Straight Outta Launceston

Saturday, 11-10-2014. Day 52.

A 43-Minute Flight is Hardly a Flight at All

We got out of the Tamar Valley Resort as quickly as we could and headed to Sweetbrew in Launceston, a cute little shop on George Street with great coffee.

We had some time to kill before we had to be at the airport, so we walked around the city doing some shopping. We found a cute store called Smiggle that had a bit of a Sanrio vibe (don't be surprised if it shows up stateside someday), and Frankie picked out some goodies for her birthday. Then we looked for a toy shop so we could check out the selections of stuffed Tasmanian devils. The closest one we saw was a shop called Cool Things, but it wasn't open on Saturday—which seemed very odd.

On our way back to the car we happened to walk by the Old Umbrella Shop, the oldest shop in Launceston. Yes, they sell umbrellas. But they also had some—that's right—stuffed Tasmanian devils, and these were some swell looking stuffed critters. Jackie immediately selected one, and, once again we discussed what this choice meant. She seemed to get it, even after a few confirmations, so now we traveling with a Tasmanian devil and an alpaca.

Oh, and Samantha increased her growing tea towel collection by one. So far, I'm the only one who's not collecting anything ... except maybe beer, but I only rent that.

The topic of conversation on the way to the airport was what to name this new Tasmanian devil. After much debate and many great rejected names, Jackie named him Snout. So, meet Snout:

Snout. He's pretty cute.

Snout. He's pretty cute.

Flight to Melbourne

We returned the rental car and went through the usual airport routine (bag drop, security checkpoint, waiting at the gate) before we were heading back to Melbourne. After flying as much as we have (ten flights, plus an overnight bus ride and an overnight train ride) in 52 days, a 43-minute flight hardly counts. We were on the ground almost before we were in the air.

We got off the plane, got our luggage, and got the rental car—a Toyota Corolla Ascent. It was larger than the Hyundai i20 we drove in Tasmania, but it didn't have a much cargo room. Fitting all our suitcases in the hatch was a challenge. We ended up putting the duffel bag between the girls in the backseat, so they were still sort of cramped. It is worth noting that this was the newest car we'd driven on our journeys, so the ride was really smooth.

Smooth ride, bro.

Smooth ride, bro.

We immediately started off on an hour-long drive to Torquay, gateway to the Great Ocean Road—which we were going to be exploring the next day.

As it turns out, Samantha's friend Rob (we'd spent some time with him and his family in Melbourne) lives in Torquay, a short distance from the hotel where we were staying. After we'd checked in to the hotel and had some dinner, Rob and his family invited us over to their home for dessert. Rob met us at the hotel with his son Ed (who was quite taken with Frankie), and we walked a short distance to their house and enjoyed homemade molten chocolate cake that Rob's wife Pauline had baked in honor of Frankie's birthday. The cake was served with a side of ice cream. It was delicious.

After dessert, we adults talked like adults while the kids played together. It was a very nice evening.

The Demise of Valencia the Alpaca, Part III

At some point in the evening, Frankie gifted Valencia the alpaca to Ed. And here ends the ballad of Valencia the alpaca. May she enjoy a long and happy life.

Notable Statistics

  • iPadographers: 1
  • Kilometers driven in Tasmania: 15
  • Kilometers driven in Australia: 95
  • Hours on a plane: 1
  • Flavors of ice cream sampled: 4
Straight Outta Launceston
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