Monday, September 15, 2008


As our lovely Noosa holiday came to an unfortunate end today (could have stayed there for ages), we made the drive back south along the Bruce Highway to Brisbane or BrisVegas as it's sometimes called. I'm not sure where the name BrisVegas comes from, but it makes me giggle and I like the sound of it. Apart from flying in and out of BrisVegas for this Noosa holiday, I haven't spent any time in BrisVegas itself. I'd love to visit one day and see what all the hype is there hype? Well, the ads promoting the city that we see down in Melbourne make it seem like there is a bit of hype--it's apparently not a sleepy town anymore. No, it's BrisVegas baby! It's about lights, fun, late nights, friends and plenty of good times. Certainly sounds like Vegas to me. One day, perhaps the Handsome Australian and I will be able to come back and check the place out for ourselves.

Today, however, our time in BrisVegas was limited to the airport departure lounge as we waited for our flight to return to Melbourne. Again, to my astonishment, no one at the airport wanted to see our IDs. I still can't get over this. Then while in line at security, the guys on the x-ray machine confiscated a small knife from someone's bag. There was a bit of discussion about that. They kept the knife and the guy was sent on him merry way. Interesting. In true Aussie style, the Handsome Australian was very laid back about the airport security measures. He's loving it. It reminds him of a time when things were less complicated. It's refreshing he tells me. I guess. The paranoid American in me thinks it's substandard...some things you just can't change.

Once we got through security and into the departure area itself, I was pleasantly surprised with the Brisbane airport. There is so much on offer there. Seriously. I don't usually get excited about places like airports, but we had a bit of time since our commute from Noosa to the airport took less time than we thought and I was pleased to see there were things to do at the airport--interesting things.

Firstly, the food selection there was great. There were numerous cafes and plenty of fast food joints. The choice was really good and there seemed to be ample seating wherever you went. There were even comfy leather couches in some areas to sit and relax while you drank your latte. Well, that's what I did on the couches anyway.

After we had a latte and the children had eaten pancakes, yes pancakes at the airport and I'm not talking McDonald's here either. I'm talking proper pancakes with maple syrup and strawberries on the side. The four year old LOVES pancakes, so their presence in the Brisbane Airport alone made it one of the best places she'd ever been.

Yes, after the pancakes, we took a walk down the terminal to see what else was around. We found a little arcade area with quite a few arcade games. All those racing car type ones that the children love to climb on and those crazy ones where you can try to use the claw type thing to try and grab a prize and many, many more. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big arcade game person and I don't spend a lot of money on the kids there. In fact, I never spend money on the kids there, but the flashing lights, the noise, the music--it's heaven to little senses. This little arcade area kept the smallest amongst us busy for quite some time.

The four year old and I left the boys behind at the arcade games and kept walking down the terminal. Once we got into the Qantas section of the terminal (we had been in the Virgin Blue section prior) the fun really began...there was shopping! Now, I'm not a huge airport shopper, but I do like to browse--especially when I've got the time and nothing else to do. The cool thing about the shops in the Qantas section was they weren't just your run of the mill airport shops. I mean yes, there were news agencies selling magazines, newspapers and all that other typical airport stuff, but there was also proper retail shops.

The first one we came across was for the Byron Bay Cookie Company. Their shelves were lined with gourmet cookies and coffees from Byron Bay (a lovely little seaside village just down the coast in New South Wales). Last year when the Handsome Australian and I visited the Gold Coast, we took a day trip down to Byron Bay. While we were there, I reckon I drank the best cup of coffee I've had in, well maybe ever. The coffee used at this particular cafe was a locally grown organic coffee. It was stupendous. So I was quite excited when I saw the Byron Bay Cookie Company store. The four year old and I went in to survey the offerings. I could have spent a fortune, but walked out 10 minutes later, $14.20 poorer with a 250g box of Chili Cinnamon Drinking Chocolate, A Dotty Cookie (full of milk choc chunks covered with colourful choc drops), and a Milk Choc Chunk Cookie (A rich, moist soft textured cookie crammed with mil choc chunks). Yes, it was looking like a bit of a chocolate day...

Venturing down a bit further, we came across a GUESS store where all the latest handbags were on display. Then there was a food court type area with more food choices and across from that was a big surprise--a Witchery store. Witchery is a woman's clothing chain store here in Australia. You'll find Witchery stores in many high streets and most large shopping malls. I don't think I've ever seen this type of shop at an airport before. For those of you in the USA, it would be like having a GAP in the airport terminal. It was complete with fitting rooms so you could try on the clothes. I was intrigued and the four year old was attracted to the shiny jewelry and accessories they had on display, so we ventured in. My conversation with the sales woman went something like this:

Me: "So, do you do much business here, I mean are you busy?"

Sales woman: Caught slightly off guard by an admittedly odd question, "Yes, we do quite well."

Me: "Really? I don't think I've ever seen such a store in an airport before. I mean this is a Witchery in the middle of the airport (yes in my astonishment, I was stating the obvious)."

SW: "Yes, it's actually one of our best performing stores. We do quite a bit of trade here."

Me: "Hmm, I don' t know why I find that surprising, but it is."

SW: "Yes, well I think there is room for a lot more fashion retail shops at airports."

She's probably right you know. I've just never thought about it. The terminal took a turn and continued down another pathway, but it was time for us to turn back and get to our departure gate. So I don't know what else we would have found. Who knew an airport could be so exciting?

If the airport is any indication, BrisVegas probably does have a lot to offer. We'll have to come back one day soon and see.


Annelise said...

I am opening a GAP at DFW. I will be rich!

suzinoz said...

Smartest thing you'll ever do!

Annelise said...

Want to be an investor?

suzinoz said...


Pearl Maple said...

Just joined the expat womens site and following the links to all the blogs down under.

You do have lots of fun things going on in your blog space. Glad you enjoyed your trip to BrisVegas, it is a different kind of place and where better to do a bit of shopping than at the airport eh !

suzinoz said...

Thanks for your comment Pearl. We loved Queensland and will back back one day soon to explore BrisVegas in detail.

Sue McGettigan said...

Ha ha, last time I flew through Brisbane I asked the security dude if I needed to take my shoes off to walk through the detector (like you do here in the USA) - he smiled and said 'you can if you want to!' - then I knew I was home :)