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Aussies! Travel advice? // My Birthday Dinner With Mum (more eventful than it sounds) - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
Aussies! Travel advice? // My Birthday Dinner With Mum (more eventful than it sounds)
Saaayyy I wanted to holiday for a few days with a group of girls in a cabin someplace snowy in Australia, where we could learn how to ski and whatnot. And/or horse riding (though I have a feeling that 'heavy snowfall/high altitudes' and 'horses' don't tend to combine?)

Is there anywhere you'd recommend? This would be a group of, say... four, five girls I'm guessing? Looking to do it wintertime, so midyear obviously. Holiday recs? Affordable is good!

In other news, mum and her partner Geoff set out for Brisbane on Saturday night, to take Joe and I out for my late birthday dinner. I did something similar with Dad and his fiancee Jeanne late last week and it went very well. Actually we took both parents to the same restaurant a couple of days apart, which felt oddly like a new form of two-timing. BUT, the point is, while Dad's visit went smoothly, Mum's turned into a mini-disaster.

First, it's important to note that Geoff isn't allowed to drive at the moment, so Mum was in the drivers set for the two-hour+ trip down from her little town near Gympie. Second, it's equally important to note that Geoff is worse at reading maps than Mum, and Mum is bad to start with. In the seven or eight years I've lived in Brisbane, she's driven down to see me only a handful of times. This inevitably turns into a bit of a disaster, as she somehow winds up near Cleveland and phones me when she hits the ocean and realises for sure she's taken a wrong turn somewhere.

This time, when I realised they were overdue, I phoned her. They were stressed, had headed for Cleveland again, got directions halfway there that sent them back in the right direction, and were at the RBH and fairly sure they were Very Lost. I reassured her they hadn't overshot the mark, and gave directions to Moggil Road. Hung up and started watching Doctor Who, expecting their arrival within the next half-hour.

Two episodes of Who later, no sign of them. Uh-oh. So I call again. Mum answers. She's in tears.

What happened was this:

Mum made it as far as Toowong/Taringa, thought she was on the wrong road, and pulled into a suburban sidestreet to check the map. Geoff yelled at her for not planning the trip better before she started. Mum told him not to speak to her in that tone. Geoff exited the vehicle, saying he needed to take a piss. Mum floored it and sped off down the road in a temper, intended to come straight back to get him. Mum did not take into account her unfamiliarity with the Brisbane suburbs coupled with the prevalence of one-way streets in the area. As a result, she couldn't find any way to backtrack. She tried to get back to the street where she'd left Geoff and got lost.

Geoff had left his mobile phone and wallet in the car. It was almost eight at night and he was dressed in black. He did not know Mum's mobile number by heart, or my number, or my address.

This was when I called, and Mum was freaking out. I calmed her down over the phone, and using the street directory, Joe directed her to our place. I gave her a cup of tea, we took her inside, and Joe went through the street directory with her, trying to ascertain where she might have left Geoff.

Then we headed back out to search. Mum was shaken, so Joe drove, with me acting as navigator and Mum keeping a lookout for Geoff. We'd pinpointed a certain area of Toowong as the likely 'Geoff zone' and spent some time wandering it on foot, looking for him. By now it was almost nine at night and I was hungry and rapidly giving up on the idea of my Thai birthday dinner. Besides, I had my hands full keeping chipper in order to try to keep Mum's chin up. Personally, I wasn't terribly worried - Geoff is a big streetwise Canadian bloke who once got robbed while travelling through India and had to make his way halfway across the country to the embassy with no cash or identification. We figured he'd find a way to get in touch if we were just patient. Sure enough, sometime after nine we got a call from one of mum's friends, who'd had a call from another friend, who'd had a call from Geoff, who'd shown up at a police station at Indooroopilly and found her home line in the directory.

So we trundled off to the Indooro cop shop and collected Geoff, who laughed uproariously at the whole thing, putting Mum much at ease. Then we had to backtrack a little to the dumpster where Geoff had carefully dumped his... little herbal stash... before fronting at the police station. All that, and we STILL made it to my favourite Thai restaurant before closing time, and bought a couple of bottles of wine too. Though by the time we finished eating we were getting pointed looks from the restaurant staff, who clearly wanted us to GTFO so they could close up.

We went back home and thanks to Richard's generousity, I was able to offer his bed to Mum and Geoff as crashspace (Richard was out that night), so we had a few drinks out on the front verandah and listened to our violently schizophrenic neighbor* scream insults into the night.

* previously referenced in my entry from a few weeks back about The Night The Transformer Blew And We Sat On The Front Verandah With Sarah Grey Waiting For The Power Company To Turn Up.

So all in all, a good night was had by all. I sort of secretly enjoyed it - I was never too worried about Geoff and I like having a real-life problem to gnaw on now and then. And Joe was just so patient and sweet with events which would have, and should have, annoyed the crap out of any ordinary boyfriend, that... well, I just want to eat his face off right now. In the most sweet and loving way, natch.

In unrelated news, if you're intending to buy anything off Amazon, and you're Australian, try Amazon.co.uk instead. We're about 50c to the pound at the moment, they're selling some things ridiculously cheap (Lord of the Rings extended editions trilogy box set - $17 pounds, which equals AUD$39 including shipping!) and orders arrive RIDICULOUSLY fast. I'm talking one week, as opposed to the month-or-so wait I always experience when ordering from the American site. Sweet.

Also I got some awesome French books. Yep, still doing that. I'm beginning to think it's some sort of super-elaborate form of procrastination... Productive procrastination is SNEAKY!
10 have fought ~ fight the power!
(Deleted comment)
tania From: tania Date: April 20th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh gosh, I would LOVE to go to NZ but that's something I want to do with Joey eventually, and this trip needs to be something a little more affordable, as the only airfare I intend to buy in the next 12 months is the one to the USA. But yeah, NZ is high, hiiigh on my to-do list! :)
From: dawnstar_au Date: April 20th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
There's a cabin place near my parents in the Victorian highlands that does horse riding and rock climbing. It's no far from the Snowy mountain national park.

There are also plenty of skiing places around that area (Omeo etc). If interested I can probably get some info for you.
tania From: tania Date: April 20th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, yes please! A friend of mine has had a bit of a rough year and we're thinking of doing a girls-only trip to Do Snow Stuff and Ride Horses, two areas in which we are deficient!
tania From: tania Date: April 20th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Also, I'll prod Joe tonight re the webspace stuff, a lot of people offered but I'm thinking you're the best bet - we know you, you're local, you're obviously good with Teh Masheens... we really appreciate the offer! I'll poke him and he'll get back to you. :)
From: dawnstar_au Date: April 20th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Name of the park is Karoonda Park - it's about 10km from where my parents property and I lived in the park for about 6 months when I was a kid and really enjoyed it. Website is a bit meh but this might something you are intereted in:

leggz From: leggz Date: April 20th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Holy crap that had me in stitches. SUCH an awesome story. If either of you are word-inclined [which I'm guessing you are, as you mentioned entering a story comp. recently?] that would make a kick-ass stranger-than-fiction short story. :D

Re: the snow, I have always loved Falls Creek but it's more on the pricey side of things. Try looking around some travel forums, there are loads of sales at the moment and you're likely to find some 'inside' info. :]
jeriendhal From: jeriendhal Date: April 20th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd recommend that you buy your poor mother a GPS road guide, but then you'd have to teach her how to use it...
hammond From: hammond Date: April 20th, 2009 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a soft spot for the slopes at Thredbo (you can take a lift to the very top of Mt Kosciuszko!) staying a Jindabyne. I don't know about horse prospects though.
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: April 21st, 2009 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the Aussie Amazon tip!! *hugs wingfully*
sigmoidal_suseq From: sigmoidal_suseq Date: April 21st, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
lolz - so that's why you never made it.

Just a quickie - if you've never been skiing or horse riding your muscles are going to be pretty fucked after a day of one or the other so plan for a day of rest inbetweensies I guess.
10 have fought ~ fight the power!