Today, although I am a day ahead than the states, is halloween! Many people from home have asked me if Halloween is a thing here. My answer is kinda – while it is celebrated and there are a lot of themed parties going on, apparently it has only caught on within the last few years and is still not widely celebrated like back home. For example, it is accepted and common to not celebrate and nobody decorates for the occasion.
My host fam, on the other hand, plans on celebrating this evening by taking the kids to a community party at the local pool and then doing a bit of trick-or-treating since I am here and Kirin loves the idea of Halloween. He has been counting down the days since he first found out I was coming to live with him. I didn’t go all out on a costume or anything but did buy a headband with ghosts springing up from the top of it that say “Boo!” Kinda lame but it’ll do. I’m thinking of everyone at home and wishing everyone a fun and safe one!!! Have a drink for me 😉
Backing up a bit, I spent this past weekend in Brissy again and had a lovely time. It was our au pair friend, Theresa’s, last weekend in Australia so we had a lot of fun “living it up” as a farewell to her.
Friday we went to the valley as per usual, and showed ourselves a great time. We all chatted with several different locals and danced away most of the night. Saturday we made plans to go on a hike in one of the national parks north of Brisbane, called D’Aguilar National Park. We did a 8km track, about 3 hours total, up in the rainforest with a beautiful view of Moreton Bay from Jolly’s lookout as our reward. It was a beautiful afternoon and a great way to spend one of Theresa’s last days down under.
The fun continued Sunday when Theresa came back into the city for one last hurrah and joined Olivia, Leslie and I for brunch at a BYO restaurant in a suburb called Paddington. We were able to bring our own (and cheap) champagne and OJ, and have mimosas to go with our delicious meals. It was a great start to what turned into a bit of a wild afternoon.
The four of us ventured into the valley to check out Valley Fiesta, a free music and art festival sponsored by the city. We soon realized after getting there that the main day was Saturday but still found a great spot to listen to some live music and drink loads of beer. We spent quite a bit of time at the Irish pub called Finn’s since it was right next to the stage, drinking Coronas and occasionally getting up to go dance. Needless to say, Olivia went to her job at the girls boarding school a bit under the influence that day…
That evening Leslie and I, although completely exhausted from staying out late the night before and then our big hike, pushed through and ventured over to a beautiful spot by the river called Kangaroo Point Cliffs to grill dinner and watch the sunset. Although our meal was a bit under-cooked, we had the best time staring at the beautifully lit skyline. We got an awesome surprise later with fireworks over the river! We never figured out what the occasion was but we had a prime spot for watching them, and it was awesome.
We lasted until about 5:30pm and then headed back to Hannah’s to call it a weekend. Theresa and I said our goodbyes and I woke up Monday morning to head back to Ferny Hills for another week of nannying.
The catch this week though is that it will only be 3 days because… BEN AND BECKY ARE COMING!!! My wonderful and supportive parents will be arriving to Brisbane early Thursday morning, and I’ll be meeting them at their hotel that evening after I finish work and get the train in. I can’t wait to greet them after their big journey and show them around! Their trip has been planned since the beginning of September but it came so fast, I can’t even believe it. They’ll be in the country for 12 days and I’ll be spending both of my long weekends with them, the first one up in Sunshine Coast and the second one in Cairns where we’ll go diving on the Great Barrier Reef together. I’m so thrilled to get to explore beautiful places with them and have a bit of a vacation of my own. Look out for the report of how it all goes.