Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Sweet Valentine

This year marks our first Valentine's Day together, so we decided to celebrate by doing something we had always wanted to do - take an early morning balloon flight!

Because I live in Australia, Valentine's Day arrives earlier for me than Keely. When I awoke on Valentine's Day, my darling greeted me with this beautiful video of our wonderful love before she retired for the day. Copy and paste this linky into your browser for a real love story:  http://tiny.cc/yifwp
The hours flew past for me until it was finally Valentine's Day in the UK. I didn't want my darling to have to wait until the end of the day for treats, so when she woke up I had some little things waiting for her:

Especially for my darling

I had also posted a card to her and she opened it up first thing that morning:

Keely with post from Australia!

When it was evening in the UK, I caught the Google Earth Jet from Queensland to pick Keely up from her home in beautiful Yorkshire. Before our return trip however, I took her in my arms and told her how much she meant to me and how much I loved her.

for my Sweet Valentine
We then caught the GEJ back to the RAAF Base Amberley in Brisbane, Australia to catch our hot air balloon flight. It was still quite dark when we arrived at Amberley but by the time we had been briefed on safety procedures and boarded the basket, dawn wasn't far away and the birds had begun to waken.

There were a number of balloons going up that morning but ours was the prettiest.

Keely & Thomas before take-off
We lifted off gently from the earth, climbing higher and higher until the Airforce Base was tiny below us. By that time the sun was just peeking above the horizon, and we could see for miles and miles. We headed West for a few minutes so I could show Keely the Toowoomba Range & Laidley Valley.

left Toowoomba Range; right Laidley Valley
But our first destination was in the other direction so we changed slip stream, turned our balloon around and headed East. We passed over our closest city, Ipswich, which is like a big country town. You can still get free parking in the centre of the city!

Ipswich City CBD, Queensland

The sun was well up by now; time for some breakfast! We watched the scenery unroll below us as we sipped chilled bubbly Pink Champagne and nommed on chocolates and delicious strawberries & cream.

Pink Champagne, Strawberry & Cream, Carob Chocolates
It didn't take long before we were at the very popular and touristy Gold Coast, the Mecca for sun worshippers, whale watchers and shoppers alike. Its skyline is unmistakable even from the air, and its beaches stretch for miles along the coast:

left Gold Coast beaches; right Whale Watching
I was anxious that the wind would carry us in the right direction for my surprise, and pretty soon my darling was exclaiming her delight and kissing me. I had arranged for a message to be written in the sand, just for her:

Miami Beach, Gold Coast - message to my darling
As we travelled up the coastline towards Brisbane, I produced a picnic basket full of my darling's favourite food (sossidges) which we nommed on and threw to the seagulls flying below us:

Picnic basket full of sossidges

Gradually the city of Brisbane came into view, and we could also see the Brisbane River winding its way inland. Of course I pointed out the famous cricket grounds, the Woolloongabba (the 'Gabba) to Keely:

clockwise from top: Brisbane City, Brisbane River, Woolloongabba Cricket Ground
The winds were favourable and so we decided to head a little bit further north to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, which isn't (quite) as touristy as the Gold Coast (south of Brisbane) and you can still find a patch of sand on the beach to call your own.
A Sunshine Coast beach
On our way we drifted slightly inland for the breathtaking view of the Glasshouse Mountains. These mountains (hardened molten plugs) are all that are left of volcanoes that have long since eroded away from this Great Southern Land:

Glasshouse Mountains QLD
We also passed over Australia Zoo, which used to be home of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. His widow Terri and kids Bindi & Robert still live at the Zoo and continue to work tirelessly for animals and conservation.

Australia Zoo: Home of Terri, Bindi & Robert Irwin
We turned our balloon East again to the Sunshine Coast beaches, and traveled up the coast past Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Noosa:

clockwise, top left: Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Noosa
Then, as time was slipping by, we turned our balloon towards the West, heading straight as the crow flies towards home. On the way we indulged in some very nommy ice cream desserts before touching down again at the Amberley airbase.

Sweets for the sweet

Our first Valentine's Day was simply wonderful and a day that I will remember and cherish all my life. Having escorted my darling back to her home on the other side of the world, I returned knowing that I am indeed the luckiest dog in all the world to have such a sweet valentine.


  1. Darling, thank you so much for a wonderful Valentines Day, every single minute of it was just perfect and such a wonderful start to our wedding week. I am so happy and excited and I love you so much xxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Princess, I had the best time ever on our balloon ride *kisses* This week is just going to get more exciting! I adore you, my angel xxxx

  3. That iz so romantikal you sweet luvbirds!

  4. wow! dat is so so romantic! what a wunderful display of true love. @tallulahsmom and me is so happy to knows yoo boff! Love Fresh Otis

  5. OMC That is the most romantic Valentines Day I've ever heard of. What a darling couple you make. It was nice seeing all the pictures of your wonderful country too since I'll never get there (sigh!)