Going Down Under for some R and R #264

Going Down Under for some R and R #264

Going Down Under for some R and R

In Blog 263 I Talked about the SEO learning curve. In this blog I am going to talk about Going Down Under for some R and R.




I didn’t think I’d be able to write while away but the connection is good enough, just have to time it right as the connection can be spotty. One of my Core Values is Balance: “You want everything in your life to be in the right proportion to everything else. No one thing dominates your life”. To do this sometimes you need to shift gears or as they say down under “Take a holiday”. What better way to do that than to travel clear across the world. Talk about getting away.


I’ve always wanted to see Australia. When I was a young man, my room-mate Harold and I talked about selling everything we had and travel to Australia. The plan was to get odd jobs to help us survive and to go to different places and experience the country. We never did it. Even though most of this trip is around Papua New Guinea, I was still excited to at least see some of Australia. 


We arrived in Brisbane after a long 14 hour flight. We arrived early like around 4:30 am so we hung out by the infinity pool and had some coffee. Everything would open up around 7am. It was nice to chill out and just relax and before you know it 7am was here.


Our room in Brisbane  is very nice, in the center of the room was a huge Mirror with a gold embellished frame. The tv is in the mirror. The bathroom has a glass wall from the jacuzzi bath that can view the rest of the room or become muted so you can have privacy. There is a nice rainfall shower that was a nice treat. Our room had a nice view of the river and the pool. This room is one of the nicest I’ve stayed in and I’ve been to quite a few nice ones. Linda out did here self on this trip. The bed was so comfortable too, was looking forward to that at days end. 


The restaurant at the top of our hotel has a wonderful view of the river.  We had a wonderful breakfast and thought it might be nice to go there for dinner. After breakfast I got a haircut at a local barber shop while Linda and her mom got their nails done. The barber was the manager and had lived in Brisbane for 9 years. He came from Iraq. Great haircut and super nice guy. I love a barber that does the haircut then takes hot lather and a straight razor to trim the hairline, finishing it off with the powdery brush. The smells and the experience I just love. There are a few things that I like to treat myself too, a haircut by either a barber or a good stylist. A great massage, not to hard or too soft and a manicure. I believe life is about moments and this certainly was a good one.


 After the Barber and the Nail Salon we all  took naps to re-charge.  It was a rainy night so we were just going to go up to the restaurant we had breakfast at to grab a bite. I put on some flip flops and shorts since I was exhausted from the 14 hour flight. 


We arrive to the restaurant after a ride from our 11th floor room to the 21st floor. The elevator was equipped with wall to wall video graphics so one minute the floor is a very serene lake your legs are part of, then it switches to a coral reef and then a shark who rams into the wall and cracks it then swims underneath your feet. Very high on the cool meter.


We arrive to the restaurant and it has changed to a nightclub type scene. I was informed that flip flops weren’t allowed but since we were guests the shorts were allowed but if I could change them too that would be preferred. We decided to take a walk down a path by the river even though it was raining instead. Lindas Mom was calling it a night. Linda and I cuddled under an umbrella and took a very nice walk to a bunch of restaurants down by the river.


The first was a Turkish restaurant that had very ethnic themes to the decor,  food on the menu looked amazing. On Fridays and Saturdays they have a belly dancer. We continued because our hotel suggested a nice fish restaurant. Sadly the Fish place wasn’t serving food just drinks so we continued. 


We continued down the South bank as it’s called here to a place called the Jetty. It was very quaint and the menu looked great. Our waiter was a young man from Amsterdam who decided to travel the world and go from place to place. Sidney to Melbourne and now Brisbane. We connected right away because of this. He is doing what I wanted to do at a young age. He bought a van that he sleeps in at night. Not sure how he showers we didn’t go there but he was clean cut and very personable. 


We ordered river bugs which were Langoustines, crispy skinned fresh fish and roasted lamb over polenta. The lamb was like stew meat and we had a wonderful Pinot from New Zealand called Rabbit Ranch. 


Our restaurant over looked the river which was very serene. The park was impeccable, no trash or “rubbish” as they call it here was in sight. No sign of homeless people anywhere in the city and everyone has been super friendly thus far. 


We ordered lava cake but they were out so we had the local dessert here of mangos with a coconut sorbet that was out of this world. This popular local dish was called pavlova.


Very relaxing trip, didn’t hear of any shootings or politics on the tv, just peaceful and quiet which is what we wanted. Of course we haven’t watched much tv here either so unfair comparison. The little local news I did see was about true news stories not the influx of political fighting or gun violence which is so prevalent no matter what broadcasts you watch. Reminded me of pre-cable days when we had just four channels to choose from. Looking forward to a good nights sleep after the long 14 hour trip over here. First impression A+ need to investigate Brisbane more. I have a few cities I adore in all my travels, Boston in the us, Vancouver Canada when we took the Alaskan cruise, Florence Italy the cleanliness of two cities in Germany, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf and now Brisbane. It is now days end and I let the comfort of the bed swallow me up to a much needed sleep.




Today we were going to a koala sanctuary, Linda wanted to hold one and this place is the only one in Australia that allows it.


As far as local stuff, the Taxi driver told us 15% is added to the electric bill to pay for emergency services, so an ambulance ride costs nothing. Everyone gets health care, no gun violence, zero. People have to get a license and explain to police why they need a gun. Only crime is petty theft. He asked us why Americans don’t complain more about the gun violence. Another driver told us the same. One from Iran the other from India. They told us that Brisbane is known for how diverse the population is. Problem with our politics is that everything is about money and power and not what’s best for the citizens. But before you decide to pack things up, Australia is very expensive to live though. A three bedroom house would be well over a million dollars to purchase much like the prices in California. 


The koala sanctuary was amazing, Linda held the koala while her mom and I stood next to her for the picture. She said the Koala was pretty heavy, especially the way she was instructed to hold it. The Koalas do not like to be held by their bottoms. This was the only legal place in Australia you can hold one. We fed kangaroos and saw a baby kangaroo in a mothers pouch. They were pretty docile to us and it was neat to feed them. There was a male kangaroo that must have been the alpha male, he had a close eye on everything people were doing, probably not going to feed this guy lol.


We saw a sheep herding demonstration which was incredible. They say the dogs that are fully trained to herd sheep like we saw today could sell for 40,000 easy. Border collie and kelpie are the dogs they use because of their intelligence. The dogs would circle the sheep at a fast pace to get them to go where they intended. To cool off the dogs would put their paws only in water because that’s what cools them off. I never knew that before so I’ll keep that in mind for Teddy our little doggy. 


The Tasmanian devil was cool and I was lucky enough to get a good snarl out of one. They were very active in the cage. They pass a type of cancer to each other which doctors are trying to figure out. We saw the two playing with each others faces so I think that is common and how it is passed on. They worry this cancer could make them extinct.


We also saw a platypus which was constantly swimming so hard to get a good shot. Interesting animal though, one of a few mammals that lays eggs and has a venomous portion of the hind feet that causes excruciating pain if stung. 


We took Linda’s mom to a nice Italian place for her birthday and the food was amazing with a great view of the river. She was really enjoying herself today. Everyone at the restaurant was amazing. I had linguine with lobster, Linda had duck and her mom had her usual thin spaghetti with olive oil and garlic, chopped tomatoes on the side. 


We went to a wine bar and had a drink before going up to our rooms. A drunk guy got a little too close for comfort to me and passed his cold to me. Nice guy though but over-served lol.I tested for Covid and luckily it came out the way we had hoped it would. 



Tomorrow we go to the cruise ship…

…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career. 

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This post has 2 comments

Tom Austin
2 Feb 2023

Very cool Mike – What an adventure!!
I’m so happy that things seem to be going well for you – you are one of my favorites and smart to do something like this trip while you are still young (compared to me) and healthy.
Best regards to Linda..

13 Feb 2023

Thanks Tom! It was a great trip, beautiful cruise and learned a lot along the way.


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