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Saturday, April 7, 2012

March 22 - April 6, 2012 – Brisbane, The Spencers, Frankie Valli, and The Gabba

Frank looked at me after breakfast and declared that today we would begin running to get ourselves in shape for running with the Hash. I laughed and said we certainly do not have to get in shape to run with the Hash House Harriers! But in his mind we do and he will not settle for walking or not being able to run the entire course next time. We designated the run/bike/walking trail from Dockside Marina, around the end of Kangaroo Point and down to Southbank as our training ground. Amazingly that first day I couldn't believe I ran (jogged) the entire way. We think it is approximately 5km. On completion we waded into the pool at Southbank rather I waded; Frank fully dunked himself. Then we had lunch at one of the local cafés before walking back. We made a circuitous route of it, walking the return, via Southbank trail as far as the steep stair climb up the climbing wall to The Cliffs café and then down to the Story Bridge and back over to Dockside. That night we realized we had pushed ourselves a bit much on this first attempt. Geez, I hadn't run since last July in Denver. We both popped a couple of Aleve's before going to bed. The next morning I stumbled out of bed and literally felt like I'd been clubbed from hip to toe. I could hardly move my legs. My motions were so herky-jerky I was immediately reminded of the scene from "Men in Black" of The Bug, who invaded the farmer's body. Oh my gosh, I was walking like him! Trying to walk just up the dock to the boardwalk was so painful and my legs so twitchy I looked like I'd never had legs attached to my body before.  All I could do was laugh at myself and wonder what other people must be thinking as they passed me by. Frank declared that the only way to deal with this is to run. So we set off again after breakfast, me jerking like I was having electro-shock therapy with every step. How could he just take off like that? He did. He set right off as though he hadn't a care in the world. I thought surely I was in better shape than him! Not in the legs, however, and so I jerked along behind him until, about 2/3 of the way I finally had to just try to walk for survival to the pools. This became our ritual for the next two weeks. I had to take a day off here and there to just walk, but we were getting our lard-asses moving which was the objective.

Saturday afternoon, Scott and Muriel picked us up for a big night out on the Gold Coast. We had tickets for the Frankie Valli show at the casino.  We arrived at the casino early for dinner before the show, and as we were standing around one of the foyers pondering our food choices, who walked right by us, but a tiny little man with big hair swept back from a tall forehead? Himself. I stood rooted staring at him gape-mouthed as Muriel said, "Well there's Frankie Valli, coming right at us!" I knew he was of small stature but never realized how frail he appeared at close range.  He had a spry step, however, as he passed me making direct eye contact probably wondering, "What's wrong with her mouth?"  We enjoyed an amazingly good show by him and his studly foursome of back-up singer dancers. Oh What a Night! He really got the crowd going, clever trick really so that he wouldn't have to hit the high notes, wink, wink. It was truly a memorable night and great fun to actually put on some heels and a black dress for a change.

The following week we met the Spencers and Will (Lauren's guy), for dinner at our new favorite Chinese place in West End. Then because we were planning to head out on Friday, we lunched with them again on Thursday.  During lunch, Frank and Muriel decided that because we had not yet seen a live Australian Rules Footy game at The Gabba, we had better stick around a little while longer to catch one. Muriel had gone online and found that Carlton would be playing the Brisbane Lions the following Thursday night. Although we are by nature of knowing these guys and the Wises, Collingwood fans we swallowed our pride to attend this match. It was worth the thrill of getting to be present at the Gabba, especially with these guys who are expert fans. Once again, although Carton just killed the Lions, we had such a wonderful time with Scott, Muriel and Lauren. When it was time to say goodbye and goodnight I choked up. We love them so, and seriously pray this is just "See you later".

On Good Friday, we departed Brisbane with deep sadness, and as we rode the ebbing tide out the Brisbane River we heard that faint click of yet another door closing behind us.

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