<Ferny Grove, Queensland>
I failed to mention dinner last night. This was the perfect end to a perfect day! I can now officially say I’ve had an Australian meat pie! When I ate at Pie Face the other day, that was technically official, but that’s something that I could find at my local grocery store, in the states. No offense to Pie Face, but it wasn’t anything special- in fact, it wasn’t the best tasting meat pie I’ve had.
Arron, Brendan and I walked to a nearby tavern to order some dinner. My dinner was extremely delicious! Not only did this one taste much better than my last experience, but it was topped with mushy peas! I’m pretty sure this came from the United Kingdom because I remember eating mushy peas there. All I can say is that it was a great dinner!
The next morning (4.5) we went to some sort of nature preserve called Walkabout Creek. This was a nice spot that had a little bird enclosure, a couple kangaroos and pademelons, which is like a mini-kangaroo of sorts. I would have loved to pick one of them up, but they weren’t accessible. I don’t think they would have appreciated my jumping into their pen to grab one.
After this, we headed up the mountain to take a look at the D’Aguilar National Park. I took a short video of the singing Bell Birds. At first I thought something was squeaking in the trees, but Brendan told me about these birds. The birds down here are so different. Even the birds at the house have the most interesting calls.
We drove to the nearby Mt. Glorious (I think that’s what it is called) and walked down this long trail that led us to a scenic (but small) waterfall. This was one of my favorite hikes that I’ve been on in a long time! I don’t think Arron or Brendan could even comprehend how much I love being outside and how much I love hiking! There’s a lot of hiking I’d like to do in the future, and this was just what I needed!
We were hiking and all-of-a-sudden, Brendan stops and looks into the thick growth near the boardwalk. He said he caught it moving out of the corner of his eye. Brendan is a regular Man vs. Wild type.
Later that evening we made it back to the house and it started pouring down rain. It didn’t rain for very long, and thank goodness we weren’t still hiking. They had some friends over for dinner. A great group of guys! This was the first time (or at least the first time I can remember) that I’d ever eaten a kangaroo. It tasted like beef, but gamier. Not too gamey, mind you- just a tad. It was very good! One of their friends made a delicious dessert from scratch. I need to learn to cook… or bake… or whatever it was.
The next morning I went for a walk by myself. The guys had to work, even though I asked several times if they’d just quit their jobs- they wouldn’t. On my walk, I decided that I would go see a matinee at the cinema but first needed to find some grub. I found a diner called Denim Co. and ordered waffles. First off- they were so small that there was hardly any waffle to eat- I’m so trained to eat like an American (i.e. gluttony)… secondly, they were served with ice cream! I guess that makes up for the small size. Small but worth it!
While I dined, the birds finished up the food that was left on the table next to me. It was cute, but it dawned on me that they may be about as clean as a rodent. It was gross but cool.
I later grabbed lunch at Vapiano again. This is the Italian restaurant where Arron had brought me on my first day. I ordered the exact same thing as before. It was a great pasta dish called chicken spinaci and I was craving. Arron gave me a hard time for not venturing out and trying something new.
I met Arron in front of the city hall and we walked back to the plaza so I could try one of the brownies at Pie Face. He told me that most “American” brownies here are more “cakie” and less like an actual brownie. After knocking the Pie Face meat pie, I feel that I need to let you know that they totally redeemed themselves on the brownie side of things. Not as good as my mom’s recipe, but a good treat still.
We went to see historical Ft. Lytton, which is a fort that is near where the Brisbane River empties into the Moreton Bay. We walked around but I have to admit that Arron and I weren’t as into it as my dad would have been if he were visiting. My dad is a history buff and would have no doubt imparted tons of random facts about Ft. Lytton, I’m sure.
We met Brendan and one of their friends for some laser tag and I kinda suck at it. It was a fun game, however, and we all got a great workout. This is funny because one of the activities that Arron and I did on one of our “Dav Night’s” in Baltimore was laser tag. This is how I’ve managed to not work out over the last week or so- how I justify or rationalize or whichever of those words I’m talking about.
Brendan and one of their friends joined us for dinner and we went to Bird’s Nest Yakitori and Bar. This is a Japanese restaurant where we all ordered 6 rounds of skewered, charcoal-cooked chicken. I didn’t know you could have chicken so many different ways. But the meal was good and the company was great!
The next morning, Arron took me out to a late breakfast at a great restaurant atop a cliff that overlooked downtown. I had some french toast and Arron had some kind of pea-fritter with sausage… if that’s what it was. It looked disgusting, but I’m guessing that it was good. We had a good walk along the cliff top afterward and a really great chat. Even though I would have liked to stay longer, I knew that he had to get to work and I had to go catch a plane to Sydney.