One thing I really like about all the airports here in Australia is that you can still go meet incoming flyers at the gate, without a ticket. Entire families greet people coming off of arriving planes and it reminds me of how things used to be in the US. You still have to pass through security, but no boarding pass necessary.
After flying in from Sydney, we made it to the Brisbane hotel just before 4pm. View from the room:
A couple of different people invited me to join their little groups for dinner, but I found myself to be in a bit of an anti-social mood. Every once in a while, I just want to go be alone and do stuff without anyone else. I can do what I want, when I want, with no one else to answer to or put up with. I might change my mind about a restaurant choice 3, 4 or maybe 5 times, just because I can.
So about 6:30, I headed up the street, away from the hotel and the river. Just kinda wandered around for a bit, checking out the pedestrian mall, and shopping area. Stopped and bought a book at Dymock's, a pretty good bookstore. Got the latest James Patterson paperback, which is called "Double Cross."
There were people everywhere, it being Friday night and all. Up at the far end of the ped mall, I found a pretty cool little outdoor joint called Milano's. At first, I was only gonna have a beer or two and do a little people watching. Easy enough, considering the parade of humanity streaming by. After taking a look at their menu, I decided that this would do nicely for dinner, too. Besides, I had a great table on the fringe of the bar area, with terrific views all around.
I've been drinking Crown Lager while I've been Down Under. Some places have Budweiser, but the Crowns are really good, so I'm sticking to them. After a couple of them here, I had the waiter bring me a Bud, just to compare. Didn't taste too good after the Crowns, so back to Crown I went.
Dinner was a mixed seafood grille, served over risotto. It had huge shrimp, wonderfully sweet scallops, and 2 Moreton Bay Bugs. Do you know what those are? I just found out last week myself. Most folks down here call them Bay Bugs, or just Bugs. They're larger than the biggest prawns (shrimp) you've ever seen, but smaller than a lobster, though not by much. I had 2 big ol' tails and they were really good. I'm a fan now.
A few more beers after dinner, and then I headed back to my room to start my new book. I wound up being there at Milano's for nearly 4 hours. Great chill-out night…