Murray and Krista Pop By


This past week, we had two friends from the states drop by for a visit. Murray and Krista were on holiday in Australia and had just finished their first 4 days in Sydney and now were due to spend a few with us before moving on to Cairns and then back to Sydney.

Saturday I headed out to the airport to pick them up and then bring them back to a home cooked (Mustard Chicken) dinner courtesy of Bryan. We spent the rest of the evening catching up on life back home and a few of the adventures they done so far in Sydney.

The next morning everyone was up early because they were all heading out to see the Australia Zoo. I spent most of the day studying for my final test in the Wildlife Rescue Class and afterwards went shopping so I could cook dinner that night. Everyone made it back that evening, with lots of animal stories, Koala photos, etc. We finished up dinner and relaxed for the night.

Monday morning, Murray and I went for a walk around Southport, we picked up coffee and breakfast for Krista and headed back. After dropping everything off, we grabbed our gear and we headed down to the Gold Coast Airport. Murray had rented a single engine plane for us to fly around the area in. We met with the flight instructor and then headed off to the local supply shop to grab some airspace maps. After we returned, he went over the flight-plan with Murray and then we headed out to the plane. After the standard checks, and tower clearance, we were off. We couldn’t have asked for a better day, the sky was sunny and clear, while the ocean was a stunning (and inviting) blue. Luckily there isn’t much traffic in the area, so we were able to fly at about 500ft off the ground while going up the coast. This gave us some of the best views of the Gold Coast I’ve seen yet. Lots of photos were taken as we made our way up to “The Spit” at which point we turned West and headed inland over Southport and into the Hinterlands. We flew through some valleys, over a beautiful lake, passed the local mountains, and then turned back east to the ocean. On the way back, we got clearance to drop back down to 500ft and follow a winding river back to the ocean.

After we landed, we headed back up the Gold Coast Freeway and thought it would be a great day to grab everyone for lunch and then head out to the beach. After squeezing into the car, we headed out to Main Beach where we had burgers and then kicked back on the sand. I ran out into the waves to play around. Murray joined me for a while until he was exhausted by the ocean (those waves are quite a workout, you quickly realize you a quite small and insignificant compared to their unyielding power). I hung out for a bit longer before heading in. We sat and had fun watching the antics of the tourists playing on the beach.

It was getting later in the day so we headed home to clean up for a bit before going back to Surfers Paradise for some Starbucks. We met up with our friend Sergio and sat around drinking coffee, listening to stories and having a great time. Once night hit, we thought it would be a good idea to head over to the D’Arcy Arms for some Irish grub. Sergio, Murray and I decided to walk while Kristen, Bryan, and Krista all drove. Once we got there, Sergio’s friend Michael met up with us and we all had a great meal. Sergio was not feeling too well so we figured it was about time to head home.

Murray and I finished up the night playing around on our laptops and then finally crashing, though Murray was up for quite a bit longer due to all the coffee :).

The final morning, I took Murray and Krista to the airport to check in their main baggage, and then we drove in to Brisbane to kill most of the day. We wandered around Queens street, checked out the live performers, made our way across the bridge to the Southbank area (a sort of community/art center area). Murray saw a bearded dragon basking in the sun and took some shots of it. We made our way long the coastline, passed a Nepalese Pagoda, and then the man-made pool/beach area (with lifeguards). Eventually we found the dock for the Ferry that would take us to the far side of the city’s CBD area. As we rode around, we both snapped photos of the local artwork, the Kangaroo Pt cliffs, and finally the eastern shore of the city.

About this time we had to part ways, I had to make it back to Southport because my test was that night in Currumbin and Murray and Krista had to get back to the airport (via train) to fly off to Cairns.

It was really nice having them visit, and I look forward to catching up with them again when I return to the states.

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