the A/C rounded out our day.

1/5 –
Day 18 of Housesit – Movie Watching and Mall Shopping
+ After we’d had our breakfast and taken care of the cats, we headed out to the mall in the early afternoon. We walked around a bit and exchanged some of the items Corey got for Christmas for bigger sizes.
+ We had a late lunch in the food court. Corey got some chinese and Liz had some stuff from a couple different places.
+ We still had some movie passes to use so we walked next door to the theater and went and saw the movie “Allied”. Since we wee already there, we decided to go ahead and see a second movie and we chose the movie “Passengers”. Both were entertaining but not that great.
+ We were pretty hungry afterwards so we swung by Dominos on the way home and then enjoyed the pizza and some glasses of wine while watching more episodes of OitNB. A really relaxing day spent in front of screens!

1/6 –
Day 19 of Housesit – Work Work Go Away, Preparing to Explore Another Day
+ Today was going to be one of our last work days as our time in the Gold Coast was nearing an end and we still had a few different activities we wanted to get to.
+ Figuring out our plans around Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road, as well as where we were gonna stay took up way more time than it should have. But we managed to come up with a solid plan in the end.
+ We made a run to the grocery store (both Coles and Woolsworth actually) to pick up stuff for the rest of our housesit, and some stuff to get us started for our RV trip too.
+ For dinner we made some stuffed tortellini and garlic bread, complete with shredded cheese. Yum!
+ Straight back to the devices afterwards where we sorted through pictures and updated the blog, and kept making that to-do list smaller. Once pictures from our time in Italy were up on Facebook we put a halt to the work and relaxed in front of the couches again for some more OitNB time.

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