Monday, September 24, 2007
Although no one here appears to use the term, it is now "Spring Break" in Queensland and much of the rest of Australia. The university has the week off, but all the primary and secondary schools have two weeks holiday, which is dubbed "school holidays" (how clever!). From what I can tell, these school holidays are concurrent for EVERY school in Queensland, and perhaps those in other states as well. I noticed a big reduction in the traffic in Toowong this morning when I went to drop off Will at daycare. Many families leave town for various destinations (including Mooselet, who is on an amazing journey to the Queensland interior). Later this week we are flying to Sydney for a few days to see our friends, but we got things started this past weekend with two mini-breaks. The first was a one-hour drive to the Gold Coast, where we had breakfast at Surfers Paradise. The Gold Coast looks a bit like Miami Beach, with many, many skyscrapers, including the Q1. At 80 floors high, Q1 is the world's tallest all-residential building, when measured to the top of its spire (according to Wikipedia). Australians are fond of complaining of the glitz of the Gold Coast, but for a guy who grew up in the Midwest, it's quite exciting. On Sunday, we took our second mini-break to Noosa, which is about a 2-hour drive north of Brisbane. Noosa is considered one of the most beautiful places in Australia, which also makes it a major tourist destination. During the school holidays it's jammed with families from the southern cities. In fact, our friends the Clarks are spending the week there with some of their Melbourne friends. They took us out on the Noosa river on their boat, and then V., Will, and I walked along the main shopping boulevard in Noosa Heads, before spending a little while on the Noosa beach. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and a bit drizzly, so we didn't get to see the place at its best. But, it is clear that it's still quite beautiful, despite the creeping urbanism. You can check out more pictures from our weekend by clicking on the album on the right.