Typical Gemini, with the concentration span of a gnat & not one for sitting still. My old Da used to say that "you're a long time dead". So my mantra is get busy living.Please join me for more at
Published January 4th 2016
Drive on the Wildside and get off the Motorways
It is both interesting, and frightening, to acknowledge that there comes a certain stage in life when you find yourself channeling your parents. That scenario grabbed me by the throat today when we did something totally out of the ordinary.
What did we do today that was so confrontational? We went for a Sunday drive. A Sunday drive, as in falling into the family vehicle with no predetermined destination and no road maps nor electronic driving direction devices to help us get there.
Do you remember taking Sunday drives back in the days when Sunday drivers were the scourge of society? My parents used to pack a thermos of coffee. Thank goodness that thought never even crossed my mind!
What are Sunday drives all about?
They used to be that designated time of the week when families would spend time together exploring new places and doing new things. Simple things like packing a picnic lunch and rug and driving till you found an inviting parkland with an area for the adults to relax, and some play equipment or a creek for the kids to explore.
Today's aimless amble across many Brisbane suburbs found us admiring front gardens in bloom, sticky-beaking at garage sales, finding fenced dog parks for future reference, as well as stopping at a fresh fruit market for fresh cherries whilst we cruised. We drove past a garden centre that has been added to my To Do List and stopped at a suburban bargain store that was full of different bits and pieces to those carried by the big chains in the shopping malls.
We drove into suburbs we had only ever heard of before, admiring many open green spaces with walking and playground equipment for families, and all with absolutely no plan nor direction. It was a fun day.
Brisbane is so lucky to be surrounded by so many varied suburbs : suburbs by the sea, semi rural suburbs, and suburbs rich with multicultural flavours. Each has different things to offer . It is just a matter of keeping your eyes, and heart, open to new and different experiences.
We travel everywhere with drinking water in the car, as well as personal insect repellant.
We finally pulled up with driver fatigue when we arrived at Ipswich, parking outside the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre, at 14 Queen Victoria Parade, Ipswich.
It was great to stretch the legs and walk around the landscaped grounds. At the front of the building, by the roadside, is an interesting commemorative display to HMAS Ipswich , which delighted the ex Navy lad.
We then walked into the Information Centre which was airy and welcoming. Public facilities were spotlessly clean and it was a delight to browse the promotional brochures, books detailing local history, and other touristy bibs and bobs.
The Ipswich Visitor Information Centre has won awards for best Queensland organisation judged to have "the best integrated focus on the provision of services to visitors to a destination in 2011, 2013 and 2014."
This says a great deal about the volunteers who man this facility on a daily basis. A heads up to Wendy, who told us about local Queens Park where we were advised to have a coffee at the cafe in the parklands and enjoy a walk through the gardens.
Neither of us had been to Ipswich before. Driven around it, though never through it. Thanks to Wendy and her colleagues we came away with brochures and plans to revisit within weeks, intending to make a weekend of it, exploring the rich history of this city and its many grand old homes.
That's the beauty of a Sunday drive. You have no idea where the roads will lead you. So get off the motorways and explore the suburbs. You don't have to travel big distances - you don't even need a thermos! We've come away with our next mini holiday destination, as well as a new garden centre to visit.
Incidentally, if you are a member of an organisation or group and interested in day trips, if you organise your own bus, one of the knowledgeable folk from the Visitor Information Centre, will join you and provide you with a two hour commentary about the local history. The fee Wendy mentioned was modest and I would certainly recommend giving the team a call on (07) 3281 0555 or emailing on email@example.com for further information.