#CatTravels: Farewell, Brisbane

By December 6, 2012 #CatTravels

It was our last day in Brisbane, and we had two final things on our to-do list: eat at a chocolateria and find a farmer’s market.

And we almost did neither.

We found a few farmer’s markets that looked interesting but were on the other side of town. So we’d have to forego the chocolateria to get there. But then, we might arrive at these markets too late — or they might not very interesting — but we knew the chocolate shop was the real thing, so maybe we’d just head there instead.

It was a tough decision.

So we went with the latter, heading to San Churro Chocolateria, a popular spot on the South Bank that serves up churros, or Spanish donuts, with a choice of decadent sauces — among other things. (These shops are all over Australia.)

Turns out, after indulging in some fried dough, we stumbled on a street festival on Little Stanley Street called the South Bank Lifestyle Market.

Kismet!

So on our last half-day in Brisbane, we were able to knock the last two items off our list — and still had time to buy Vegemite to take back home.

Here’s what our last day looked like:

CityCycle

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Like other major cities, Brisbane offers the use of city bicycles. When the program, CityCycle (www.citycycle.com.au/), is completed, there will be 150 stations across Brisbane's center. It cost $2 for the day, with options for longer subscriptions.

Special thanks to Melissa Chang, Ed Sugimoto and Kaleo Lancaster for making the trip so much fun! And a shout-out to Hawaiian Airlines for arranging our flights, hotels and tours! And thanks to all of you for following our adventure Down Under!

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#CatTravels: Brisbane at night

By November 30, 2012 #CatTravels

Something happens to cities when the sun drops below the horizon and sinks out of sight.

And in the case with Brisbane, the moment is magical.

The air cools, the pubs overflow, the lights from the city dance on the Brisbane River.

We decided to take a stroll down to the South Bank again — this time at night — to capture the city at its most stunning.

Here’s what the night looked like:

Happy hour

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From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Sofitel Brisbane, where we were staying, holds a happy hour with free snacks and cocktails. It was definitely a huge perk of staying there (and made the hefty pricetag worth it).

Follow my adventures in Brisbane on Twitter at @thedailydish and on Instagram at @catherinetoth.

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#CatTravels: Beaches and Chinese food in Brisbane

By November 29, 2012 #CatTravels

Yes, we came 4,000 to Australia only to eat Chinese food.

But hey, we’re in Brisbane. Asians — particularly Chinese — are the largest ethnic minority group here. So the city’s got to have good Chinese food!

But first, we needed to check out the South Bank area along the Brisbane River.

This area was created for the Brisbane’s World Expo 88 and officially opened to the public in June 1992.

It was a quick walk from our hotel — about 15 minutes — to the river, where we strolled through open green areas, a museum campus and along a river bank pathway littered with walkers, bikers and runners. Our goal: Streets Beach, a man-made beach sprawling over 2,000 square meters.

Australia is going through a major heat wave, so the walk was sweaty. But the scenery — and the Chinese food later — was well worth it.

Here’s what our jaunt looked like:

Working out

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First things first, I needed to get in a workout. I figured we'd be eating all day — and I was right! — so this was mandatory. And besides, the gym at the Sofitel Brisbane Hotel has got an amazing view of the city.

Follow my adventures in Brisbane on Twitter @thedailydish and on Instagram @catherinetoth.

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#CatTravels: G’day, Brisbane!

By November 28, 2012 #CatTravels

Ten hours, two meals and one package of Ho Hos later, and we made it to Brisbane!

Hawaiian Airlines invited a few of us on its inaugural flight to the third largest city in Australia — a full eight years since its first international route to Sydney. And now the airlines is flying direct to Brisbane, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef that offers a different view of the world’s smallest sixth largest country.

And to be honest, I didn’t know much about this city until a few days — OK, hours ago. Which will make exploring this city on the continent’s southeastern coast that much more fun.

Melissa Chang (@melissa808) and I are roomies again, a la the Fukuoka trip back in April, and we’re joined by fellow bloggers Ed Sugimoto (@worldwideed) and Kaleo Lancaster (@islandtrails). Let’s see if the guys can keep up with us. 😀

Here’s what our first few hours in the southern hemisphere looked like. Brisbane, you’ve been warned.

Thanks, Chai!

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Chef Chai Chaowasaree, owner of Chai's Island Bistro and creator of Hawaiian Airline's in-flight meals, gave Melissa and I tickets to Brisbane on the airline's inaugural flight. We were SO appreciative!

Follow my adventures in Brisbane on Twitter @thedailydish and on Instagram @catherinetoth.

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#CatTravels: Hello, Brisbane!

By November 28, 2012 #CatTravels

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Whew.

We made it.

It took us 10 hours, but we’re here in Brisbane, Australia.

Blog posts will likely be sporadic, thanks to a severe lack of free WiFi. But trust me, we will find Internet somewhere, somehow.

Stay tuned! And follow my adventures on Twitter @thedailydish and Instagram @catherinetoth.

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