Miller a little too excited!
We made it! After a harrowing customs experience (ask Miller whether or not the Australian authorities permit photographs to be taken in the customs and immigration area), we whisked downtown to our hotel, which was thankfully located in the heart of downtown Brisbane. Almost thirty hours after leaving Atlanta, we were finally ready to begin our holiday.
Public transportation is a snap in Brisbane, and everyone (thus far) has been extremely friendly and helpful. Both Sheldon and I have been mistaken for locals and asked for directions. We were happy to oblige, but if they followed the directions we gave, I suspect they are in the Outback by now.
We first went to the Lone Pine Reserve, a zoo of sorts. Specially, this reserve is dedicated to the preservation, care, and display of Australia’s unique native animals -- i.
Here we are to see our first taste of Aussie wildlife
e., crocodiles, poisonous snakes, a myriad of birds (including the kookaburra), dingoes, wombat, Tasmanian devils, wallabies, kangaroos, and (of course) koalas!
Granted, we looked like the consummate American tourists snapping photographs of kangaroos or gushing over cute little koalas, but that’s okay.
How often can you play among such animals?
Besides, it all went to a good cause.
Lone Pine isn’t your prototypical zoo with tacky displays and stupid shows; it is much more of a working ecological sanctuary.
Moreover, it was a good way to stretch our legs after so much flying and get acclimated to Australia
Later that afternoon, Sheldon and I explored Brisbane on foot. The city is easily traversed by foot, and the botanical gardens down by the Brisbane River are lovely.
In case we get lost!
, in some ways, is like Atlanta
Everyone clears out.
Restaurants (at least where we looked) were few and far between, and we finally plopped down at a Sizzler.
(So much for avoiding American eateries.)
This was a bona fide Sizzler… complete with the dessert ice cream that swirls from machines… vanilla, chocolate, or swirl.
I never made it that far.
I was stuffed… and sleepy.
Slumber came at 8:15 pm. We crawled into bed absolutely exhausted. And woke up after 10 hours. Now we’re at the Brisbane Airport about to fly Qantas to Cairns for our exploration of the Great Barrier Reef.
Chris, Sheldon & Miller
NOTE: The internet is hopelessly slow in this airport. The pictures will be uploaded soon when we get a better connection!