I have wanted to see whales from land for a long time. I’m always looking, but hadn’t had any luck so I looked up the best places to see them in the world and one of those places happens to be from an island just off the coast from Brisbane. How convenient.

Humpback whales migrate up and down the East coast of Australia every year and pass by very close to the the Eastern point of North Stradbroke Island on the “whale highway”. So I booked an Airbnb right in Point Lookout for a couple nights to maximize our chances of seeing them.

It was a bit of an epic journey to get from Surfers Paradise to Point Lookout by light rail/train/train/taxi/ferry/bus, but it was relatively pleasant.

The first thing we did after dropping our bags off was head out to do the Gorge Walk. We saw whales almost right away! A few blowholes and we even saw a whale swim REALLY close to shore right below us. Another person said that whale had a calf with her but we missed that.

Life goal complete! I was already satisfied.

We walked down to Cylinder Beach to go to what I thought was a pizza restaurant but was actually a food truck in a parking lot. Everyone else was just driving up and getting takeaway but we didn’t have that luxury so instead we ate in the dark on a concrete bollard. The prawn and chorizo pizza was delicious and I didn’t mind the ambience tbh.

Whale!!

We bought some oysters and salmon to eat by the seashore while watching for more whales. We saw SO MANY. Like 25+!! Whales everywhere!! Some of them breached so nicely that we could see the white parts under their mouths. We saw turtles and dolphins too.

Check out those maniacs! They were jumping off the end of the rocks and then swimming back to the beach. Bonkers!

Eventually we decided we saw enough whales and walked down to the RSL for a cheap drink. We still saw even more whales while sitting on the balcony!

We bought some fresh Spanish mackerel and veg on the way back to grill for dinner. So nice. I love seafood so much.

Brunch at the Blue Room to cap off a very relaxing and satisfying couple of days on Straddie. I had avocado toast and Scott had a maple bacon dutch baby. Both were very tasty with a lovely view from the patio. Yes, we even saw a couple more whale spouts while eating.

The Blue Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We took a few days off at the beginning of July for a little trip to Queensland. We spent a couple days on the Gold Coast to go to amusement parks, a couple days on North Stradbroke Island to see whales, and a day in Brisbane to go to this year’s Brisbane v Melbourne game. It was lots of fun.

First though, look who we saw at the airport!! They were on their way to Coffs Harbour with their grandma and we just happened to sit down at the table behind them to eat our breakfast. After a few minutes Scott said to me “I think that’s Beau??” and it was! Everyone was so surprised, it was funny.

I had a hard to time deciding how to maximize our time in Movie World and Wet N Wild with our 1.5 days on the Gold Coast because the weather report was so grim. Eventually we decided we’d head to Movie World for the first half day even though it was supposed to rain, because at least then we could try again the next day too if necessary (rollercoasters > waterslides). It ended up being the perfect decision because it didn’t actually rain and the park was super empty. The longest we had to wait for anything was like 20 minutes for Superman and everything else was 0-5 minute waits. SO GOOD!

We ended up going on everything we wanted multiple times. We went on Superman x2, Green Lantern x2, Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster, and DC Rivals x4!! Plus watched a few lame shows. (Arkham Asylum was closed for maintenance.) All within half a day.

DC Rivals is the longest/tallest/fastest hypercoaster in the Southern Hemisphere. We went on it twice and got the exact same second last row. Then we paid extra to do it backwards, which was a really weird feeling! Then the very last ride of the day we were really crossing our fingers we’d get the front row. We ended up getting the second front row which was ok but obviously a tiny bit disappointing. But then! The people who did get the front row asked us if we wanted it because they were too scared!! We were like THANK YOU!!!! And yes the front was awesome. Made my eyes water.

Superman was also awesome. It’s really slow and corny in the indoors part but then Superman blasts you out and it’s really great. I love launch coasters!!

So does Scott, apparently. :’)

Tradition! (Featuring bizarre crotch bruises from belt squats.)

The next day we went to Wet N Wild. The park was empty because 1. everyone went to Movie World and 2. it’s the middle of winter. It rained a bit but it didn’t really matter because we were already wet!

Almost half the slides and rides were closed for maintenance which was a little lame but we still had fun. We went on everything that was open at least once in a couple hours.

After Wet N Wild we walked over to check out Top Golf. Scott was v iksidid. I was not really interested so Scott just booked 30 minutes and hit lots of balls very fast. They have all sorts of games you can play with the electronic tracked balls. He seemed to like it a lot. Too bad there’s not one down here because it does seem like a fun thing to do with your friends.

We had to walk back towards Movie World to catch the bus back to the light rail station so why not use our passes to go back in and ride Superman one more time. :D Then we really felt like we had “done” Movie World. (Also it was quite a lot busier in there so we confirmed that we had made the right decision the day before! How often does that happen?!)

We got off the light rail a bit early and walked along the beach back to our hotel. And then later we went to see Toy Story 4. Big day!!

The next day we head off on an epic journey for a few days on North Stradbroke Island which I’ll write about in another post.

After Straddie we went to Brisbane for our yearly family footy battle. Scott got us tickets in the front row, on the fence! That was pretty cool. It was a fairly close game for the first three quarters, with Melbourne slightly ahead. Then as usual things started to get real bad and Brisbane ended up crushing us by more than 5 goals. Melbourne are TERRIBLE this year, I don’t know what happened.

Here’s a whole bunch of things we did in May and June 2019, non-chronologically.

Made a bunch of ugly dumplings. They tasted good but the filling in the chicken and prawn dumps was too runny so I was having a hard time forming them. Scott’s pork ones looked a bit better. After this Scott signed us up for a dumpling class for June #SMAJ, which was fun but we didn’t really learn anything new besides how to make the dough, which I’m not sure I would bother doing.

I learned how to make no knead bread. IT’S SO EASY!!!

Just wanted to show off this tasty sandwich on homemade bread.

Myles being adorable at family dinner.

House hunt update: not much. This was us at an auction, ready to bid. But it ended up going for more than our budget. Shrug. The place had spongey floors anyway. There hasn’t been a lot posted lately. We’ve gone to see a few places but none of them have been really speaking to us. We’ll just keep being patient and waiting.

This is the window in our toilet. It has glass slats but it’s just open to the outside, for ventilation?? This is ok in the summer, but in winter it goes down to like 3 degrees!! It made using the bathroom miserable and even with the door shut it still made that end of the house very cold.

I asked for help on Facebook and we figured out I could remove the slats and seal up the window. I used a pillow at first until we could get to Bunnings to get a piece of styrofoam. That beige buddy is wedged in there so well we’ll have to break it to get it out I think. It’s helped A LOT.

Crocheting for warmth.

A fun quick crochet project. Scott thinks I should have left a head hole in the middle.

There was a nurse at work who loves to braid hair. Lucky me! I got so many compliments on these ones at the gym. I think they added 5 kg to all of my lifts.

Auntie Hsi mailed me a quilt! It is extremely bright. It’s very well made and the perfect size and shape to use while sitting down because it covers all the way to your feet. She actually sent another one a couple weeks later too but I haven’t taken a picture of it yet. It’s purple and geometric and really pretty. Thank you so much Hsi!!

I got to go to a dinner meeting with the company that makes the radioactive spheres treatment I help with at work. It was at the Sofitel, which if you have visited me in Melbourne I have probably taken you there, because they have the best bathroom. The view was great and the food was super fancy! I got to try freeze dried mandarin! Not bad for a free dinner and a couple hours of CPD! :)

It’s not all blood, sweat, and tears at the gym.

I had a good comp last month. I made 5 out of 6 lifts. I missed my second snatch attempt which was really frustrating because I had done that weight several times fairly easily before in training. I got it on the third attempt but I wished I had made it on the second attempt so I could have tried something heavier after. Still a 1 kg competition PB though. And then I got all three of my clean and jerks, the last one being a 2 kg PB. Not bad considering I had only been doing power jerks in training for weeks and only switched back to split jerks the two light sessions before the comp. I’m up to a 95 kg total. I really want to get a 100 kg total!!

May #SMAJ was a gelato appreciation class at Gelato Messina in Fitzroy. We got to learn a bit about Gelato Messina and how to make gelato, eat a three course gelato degustation menu, scoop some ice cream, decorate and eat an ice cream cake, and taste as many of the gelatos as we wanted.

It’s expensive, as everything from them is, but it was a pretty cool treat activity. Plus we got two cookbooks, cooler bags, and a tub of ice cream each to take home.

God Save The Quince: speculaas, toasted milk skin, quince puree, cultured yoghurt gelato

First time seeing milk skin in real life. It was crunchy! I really liked the tanginess of the gelato.

The Italian Rhapsody: crispy eggplant, mascarpone cream, Amaretto Disaronno jelly, espresso gelato, chocolate crumble

Served in a flower pot. The crispy eggplant was actually really yum. Like chips!

Magma Mia “Here I Flow Again”: salted passionfruit and white chocolate curd, black sesame seeds gelato, dark chocolate sauce, green tea moss, crystalised sesame seeds, yuzu pudding

This one was crazy. The rocks were made of chocolate and each filled with something different. I loooved the salty passionfruit curd.

Scott scraping some strawberry gelato into a bowl.

(A slice of) Dr Evil’s Magic Mushroom Cake: dark chocolate gelato, peanut cookies, dulce de leche, flourless chocolate sponge, popping candy feuilletine grass base, red chocolate glaze, white chocolate dots

This cake was good. We learned how to assemble the different inner bits and do the glaze and attach the dots on the outside. Looked fun. I suppose now I need to step up my ice cream cake game!

We chose pear and rhubarb, blood orange, pistachio crumble and Giant’s Milk (milk gelato with milk crumb and milk jam) to take home. That last one sounds really plain but was actually really tasty. Pistachio crumble is definitely my favourite regular flavour from them.

Gelato Messina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We wanted a quick, cheap, relatively healthy lunch out the other day and ended up at Huff Bagelry in Carnegie.

I had smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers on a garlic, salt and rosemary bagel. It was quite tasty, but the bagel destroyed the roof of my mouth. So many scrapes.

Scott had meatloaf, cheese, tomato relish, and tomato on sesame seed bagel. Quite unphotogenic but he said it was nice.

Overall, I find bagels very disappointing in this country. They’re more like regular buns with a hole in the middle. I miss Montreal-style bagels.

Huff Bagelry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato