Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Day 4 – Friday, October 24th

We awoke at 4:00 again this morning….we really need to figure out how to sleep longer, but at least we ARE sleeping.

After breakfast, Michael left for a ferry ride to UQ (Univ of Queensland) to meet with people and also give a talk in the afternoon. I walked the other way to the main bus stop and picked up a bus to Marilyn’s neighborhood. She had given me wonderful directions as to what I would see and when to get off of the bus, so I had no problems whatsoever. She drove up about 3 minutes after the bus dropped me off. We drove about a mile and turned in at Bracken Ridge Baptist Church for their craft group.

There were about 18 women there, each working on an individual project ranging from Quilting, Cross-Stitch, and Hardanger to Jewelry making. The welcomed me into the group and allowed me to be involved in their projects too and they graciously oohed and aahed over the photos of my quilts. At one point, someone asked “what is the time” and then said “we almost missed morning tea!!!”. So, all of the ladies hurried to the kitchen to make cups of tea and instant coffee and out came the goodies to eat. There were several different kinds of biscuits (cookies to us Americans) and one woman had made pikelets. Pikelets are small pancakes….about 3 inches in diameter that are served with butter and jam. They were wonderful.

The group broke up about noon and Marilyn decided that it was time for me to see the ocean so she drove us to Moreton Bay and we had lunch at a restaurant just across the street from the water. Afterwards we walked out to the end of the pier and enjoyed looking out at the bay. We walked around a bit and shopped briefly in a fabric shop and then again in a thrift store. On our drive back Marilyn pointed up and said “look at the pelicans”. They were sitting on the cross beams of the overhead lights !!! They looked so funny because they are such large birds…there were THREE of them on one light.

Marilyn dropped me off at the rail station and I caught a train back into the City Center station. I enjoyed the train ride, noting the names of some of the stations…. Banyo, Bindha, Nundah, Toombal, Wooloowin, Albion, and Fortitude Valley (also marked as “China Town” with the station name written in Chinese characters).

While walking back to the hotel, I came across a small park with a war memorial. It was interesting to find it in the middle of the city. I also stopped at Woolworths to pick up a few things that we had forgotten and then relaxed for almost 3 hours at the hotel, including a 45 minute nap!!!

As I walked into the hotel, there were really nice cars (as in Bentleys and Jags) parked everywhere and about 8 well dressed bell boys and concierge workers standing out front. One of the hotel elevators was even roped off so that the general residents could not use it. I would LOVE to know who checked in…..it must have been someone BIG!!!! We were told that the Queen stays in this hotel when she is in Brisbane…..we are SO out of our league!!

I caught a taxi to the Bali Grill Restaurant and met the others for a fun dinner. They served lots of spicy stir fries and other delicacies. The food was excellent, however, one of our friends (Daniel) obviously got something REALLY hot, because he had a spectacular reaction to it, including streaming eyes and shortness of breath. Fortunately he quickly returned to normal. Michael, with his cast-iron stomach had a lamb dish that was marked as “6 chili” hot. He said that it was extremely hot but that he enjoyed it. Afterwards, we walked across the street to a Gelato store and, after standing in line for about 20 minutes, were rewarded with a creamy and wonderful gelato. This store supposedly has the reputation as the best gelato in Brisbane.

We hopped a taxi back to the hotel and fell gratefully into bed.

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