Friday, April 13, 2012

Faith. Hope. Love: Chapter Twelve

My coworker’s room had an ocean view. Mine did not but that was okay with me. It faced a courtyard and lodging on the opposite side however if I leaned forward a tad and turned my head to the right, I could see the water. The patio emptied out to a footpath which ran the length of “The Esplanade” street. On the opposite side of which was the shore line then the Coral Sea.

“The Esplanade” was lined with restaurants and shops leading to the wharf. “The Pier” shopping was filled to the brim with stores overflowing with swimsuits and sarongs. I found a blue and white two piece, halter top number that tied at each hip and a kangaroo wrap around the size of a blanket towel with tassels at the ends. (I also brought with me a black, one piece with lace at the top and low cut legs.) I was ready to get this vacation started.

Waking up in Australia was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. Each morning was reminiscent of a jungle or an aviary filled with a multitude of birds all calling at the same time like a lunchroom filled with chattering people. (Though I have to say, I do not recall it as well in Queensland than New South Wales (NSW).) The loudest, in my opinion, were the Cockatoos and the most distinctive were, of course, the Laughing Kookaburra!

Whether it was five or six o’clock in the morning I welcomed the twitter as it filtered through the window into my room. It filled my ears like a breath of fresh air would my nostrils. It was music and pure delight. The Laughing Kookaburra was my favorite (while in NSW). Sometimes I would look out the window and catch him sitting on the neighbor’s roof. “Shoo!” I would tell him. “Come back at a better hour.” But to be honest, I truly did not mind. I loved his cackling song.

Normally I do not mention the names of businesses while writing however, during my travels in Asia and Australia there were two that have a special place in my memories. The foremost is “Johnny Rockets” and the second is “7- Eleven”. The latter will come into play in Taipei. The former I stumbled upon for the first time at “The Pier”. Originally, I thought this establishment could only be found in Australia but have since discovered it in multiple locations in the United States including Daytona Beach, FL and at a hotel/casino just outside Albuquerque, NM. (I think it is actually an American restaurant.)

My draw to this place is not necessarily the food (it is a hamburger, fries, and shakes joint) but rather the ambience. The friendly, inviting staff welcomes you as you breeze through the door and grab a seat in the comfortable surroundings. A little jukebox is on every table and at each booth. The servers dress the part from head to toe (complete with paper short order cook caps). I feel as though I am going to bump into Alice, Vera, or Mel. Or that Flo is going to come to our table and say to us, “Kiss my grits.” I order a vanilla shake and grab a straw from the dispenser. When I lift the lid they fan out as if to show me the entire selection from which to choose. I ask for melted cheese on my fries because that is how I roll. Perhaps I will get a glass of water or crisp soda pop after I finish my shake. The chef salad I ordered comes fresh, crunchy, and vibrant with color. The ranch dressing is creamy and gentle against my tongue instead of bitter like some companies serve. The plump smell of cooking hamburgers flits about and would make my mouth water if I liked burgers…especially ones shrink wrapped with oozing, warm cheese.

Faith Hope Love: Chapter Twelve
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