If it weren’t for the beauty of Perth, we might not be here.
“That sounds like a… lie,” we hear you yell, but hear us out.
After a recent holiday to Perth, Western Australia, thanks to Hotels.com, our 90-year-old Pop, who is absurdly small and wears his pants just a little bit too high, told us a story.
You see, after a light plane trip from Rottnest Island to Perth, we sent our Pop a photo.
He’s a pilot, and there is precisely nothing that makes him more excited than planes.
It obviously took him 72 hours to receive the text message and somehow retrieve the photo, and another 48 hours to zoom in and see what we were actually doing, but once he did, he gave us a phone call.
More than 50 years ago, our Pop, with his signature moustache, was visiting Perth with his best friend.
He met a woman named Beryl whom he liked very much. But she was a little bit taller than him, and a little bit older than him, and he knew he’d have to work hard to win her over.
That’s when he whipped out a plane.
He flew her and her sister to Rottnest Island and back, over some of the most beautiful water on the planet, pointing out little pools that punctuate the island and a pink lake that’s so astonishingly clear from the sky.
And that’s when Beryl decided this little man, with his love of planes, might be something special.
Beryl is, of course, our grandmother.
Rottnest Island basically gave birth to us, and yeah, those are some pretty exceptional genes.
It’s no wonder we feel such an affiliation with our friends, the quokkas, who were waiting for us as we got off the ferry to Rottnest Island – where our unexpected journey to paradise began.
Quokkas are – for anyone who would like their day made – a very small, very cute, short-tailed wallaby, who are native to Western Australia AND THEY ARE ALWAYS SMILING BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO PREDATORS.
These animals, who love humans far more than we do, are a reason in and of themselves to visit Perth.
But Rottnest Island also happens to be a place that does not feel like it belongs in Australia. It's a mix between Croatia, Sardinia, the Greek Islands, and the Bahamas, except everywhere you turn there's a quokka asking how your day is going. It's ridiculous.
You can swim and eat and climb up to a lighthouse and bike ride and snorkel and it's a utopia everyone must visit before they die.
We also had the opportunity to fly in a light plane over Rottnest Island and back to mainland Perth - an experience that initially terrified us because plane, but also heights. But when the pilot encouraged us to open the window on our right and take crystal-clear photos of the landscape below, we were in absolute awe. Isn't this what travel is all about?
Back on dry, safe land in Perth, we discovered cafes and beaches, and relaxed in our very luxurious hotel.
There was also the chance to discover world-class wineries, like the one we visited, RiverBank Estate Winery, that are highly Instagrammable.
Perth represents everything good about Australia - the quietness, the friendly people, the dry heat, the laidback city and the weird souvenirs.
Even if you're the worst traveller in the world, which both of us happen to be, you cannot stuff this up. Well, we still managed to have a few unexpected twists and turns along the way.
Like the moment Clare freaked out when we met Fireman Cam from The Bachelorette because she always goes a bit weird when she's around really attractive people. But ultimately, he gave us excellent advice on what to do in his city, and even some goss about what's to come on Bachelor in Paradise.
Or the time we almost got on the wrong ferry to Rottnest Island, before finding the right one and being invited into the captain's seat and told some fun facts about how early settlers thought quokkas were actually huge rats. How very dare they.
There was also the realisation that at 27, Clare could barely ride a bike, and so fell over multiple times. But this gave Jessie great joy. Which is important.
Oh, and there was the moment the birds ate our lunch. But watching a very well-fed seagull make a run for it was worth it in comedic value.
BUT there was one thing that was impossible to mess up: the accommodation, thanks to the Hotels.com app, which found a hotel for us.
Peppers Kings Square looked after us, suggesting where to go, and even offering us massages in our hotel room as a reward for our very long day of indulgence.
It's the trip every Australian needs to take, and with Hotels.com, it's easier than ever. Cheers to the quokkas, Fireman Cam...and our Gran and Pop.
What's your connection to Perth? Share your stories or tips for your fave spots in the comments section below.
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