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long weekends

Part of our Memorial Day long weekend adventures took us over the mountains to the quaint little town of Leavenworth, WA.

Leavenworth is a couple of hour drive from us. A drive that takes us into the Cascade Mountains. Leavenworth is nestled in the mountains, on the other side. This quaint little town used to be a logging community and when the logging business in the area started to die, so did the town. In the 60s town officials came up with the brilliant idea to transform the town into a Bavarian village in the hopes of attracting tourists and bringing the economy of the town back to life. It worked. Leavenworth now finds itself teeming with visitors much of the year. People are drawn in by the beautiful back drop of the mountains, the quaint little shops and restaurants, the old school architecture and the old German feel of the town.

We had a great time in Leavenworth. We strolled around town checking out the little shops. We enjoyed a German meal at one of the many little restaurants and played on the grass while we people watched. We are looking forward to heading back again some time. I especially want to head over in December when the whole town turns into a Christmas village.

We just spent 5 very fun, very busy days together wandering around our little corner of Queensland.  Lorne had 5 days off of work thanks to the Easter holiday and Anzac Day.  The Easter holiday here in Australia is a busy one.  Lots of traveling takes places thanks to stat holidays both Good Friday and the Monday after Easter.  This year, since Anzac Day and Easter fell on the same weekend an extra day was added to the holiday resulting in a 5 day weekend.  Gotta love long weekends that turn into extra long weekends :)

Since it is a big travel weekend around here we decided we’d forego trying to fly anywhere like we had originally planned and just rent a car and do some day trips around this area.  What resulted was a very busy and fun-filled 5 day weekend.  We did so much, and were exhausted by the end of it but we had such a good time and made many memories.

On the 1st Day of Easter we spent the day hanging out with Lorne’s cousin and her family and a few of their friends.  Lorne’s cousin and her family were here in Australia for a few months while her husband worked at a university in Canberra.  They were here in Brisbane visiting with some friends for a couple of days so we met up with them at their friend’s house.  We spent the day watching the kids play, swimming in the pool, watching the kids bounce on the trampoline and walking around their neighborhood.  It was a lovely day.  I some how ended up with no pictures from that day.  I guess I just never got around to taking out my camera, oh well.

On the 2nd Day of Easter we headed to Main Beach on the Gold Coast.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous, just as it was the last time we headed to Main Beach.  The beach was crowded thanks to all the long weekend visitors, but it wasn’t crazy and we were able to find a nice place to sit on the beach and there was plenty of room for us to frolick in the waves.  The surf was pretty rough that day and the surf rescue crew (life guards) were very busy.  We saw 5 rescues while we were there, including one for a missing person that resulted in them getting everyone out of the ocean while they used boats and jet skis to try to locate the person.  Luckily the person was found safely down the beach, she had been swept down by a nasty rip current that was present that day.  It was neat to see the surf rescue crew in action.

4-23-11 Lots of people on beach [640x480]

4-23-11 Maya running from the waves [640x480]

On the 3rd Day of Easter, Easter Day. We decided to head to Wet ‘n Wild Water World after Maya found all the treasures the Aussie Easter Bunny left for her.  Wet ‘n Wild is located on the Gold Coast and is one of the parks we have unlimited access to thanks to those passes we purchased when we went to Sea World. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the greatest.  It didn’t rain on us, but the clouds were very thick which resulted in the air temperature feeling rather chilly, especially when we were all wet.  Maya had fun though and Lorne had fun trying his hand at a couple of the crazy water slides.  My favorite thing was sitting in a tube and bobbing around the lazy river, until we got so cold we were all shivering.

4-24-11 Maya and Lisa outside Wet 'n Wild [640x480]

On the 4th Day of Easter we spent the morning at the Anzac Day parade and decided to spend the afternoon at WB Movie World.  On Anzac Day theme parks and movie theaters aren’t allowed to open until 1:30pm.  So, after watching the parade in the morning and grabbing a quick bit to eat for lunch we headed back to the Gold Coast to go to Movie World.  We had hoped that since the park was only open for half a day it wouldn’t be too crowded, thinking most people wouldn’t want to pay a full ticket price for half the time at the park.  We were wrong.  We arrived half an hour before the park opened to find a huge crowd of people waiting to enter.  The park was super busy, luckily the lines for the rides weren’t too crazy.  We hit up the most popular adult ride first, this crazy Batman ride that Lorne wanted to try.  After that we headed to the kiddie section so Maya could have some fun.  We had a good, but exhausting time.

4-25-11 The start of the parade [640x480]

4-25-11 Maya and Lisa at Movie World [640x480]

4-25-11 Lorne and Maya on the log ride at Movie World [640x480]

4-25-11 Waving at us as she drives by [640x480]

On the 5th, and final, Day of Easter our plan was to check out the Glass House Mountains, do a quick little hike and then head back to Mooloolaba (the very first beach we visited) for a little more fun in the sand and surf to end our weekend.  Mother nature had other plans for us.  We knew heading out that the weather was going to be hit or miss.  The forecast was calling for a chance of a few spot showers, but we thought we take our chances.  On the way to the Glass House Mountains it started raining.  Luckily, when we got there it had cleared up and we were able to enjoy the lookout and a quick little hike.  Around lunch time we headed to Mooloolaba where the plan was to have a picnic lunch and then change into our swimsuits and spend the afternoon playing in the sand and splashing in the waves.  We made it to Mooloolaba and walked to the picnic area near the beach before the rain started.  Lorne had gone to grab us some french fries and Maya and I headed to the picnic area to find a table and set up the rest of our picnic.  As soon as we got to the tables the first of what would be many downpours started.  We huddled under a covered area, along with many other people, waiting out the rain.  Finally it slowed and we met up with Lorne.  Since all the picnic tables were now soaked we found some stairs under a cover and had our picnic there.  We managed to eat and Maya managed to spend about 5 minutes at the park before the next downpour began.  Pretty much every 15 minutes or so another round of rain would roll in.  After walking around the covered shopping/dining area of the beach town for a while we decided just to head home.  But, even with the rained out beach plans it ended up being a wonderful day and a nice end to our busy weekend of fun.

4-26-11 Very beautiful view [640x480]

4-26-11 Hiking at Glass House Mountains Look Out [640x480]

4-26-11 Maya swinging at Mooloolaba Beach [640x480]

Our 5 Days of Easter were so filled with activity and adventure.  We had so much fun.  And the best part, especially for Lorne, is that this upcoming weekend is a long weekend too.  So here’s to 3 more days of fun-filled adventure coming our way :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with family and friends.  Our Aussie Easter was perfect.