Monday, August 3, 2015

The Scenic Route

Our next day began with a walk to the spectacular Victoria Market. We shopped around and chatted with a variety of vendors. Everyone here is so friendly and we left there with a map in our hands which is pretty typical for us on the streets. A couple stopped us and asked if we needed any help finding anything. We chatted about finding an arcade and somewhere to eat, and they mentioned going to a café at the Block Arcade. It turned out that we picked a perfect place to eat because we told the waiter we needed to get to the airport in an hour. He was very accommodating by bringing our food out rather quickly. Usually we order and wait a bit and they never rush us even if others are waiting for a table. The Australians never bring our bill unless we ask first. We have relaxing meals and never feel the need to rush. We left our hotel for the airport and said good-bye to Melbourne. It was sad to leave such a beautiful city, but we were excited to see what our next city would have in store. We had a two-hour flight to Brisbane and stayed in a nearby hotel. We went to sleep early to prepare ourselves for the next day in Toowoomba.

The next morning we were excited to get picked up by Ann Marie Pawsey, the Principal of St. Ursula’s College. She was so friendly and hospitable all along our journey. She decided to take us along the scenic route through the beautiful Gold Coast. The views were absolutely breathtaking. We had lunch at the surfers’ club. She said there are normally many surfers in the water, but that was not the case today. We had a two-hour drive to Toowoomba and enjoyed our conversation along the way. We are already discovering our common Ursuline connections. As soon as we arrived in Toowoomba Ann Marie drove us around St. Ursula’s College. We can’t wait to meet the students and co-workers tomorrow. After we parted we decided to try a Turkish restaurant which she recommended. This was the first Turkish experience for both of us and of course the waitress was friendly and explained everything. We enjoyed the food and the ambiance. The Australian accent definitely added to the experience, but they keep telling us that we’re the ones with the accent!

-Mike Smith and Joni Mullen

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