Day 12 - Last full day in Aussie.
May 14, 2009
|Day 12 - May 14
Once again we woke at 4am, got cleaned up and went to the pickup location for the balloon. We had a different driver, who took the curves and cliffs very slowly and carefully. PLUS right off the bat, I sat in the front seat. This time I didn't feel ill at all, which is a good thing. We saw a few of the same people from yesterday. Real characters they were.
Ken sat in the back of the bus with them and it sounded like they were having a party back there. LOL. We arrived at the launch site and to our extreme happiness, they were filling the balloon.
It was so exciting watching them get it ready for our ride.
It didn't take long before we were boarding the basket and holding on tight.
We rose so slowly and gently.
I had zero motion sickness, and I wasn't afraid, even though we were 3000 feet in the air.
It was so calm and surreal. We could see the bush-lands
, and even Brisbane and the ocean at one point.
We flew for just under an hour and then landed. Once we landed the crew asked up to help them pack of the balloon.
Holy cow was this difficult. It took all of us to fold and roll all the propane out and then try to shove it in its bag
. Apparently, the UV rays will damage it, so they have to get it put away as quickly as possible.
After the packing of the balloon, we boarded the bus again
and headed to O'Reilly's vineyard for a beautiful champagne breakfast. Apparently drinking champagne after a flight is a tradition for celebrating a safe landing. And so we did! The food was delicious and warm, and as always all the people were nice to us.
The bus took us back to the pickup point and we drove back to the resort. We packed our bags for the flight out tomorrow, but then also packed for a day at the beach. We decided that we would spend 1/2 day on the sunshine coast and then go to dinner at the spirit house restaurant. We found Coolum Beach
and as it turns out, it was very secluded. Only one other couple catching some rays. It was gorgeous! The waves were enormous and after a while many surfers came to the beach and started surfing those waves. Such a site. We were both so tired from getting up at 4, that we fell asleep for a while.
We woke up and took a walk on the beach. Great memory. Around 4:30, we changed for dinner and drove to the restaurant. We were treated to a gorgeous sky over the mountains
as the sun was setting.
The restaurant - O.M.G.!!!! This place was SPECTACULAR!!! We walked the gardens grounds
and there were tiki torches and lanterns
, bridges, ponds and creeks. I tried to get some pictures, but it was too dark, and the flash just didn't get the whole scene lit enough for a good pic.
We were escorted to our table and given 2 glasses of complimentary Australia wine. They knew we were from America. The food was AMAZING!!! Yam and ginger balls, Fried tofu, pickled mushrooms, twice cooked crab soufle, bbq mooloolaa prawns, lemongrass rice. They gave us a finger bowl of lemon and bitters to clean the seafood smell from our hands. We couldn't stop marveling about the surroundings. I'm going to try and find pictures of the place online and try and put them up here. The waitress seemed to think that Flickr website might have some.
When dinner was finished, we drove back to the resort. Ugh, 2 hours to get there, AND there was tons of construction going on all the motorways, so we had to keep slowing down. It took forever to get home, and poor Ken was exhausted. He had to do all the driving over here, because I was just too nervous. All I can say is what a fantastic way to end this wonderful "holiday". I won't be posting tomorrow, because we leave at 11am and have to be there 3 hours ahead of time. Plus there really won't be anything worth mentioning. :o) Thanks for reading all our updates. Hopefully they were descriptive enough and made you feel like you were there with us. That was our intention.