Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Aussie Wedding & Moreton Island

We'd been in Australia over 4.5 years before our first invitation to an Aussie wedding materialized.  We've known plenty of couples here who got married...but they were expats and got married back home.  Finally, a local wedding!

And finally a non-Melbourne Cup reason for me to wear a fascinator!


Except I was the only one wearing one!  Womp womp.  I was expecting it to be like England where all the ladies bring out their finest headgear but, this being my first wedding, I learned this is not the case.  No worries, though, I looked fabulous and everybody said so.

The best part about this wedding was the return of Pia and Ryan, our friends who left Brisbane for the Cheeto-dusted shores of the USA.  It had been a year since they left us, though I did get to spend some quality time with Pia and her sister Allie in NYC this past August.  They are Ameri-stralians like myself except born that way, so half of their family lives here.  It was their cousin getting married.

The wedding was held at their family property in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.  It was, to put it mildly, stunning.


The day was so clear you could see straight to the ocean, even though it's a good 30 (or more, I don't know) kilometers inland.  How fab is this place?!  Very fab.  So fab, in fact, I chose this spot as the permanent home of my citizenship shrub.

Because they didn't want the area getting clogged with cars they asked Martin if he would shuttle guests from the main road in to the ceremony and reception site.  It was only a few hundred meters, on private property, and there were only two cars doing the job so the guys naturally took advantage of the situation and started pre-gaming behind the wheel!


The reception was nearly as lovely as the ceremony.



Shout out to the party favors for keeping my honey supply well stocked, and shout out to the open bar for one hell of a night.


Judging by how I felt the next day, things got pretty feral.  That's enough incriminating evidence for right now, but I will include this picture of Allie because it's my favorite thing ever:


After a rough road to recovery from the wedding, upon Pia & Ryan's request we made another beach camping quest to Moreton Island.  We did this shortly before they moved out of Brisbane as their final farewell, and chances are we'll never do it again because the next time we see them they'll have a baby.  But for now, we enjoy our freedom on the beach!


As we do we hiked up to the lighthouse.


And were rewarded with incredible panoramic views.



This picture isn't the greatest, but we made s'mores from the finest imported graham crackers and Hershey's chocolate.


We had to rescue this little adorable little feller from diving into the inferno:


He looks like he's smiling!  Adorable!  It's very bizarre, but crabs seem to be attracted to fires that would no doubt kill them.  Interesting and strange.

We took a dip in the champagne pools.


But the real winner of the weekend is the new beach we discovered, and had completely to ourselves for several hours.


Honeymoon Bay quickly won all our hearts and has been declared our favorite beach in Australia.  It's foolish that we haven't stumbled upon it previously, since it's right next to the champagne pools where we've been before.  It's not at all difficult to find.


We had the place literally to ourselves for several hours, then just as we were departing two people arrived.  It's a true testament to how secluded Moreton Island is that this beach isn't completely packed.  Calm waves, rock-free, sandy bottom, no crowds.  Best beach in Oz, bar none!


We spent the weekend hanging out, having a few brews and catching up after more than a year of being apart.


Then suddenly!


We were interrupted by an epic battle between this goanna and the crab he was trying to eat.  The crab stood no chance against the lizard but it did put up an admirable fight.  Maybe it was the crab from the fire who had an insatiable death wish?  Wildlife encounters are my favorite thing about being out and about in Australia.

Sadly Pia and Ryan had to go back to the USA and we had to return to the mainland to our regularly scheduled lives.  For better or worse, instead of choosing to go out and make new friends I've decided to hunker down and just wait for the ones who left to return for a visit.

Why bother making new friends when you've got the cream of the crop already?

The crew at the "world famous" Gutter Bar

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