Last weekend, my dad came to visit my brother and me in Brisbane so those of us who are currently Brisbanites had a bit of a staycation in our own homeground. In an attempt to do something more inspiring than our usual trip to the sushi place underneath my house (which in fact, is always amazing) we went on a couple of excursions around the city.

After Rover (Davey’s car) was treated to a special wash and polish, we all packed in and headed up to Mount Tambourine. Google maps predicted that we would arrive in 1 hour and 11 minutes taking the route through the Gold Coast (only 2 minutes longer than the alternative route) but it was Saturday so the traffic added a little time. Luckily, we had Siri on our phones to entertain ourselves on the way.

Rover, not surprisingly, was quite capable of ascending the 16% grades with 3 more passengers than usual, but sitting in the back with the winding roads, I still felt a bit ordinary by the time we reached our destination.

One of the conditions that Davey had placed on the trip as part of agreeing to drive us was that he got to see the resident puppies at Saint Bernard’s Hotel. For some reason, every other person dining Saint Bernard’s that day had decided to eat in the bar section so we actually had quite a large dining room to ourselves, a perfect opportunity to take family photos uninterrupted.


While waiting for our lunch, Davey found Molly, who was quite partial to a pat



and I went for a walk in the “wilderness” at the back of the hotel and took some photos of the beautiful view.




As expected, lunch was abundant in both quality and quantity but while we were enjoying our meals, a storm rolled in, and already being amongst the clouds, there was a bit of fog around afterwards. You can see the difference in the quantity of fog in these before and after shots:


While Davey and Cara investigated the pokies, the Griggses, somewhat uncharacteristically, explored the gardens in the drizzle, and took photos:









Upon returning inside and discovering that Davey was, in fact, $30 up on the pokies, we decided to call it a day and quit while we were ahead. We had a more subdued ride home and ended the day with some takeaway Thai food and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in Dad’s apartment, which trembled with bass from the schoolies next door.

The next morning, still in holiday mode, I made some new friends on my balcony.



After posting these in a facebook group for Australian Bird fans, I discovered that they are actually a teenage boy and mature lady figbird (go Mrs Robinson!). The reason it took me so long to work it out, is that the mature gentlemen usually look like this photo taken a few days later:

It appears that unlike humans, it’s not the teenagers who develop a penchant for black, but their dads…

In the afternoon on Sunday, we went to visit my Great Uncle John, a Christian Brother who is currently residing at my Dad’s old high school. Uncle John treated us to some wonderful afternoon tea and then a nostalgic tour of the school. While Dad took some photos of some depressing 70s brick monstrosities, which I think he used to live in, I had a wonder around a rose garden.







I apologise about the nature focus of this blog. I was never really bothered by outdoors things like flowers and birds until my first trip to New Zealand where I was both exposed to some incredible outside stuff that I’d never seen before and had a camera amazing enough to photograph it as I saw it. See examples of inspiring New Zealand naturey things (specifically, a Kea bird and Lupins) below:


But back to the present… I did actually take some photos of the school and even my relatives while I was there.





The school from a distance looks a little bit like the type of hotel Poriot would stay at when travelling in the mystic east with its stately grand facade punctuated with palm trees. I’m sure it would be a lovely place to be educated, if the mosquitoes weren’t large enough to be sentient… but perhaps that’s why you need this particular philosophical-sounding school official:


Our last act of staycation was to have a farewell breakfast the next day with Dad before he returned home. It won’t be farewell for long though. Dad will be back in Brissy in a few weeks so we won’t have to wait very long to have an excuse to get out and see our neighbourhood through a tourist’s eyes again.

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