if you can't tell, i really like brisbane!  and i like the people that live in brisbane.  so, when connie mentioned that i should join her for a week when i don't have much going on (pretty much every week) i decided to take her up on her offer.

last week i spent monday through friday hanging out with connie, her husband pat (when he wasn't working - yea, he actually has to do that) and connie's friends she has made whilst living there.  it was FABULOUS!  it was so great having people to hang out with during the week.  i get a little lonely in mackay with jim being away monday through friday so i was so happy just having a friends around.

i think connie has inspired me to join a tennis league when i get back to the states.  i joined connie on tuesday and thursday for her ladies matches and had an absolute blast.  it was so great playing with and getting know these wonderful ladies.  plus, i loved the challenge of not knowing a player's style and strategy.  jim and i play so much that we know each other playing strategies pretty well.

the mass transportation in brisbane is inspiring.  i wish so badly st. louis could implement something like this.  the metro is a great start, but how great would it be if that extended further out into the suburbs?  also, we have this beautiful river that flows through our city and we only (sort of) appreciate one side of it.  why can't we completely renovate east st. louis and make downtown something worth seeing and experiencing?  brisbane's river is it's focal point of the city and they have a ferry that runs throughout the city and into the suburbs, allowing for an excellent source of mass transportation.  plus, they have biking/walking paths EVERYWHERE!  it's quite encouraging to find an alternative route to work that doesn't include a vehicle.  okay, that's my rant... now do something about it, right? ha ha!

on wednesday, we headed out to stradbroke island, which is about an hour away from brisbane.  it was absolutely gorgeous.  connie, connie's friend {cathy (who is also a peabody expat employee wife)}, and i had a great time.  here are some photos from yet another gorgeous location in australia.

{connie & cathy - had so much fun with these lovely ladies!} 

{gorgeous walking path} 

 {i love how australia always leaves nothing to the imagination}

on thursday, we headed to ikea!  yet another reason brisbane is so good.  it was hard to be there, seeing all the cute stuff and buying NOTHING!  well, okay... not nothing... i did get two $3.50 bags for our upcoming phuket trip (since jim is making me carry on - so not nice).  ha!

i am so glad i took connie up on her offer!  we had so much fun.  thanks again, pat and connie, for all of your WONDERFUL hospitality.  love you guys and will miss you!

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