After our camper van adventures we spent the holidays at my dad’s friend’s house in a southern suburb of Brisbane. It was weird celebrating Christmas while it was 30 degrees outside and we spent the better part of every day in the pool. For my birthday we went in to the city to Southbank to see the new Hobbit movie and have a yummy dinner. Just before New Years we switched locations and headed up North of Brisbane to stay with another one of my dad’s friends and his family for a few days. We had a lovely time with them and their dogs and had a fun time partying with everyone on NYE. After the holidays it was time to get down to business and we began our house hunting search back in downtown Brisbane.
We managed to find a place in Fortitude Valley, the heart of Brisbane’s entertainment district. It was great to have a home base again and regular internet but we couldn’t just settled down and relax for ever so it was time to find a job. Finding a job ended up being the hard part, Braden tried out a few jobs including telemarketing and moving which didn’t quite pan out and I had a long streak of nothing till a local Italian restaurant finally called me back in mid-February. Not long after I scored my job Braden switched up his resume tactics (going for more humour) and landed a job by the end of February at a small Mexican take away place. During February we did manage to hit up a water park, Seaworld, check out Surfers Paradise for a day, spend a few days down in Byron Bay catching waves (and sunburns), cuddle a koala and check out the wildlife at the Lone Pine’s Koala Sanctuary, as well as exploring more of Brisbane.
Once we started working we realized that our part time jobs just weren’t going to be enough to sustain us in the long term so we made the decision to start planning our route back to Canada a little earlier than we had planned. Australia is just quite an expensive place to live. March did consist of a lot of planning but we also managed to have some fun. We caught some awesome live performances by Macklemore, Deadmau5 and more at Future Music Festival. For our final big trip in Australia we decided to check out Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands since we had heard so much about it. Most people choose to see the islands by taking a multi-night sailing trip out to them but I am not the biggest fan of being on a boat for too long so we opted to take two day trips out from Airlie instead. The day we arrived in Airlie it was super hot and sunny out but that would be the last time we would see the sun during our time there. Our first day trip took us out to the tail end of the Great Barrier Reef (I figured Braden couldn’t leave Oz without seeing it) but due to the bad weather we encountered some pretty crazy waves out on the open ocean making me feel pretty sea sick for most of the day. After spending our whole second day hiding inside from the rain (well more like drinking inside the hostel’s bar) we were starting to feel less enthusiastic about spending another day out on the rain and wavy ocean. In the end our ocean rafting day trip out to see more of the islands, including the famous Whitehaven Beach, was rainy and a little chilly but we still managed to have a good time. Another unique Australian experience that we simply couldn’t leave without checking out was an AFL game and boy was it a lot of fun. During our last weekend in Brisbane we hopped down to the Gold Coast to attend Supernova (a mini comic convention) where Braden got to see a live LOL finals match and I got to see some of the unreleased Black Milk pieces (win win for both of us). Finally after some sad goodbyes to new friends we departed Brisbane for South East Asia to continue our adventures (in much cheaper countries).
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 🙂