When my friend Ann asked if I’d like to come along for a drive to Brisbane one fine, sunny day, I was thrilled.
Drives with Ann are never a Point A to Point B affair. Not a chance! They are delectable meanderings along the prettiest routes she can think of, punctuated by stops at all sorts of interesting places. So we packed water bottles and snacks and, accompanied by her daughters Lizzie and Katy, cranked up the air conditioning and Enya’s latest cd and headed for the city.
Although I’ve been to Brisbane a few times, I haven’t had the chance to do much exploring. We more than made up for it on this trip. After stopping for lunch (delish toasted sandwiches) and a sticky-bick (look around) at a wonderful bookstore with cookbooks on sale for $1 each, we arrived in Brisbane in time to park the car and walk Lizzie to the University.
Rounding a corner we found this little fellow almost invisible against the pavement. He stayed just long enough to pose for me, then scurried off into the crunchy leaves.
We strolled past hundreds of palm trees, their fronds rustling gently in the breeze and looking marvelously tropical against the vivid blue sky.
We sauntered past restaurants positively humming with the mingled sounds of music blaring and patrons visiting, and strolled under vast arbors dripping in fuchsia bougainvillea.
All too soon we had to drop Lizzie off, so we hugged her tight and promised to get together soon, then headed for the waterfront for a stroll along the Brisbane River.
Our path lead us past more towering palms and beside swimming pools surrounded by white sand. The skyscrapers of Brisbane provided a stunning backdrop.
After stocking up on a colorful array of Australian lollies at a local sweet shop, we found seats beside the river where we could watch the city ferries motor past and catch cool breezes off the water. It’s the perfect spot for people watching and discovering small beauties like the intricately inlaid mosaics in the pavement.
The Brisbane riverfront has such a jovial feeling of community about it. Children splashed and squealed in the swimming pools while perfectly formed teenagers bronzed themselves on the sand. Couples strolled hand in hand along the promenade and office workers found shady perches where they could eat their bag lunches and read a novel. Students were everywhere being lead on tours by their student guides, looking nervous and excited as they navigated the crowds, tentatively smiling at their fellow students in the hopes of making new friends.
We escaped the crowds for a bit as we entered a sea of green: lily pads, lush grass, palm trees and amazing mangroves with their Dr. Seussian roots and branches.
It was a gorgeous interlude on our Girls Day Out, and we all felt relaxed and happy.
But soon our To-Do List beckoned and we got back in the car and onto the busy streets, heading for an adventure of another sort: visiting the foodie shops of Brisbane. You can read all about some of my favorites here. I love Brisbane food shops! There are so many cultures and cuisines represented and the prices are very reasonable and sometimes downright cheap. I picked up Russian sunflower oil, Ethiopian berebere, Indian curry, and Mexican salsa verde. My special treat of the day was gorgonzola dolce which I plan to serve with roasted peaches. Mmm, mmm, good. 🙂
What is your favorite city to wander in?