Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gone Down Under

Greg spent a little more than two weeks in the land of Crocodile Dundee when Boeing sent him 'down under' to Brisbane, Australia for work. The travel from St. Louis was long - nearly 4 hours to LA, then a layover, and then 14 more hours on a Qantas 747 across the Pacific. Being in business class in the front of the plane made the trip a little more bearable with food, drink, plenty of movies - even PJs! - and a comfortable seat that seemed to do everything including give a back massage.

While there was a lot of work to be done, there were also some evenings and a couple of weekends for sight-seeing in the city and surrounding area. What an experience! Brisbane has a history back to the mid-1800s but is also very modern, trendy, and cosmopolitan. The weather and the food were great (ask him about Vegemite) and every street and block brought both old and new buildings, parks, and more to explore.

Click here for more photos and slideshow

Work was about a 45-minute drive outside the city each morning, and of course 45-minutes back each evening. It didn't take very long to adapt to driving on the other side of the road - even when sharing the streets with some of the very big trucks they have there - but it was a real challenge to remember which way to look when crossing the street! Still, in the city it was easier to walk around or take the public transit. One of the more interesting modes of transportation are the City Cat water taxis that get you to points up and down the Brisbane River. It was a great way to see the city and go to dinner a couple of evenings.

One Sunday Greg enjoyed a wonderful morning of worship at Hillsong Church (some of you will know them for their contemporary Christian praise music). Another day was spent on a whale-watch tour boat following a number of humpback whales near Morton Bay. Finally, there was a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to get up close and personal with the koalas, emus, kangaroos, and other Aussie wildlife.

Yes, traveling for business can be a sacrifice. Actually, the work went very well and it’s likely one or two more trips to Brisbane will come up in the next few months. The hardest part of the trip was being that far away from home for that long. And it was harder on Kitty than Greg. So we’re looking into how Kitty can go along on one of the next trips.