Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hump Day Holiday: Brisbane

I knew we hadn't explored enough of our own fair city (and beyond) lately, when we wandered into the middle of Queen Street Mall recently, and Chase announced with delight: "Mum! Are we in New York City?"

"Um, not quite Mate, not quite," I replied.

For it is true, dear reader.

Like many people who live in a tourist destination, (Stop it! Brisbane is a tourist destination) we rarely take time to explore the sights like those who are visiting our part of the world.

Sure, during school holidays we usually do South Bank, the Queensland Museum and the Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens.

But apart from that, it's usually too stressful, expensive, or difficult to make it into the busy Brisbane CBD.

Usually it's quicker and cheaper to go to our surburban shopping centres, where there are just as many facilities available as the CBD, with the added bonus of extra, often free entertainment for the kids.

But during the weird-weather spring school holidays, where the temperature lurched from freezing one day to hot the next, I recklessly did a hotel search on  It was a sweltering, summer-like day, where bushfire smoke hung heavily in the air, and our hot-box of a home felt like a sauna. With a click of a mouse, I booked a last minute mystery deal for us.

The hotel had air-conditioning? Check. It had a pool? Check. There was room service? Check. There were no dogs, cats, or wheeting, forever-hungry pregnant guinea pigs? Check. Okay we were in.

The deal turned at to be at the Sebel Citigate King George Square, which Chase immediately insisted must be five star because a man opened the car door and parked my embarassment of a car for us.

("Mum, I bet he's never seen as messy a car as ours before," Harmonie giggled mischievously. I bet he hasn't either!)

Moments later, after a friendly check-in, we were in our room. Teddies included.

It didn't take us long to make ourselves at home. Chase took control of the TV remote (he is a male after all,) while Harmonie's panda looked on.

Harmonie thought the hotel was 5-star because the toilet paper was shaped like this!

Living large by the pool!

Just like Time Square ... Erm, not quite!

The perfect gift for the person who has everything: kangaroo scrotum beer openers. I kid you not.

The Brisbane River ... Tranquil this time, unlike earlier this year when she wreaked havic on thousands, many of whom are still recovering from the devastating floods.

The other side.

We ended up staying for the Santos City Of Lights, a free laser light show set to music which was the first of its kind in Australia. And although we'd been on the Wheel of Brisbane , the kids insisted it would be better at night. And so it was. But my iphone had ran out of battery long before all of this, so I have no photos to share. Bad Mummy Blogger!

We were exhausted by then and caught a cab back to the hotel, much to the childrens' pleasure.

"Are you on holidays?" asked the cabbie.

"Yes," said the kids.

"Oh, where from?" he replied.

"Brisbane!" they chortled.

I think he thought we were mad.

But an awesome time was had by all.

Readers, have you played tourist in your own backyard before? And is Brisbane really a tourist destination?

Note: To be continued....


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a cute adventure for them-and you! :) And yes I love playing tourist in Sydney-when I see the harbour I'm always struck at how gorgeous it is :)

Mum on the Run said...

That is just fantastic. Good on you. most of my students think Bali is an Aussie holiday destination.

Denyse Whelan said...

That was a great idea, Bronnie! A break-away in your city. I loved reading that. Your kids are still young enough to be transfixed by the different & new. Hard enough when you co-parent ... But that seemed like a great big family fun fest. I love playing tourist in Sydney at times too.

Scuzzi said...

Glad you all had a good time ;)

Rubyjaz said...

Sounds super fun. I would love to do that in our own city some time. I used to work there but the kids have only been to the museum and performing arts centre a few times. I remember the ladies at work who lived in the burbs saying they only go to the city to work, I thought, WHAT, ridiculous, I am always going to come into the city after I have kids. Ha ha, nup.