Like all good sequels, this story picks up just before the point where my last story finished.
The dashboard clock has just clicked to 10:00pm when we roll into the impressive sweeping entry driveway of our swanky hotel. It’s a little daunting parking amongst all the Porsches and Ferraris, but it’s dark and late so we reckon nobody will notice. The doorman has already sized us up and looks like he’s just going through the motions. “May I assist you with your luggage Sir?” Our worldly possessions at this point total two handbags, an old umbrella and the remains of our emergency ration pack of Tic Tacs. “Er, no thank you my good man. Carry on.”
The lady at reception is really pleasant and helpful. I shake a little when I see the price of our apartment, but it’s the last one they have, and we have an Ace up our sleeves. Alex is a travel agent, so I ask about that hidden discount they don’t disclose to the travelling riff raff. “That price is after the discount Sir. Have a nice stay.”
We reach the apartment and go through the charade of arguing over which couple will have the luxury queen bed room, and who gets the super luxury king. Rock, paper scissors – all sorted. Wait a minute! They didn’t supply toothbrushes! No real drama. There’s a 7-11 store nearby and my travelling mantra has always been “passport, credit card – done”. What’s that!? Our little group is suddenly engaged in a turbulent debate! Do we need to buy one, two or four toothbrushes? I realise that this debate over personal items costing $3.99 each (tax included) is a sign we are all a little more tense than we thought.
Saturday morning. The sun is shining in a beautiful blue sky. We stand on the balcony admiring the sea view and wonder if last night’s drama was just some kind of collective hallucination. Our clothes have that chic slept in look, so yes, it was real.
Now, when should we hit the road back to Brisbane? I put forward a theory that the clean up crews will still be clearing flood debris from the roads, so we may as well wander down to one of those beachfront eateries for breakfast – and coffee! Time for our Canuck visitors to realise that yesterday’s effort with big stacks of pancakes and sausages wasn’t a “real” Big Breakfast. The real thing also has bacon, fried mushrooms, grilled tomato, eggs, hash browns and ……. Surprisingly, the plates of fried delights ordered by the boys arrive way sooner than the healthier options selected by our ladies. Ah well, who orders “smashed avo” on wholewheat toast anyway?
We all have that relaxed view of the world that comes from really full tummies when it’s finally time to pile back into the car for the return trip to Brissy (yes Peter, we do shorten words and add vowels to the end over here). Our delayed start pays off as we only experience one short delay while the crews finish clearing a previously flooded spot near the half-way point, then we’re rolling down the highway and into the city. The road tunnels are all still flooded so we have to take the slow route through the suburban traffic.
…It’s now late morning, and Peter and I will need to do some smooth talking to avoid extra charges back at the place they were supposed to stay last night but hey, we’ve conquered a natural disaster and two big breakfast in less than 24 hours so we’re ready.