My second night in sydney and off to the Keith Urban concert at the olympic stadium. What a night! Until I recently watched him on American idol I did not know much about Keith Urban other than he is married to Nicole Kidman. I thought he was a country singer and was not sure I would enjoy two hours of him playing country music. Much to my delight he is much more of a rocker than a country singer and is extremely talented, not to mention not hard to look at! The two hours flew by - he did an incredible show and even came out into the audience to perform a few numbers - he really knows how to put on a fabulous show no wonder they love him here.
Next day we were off again as Marianne was treating me to a few days on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. First we arrived at the airport for our flight and were treated like royalty, helps when you know the staff, we even spent time enjoying a lovely complimentary lunch in the Jetstar lounge - flying with Marianne is a real treat.
Marianne rented an apartment across from the beach in Mooloolaba which is on the coast of the coral sea, what a view! There is little evidence of the cyclone that ripped through here a week ago. The weather is slightly overcast today but the last three days have been brilliantly sunny hovering around 30 degrees - I am browning nicely! Mooloolaba is 97 km north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast with a population of 7000. It looks a lot like Waikiki with the same laid back, tourist ambiance. As you might have guessed Mooloolaba is an aboriginal name meaning snapper fish. As I struggle pronouncing all the aboriginal names I now have empathy for our visitors trying to pronounce Qualicum, Cowichan or Coquihalla.
View from our room
We rented a car and visited the little town of Emundi on Saturday for the markets. I must be shopped out as I did not buy a thing. Although most of the stuff comes from Asia and is marked up quite a bit. Interesting given how close Australia is to Asia.
Some of the best places to eat on the sunshine coast are the surf clubs. These are beautiful facilities on the beach for lifeguards. They are funded by the government but in order to raise additional monies they open to the public, serving liquor and delicious food as well as having casinos on site. The first one we visited was the Alexander surf club and I enjoyed a delicious steak sandwich. Yesterday marianne had to fly back to sydney to go back to work (keep working marianne i love the companion travel benefits), so I went to the surf club in Mooloolaba for a late lunch and had the best beef salad - while I looked over the ocean and listened to a live band that plays on Sundays.
Last night after it cooled down I went for a long walk along the ocean to Marychodore. A popular pastime here is to come to the beach with a picnic andwatch the surfers - great free entertainment. It is interesting to see how the life style here is really geared to outdoor living. Very evident with the number of covered picnic areas on the ocean featuring free public gas bbqs. Lots of covered playgrounds for kids to enjoy and plenty of options for takeaway food.
The water is lovely and warm but I still have a fear of sharks so I will sick to the pool
This morning i got up at 7am and took another long walk the opposite way from yesterday, along the ocean out to the breakwater where the sea meets the Mooloolaba River. Today Gaille is flying up and I will pick her up at the airport this afternoon (yes I am driving on the opposite side of the road again, on the opposite side of the car using a standard - it is easy to drive here except the dam turn signals are on the right hand side of the steering wheel so every time I go to make a turn I end up turning on the windshield wipers). While I wait for her arrival I will get in some pool time.
Gaille and I will be staying with her friend Trish until Saturday. I met Trish in 1991 when she visited Gaille who was living with me in Canada - it will be great to see her again. Gaille and I will keep the car to do some touring and I plan to take an excursion to Fraser Island one day. So stay tuned and I will try to give you a taste of the Sunshine Coast of Australia - a beautiful place and a must see if you are in Australia.