Archive | December, 2013

A musical farewell

23 Dec

Our flight back to Brisbane despite the delays was a breeze and we managed to navigate back to the Brisbane City YHA without much trouble. Back at the hostel my dad met us for a quick drink before he had to rush home to pack for his Christmas vacation. That night we decided we were too tired to make our own dinner so we wandered down to a nearby Thai restuarant for a delicious feast.
The next morning we woke up bright and early to hit the shops to get some last minute stuff for Stereosonic. The route to the festival was pretty fast and easy and soon we found ourselves in a massive line slowly working our way into the RNA showgrounds ready for a full day of electronic music. I’ve been to a few festivals in the past few years but this was my biggest one yet, with 6 stages and a main stage set in a stadium. First up we caught the tail end of Will Sparks’ set who I had never previously heard of but was pretty sweet and I definitely plan on checking out some of his stuff. Zedd was up next and he played everything that you would expect him to. After Zedd we took a wander around the showgrounds to grab some food and catch parts of Nicky Romero and Sebastian Ingrosso. We rested up and I got my energy back with the help of a big red bull so that we could make it till the end of the night. After Ingrosso a lot of people left the main stage but we stuck around and actually got a good spot before Empire of the Sun hit the stage. Empire of the Sun was definitely something different with their live band, dancers and ridiculous costumes. Last up for us on the main stage for the day was Calvin Harris. This was my fourth time seeing Calvin Harris live and I must say this was my least favourite set that I have seen him play, his new music is just a bunch of bro-house music and less awesome old school Calvin. After the disappointment that was Calvin we switched stages to the Sonic stage for some Aussie drum&bass with Shockone. Even though I managed to only catch 20 minutes of Shockone’s set he was by far my favourite act of the day. We tried to stay to see Boys Noize but were so exhausted that we ended up leaving early and catching the free train back to the hostel to pass out.
The next morning I managed to catch the pancake breakfast at the hostel, which was actually super disapointing as I had one burnt pancake and one that was still uncooked. After my sad breakfast I decided to relax by the pool and rest up before another long day of dancing. We got ready pretty quick for day two and decided to head over to the festival with the two Americans staying in our room. Again we got to the festival early enough to catch another random act this time being the Stafford Brothers. The brothers definitely had a lot of energy along with a giant kangaroo but they only played on of their own songs. First up for people that we were there to see was the Bingo Players who I had seen once before and were just as mediocre the second time around, though they did play Cry (Just a Little) this time. After the Bingo Players we said bye to our American friends for the day and headed out to find some food and more red bull for me. Finally we were into the best acts of the weekend (in my opinion) starting with I Am Legion at the UFK bass stage. I Am Legion is the new drum&bass and rap combo of Noisia and Foreign Beggars and they were unbelievably awesome. We changed stages to the Sonic stage to catch The Bloody Beetroots live set compltely with full band, they were insane! Krewella then took the stage and yet again blew me away for the third time with their amazing singing. Finally headlining for the closing night we caught the opening and closing of Nero (with their full live performance) and the middle of Doctor P’s set (during which he played all of the songs I wanted to hear him play). Both headliners were everything I wanted to see and more. By the time we hit the train my body was just about ready to give out from too much dancing and headbanging. That night we pretty much crawled into bed and even managed to sleep in the next day.
When we finally managed to drag ourselves out of bed we were starved but the cafe downstairs in the hostel was no longer serving breakfast so we had to limp down the road to get food. We ended up stumbling upon this adorable little breakfast nook that served us the best breakfast of our entire trip. The food did its trick and we had enough energy to make a trek out to southbank for an afternoon swim at the Brisbane city lagoon. For our last dinner together we went to an indian restaurant on the southbank since Grace had never tried indian before. After dinner we went to a sangria bar for some yummy refreshments for dessert. Back at the hostel Grace had some serious packing to do so I went and caught most of X-Men First Class, such an awesome movie (with some pretty good eye candy in it). The next morning we woke up very early so that Grace could catch the train transfer to the airport. We said a quick goodbye since neither of us functions very well before 7am and I wished her a very safe trip home. So concludes the adventures with Grace but stay posted for more adventures coming soon 🙂

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To the Port and Beyond

18 Dec

First off, sorry that I haven’t been updating this blog in the past little bit, things have been pretty crazy here down under so I haven’t had as much free internet time. Last time that I left off Grace and I were headed northward to Port Douglas from Cairns. Our lovely hostel Dougies Backpackers provided us with a free coach up the coast which made getting to the Port a breeze. After settling in to our quiet (finally) private room we decided to check out the 4 Mile Beach and walk up to town to do a bit of window shopping. That night we decided to splurge on a nice dinner at a local italian restaurant, my seafood pizza was delicious! We were pretty beat from another travel day so we headed back to the room fairly early that night and took advantage of the tv with cable in our room. The next morning we wandered back in to town for breakfast and to check out the amazing viewpoint of the beach since the sun had been hiding from us the previous day. Upon returning to our hostel we sorted out our tours for the next two days and hit the hay pretty early to rest up for our big adventures. Our first day tour was up to the Daintree rainforest beginning with a river cruise up the Daintree River during which we were supposed to see some crocodiles but we had no such luck since it was high tide, oh well. Next we journeyed up into the heart of the jungle for a mini jungle trek lead by our awesome tour guide who we chatted to for most of the walk. Up at Cape Tribulation we stopped for a quick peak at the beautiful sparkly beach (no really the sand is actually sparkles, see photo below) and for a quick provided lunch. On the way back down we stopped at a jungle ice cream shop which sold soooo many different flavour combinations, but of course I ended up with triple chocolate. We did a brief stop at the gorgeous Alexandra Mountain lookout before hopping back across the Daintree River and down to Mossman Gorge. At the Gorge we met with an Australian aboriginal who taught us about his culture and how his people makes use of the rainforest and its resources. After the talk we were bussed up to the swimming hole for a quick dip, I however did not get in as the water was far too cold (I know I make a terrible Canadian). Our bus then dropped us off at home and we went pretty much straight to bed since we had an even earlier start to make the following day. Our second day trip included a visit to the Wildlife Habitat for a breakfast buffet with the birds, basically the birds just kind of hung out around the dinning area which was kind of neat. We had some time to explore the rest of the mini zoo after breakfast and we got to feed some happy wallabies and kangaroos and check out tons of cool birds, crocs and koalas. We had just enough time to squeeze in some pictures of us holding a koala named Samson. Our real tour then started with Brett’s Kuranda Half Day Tour which picked us up right at the entrance to the habitat. Our tour was super small, just Brett an older married couple and us, score. We drove back down the very scenic highway and then hopped on the Kuranda skyrail over the jungle. The skyrail was just as awesome as I remember it being from when I was little. Up in Kuranda we were given some free time to wander through the hippy markets and shops and grab a bite for lunch. We had a yummy little lunch at this adorable little Crepe cafe. After lunch we dropped the couple off at the Kuranda Scenic Train (which us poor people couldn’t afford) and we were instead deposited at the sad mall at the bottom of the mountain for about an hour of mindless wandering. We then picked up the couple and headed over to Palm Cove for a drink on the waterfront, quite lovely. After being dropped off back at home and me promising the couple that I would definitely check out Tasmania we collapsed in to our bed only to realize that we had no way of getting to the airport in the morning, whoops. We woke up nice and early the next morning to talk to the lovely ladies at reception and managed to even score a free upgrade to a private airport limo, win!!! Our flight back down to Brisbane ended up being delayed so we spent a bunch of extra time in the Cairns airport but oh well what can you do. I promise to have the last chapter of me and Grace’s adventures soon!!!

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Time to hit the tropics

3 Dec

Our trip to the Brisbane airport was super quick and easy with my dad giving us a lift in. We check in easily and after a quick drink at the airport with dad we hoped on our quick two hour flight north to Cairns. My dad arranged for us to be met at the airport by one of his contacts and friends who drove us in to town and gave us a quick tour of the town. We then checked in to our hostel Giligan’s, our party hostel for the trip as it has a massive club attached to it. The girls in our room ended up being lovely so we all decided to grab dinner together that night at the hostel. Our meals were not the most impressive but ten dollars for dinner and a drink is pretty hard to pass up in this country. Thursday night at Giligan’s happened to be ladies’ night which meant we all got five free glasses of champagne served to us by shirtless waiters in bow ties, hilarious. After the champagne service there was a volunteer pole dance competition aka 18 year old backpacker girls trying their hardest to shake it in front of a pretty big crowd, also hilarious and our favourite actually ended up winning. We tried to keep dancing for as long as we could but exhaustion finally won out so we hit the hay still fairly early. Friday morning we decided to take our local guide’s breakfast suggestion and checked out The Lilypad cafe for one of the best breakfasts on our trip to date (pancakes, ice cream, hashbrowns and bacon yuuum). The rest of the day was pretty chill, we just napped and caught up on the internet. That evening some of the girls from our room came with us to check out the nearby night market. That night we called it an early night despite the thumping bass from the club downstairs. We woke up bright an early the next day to hop on our boat headed out to the great barrier reef with Down Under Cruise and Dive. We checked out two different sites and got to snorkel at both of them, Grace’s first time ever trying it! We son tons of funky coloured fish and even managed to spot a great big sea turtle! At the second location we hopped on a glass bottom boat tour and found nemo 🙂 On the way home one of the hilarious crew members preformed some songs and improve with a bit of musical trivia thrown in (I even got a question right and one a drink score!). Even though we were super tired and sunburnt we got dressed for a big night on the town with the Ultimate Party bus bar crawl. We hit up four different bars and were ferried between them on a massive double decker bus. At each stop there were some scandalous games which were super funny to watch. It was a pretty fun night and we had a great time dancing with two fellow Canadian girls. The next morning we got off to a pretty slow start but eventually made our way down to the Cairns swimming lagoon with our new friends for a relaxing afternoon in the lovely water and sun. Since we were leaving the next morning we had another quiet night and hit up the local movie theatre to check out Thor 2 which was just as great as the first Thor (plus lots of yummy Chris Hemsworth and sassy Kat Dennings my faves). Next morning we were up nice and early to head to our last new destination and the most northern location of our trip, Port Douglas.

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