Duke and I are having a wonderful time exploring Australia. One of the things we are finding is that you pay for Internet everywhere (if they have it) and sometimes it is pretty slow. As a result I am a bit behind in blogging. This post picks up on our last day in Brisbane as we complete our tour of the locations where my family lived 40+ years ago.
Last Monday morning we drove out to Brookfield to see the second house my family lived in back in the 60’s when we were here in Brisbane. Our house was still there and looked much the same. When we lived there the Macintoshs were our neighbors. When Duke and I were there Monday the name on the mailbox next to the Robinson’s old house was Macintosh! We walked up the drive way and knocked on the door. No one was home. Back on the street I called Dad to update him on all we had seen.
Right after I hung up as we were driving away a car pulled into the Macintosh’s drive way. We went back up the drive way. When I told Mrs Macintosh who I was she gave me a big hug and asked me how that little brother of mine was. She invited us in for coffee and we updated each other on what has happened to our families over the last 40+ years. She laughed about how my brother who was about four at the time used to come over to their house and climb in the window to visit her young sons.
Monday night we stayed near Brisbane and went for dinner at my friend Cathy’s house. It was so much fun to see her and meet her husband.
Tuesday morning we left Brisbane and drove to Lamington National Park south of Brisbane. From our tent cabin you could see the ocean and the skyscrapers at the Gold Coast. Lamington has mountains and sub tropical rain forest. We went for a hike and then had a picnic dinner on the balcony of our tent cabin.
My family and I lived in Australia from 1964 to 1969. Part of what I wanted to do on this trip was visit the four houses we lived in in Brisbane.
Sunday morning we left Noel and Mandy’s and drove into Brisbane. We did the Marion Robinson tour of eastern Brisbane including three of the four houses we lived in while in Brisbane. I showed Duke Ascot State School and Clayfield College, the two schools I attended.
As I was taking pictures of the last house we lived in a woman drove into the drive way. I told her I lived in the house back in the 60’s and she said “Oh the Robinsons!” It turned out she bought the house from my parents and raised 7 children there. She showed us around the house and told us how she had changed it. The house was built on stilts and she had added on a kitchen and living room under the house and put an inside staircase where my sisters room used to be.
We checked into a hotel in downtown Brisbane and went for a walk. First we stopped briefly to check out the Treasury Building Casino. It is a casino in the original government treasury building. Then we walked through the botanical garden where my sisters and I fed the ducks when first arrived in Brisbane.
We walked over the Good Will Pedestrian Bridge to the south bank and along the south side of the river where there is a beautiful flower covered walk-way. We walked past an artificial beech called Streets Beech that is right next to the river. We watched the CityCat ferries on the Brisbane River.
After crossing the river again we walked past City Hall which until 1976 was the tallest building in Brisbane. It shows how much Brisbane has changed that there are lot and lots of skyscrapers now.
For dinner Sunday night we walked through the Paddington area of Brisbane to a pizza place called Kookaburra café. It was a nice walk through an interesting neighborhood and we passed all the backpacker hotels and the pizza was great.
If you would like to see all the pictures from our Australian trip they are available on Flickr here.