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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

They have funny animals down here

May 22, 2006

Tom Little picked Melissa up at 9:30am at the hotel. Headed to the Koala Bear preserve. Melissa got to cuddle a koala bear and feed the kangaroos. She also got boxed by one kangaroo who had too much pestering by the toddlers who came in before us.

Tom's Stories
While visiting with Tom, he had a number of stories to tell that were very interesting…

When he was 12 the marines and soldiers in "tent city" took him in. There was no butter because everything was rationed. But the soldiers had mean with jam in the commissary and they used to take him along to feed him. They were probably all killed at Guadalcanal.

Tom owned the Winchester club in Hong Kong. This is how he and Dad met. The Winchester club catered to airline pilots in Hong Kong. The pilots would go to the club, hang out, have a beer, and some grub. Tom made a habit of posting the daily exchange rate for all over the world, and the club would take whatever currency the pilots had in their pockets. Dad's membership number was 69. Tom remembers because Dad made a joke about being a "69'er".

Tom and Lorraine are due to visit Seattle in September. Lorraine detests the idea of tipping in restaurants as this isn't done in Australia. It seems just as odd to us that there is no tipping here. Dave and Melissa had a terrible time understanding that. It was so ingrained that not tipping was rude!

We then drove about looking for the Mt. Coot-tha lookout. It was worth the search. The view from there is breathtaking. You could see the great dividing range as well as downtown Brisbane. We had a lovely lunch up there.

We then drove down the hill to the Botanical Gardens. I came to the realization that most of the houseplants we have here in the US are native to Australia and grow in their gardens!

On we went to Tom's house on the gold cost where he and his lovely wife Loraine had set a formal tea with scones, jam, whipped cream, as well as chocolate éclairs. So much for my diet! Tome is quite the gardener and has a fabulous yard filled with palms and exotic (for us) tropical plants.

After that we drove out to see the gold coast. Tom is a member of the VMR - Volunteer Marine Rescue. They operate a base and boats that monitor private vessles and rescue them should they have a medical emergency, go aground, roll over, engine out, etc.

Tom then drove Melissa all the way back to Brisbane, where she, Dave, and Kevin had drinks.

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