September to Remember

Welcome back mates! So much to share, so brace yourself. You’ve already clicked on, so you’re committed:) Quick life update:  I got a new job! Changing jobs is always a little stressful but I’m thankful the transition happened smoothly and that the right job was there for me when I needed it. Now, onto the fun times September has brought us:

Inala Work Day

Inala is an Aboriginal word meaning “Place of Peace.”  This is the little town south of central Brisbane where our church will be meeting very soon. In fact, the transition has already started. The move from the north side of the city to the south side has encouraged our pastor and his family to move as well. To help out, the NewStart RiverCity crew along with the existing Inala church members are doing some work days in order to re-vamp their house.

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It was so good to spend that weekend focused on helping out our friends in the beautiful sun!  More updates to come as the house and church projects get underway. **Side note: the Inala church (directly beside the house) holds the local African communities’ church services on Saturdays. We enjoyed their jubilant worship in and preaching all day! They started service in the morning at about the same time we started working. They were still going more than 5 hours later when we left 🙂

Brissy Evenings and Daytime Jogs

For the most part, our weeknights look very similar: more work for me and more studying for Caleb. However, when we feel it’s time to stretch our surroundings a little, I pry Caleb away from the books we hop in the car and do date-ish type things.

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Southbank is always bustling. I’ve mentioned it before, but truly day or night, Southbank has fun options. I usually see a street performer or two and there are always people at the riverside pool and splash pad.  This time, all we did was walk around and enjoy the lights, sounds, and people. It was a sweet evening out in the city together.

Caleb walks a fair distance to campus each day, taking this bridge to get across the river:

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The university is very pretty and I was feeling up for some fresh air, so I laced up my joggers and followed the path to UQ.  The lakes on campus are popular sites for several bird species and other little critters. I couldn’t help but snap some pics:)

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Anniversary Adventures

Happy Two Year Anniversary to Caleb and me! I never imagined that just two years of marriage would bring what it has, but if this is our first two, I can’t wait to see what the next 60+ hold. Since Caleb’s midterms were over, I was in the clear to plan a weekend get-away for us. Nothing too fancy but just wanted to explore a new area. Tamborine Mountain was our destination this time. Located just over an hour south in Gold Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain is misty, lush, sub-tropical rainforest.

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Our plan was to hike all day, drive to Gold Coast and stay the night, then have a beach day the next day. Sadly, the beach plan got rained out, but we still had an entire day of fun nonetheless!

We started with the Skywalk which came highly recommended by TripAdvisor. Was it cool? Yeah, seeing the forest from tree-top level on a suspended bridge is interesting. Would we pay to do it again? Maybe not. The circuit was a little short and if you’re going hiking later in the day, much of the views are similar.

Next, we continued through the mountain to pick a hiking point. There are so many great options on Tamborine Mountain, most promising waterfall views. We chose the Curtis Falls track. It was very similar to other trails we’ve done in the past– not flat or too easy, but enough edge to feel rugged. With the added circuit at the base level, the entire hike was enough to give us a full experience.

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Ironically, Caleb ran into one of his group mates from class on the hike! It was nice to say Hi and share a moment together on the trail. If you’re up for a little extra entertainment, watch the video below. Sorry about the phone camera quality, but it was too funny not to share!

After our main hike, we travelled down to the Gallery Walk, a street lined with dozens of little shops and cafes. We tasted *and bought* some passion fruit butter, saw hand-made German cuckoo clocks, ate some fudge, and I guess held some pythons.

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OH! Can’t forget about exploring Tamborine Mountain’s purpose built glow worm caves! A unique experience indeed. (No photos as glow worms will shut off in the presence of any light).

After a long day on the mountain, we headed to our hotel on the coast. It was beautiful! Surfer’s Paradise is a world-renown tourist spot for surfing (obviously). It’s very touristy with hotels and restaurants everywhere. Did I mention it’s touristy? We enjoyed a nice dinner at Hurricane’s Grill which had a view of the ocean from our top deck table. We finished off our evening with shakes from a favorite: Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bar.

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We love our adventures together. Even when “adventures” aren’t happening, life with Caleb is a fun journey. He’s doing very well in medical school and I am blessed with a good job and new friends. I’m sure year 3 together will be just as interesting! More to come.

❤ Laura

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