Happy days in Brisbane for Christmas, New Year's, and a good chunk of January. Lots of time to catch up with all the extended family, hang out with my buddies, and generally indulge in some fun and random Brisbane adventures.
Plenty of time spent with my ever-gorgeous nieces and nephew. Oh my gosh, overload of cuteness (and household craziness!)...
Aunty Shell (that's me) even got to take Charlotte and Molly to the Wynnum foreshore playground (with fish'n'chips for dinner afterward), and a few days later, I took Lilli and Sophie to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) for all the kids' craft activities as part of the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT 6)...which was just as fun for this big kid too :)
Actually GoMA was so great that I visited several times, making it a cultural trio along with the Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland State Library - 3 of my favourite places to frequent whenever I'm in town.
^ clockwise from top left: the men-in-suits-holding-pink-flowers display in the APT6 exhibition; an interestingly hatted stranger on the gallery escalator; Art Gallery exhibit (gotta love a man with a goldfish on his head); and the view through the poinciana tree from the Library window where I sat and borrowed internet access for a while.
Speaking of frequenting, while in Brisbane, I also found myself back at some familiar old haunts for caffeine and breakfast fixes: The Java Lounge in Paddington; the West End Coffee House; the new-ish Campos cafe in New Farm; Rics on the Valley mall; Pearl cafe over at the Gabba; and James St Bistro (although I'm kicking myself for not thinking of going around the corner for coffee at Jamie's instead).
^ my morning latte at the West End Coffee House - awesome Campos coffee!; the colourful + comfortable interior of The Java Lounge (and my morning mega latte). I heart the comfy couches at The Java Lounge!
And thanks to friends, I even discovered a few new places... Georgi took me out to the Logan Rd precinct at the Gabba, which I was delighted to discover has evolved into quite the remarkable little hotspot. We shared tapas at the uber trendy Crosstown Eating House, and afterward, although we'd planned on a few glasses of wine at the 1889 Enotica wine bar, we found the seats there in short supply and the lighting a little too bright, so we ventured over to Pearl cafe for dessert and coffee instead. Oh yeh, that Pearl cafe is, hands-down, one of Brisbane's best cafes in every respect!
^ Fancy streetlights on Logan Rd; vintage charm in Pearl cafe; Georgi soaking up the ambience of Pearl; homemade trifles!; night-cap coffee; Pearl's ambient interior + tempting counterful of desserts (I had a cherry tart - yum)
And thanks to Ash, another exciting discovery was Au Cirque cafe on Brunswick Street. Although it was closed on the day we'd planned a girly lunch, Georgi and I re-visited later in the week. Its immense popularity meant no chance for sit-down coffee (let alone breakfast!), so we opted for takeaway coffee and took it to the Powerhouse where we could chill out with some street-press and a view overlooking the Brisbane River. Nice.
Oh, and while I think of it...if you're after a really good definitive list of Brisbane's caffeinated delights, you should check out this excellent blog 'Shall Owe Words' (yes, it's a bad pun name but the info is good, trust me): http://timfoote.wordpress.com/brisbane-cafes-the-definitive-list/
The Paddington Antiques Centre has always been a real favourite of mine, so I revelled in the chance to spend a good portion of a day here, snapping photo opportunities galore. Oh hell yes. Very snap-happy.
And then there were all the various other op shops and retro havens along Latrobe Tce, Paddington. So. Much. Fun.
And photography has to be the ultimate in cheap and light souvenirs! ;)
(Which reminds me... I've finally started to breathe new life into my poor old Flickr account, and now loads of new + colourful photos can be found over here at Shelbyville on flickr.)
But alas, all good holidays must reach an end, and a quick flight later I'm back again in fast & furious Sydney, ready for an exciting year ahead, with projects big and small in the pipeline and plenty of plans for more travel... both domestic and international! Oh yes indeed, can hardly wait! :)