Day 2: Goonsacks, M.A.M.I.L.’s, and Brekkie.

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Lisa Continues her daily dairy of our trip to Australia.

We Made it! Local time 7:05am, out of the plane and hugging our first host, Shannan by 8:00am. (A quick synopsis of who Shannan is: he’s a former distance coaching client of Tony who own his own strength and conditioning facility in Ballina. This trip’s been over a year in the making due to Shannan’s persistence and hard work to help get Tony (us!) down here). Shannan was accompanied by a buddy and personal trainer Matt, equally friendly and fabulous. Here they are with Tony:

Australian lesson #1: Australian’s “Aussies’ like to abrieviate and make cute all kinds of words. Shannan (“Shan”) and Matt (“Mattie”) drove 2 hours from Ballina to come and pick us up, and spent ALL DAY showing us around the area! It was so lovely. Our day moved from Brisbane down the gold coast, to Ballina:

We drove south from Brisbane, down the Gold Coast. Known for its beaches and fabulous surfing, this area is lined with beach towns, resorts, and families and friends on “holiday” (Australian for vacation). I took notice of the big inviting bike lanes throughout the streets and around the roundabouts, and Shan and Matty encouraged us to be on the lookout for “M.A.M.I.L.s” (Middle Aged Men in Lycra). Apparently they’re everywhere, and not afraid to rock their Lycra at coffee shops and all around town.

We stopped at Coolangatta (“Cooly”) for breakfast (“Brekkie”! Who doesn’t love this word? You can also spell it Brekky, but whatever you do, you should start using it immediately). What does every girl need for Brekkie after 20 hours on a plane? An Eenie Menie Greenie Smoothie!

Kale, pear, celery, parsley, ect. Between that and my first (and long anticipated) Australian Flat White, it was just what I needed to recover from our journey and settle in to Aussie life:

We left Cooly and continued down to the coast to Byron Bay. More amazing beaches, more surfers, and lots of gorgeous homes. We stopped a few places to take some photos – Check it! (Please do not judge us for our crusty appearance, and keep in mind we’ve had those clothes on for over 36 hours):

Byron Bay

Rockin our Lulu’s at Byron Bay

Different vantage point at Byron Bay. This is the view some the residents have from their houses.

After Byron Bay we hit up Lennox, another fabulous beach town where many rich and some famous live. Apparently Chris Helmsworth (Thor) has a home around here… but we didn’t spot him.

After Lennox we made our way to Ballina!

One of the beaches in Ballina

In many ways, this area reminds me of home (Jensen Beach, FLA – not Boston, MA). Locals and vacationers, the ocean met up with by the river, relaxed vibe, fantastic air. We are staying at this fantastic Ramada Inn! There was even a bottle of wine waiting for us (me) in the room. Did I mention we love Shan? Please check out our Suite with a view of the Richmond River:

I have to say, Tony and I were champions all day. We felt pretty good, but we knew we would start to fade in the afternoon. It was just after 3pm when we checked in, and once we unpacked, it was time to hit the gym.

It was ugly, but we managed to move around a little bit and sweat out some of the travel funk.

I proceeded to take the most cleansing shower of my life, and then have a glass of wine. After about a half of a glass I felt like I’d just had a “Goonsack” (Australian for the sack inside of a Box-o’-Wine), and I knew Tony and I only had a few hours left before we crashed. We ventured into town and out to Woolworths (“Wooly’s”) for some water and snacks. We were stressed about walking into traffic, which moves in the opposite direction, but luckily, Australians are right on top of trying to keep tourists alive:

Unfortunately, Tony realized he didn’t have his “Dongle”, which is surprisingly not an Australian word, but is an adaptor for Apple computers and projectors. After a mini-panic and a trip to the nearby tech store, Shan made some calls and once again, hooked us up by asking a friend to borrow his dongle.

So we got the dongle, got the snacks, and then went to dinner. We were starting to feel run down, so we decided on the hotel restaurant, The Pointe. It could have easily have been a restaurant at home in Stuart, FL, on the river.

Locals crowded the bar and dining for Happy Hour (Oh how I miss happy hour! An illegal libation celebration in Boston), and we enjoyed watching the river and sitting amongst the local excitement and chitchat of folks just finishing their workweek with a drink and a smile. Here are some pictures of the river and us enjoying dinner:

This pic was taken at 2AM (Boston time), hence Tony look likes he’s falling asleep.

I am proud to say we remained conscious until about 7:58pm. Tony’s excited for day 1 of the seminar, and I’m VERY excited for a day off, by the pool and at the beach. Talk to you then!

Love, Lisa and Tony

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