Sunday, July 10, 2016

Travel Log: Brisbane Day 1

Tony the taxi driver (from the first post about the trip) dropped us off at our hotel around noon. Since it was early to get into our room, I had planned to just check in and leave our bags with the hotel, roam around the CBD (Central Business District, which is what they call downtown), and then go back and get into our room. But there was good news. Our hotel room was ready when we got there. Tears of happiness were close to being shed. We desperately wanted a shower after so many hours after checking out of the LA hotel and sleeping, eating and watching movies on the airplane.
We stayed at Novotel Brisbane on Creek Street

That white on the headboard lit up if you turn it on.

We couldn't figure out how to turn on the lights or air conditioner. You have to insert your key card into a slot in the front of the room (inside) in order for lights to work.

That shower "door" was super annoying There is a small part of glass that's folded back into the shower in this pic. You unfold it and it's barely bigger so water got all over the floor the first day. I figured out that you have to point the shower head completely down and barely move and then most of the water stays in the shower.

Notice that to flush the toilet, you push the button on the top, which is common all over there. And you can see the outlet which is different than the U.S. so we bought adapters before we got there.

That mini-fridge was stocked with stuff they wanted us to buy. We didn't touch any of it, but then didn't have a whole lot of room for our own stuff.

View from our window

So it took a while for everyone to shower and get ready to go out, but we finally did. We set out on foot a few blocks away to the Queen Street Mall, Queens Plaza and Meyer Centre to check out the city and to find food. It was about 3 pm, but some of the restaurants in the shopping centers looked like they were closing. We finally found something open that Sabrina would eat. We are in a different country and what do we eat? Snag Stand hamburgers and chips (French fries) at a food court.

The hamburgers were pretty good, but I really liked the chips. I'm pretty picky about French fries and don't eat them often. Elisa and I often share food, but this time we had our own hamburgers.

The 3 hamburgers and 2 chips plus 3 botles of water was $46 AUD (Australian dollars), which currently is about $35 American Dollars.

I asked what time they close. She said everything closes by 5:00 or 5:30. What??? Yep, it was true. Restaurants and stores in the malls all closed that early every day of the week and many of the stores and restaurants outside the malls did too. It's a normal thing in Australia, but it was sad for us because we wanted to be out and about longer. Since it was winter there, it got dark before 5:30 so that limited what we could do.

These birds are everywhere and get kind of aggressive if you have food.

It seems that most schools require uniforms there. My girls were in awe. They kept saying how fancy they are there and how they wish they went to a school with uniforms. I don't think they would actually enjoy it though.

Burger King is called Hungry Jack's, where you can still get a Whopper, but they'll pronounce it Whoppa.

McDonald's is called Macca's. They have many of the same things, but they have chocolate pies and these loaded fries. We saw loaded fries with gravy or guacamole and salsa in many restaurants.

At a food court. If you zoom in, you can see some prices.

I wanted to try a meat pie from here before we left, but we were never near it at the right time.

But that first day we were there, we felt kinda tired at 5:30 pm since it was late in Utah. After it got dark that first day, we walked back to the hotel.

I turned on the TV because I wanted to see some Australian TV, but what was on? Ellen, Grey's Anatomy, American movies, The Nanny, and The Big Bang Theory. Finally I found some Australian news and later some Australian music videos. That was entertaining. They enjoy a lot of music from the U.S. and other countries in addition to their own. Here are a few Aussie videos, but don't ask me how popular they are since I have no idea.  

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