As I mentioned before, the theme surrounding 2014 seems to be reunions! It's amazing how many people who've come to visit me and who iv visited this year, and Brisbane was a place for even more reunions. I gave myself a week after the cruise to spend with Hayley in her home city of Brisbane. This would be the 5th country we've been in together! Having spent only a week in Brisbane it actually seems like a much longer time in reality and in the best way possible. By the end of the week it felt like I lived here and I was creating all these memories and new friends.
Hayley went our of her way to be show me everything she could and introduce me to her nearest and dearest! I met so many people that week including her boyfriend Richard and her housemate Shona who kindly picked us up from the airport. I met her closest friends, both sides of her family and managed to reunite with my old Greenpeace mate Braden and my friend Tamara who I met in Canada years ago when Hayley was over visiting her.
We attended Hayley's moms birthday BBQ at her house, had fish n chips by the beach for her cousins Chelsea's birthday, went shopping with Tamara, spent time sunbathing at Redcliffes beach and at the Gold Coast, a dinner party at Braden's place and lastly a trip to Nimbin the marijuana capital of Aussie, before I left!
It's amazing how much you can do in a week and I can't thank her enough for such a warm welcome and amazingly comfortable blow up bed! We spent time driving with the music blaring, laughing so loud it made us cry and admiring the amazing scenery! Not without our fare share of girly gossiping of course. I got to experience the real Brisbane, far from what I failed to experience all those years ago when myself and Nic arrived and were not too keen on the place.
The key to getting the real local experience is pretty obvious, mingle with the locals! Mine and Hayley's friendship all started back when I stayed with my first couch host in Toronto, Tamara and from then on we've kept in contact, visited each other and even gone on an epic cruise. I'll never forget picking up those hilarious hitch hikers in the rain after a day in Nimbin, Leesa belting out Taylor Swift songs on the way to the Gold Coast, Braden's yummy homemade perogies, playing Rapidough with Tess, falling asleep on the beach in Burleigh Heads, girly gossips, slagging each other's accents, seeing over 11 police cars/2 ambulances/a fire brigade and a few hot cops after that crash on the highway, standing in two different time zones at once and most of all catching up with old friends! Thanks thanks thanks Hayley, hope to see you soon! (And thanks for the premium economy upgrade, I'm writing this post with lots of leg room in front of me!)