Catching up with all the crew

Returning to Brisbane and the Coast after so many years – about three and a half since the last time I’d returned – it was great to catch up with so many people. I’ll admit I didn’t exactly leave a lot of time to do so, but I’m really happy to have fit in so many visits in just under a week. This has, of course, meant plenty of eating and drinking that I will no doubt pay back when I return to London.

Ben and Michelle were the first people I saw, almost literally as I hopped off the plane in Brisbane. I had a frantic time picking up a sim card – Virgin Mobile had a great deal including 1GB of data before organising to meet these guys around Brisbane. We had a fantastic lunch in the luxuries provided by the Valley’s Cloudland. What an awesome time that was. Great food, beer (fat yak FTW) and awesome company.

Later that evening, I met previous Brisbane generations of TWers and the current generation of TWers at the Regatta. I caught the City Cat from the city, really enjoying the ride where we stayed until closing. I think we got the hint when they turned they almost turned the lights so low we thought they’d turned it off, as well as the roller doors closing in on the boathouse.

I then headed out to Milton, walking along the bikepath, to catch up with Gary, Jen and their toddler, Lila where we had a delightful breakfast and plenty of coffee. Lunchtime I returned to the city to catch up with Mike, Marie and their fresh little girl, Tara where we headed over to Punjabi Palace to relive some good ol’ times.

The evening sent me into the valley to catch up with some friends from high school, Kia and Josh where we enjoyed the amazing mixologists at The Bowery Bar. I’d seen Kia when we came over to London last year, but hadn’t seen Josh since I worked in Brisbane. It was really great to catch up.

Mel and Ben joined us later in the evening where we enjoyed their company and departed for a late evening meal to the Tibetan Kitchen. I’m amazed they let us in since it was really late for a Brisbane dinner although we got the hint when they started mopping down the floor around us that it was time to go.

I saw those guys off to catch one of the late trains before heading back into the city. I had to get up really early, after scheduling a breakfast at The Gunshop Cafe when it first opens at 7am! This meant getting up even earlier so that I could walk across. Here I met Paul, Michelle & Ethan, Hamish, Kate and Amaya and Matt for a delightful relaxed breakfast. It’s so refreshing to occupy a table even with a waiting queue and never feel rushed off the table – leisurely ordering a coffee, tea or juice and ordering really late.

Down the coast, I’ve also managed to catch up with Suz, Al and their three kids (whew!) as well as another high school mate, Dave and his, now wife, Bianca (last time they’d just gotten engaged). I finally caught up with lunch with Shannon who’d come and visited London about a year ago.

I have Marc and Amanda’s wedding to go to today before I fly out for Melbourne for a week of work. It’s been a bit of a hectic schedule but I’m really glad it’s all worked out in the end. Thanks everyone for making time to meet me. I certainly appreciated the short time I got to spend with everyone.