“Welcome to the land down under, where beer does flow and men chunder.” Which by the way means vomit, I googled it. The country’s unofficial national anthem may lead you to believe that the locals drink large quantities of cheap beer and can’t handle their alcohol. I can assure you that neither is the case. First of all, ‘cheap beer’ is an oxymoron in Australia. It seems to be the only place in the world that Miller High Life’s advertisement claims come anywhere close to making any sense (Champagne of Beers my ass). You might be wondering, “Just how expensive can the beer really be?”. Let me put it to you this way, once we overcame the cold sweats and shaky hands that came from the sticker shock, we decided we needed to pick up a cheaper habit to supplement our beer drinking. As of now we have it down to two finalists. We are still trying to decide between no limit Texas hold ’em or high-grade, uncut, cocaine. Second, with a drinking age of 18, their end of school celebrations (schoolies) make the US spring break gatherings look like square dance night at the senior center. Thus they have a three-year jump at building their tolerance (compared to the States) and make good use of their head start.
Contrary to popular belief, the country was not founded by convicts. Convicts were only shipped to the country from England if they possessed a trade. Like a work-release program. Which takes a large amount of the wind from my sails when exchanging insults with my in-laws. England decided it would be a better alternative to pardon criminals with minor infractions and provide them with a new beginning rather than resorting to slavery to start the new colony (even less wind. . .).
Brisbane is also the last place Sally called home before I beat her over the head and dragged her back to my cave (Seattle). She wanted me to ensure that I would mention her roots in Australia yet emphasize that she has-does-and will always consider herself a Kiwi, but always Australia over America. Brisbane is a gorgeous river city that is incredibly well laid out and has public spaces that are nothing short of amazing. There are endless paved trails that weave their way through and around the city, connecting countless parks with fields, dog parks, and playgrounds. They actually have a man-made beach overlooking the river, inside the city! How epic is that!?
We are fortunate to have Sally’s parents living in Brisbane and they have been gracious enough to provide us with accommodation, meals, and enough alcohol to help us maintain the lifestyle we have become accustomed to. Clearly they have been keeping up with our blog! For those of you that have not been able to tune in on a regular basis, no worries. We understand that life is busy and reading a blog about traveling and drinking with excessive amounts of profanity, might not rank that high on your list of priorities. So we decided to create a short three-minute fifty-four second video to help catch you up. (Summary).
The olds (as Sally calls them) wasted no time in taking us to a couple of their favorite watering holes. This was our first introduction to the cost of living in Australia (the cost of beer) and it was an awakening one. A single round at the Belgian Beer bar set them back a cool $65! Normal circumstances (being on the road) would have Sally and I casually “going to the bathroom” and then slipping out the back door in an attempt to skip out on the bill (That’s just how we roll). But the olds simply smiled, laughed, and shouted the bill. They then proceeded to shell out another $85 at the next bar for another round of quality beer, sliders and chicken wings!
We have three weeks in Australia (two now, one after New Zealand) and it is unfortunately going to be limited to the Queensland area in order to save as much cash as possible and spend some quality time with the family. So no wild tales of dingoes eating our baby in the outback, spending $35 on a long island iced tea at the Opera Bar in Sydney, or getting bit by a great white while snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. We are just going to have to suffer through spending our days at arguably the best beaches in the country and helping the olds rid themselves of their Costco sized wine selection.