Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Good Bye Australia

August 11 – China Town
After breakfast at the hostel we walked downtown. We wandered into a mall and did some engagement ring shopping. It was cool and kind of strange to be looking at rings. I tried on a couple of solitaires at a few different stores but nothing really wowed us. We headed into China town for some lunch at the little food court. We both had soups which were quite spicy. Mine was huge and I wasn't able to finish it so we got a to-go container. We got some Emperor Custard Puffs for dessert then headed into Paddy's Market. We looked at another jewelry store and I tried on another ring. We accidentally left our leftovers on the counter and had to go back for them. We headed downstairs to the market area and perused the souvenirs. We headed back to the hostel. For dinner we mixed up my leftovers with a bunch of vegetables and enjoyed our nice bottle of wine. The evening ended with watching Olympics again.

August 12 – Cockatoo Island
We had made tentative plans to meet up with Sarah and Lee Clayton over in Manly today but poor Sarah had come down with the flu and was bedridden all yesterday. Sadly we had to cancel our meeting. We were all really looking forward to getting together again. We tried to find a book exchnge for Beau but didn't have any luck. We then walked over to the State Library and got our boarding passes printed for our flight tomorrow. We were hungry and ended up searching high and low for a Subway. After lunch we hopped a free ferry over to Cockatoo Island where there was a big art exhibition going on; also why there was a free ferry. Cockatoo Island is a world heritage site and was once upon a time a convict ship works. There were lots of old industrial buildings that housed some of the exhibits. We went into one building that had a few different exhibits in it. There was an artfully done plasma cut shipping container with sand in carpet like patterns, a really cool hanging natural paper display, and a landscape painting that spiralled like a conch shell. The coolest one though had these fern lights that were motion sensors and would light up and move. It was pretty cool. We walked over to another area of the island where there was a large exhibit of paper accordion flowers that when folded were shaped like weapons. Upstairs was a fabric display which had different fabrics, nets, and notions hung from the ceiling, obviously I liked this one. We started making our way back to the dock but took another tunnel back. There was a very strange exhibit inside with little igloo coolers made into miners with black lights for eyes. We got on the ferry back to Circular Quay and took the free bus part way back to the hostel. We stopped into O'Mally's for beer and some wedges. We hung out at the hostel for a bit afterwards then decided to try out the Japanese restaurant next door. They had free BYO so we picked up a bottle of wine to have with dinner. It was pricey but we enjoyed some sushi, sashimi and miso soup. We decided to get dessert and had amazing wassabi ice cream with saki jelly. Yum! Our evening finished with Olympic basketball but I would have much preferred watching rhythmic gymnastics. 
Sydney Harbour

Plasma Cut Storage Box

Fern Lights
Natural Paper Display
Conch Style Painting

Accordion Paper Guns
Closed Accordion Paper Gun

Open Accordion Paper Gun

Fabric Display
August 13 – Leaving on a Jet Plane
We were up pretty early this morning to make sure we had everything packed up. We had breakfast and checked out on time. We were able to leave our big bags in the office for the day so we didn't have to worry about them. We headed down town to an ANZ and closed out our bank accounts. Now we had $2600 cash so we stuffed part of it in Beau's underwear pocket. We found a good exchange rate and changed some of it over into American. We walked down to Central Quay and took a bunch of pictures since it was a gorgeous day out. We got pizza for lunch at a restaurant on the main street and sat on their sidewalk patio. We both got a beer and pizza, Beau had seafood an I had supreme. They were delicious. We moseyed back to the hostel stopping to pick up sushi and some snacks for the plane. At the hostel we chopped up the rest of veges for an airborne snack. Our shuttle picked us up at 3:15 and we were off to the airport. Check in was a breeze and we went through customs with no problems. We still had a little bit of money left so we bought some green tea ice cream. We plane was half empty so we got to sprawl out over 4 seats. We both tried to sleep on the plane with marginal success it was about 9-10 hours till Aloha time.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Garfield and Friends!

August 6 – Wicked Garfield
We got ourselves all packed up, breakfasted and checked out by 9:30 then hopped a train to the van rental place. We had to walk about a block our so from the train station to the Wicked Van agency but it was pretty easy to find. There we found ourselves face to face with Garfield. Our van had Garfield graffiti on it, better than a lot of the other vans they have. There was a bunch of free stuff available so we grabbed some food and extra blankets before hitting the road. We opted to not pay for an extra driver so I was to be the chauffeur this time. We stopped for gas and groceries then navigated our way to the highway. Our first stop was in Penrith for a bathroom break and some information. We also got lunch and Harry's Cafe de Wheels. After driving a bit more we reached Katoomba and found the Three Sisters. These formations are the iconic image of the Blue Mountians. The Blue Mountains have a very Grand Canyon type feel and look but have a lot more trees (according to Beau). We went for a short walk but didn't feel up to any of the longer hikes since it was pretty windy and chilly out. We had to make a stop at K-Mart to pick up fuel for the stove then drove onwards to Blackheath. We made a few lookout stops but did stay out of the van for very long. We made our way down into the Megalong Valley for our free camp for the night. Once there we explored the van a bit then made dinner. Garfield isn't nearly as comfortable as Dotti but is a much smoother ride. We bundled ourselves up for the chilly night ahead.
Our "Wicked" Van

The Three Sisters

Blue Mountains

The Three Sisters

August 7 – Hiking the Blue Mountains
It was freaking cold last night and we didn't want to get out of our blanket cocoons. We eventually did and made some egg wraps for breakfast. I refused to have oatmeal. We chatted with our neighbours for a bit before heading back to the highway. We stopped at a supposed lookout but it didn't have a good view. We went a bit further till we got to hike that we wanted to do. Our hike took us down a hill/mountain/cliff side with a million switch backs along the way, the path was called Zig Zag, go figure. We checked out a cool cave on the way down. We then went through a rainforesty section that was quite cool temperature-wise. Then it was back up the cliff. Our hike took about an hour and a half and we chilled out at the end on a big rock over looking the valley. It was a beautiful sunny day but the air was still a little crisp. We drove on to Lithgow where we stopped into Red Rooster for lunch, think Swiss Chalet. We also popped into the visitors center for an idea about where to stay tonight. We were heading back down towards Sydney then on to the Huntervalley. We got back on the highway and drove about 10km before my trusty navigator and I realized we were going the wrong way. We did an about face and got back on the right track with a left turn in Lithgow. We made it into Richmond about an hour later. We checked out one hotel which was out of our budget and another one which was sketchy. We decided to regroup at McDonald's to use their wifi. We found a place called Wanderrest which was run by the Richmond Club i.e. Casino. I am now a proud member of the Richmond Club for $4 and can stay for free. The camp area was pretty much a parking lot but it was free and had showers. We decided to treat ourselves and went to see the new Batman, it was also cheap night Tuesday. The movie was awesome!! Afterwards we went back to the Richmond Club and got a beer while we waited for 10pm to roll around so Beau could have his Bombardier interview. He talked to the head of Flight Test and it went really well. Tomorrow the head of Ground Test is going to call as well so apparently they really want him!! We discussed his interview for a but before hitting the sack. Fortunately we are at a much lower elevation so it's much warmer out tonight.
From the cave on our walk

August 8 – On to the Hunter Valley
Beau and I enjoyed a nice hot shower this morning after breakfast. We chatted with a girl from a neighbouring van before heading out. We stopped for gas and a cheap coffee at 7-Eleven then headed towards the Hunter Valley. It was a two hour drive and we arrived in the little town of Broke around noon. We stopped at the free campsite, which will be our home base, and made some lunch. After a baked bean on bread lunch we headed into the main wine region. We stopped into several wineries and did some nice tastings. The first few were Moorea Park Wines, Tower Estate Winery, and Kevin Sobels Wines. Our next winery, Lambloch Estate, had us try their Muscato which is a sparkling wine. It was very nice and little a little like a sparkling pink lemonade only alcoholic. Our last winery was Ballabourneen Wine Co, we had been here on our last visit and they also had olive oil and vinegar tasting. We ended up buying a bottle of wine from them and tasted all the lovely olive oils, vinegars and dukkahs there available to taste from Pukara Estates. We contemplated buying some of these to take home but we'll mull it over for the next few days. We headed onwards to Potters Brewery where we had some of their delicious beer, I got ginger beer again, and a yummy Indian pizza. We headed back to our campground and Beau had a second Bombardier interview but with the head of Ground Test this time. Beau would prefer ground test and he made that very clear in his interview. The GT manager said he would should expect an offer some time next week. It's nice to know that one of us will have a job when we go home. It's also a very good job and an awesome opportunity for Beau, especially since he turned down the same job last year to go traveling!

August 9 – Some more wine tasting
We slept in a bit this morning and had eggs again for breakfast. The day started off a little cloudy but brightened up by the time we started driving. We chose a different direction to go in today and headed north. Our first winery was Vinden Estate Wines. We were seated on an enclosed patio and had a lovely one on one tasting with the winery manager. It's a small family run wine winery and our presenter was very chatting person but we enjoyed our tasting immensely. We bought a bottle of their clean skin which just means it has no label. We got a few suggestions on other wineries to finish. We jumped across the road to Scarborough Wine Co. We had a nice tasting with some cheese and dried fruit. Although they didn't specify how to pair the wines. We were pretty hungry by now so we headed over to the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop. We got to try all sorts of cheese and found we both really like blue cheeses now. We bought some Netherby Blue cheese, crackers and stuffed olives for lunch and enjoyed them on the patio on the sunshine. It was scrumptious. After lunch we continued wine tasting but headed south. We stopped into Tamburlaine Wines which turned out to be an organic winery. We had an amazing tasting and experience here. The gentleman behind the bar explained all the ins and outs of an organic winery to us. We ended up buying a delicious raspberry liqueur called Framboise. We almost bought their Muscat but we decided to stick with just the one. Our next winery was Tulloch Wines. The wines were nice but the tasting bar was a little busy so we didn't find much out about the winery or the wines we tasted. Our last winery of the day was McLeish Estate. Their 2007 Semillon had just won best Semillon in the world this year, Hunter is known for Semillon. They had nice wines but we didn't need any more wine. We were finished tasting wine for the day but not ready to head back to the campsite so we we went into the Hunter Valley Gardens Village. We wandered the shops and checked out a cool store selling different kinds of liquor in funky bottles. After our wander we headed back to the campground snacked on a granola bar then had a little nap. After our nap we made dinner and finished off our rogan josh sauce. The night finished with some reading and discussing our move to Montreal.

August 10 – Back to Sydney
We had to repack our bags this morning and sort out what was coming out of the van and what was staying, again. We started our drive back towards Sydney and stopped off at Pukara Estates. We bought some dukkah and olive oil to send Monique and Ingo as well as some to bring home. We drove onwards to Cessnock where we stopped for gas and McDonald's wifi. We were hoping to find a 7-Eleven for one dollar coffee but we were unsuccessful. After driving for a bit we stopped at a service center to finish off our cheese and crackers for lunch. We also got soft ice cream cones. We drove back to Sydney and I made it back to the depot without incident. We returned the van and hoped a train back to Kings Cross. We decided to go back to Backpacker's HQ hostel since it was pretty nice and have breakfast and wifi. We got settled into our old room but had different room mates. Fortunately the dude with smelly feet was no longer there. We decided to go two doors down for dinner at and Indian Resturant. The food was pretty good and we ended up stuffed by the end of it. Back at the hostel we just chilled out before bed.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Good Bye Dotti

August 2 – Showing off Dotti
We were up early this morning to take Dotti to her 8am pink slip appointment. We wanted to be there early so we could double check for any oil. We drove over and stopped into the McDonald's nearby. I grabbed us breakfast and Beau mopped up the tiny bit of oil that appears to be leaking for the oil cap. While we had our breakfast in the van a young guy started checking out the van. Beau opened the door and had a little chat, apparently he is looking for a van. We gave him a flyer and hoped to hear from him. We headed down to the mechanics and while Beau got the pink slip done, I picked us up coffee from 7-Eleven. I was gone maybe 10 minutes but Beau had paper in hand by the time I had gotten back. WE PASSED! We made our way downtown to the car market feeling very optimistic about our day. Once in the car market I stayed with the van while Beau went to check his e-mail. He found a van wanted ad and replied to that in hopes of drumming up some interest. We had a bit of down time before we got our first call about the van. We ended up setting up 4 different viewings of the van for today! Or first one was around noon and we met them downtown. They were a nice British couple, they had a look at the van said they were going to grab a coffee and would give us a yes or no after. About 10min later they were back coffee in hand and said they'd take it! Awesome, they hadn't even test drove it or started it or anything! We got a deposit and said we'd bring it to them in Bondi tomorrow. We headed back to the caravan park in disbelief. We messaged the other people who were supposed to see the van and told them it had sold. Now we had to pack ourselves back up into or backpacks again! Yikes!!! We did laundry then crammed everything we owned in our bags. We went out for a celebratory dinner at the mall up the road and had some yummy Thai food. We had a sundae for dessert then headed back to the caravan park. It was our last night with Dotti.

August 3 – Good Bye Dotti
After a quick breakfast we finished our packing and cleaning and set off for Bondi Beach. It was about a 30min drive and we found the place without too much trouble. We got the money off the British couple in crisp $100 bills. We sold her to them for $4500 and they were going to take car of the registration renewal. They had give us 45 100 dollar bills but we had gotten a $200 deposit off of them yesterday so being the honest people we are we gave them $200 back. We went down to the transit office with them and submitted the notice of disposal, form saying we no longer own the van. Then parted ways and hopped a train back into town.  I hope Dotti treats them a little better than she did us. We booked ourselves into a pretty nice hostel in the Kings Cross area. Kings Cross is the backpacker mecca here and not so strangely the red light district too. Our hostel was off the main drag and should be pretty good. After settling in we walked over to the car market and got our bond back from them. The guy who was working down there was very happy for us and had been a really good guy to deal with too. Now we needed to find a bank but had to walk about 20min to find an ANZ branch. We deposited our money and closed Beau's account. On our way back we stopped into O'Malley's Pub and had a jug of beer. We then went to Coles and bought kangaroo burgers for dinner. We passed the evening with internet and Olympics.
Good Bye Dotti!

August 4 – Around Sydney
We had our free breakfast of cereal, toast and instant coffee. The coffee sucked but better than nothing I guess. I Skyped with Elaine for a bit, we had some catching up to do. After a nice chat I signed off and Beau and I went in search of something to do for the next 10 days. We looked into some trips out to Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru, but with flights and a tour it would be about $1000/person. Not quite what we were hopping for unfortunately. We discussed our options and decided to go to the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley. So we rented a van for 5 days. We got a “Wicked Camper” a graffiti van with a bed in it. Feeling pretty excited about our next week we headed down to the harbour to get some shots of the Opera House on a beautiful day. We also went for a wander in the Rocks and into the Sydney Visitors Center. We got some pamphlets on the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley. On our way out of the Rocks we got side tracked by a candy shop where they were hand making peach candies. It was super cool and we got to try some fresh ones when they were done. Yummy. We had another jug at O'Malley's before heading back to the hostel to make burgs again.

Stretching candy
August 5 – Bondi-Coogee Costal Walk
We have enjoyed being warm and inside at night but the beds are quite squeaky and every little move I make creaks. We had cereal and toast for breakfast before catching a train out to Bondi Beach. We walked down to the infamous beach to go for a nice walk. It was lovely and sunny out with a bit of wind to keep us cool. We did the Bondi to Coogee costal walk, a 6km walk between Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach along the ocean. It was pretty busy with people since it was a gorgeous Sunday but it was nice to see so many people out enjoy the lovely winter day. It took us about 2 hours to do the walk with many scenic picture stops along the way. We got Subway for lunch once we reached Coogee and then grabbed a McD's cone to enjoy at the beach. We enjoyed the beach for a little bit before catching the bus back to the train station. Once back at the hostel we had a nice shower before heading for to O'Malley's for a jug of Snakebite (cider, beer and grenadine). After a jug of that we decided to switch back to beer. After a couple of drinks we popped into the grocery store for some fish and made fish burgers for dinner. Then spent the rest of the evening on the internet and watching the Olympics.
Bondi Beach

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Driving and Trying to Sell

July 24 to August 1
It took all day Dotti to get fixed up. She needed a new voltage regulator which had to be found second hand. We had her in around 11am and didn't get her back till 5pm. But she was running well with her new voltage regulator and alternator. We met up with a woman interested in the van. She was planning on going traveling with her 2 year old son. She had a test drive and said she'd like her mechanic friend to check it out tomorrow. It was already fairly late so we stayed at the rest stop from the night before. The next morning we got a text saying she decided against the van. We drove south past Brisbane and had another guy contact us about the van. We set up a meet in Ballina with his wife and had a little drive with her. We figured they were going to be a no go though, they had two small sons. We checked into a tourist park and finally had a shower. We drove almost all the way to Sydney stopping at a rest stop about 40km out of town. The next morning we changed the oil and changed a brake drum which we had been told we needed in Queensland. We then got Dotti into a mechanic to get her safety inspection done for NSW, also called a pink slip. She sadly fail but not as badly as in Queensland. We still have an oil leak, the exhaust leaks, the steering is loose and the bull bar is blocking the signal light. We checked into Lane Cove Tourist Park for a week. On Saturday we thought we would see about alternative options for the van and went to a Cash for Cars place where we were offered a measly $200 for it. We picked up the parts we needed to fix up the van. We also spent some time at the mall using the internet to research fixing the steering. On Sunday Beau patched up the exhaust and then we headed into town to get the down low on the car market. We also went to Paddy's Market and got a bunch of fruit and vege for cheap. On Monday Beau figured out how to fix up the steering, removed the bull bar for our pink slip and the roof rack so we could fit into the car market. Then Tuesday we took the van down to the car market. We did show the van to a trio of girls but they wanted the moon for a pittance so they didn't deserve Dotti. We spent the rest of the day in an underground car park. Wednesday we headed to the car market again but didn't stay long as we noticed the oil was still leaking. We thought we had fixed it. Back at Lane Cove we tried to find the leak, looks like it was coming for the oil cap itself. We cleaned everything up and will do that again in the morning before we take her in for another inspection to get our pink slip!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Heron Island and the Proposal

July 20 – Heron Island
We woke up fairly early and left our little spot by the river to head into Gladstone. We stopped into Hungry Jacks for breakfast and I was able to Skype Mom and Dad. They seem to be doing well and things are looking good at the cottage. It had been awhile since we last Skyped. We chatted for a while then Beau and I had to go to catch our boat to Heron Island. This time we arrived at the harbour and checked in no problem. We paid for our trip at the tourist information center and only were charge $199/night about $120 c heaper than normal since we had had to reschedule our trip. We boarded the boat around 11am and hit the high seas. It was pretty windy and ride was a little rough but we made it in one piece about 2hrs later. Heron Island runs on “resort” time and is an hour ahead of the mainland. Once on the island we had a complimentary, non-alcoholic drink, and our welcome brief before we had lunch. Lunch was buffet style but delicious. We went to the Marine Center to get the down low on diving. It was a bit more expensive then we originally expected. There was a separate price equipment rental. It cost $65/day for dive gear and $65/dive. We decided we do two dives tomorrow so we'd only be charged for one day of gear hire. We got set up with dive kits and signed up for the 9am dive. We then hurried over to the information center where there was a reef walk going on. We grabbed some old sneakers and joined the group on the reef. The guide talked about sea cucumbers, sea stars, coral, crabs. We passed around some sea cucumbers and sea stars. He also managed to catch an epaulette shark which Beau had spotted. We was a really interesting walk and last about 2hrs. We headed back to shore and put on some warmer clothes. We hurried to catch the sunset but we had just missed it by the time we got to the bar. We bought a beer and took a few pictures of the lovely colours in the sky. We headed back to the room and I read while Beau played guitar for a little bit before dinner. Dinner was a three course meal and we both had seared scallops with bacon to start and a kangaroo fillet with sweet potato puree for dinner. The food was good but the service was a little slow and they forgot about our dessert. But we reminded them and I had a lemon-lime tart and Beau Vanilla Panacotta. The coffee is quite good and we enjoyed some brewed coffee with dessert. We took a tea to go and headed to the bar to listen to the live music for a bit. We played some a Jenga/Uno game which was pretty fun and then reclined on the couches for a bit. After the music had finished we were joined by an older Australian couple who wanted to catch the second half of a rugby game. Beau got into but I grabbed my book since I wasn't very interested. After the game we headed back to our room, had a shower and read for a bit more before bed.
Heron Island

Epaulette Shark

July 21 – The Perfect Day
Beau and I had set a 7:30am alarm so we could be up early for breakfast and have it fairly digested before we went diving at 9am. Breakfast was another buffet with eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, pancakes, waffles and much more. I was a little disappointed with the waffles they were like eggo and had to be toasted. I'm dying for real waffles! After breakfast we went back to the room and got our bathing suits on then headed down to the Marine Center. We struggled into our wetsuits and then waddles down to the jetty with our gear. We got our equipment set up and took a 2min boat ride to our dive site, Heron Bommie. There were 4 of us divers and 2 guides with us. As soon as we got in the water and down to depth our guide started tapping on his tank to point out a green sea turtle. A moment later he did it again and there was a white tipped reef shark. Again and there was a mantaray. Again and he pointed out a lion fish. It was like an amazing creature overload! We saw lots of other fishes and had an awesome 40min dive. The super thick wetsuit really helped keep me warmer although it did mess with my buoyancy. I had extra weight on but I was a little too heavy. We got back on the boat and were taken back to shore. Beau and I decided to go out on the 3pm dive so we could do some snorkeling around the island while it was high tide. We decided to hop in right away and snorkeled/drifted to around part of the island. We saw a sea turtle and lots of fish. Unfortunately we didn't see any lemon sharks that tend to hang around there. I was pretty cold by the time we got out and we went back to the room to rinse off. We sat by the pool for a little while suntanning before lunch time. Lunch was another awesome buffet and I tried not pig out too much. After lunch Beau was restless so went for a walk around the island while I sat and read. He came back around 2:30 and we got ready for another dive. This dive was at Coral Cascades just off the north of the island. It was another incredible dive with 2 types of turtles, a moray eel, a tiny pip fish, a huge lobster, a big white tip reef shark and tons of fishes. We also did some swim threws which were pretty sweet. Both dives today were pretty amazing. Back on the island we headed to our room and got showered up before heading to the bar. We got a beer and sat on some loungers writing up our dives. We chatted with a German couple for a little bit before someone came by claiming there were whales. We headed to the jetty but didn't see any whales but did get a beautiful sunset. We were both a little chilly by then from the wind so once the sun was gone we headed back to our room to put some pants on before dinner. Dinner was a seafood buffet and we pigged out. We also treated ourselves and bought a bottle of wine with dinner. We had crab, bugs, shrimp, muscles and oysters. I have to say I'm not that big on the oysters, they were okay but there is other seafood I'd much rather eat. We also had some really yummy dessert, there was cake with caramel sauce and strawberry mousse. Yum! We were both stuffed and had some of our bottle of wine left so we headed over to the bar to enjoy some live music. After the music had finished and we polished off our bottle we decided to head back to the room. Along the way Beau convinced me we should go down to the beach to look at the stars. We started to talking about how amazing our trip had been and how happy we both were travelling together. Before I knew it he was down on one knee asking me to be his life partner. Then he officially asked me to be his wife. Of course I said yes and he put a grass ring on my finger. (It wasn't actually grass more like a leafy needle thing obviously we'll get something a little more permanent when we get home). It was an amazing ending to an amazing day on an amazing trip. 

July 22 – Back to mainland
We slept in a bit compared to yesterday and were up around 8:30. We enjoyed a yummy breakfast before getting our room packed up. We left one bag on the doorstep for the porter to pick up then headed over to the reception to settle our bill. Afterwards we headed to the pool area and lounged around. I read my book and Beau played his guitar. We decided to go for a little walk about the island, Beau had done one yesterday but I hadn't. We put his guitar on the porter truck so we wouldn't have to worry/carry it about. We walked along the beach but as we came around the northern tip of the island the wind was raging so we opted to walk back through the center instead of the full perimeter. We was a nice albeit short walk. We ended back by the pool and lounge a bit more in the sunshine. Lunch time rolled around and we pigged out on our last meal. Before we knew it it was time to congregate at the jetty waiting for the boat to arrive. We took some pictures in the crazy wind then watched the Heron Islander bob into dock. We got loaded onto the boat and had a pretty rough ride back to land. I tried writing up but found it made me a little sea sick. So I had a nap instead. Once back in Gladstone we got our belongs and fired Dotti up. We picked up some groceries and returned a call about the van. We set up a meeting for tomorrow down on the Sunshine Coast. We drove about 100km out of Gladstone then pulled into a rest stop for the night. There was a well lit picnic area which aided us in making dinner. We passed the evening writing up and went to bed fairly early.
The Proposal Location

The type of tree my ring was made from

July 23 – Back to the Sunshine Coast
We awoke to another beautiful day. I called Mom and Dad after breakfast to tell them our awesome news and Beau gave his parents a call too. We started our drive down to the Sunshine Coast. We had said we'd be there about noon but that was a little optimistic. We stopped in Maryborough for lunch and to check our e-mails. We also got in touch with the woman we were supposed to meet and said it would be closer to 2pm. When we finally did hit the Sunshine Coast in a town called Coolroy it was about 2pm and we were about 20min for our destination. The check battery light came on again.... crap. We pulled into a mechanics and they had a quick inspection. Sounded like the alternator was about to go kaput. The owner called around and could get one in for us tomorrow. We just couldn't believe that when we were about to show the van the alternator went. We figure it's due to our battery issues from last week and the alternator getting over worked. We told the mechanic we'd see him in to morning then head slightly out of town to a rest stop. We also rescheduled to show the van tomorrow. At the rest stop I gave Elaine a call to tell her our good news and we had a little chat since we haven't talked in ages. The rest of the afternoon/evening passed with writing up, reading and guitar.