Showered, blogged (you're welcome), and went out with Nicks family for a Mexican dinner. Got to hold baby Jackson for the first time - he didn't cry! There was a bit of an awkward conversation - family arguments; I felt like I was intruding or evesdropping even though it was happening right in front of me. But no big deal, every family has its moments. Went home in a terriffic rainstorm.
Jackson & me
Saturday, Nick & I had planned to go to Cape Hillsborough Nature Reserve, but it was another stormy day & the dirt roads leading out there were flooded. Good thing he thought to call ahead! Instead we walked into town for a delicious brunch (& two cups of REAL coffee - not instant!!) with Nicko & Chris.
Chris was in a rough living situation & had decided to move into the hostel; with Nicks dad lending him his truck, we decided to drive down & empty his apartment that afternoon.
While Nick & Chris went up to the house to fetch the truck, I sat at the hostel with Nikki who was "weak from hunger" bc Chris had forgotten to bring back Mackers (McDonalds) for her ...twice. Whoops. I think she'd gone crazy from hunger, actually; she was dancing around & cracking me up. Of course, that's nothing new. She's insane, dirty, and hilarious. Love it.
me, Nikki & Taco - dancing like the crazies we are
We drove out to Mackay, where Chris lived, emptied out his apartment & secured it in the truck, and drove back. Not super exciting except that it was a really nice 3 hour round trip drive, in the truck with Nick. We talked about our childhoods, music (we're into completely opposite music, but we share the same level of passion for it), and all kinds of other random stuff as we drove through flooding cane fields and past beautiful mountians topped by silver clouds.
We'd been planning on seeing a movie, but by the time we got back to the hostel, no one wanted to get back in the car & drive another hour to the nearest movie theatre, so we decided to just go out for a small dinner & drinks with friends. Nick, Nicko, Ian, Chris, Nikki, Taco and I dressed up nice(ish) and we walked down the the food court; even though Nick's not drinking, he still insisted on buying a round - that boy is so stubborn. Then again, he knows everyone & the bartender only charged him $30 for 2 cocktails & 5 beers. :) Had a good dinner, then hit the bars/restaurants along the Esplanade, classier joints we don't usually visit.
At the first bar, there was a photographer for the social section of the Whitsunday paper & we gladly let him take our picture, but he thought we were taking the piss when we said our names were, "Nick, Nikki, Nikki, Nick, Taco..." It took us quite a while, through our giggles, to convince him we were serious.
Nikki, Nick, Nikki (in the hostel)
It was a really fun, quiet night, just the seven of us, not in our usual loud, backpacker-packed haunts, just talking and laughing and teasing each other and taking pictures. Great night. Nicko had bought sparklers (where? when? I have no idea, they just suddenly appeared!) and we all lit our way home with their uneven glow.
I am so grateful & happy for:
~ being part of a group
~ good conversation
~ living in such a beautiful place