To go along with Colour Me Brisbane and the G20, they also had a festival called Spring Flare. This was Australia's biggest color festival, it had live music and color throwing every hour on the hour for seven hours. Not a running event at all, just a come, listen to music, and throw color. It was free to get in, but of course we had to buy the color. Again, what the big print givith, the fine print takth away.
This is before we picked up our color and got busy.
Spring Flare is suppose to be like the Holi festival in Asia. In ancient times it was all about a celebration to show appreciation to two spirits for everything blooming in spring. Little odd I think, but now has evolved into something greater.
Holi is now about bridging the gap; young or old, rich or poor, stranger or friend, male or female. It is a time that in most of Southeast Asia, they go outside and throw colors in an act of unity. Let's be honest it isn't all about the unity, they want to have fun and have great pictures also.
We liked the modern day meaning of Holi. Fun was had by all.
I could not stop laughing when they fired up the leaf blower to clean us off. There is a little bit of redneck in everyone.
I think the best line of the day was from the ferry boat hand, as we were getting on the ferry to go home. "We will take you home, but you can not sit anywhere that has fabric." We even had people trying to sneak pictures of us on their iphone. We were, "those people." It was a blast though, and memories were made.
What is something you have done, and been "those people?"
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Currently Brisbane is spending a lot of money to make many free events. If you haven't heard, Brisbane is hosting the G20 convention next month. I say, if you haven't heard, because we hear something about it every day. If it isn't something about the G20 cultural celebration, city being closed for the event, buses being rerouted, trash cans being taken away, or someone griping about how much money is being spent, here lately people would have nothing to talk about.
Josh and I have decided not to gripe and just enjoy three weeks of free events, all about colour, (the Australian way to spell color). The first event we did was Colour Me Brisbane. The town is lit up all different colors for three weeks.
While walking around looking at the city, there were dance shows scattered throughout They were really good dancers and very enjoyable to watch. Also, throughout the city people were walking around town dressed up, they were just there to talk, and be the G20 Cultural Ambassadors.
I am not going to lie, I felt like we were in district 1 in Hunger Games. I was waiting for someone to say, "May the odds ever be in your favor," or someone to come through riding a chariot on fire singing, "This Girl is on Fire." Thankfully none of that happen, but as you can see for the pictures the costumes were pretty out there.
Now for the best part of the whole night. We figured out that people were controlling the lights. You could go to this little Kiosk pick the color, the pattern, and the effects of the lights all for free.
I lit it up red and blue for U.S.A. There was no white option. It was pretty neat, and explained why everything was changing ever 30 seconds.
After we walked abound and enjoyed everything we went and had dinner at a chicken place called, Nando's. Now it wasn't a Chick fil A, by any means, but it was really good. All in All the night cost us $23.00 for food, that's all. In Australia, that's a pretty good night. Thumbs up G20 committee. Of course with all that concrete, I had to take some nature pictures throughout the night.
What color would you have lit up the bridge?
I did not realize that Pumpkin Carving was an American tradition. What did we have to do in Australia? Teach them how to carve! So we had a party.
I went to Kikki.K, an expensive store that was having a great sale. I got all the paper goods for under $20.00. As she handed me the receipt she said, "you saved $46.00." Like I said an expensive store with a good sale.
Of course a pumpkin carving party would not be complete without pumpkin food. We had pumpkin mac and cheese, pumpkin pie, pumpkin dip, and pumpkin seeds. I did have a couple of things that were not pumpkin, incase they hated pumpkin. None of the recipes were mine, so I can tell you they were really good. The only thing I had to change was can pumpkin. They don't sell that in Australia. I had to cook the pumpkin fresh, which isn't that hard, and tasted great.
After we ate, we started the pumpkin carving competition. Now, don't worry they did come with the, "big guns." They all brought their own carving tools, one brought their dental tools, and another brought a dremel saw. They had to be creative with their tools. Since they do not really carve pumpkins in Australia they did not have the carving kits.
While we waited on everyone to get finished with their pumpkins everyone played with the photo booth. My friend Courtney helped with this. She went on pinterest and found props, printed them, and glued them to sticks. She also made the cute banner and came up with the # for everyone to post their pictures.
I would say everyone did really well. Most of these pumpkins were carved by first time carvers.
Now, some people may be wondering, why is pumpkin carving so special to me? Years ago, my GrandVol started a tradition with us grandkids. Carving a pumpkin every October. Now, anyone that has been around me for very long, knows I love my GrandVol. He has been gone since 1996, so anything we can do to carry on his traditions, I do.
When GrandVol would carve pumpkins we would have to do the "Pumpkin Dance." Which was everyone line up around the pumpkin and dance around in a circle. I haven't shared that tradition with everyone. I can't let everyone know how crazy my family is, but we made our own version. A competition.
When my cousins and I were in college we would have a competition every year. The competition has continued and now spreading around the world.
What is a family tradition that you like to share?
WE FOUND SOMETHING FREE TO DO IN BRISBANE!
Yes, that does deserve all caps!
The Brisbane Clock Tower at Brisbane City Hall. This is a free tour that leaves from the third floor of city hall all every 15 minutes. When I say leave, I mean the small cage elevator from 1927 that is at capacity at 8 goes up every 15 minutes.
It is first come first ticket though, so you might want to plan ahead. We didn't. We played in the kid area, while we waited forty-five minutes to go up. Don't worry, we didn't embarrass anyone, no one was around. Everyone else just stayed in the waiting room/store like good boys and girls.
All about making memories, right?
While boarding the old elevator she assured us all the parts were new, and the elevator had been evaluated during the evaluation making City Hall the safest building in Brisbane CBD.
Facts we learned: back in the day, people could see the biggest clock face in Australia from 7k away. The point at the top of the clock tower was suppose to be the angel of peace, but they ran out of money. They hired a plumber to do the creation, and practically gave him no money. He made the globe looking statue out of a bed post, old caldron, lamp post, and toliet parts. Talk about high class, but hey it looks good. Shabby Chic maybe?
Yes, it took time, but we got to see a different view of the city for free. We were happy.
What are some free gems you have found in your city?
On a recent trip to explore more of Australia we went to Noosa Heads.
There were trails everywhere to walk and enjoy God's beauty.
Josh woke me up at 3:00 am. We drove to Noosa to see the sunrise.
We got to see a koloa, whales, and dolphins while walking around. There really isn't many words that can explain this great day.
The entire day I kept singing in my head.
Awesome day! Wonderful place that will leave you speechless.
HA! yet another cliche Americans think about Aussies. One small problem, Australians call shrimps prawns, but Americans do have the barbie part right. We are really trying to embrace the local culture.
Since we have no backyard, a normal Southern American tradition, we have been looking for new, city traditions. A BBQ at the park with church people, sounded like a good start. We got together with some people after church on Sunday for a BBQ in New Farm Park.
The problem with not having a car though is you do not have anywhere to put all that "stuff" you would haul to a picnic. This was our "stuff" we hauled in our backpacks to church then New Farm.
The funny thing is no one brought things to BBQ. All the parks have grills you can use for free throughout the park. One of my expat friends, Courtney mentioned seven layer dip the other day. I had been wanting it ever since. I brought all the things and we made it on our quilt.