It didn’t take long once I stepped off the plane in Perth Domestic Airport to completely relax into the nothingness of holiday mode! The sun was shining and Travis had a fantastic lounger chair and backyard where I was able to become fully engrossed in my book and forget everything else and any possible responsibility that I may have.
The next morning, Desiree picked me up for a day of touristing – Desiree and I were friends when I was less than three and lived in Clearbrook (is it possible to have a “friend” that young?). We probably haven’t seen each other in over ten years, and yet, when we’re both on the other side of the world we manage to figure out a plan to see each other with less than ten texts. So… why did this not happen before? We had an AWESOME day together and hopefully when we’re both back in Canada in 2013 we might actually try to see each other again!
We hit AQWA – Aquarium of Western Australia – first (if you couldn’t tell by the eight million photos of it). From there we took the long trek south of the city to Fremantle where we had burgers for lunch surrounded by a street festival of some sort and then walked through the market and along the water to try to free up some room in our full bellies for either a stop at Little Creatures for an alcoholic beverage or Baskin Robbins for ice cream. I already had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted…. AND conveniently, Desiree was right there with me! We walked into Little Creatures so I could appease all those who expressed to me it would be a travesty if I didn’t go. Seems Little Creatures is the only really necessary place to go in all of Perth… it was a nice big pub/restaurant/brewery… but ya. Ice cream (and ice cream from home!) won out without question. We found a spot to sit in the sun; relished in the peanut butter/chocolate combo, and continued to catch up on a decade… Or at least a year or so of life. We finally uprooted ourselves, said our goodbyes just a few short hours after our first hellos, and I was home for another evening of reading, relaxing, and downing endless cups of tea.
The next morning I bussed and trained my way to the city and after wandering and riding the free bus around for awhile, made my way to the Swan Bells to hear them ring at noon. Admittedly, it was a bit less dramatic than I’d hoped for, but I do know if I’d missed it, I’d have always wondered what gorgeous music they could have produced while I was in some silly museum. So at least now I know it doesn’t need to be on the top of the “must hear” list… for any of those of you who might just happen to be passing through Perth someday soon… The Barracks area (I guess that’s what you’d call it?) / port was lovely with a few cafes, grassy areas, souvenir shops and, of course, restaurants. I wandered into The Lucky Shag and decided it was about time I fully embraced the notion of eating out alone. I’ve done it before, but always managed to have a book, or someone to text with, or something going on to make it appear that I am busy… like anyone actually NOTICES that. I know some of you out there who have eaten alone – or just thought about the prospect of it – will know exactly where I am coming from. The rest of you… go out and eat alone. Strangely liberating. Aaaaanyway. I listened to the bells and pub music compete for my attention, looked out at the river, put my feet up to sip my cider, and thoroughly enjoyed every salty hot chip (fry) that I placed lovingly into my mouth. DELISH. The fried seafood was pretty good too, but the fries here – everywhere!!! – just always seem to have the right amount of crispiness (not a lot at all) and perfect sprinkling of salt. (Phew. Something to add to the “like” list… some of you may know what I’m talking about here).
At this point, I was deciding that I really liked Perth, easy transit system, friendly people all over the place, free buses in the city, nice attractions, fabulous hot weather, great hot chips, fabulous neighbourhoods and houses, some variety in architecture, etc… and then it all went to shit. Okay, I overexaggerate. I was hot, full, possibly mildly intoxicated, and had no idea how to get into this park I wanted to explore because the tourist information booth informed me that “no, we don’t have maps of King’s Park, they’re only at the info booth deep in the bowels of King’s Park and good luck finding your way in and to the info booth in a reasonably sane route and amount of time.” Okay, it’s true, I may have embellished that last part a little, but the facts remain the same. I couldn’t get into the park the way I thought I should have been able to … I did, eventually up the stairway/pathway from hell and then the signs plunked seemingly randomly in the ground did not have what I wanted on them or LIED about where to go and how far. So… I did a 360 degree scan of my surroundings, snapped a photo or two, and decided it would better enhance my mental state to retreat to the serenity of Travis’ backyard than continue fighting with Perth. It was a good decision – I’ve recovered enough and still have happy thoughts of Perth. Haha.
Another bing, bang, boom taxi ride, check in, coffee, wait, board, and I was hop, skip, and jumping my way to The Frangipani Resort in Broome – you’ve already seen the photos of the resort. The rest of this heavenly place’s photos and stories will come soon enough.