I packed up that morning and took the car out to the shopping center (driving alone in the left-side car on the left-side roads), intending to get a haircut. My hair was really raggy and hard to manage, and I hadn't been able to get one in Los Alamos before we left. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough cash to get the haircut, and for some reason, the ATM was refusing my debit card.
Bob helped me get the beer safely sent from the post office, wrapped in a protective chrysalis of bubble wrap and taped inside a second box. I sent it by sea, which was the cheapest route but still expensive, and was told to expect it in three months. Lynton was positive a sailor was going to break into it on the journey and drink it all. "You're wasting your time, girlie" he said.
One of their neighbors a street down had a huge poinsettia bush, which were not uncommon there. I asked the owner, who was gardening, if I could get his picture with it. He looked at his bare legs in disbelief and said "surely not?!," but I won him over.
We said our final goodbyes to the family, hopped in the cars, and drove up north. We passed through a neat town that afternoon called McLain, which has some heavy Scottish heritage and shows it by having every telephone pole in town painted with a different family tartan. I spotted the Morrison pole and got a picture of Bob and Tim in front of it, and got Jeni, Tyler, and Dee later when they arrived.
I'd also managed to check my email at some visitor's center a few minutes previous and discovered to my horror that the reason my debit card was being rejected was because it had been stolen. Someone in SW New Mexico a week before (probably in Silver City) had run my card through a scanner and stolen the numbers, and then run up thousands of dollars worth of purchases in East Coast Wal-Marts (SUCH an indignity). The FBI got involved and everything. I don't think the people were ever caught, and although I did get reimbursed, it wasn't until after the trip.
We kept driving. I saw some emus by the side of the road, but still no kangaroos. I'd also read that Australia likes big fiberglass things (such as the Big Banana), which proved to be true. We saw a Big Prawn and some other large thing I've forgotten.
We arrived at the lovely resort that evening (Royal Terranova) in Tweed Heads. It was located at the top of a hill in a very nice residential neighborhood. We had a view of the ocean to the east, pastoral fields to the south (we could hear cows in the morning), and a fantastic view of Mt. Warning to the West (the same Mt. Warning in the movie Fern Gully).
We went out for dinner in the nearby town of Coolingatta, and stopped at a nice restaurant called Raffles. I was lucky enough to get a nice bit of flan for dessert. I seem to recall Tim getting a big steak and then going off for a second dinner with Devon and Jeni.
We all settled in for bed. Bob and Dee had the big king-sized bed in the bedroom, Tyler and I had two twin Murphy beds in the living room, Devon and Jeni had a double bed in the adjoining apartment, and Tim slept next to them on another Murphy bed. The rooms were very nice and spacious, and we had lovely balconies with views. Unfortunately, the resort's very nice pools (I think one was salt water) were unheated, and their one hot tub was kept at such a cool temperature (due to some health thing) that Devon and Jeni and Tim were unpleasantly surprised by it that evening when they tried it. We all had large jacuzzis in the bathrooms, though, so we didn't suffer by any means.