Saturday, March 31, 2012

What We've Been Up To Lately

Martin now spends his Monday to Fridays at his job while I spend mine diligently trying to acquire one. Because of this, any stuff we do now has to be done on the weekends, which means this post will contain a few weekends worth of goings on.

Martin was - sound the nerd alert - dying to go to the local planetarium. There was a show playing called "Are We Alone in the Universe?" which, alien invasion movie loving me, thought hell yes. Also, it was narrated by Harrison Ford which, hot old dude loving me thought hell yes times two.

And I had never been to a planetarium before! I found that fact worthy of an exclamation point, not sure if you did. I enjoyed the show, except I really think they oversold it on the title. There was little mention of outerworldly life, much less sweet battle scenes with laser guns...not that I was expecting them or anything.

We saw this life sized space suit, which was cool and really gigantic. Lack of laser guns notwithstanding the show was very good and succeeded in making me feel small and insignificant in the universe. It gave me hope for our species that lots of people brought their kids to the show, rather than the midnight showing of Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed (citation).

The planetarium is on Mount Coot-tha, right next to a botanic garden so we swung through there while waiting for the show to start. While viewing various exotic plant species (riveting indeed) we stumbled upon this adorable, gigantic lizard. It was like a foot long!
This is as close as it let me get before it bolted. We also saw a few gnarly looking six-legged spiders but they didn't photograph well. I don't know if they were hiding legs or if they weren't spiders or what was going on with the odd (even) number of legs, but they appeared to only have 6, and there was no way either of us were going close enough to really inspect.

That week, his mere third week of work, Martin went on a business trip. That makes it sound fancier than it probably was but he had to go work elsewhere, to Bundaberg, Queensland to be exact. It is the very same Bundaberg of rum and ginger beer fame that I mentioned in the Straddie camping post. One evening he and his team got to see recently hatched baby turtles, which I am super jealous of. He said they are surprisingly strong and that 90% of them get eaten when they're tiny, which is possibly the saddest thing I have ever heard. They are so adorable!

The next weekend we really didn't have anything in mind to do so like any self-respecting Brisbanite we spent the day chilling here:

South Bank is an area of Brisbane with lots to see and do and eat. Eat, you say? I'm there. The main attraction for most is the man-made beach, which has real sand and salt water and, notably different from the nearby Brisbane River, is not disgusting or infested with sharks. It is a really neat part of town and booming on the weekends when the weather is nice, but not annoyingly so. It's an awesome people watching locale.

This area was converted from the grounds of the 1988 World Expo, which I'm wondering if that's where these weird things come from:

They totally reminded me of the electric fences in Jurassic Park that the dumb boy got electrocuted on. We spent the day eating fish and chips then just hanging out in the shade for hours (those weird fences really did serve a purpose) on our smart phones. Next time we'll know to bring a book. If you ever visit Brisbane this is definitely a must-go area to just bum around.

The weekend after that was a two-day-of-doing-stuff weekend, if taking public transit to a bar to drink beer is your idea of "doing stuff". But first: Pancakes!

Both Martin and I have tried to eat low carb/paleo/whole foods/primal or whatever it's called for severeal years now. Note I said tried, it's been with varying levels of devoutness for both of us. We make exceptions for things we just can't bear to part with, like fries and rice noodles in pho, but there are some things we just don't eat. Ever. Pancakes being at the very top of that list.

So imagine my excitement when I realized that almond meal (just finely ground almonds) can be used in place of flour for pretty much everything, and that I could easily access this magical powder at the grocery store! I could not wait to return to the world of pancake eating.

I whipped up a batch using an obscenely priced bag of almond flour, and they were definitely worth it. The last time I had pancakes was at least three years ago but I will not deprive myself of the magical stacks any longer. As is the tradition first we had pancakes, then we had beer.

Martin really wanted to check out the Breakfast Creek Hotel, which is an iconic booze establishment containing 5 bars under one "roof" (a lot of it was outdoors, and thankfully well shaded). It's located on Breakfast Creek, which is a silly and delicious name for a body of water if I do say so myself. It's located waaaaaaaaay out in the 'burbs so we navigated public transit to get there and marveled at the tranquility of life "so far from the city". That's in quotes because since we live in the tallest building town we rarely lost sight of the top of our building.

We came all this way just for a drinking establishment so we damn well better drink, we reckoned, so we paid $12.50 (a surprisingly reasonable sum) for this genius pitcher of beer:

The genius being the well in the middle which is filled with ice to keep the beer cold, and the cap on top to prevent the ice from spilling out during pouring. I can find no other word to describe it than 'genius', which I apologize for overusing, but damn that thing is genius. I hope whoever invented this is a rich, rich person.

The next day we attended the Enrich Brisbane fair, an event designed to expose attendees to the best of Brisbane's offerings of "life", food and wine. I couldn't pass up this event after we attended the Edinburgh Tesco Wine Fair last year, where we got got proper drunk on a Sunday afternoon sampling the various wines from throughout the world for one reasonable entry fee. As a bonus, Enrich had more than just wine, but beer and cider, too! Score!

The Brisbane event had booths dedicated to things other than alcohol - to which I say, WTF is the point? - but it was an entertaining afternoon none the less. We got there just in time to see the show I really wanted to see, called Travel Tips and Trips, featuring some minor Australian celebrities (including the wife of a gigantic NBA player and an actor from a film by the super famous Wear Sunscreen song guy). Martin got totally suckered in to spending way more than the budgeted $0.00, so we've got some South African-style beef jerky and a quarterly wine club to look forward to in our impoverished, destitute future.

We got tipsy by strategically hopping between servers who didn't recognize us, even if we had spent a good half hour talking to the server right next to them not too long before.

There are few things in this world I enjoy more than a good Sunday funday! Weekends in Brizzy are fun when you drag your arse out of bed and explore the place!

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