05 April, 2007

What I did on my vacation... part 1!

We had a great time at the Gold Coast. Caught up with family, did a couple of theme parks and did a teensy bit of shopping.

So to start with, we flew to the Gold Coast on the Monday. Chickie's been in a plane before but he was much younger, so I wasn't sure how he'd go. He's an active kid usually and I thought he'd be really bored for the flight. I didn't want that to happen so I (over) prepared. We borrowed J's mother's portable dvd player, I had a couple of new colouring in books, a new book (Cat in the Hat) and a small toy (a Cars car). He ended up watching a dvd for most of the flight so it actually went pretty quickly.

From there my mum and dad met us at the airport. They'd been on holidays for a week already (staying with my sister and her family south of Brisbane). They then drove us up to my uncle's place where we stayed the night. They live on the Sunshine Coast just near Australia Zoo and we were planning on going to Australia Zoo on the Tuesday, then drive back to the Gold Coast to check into the apartment.

I haven't seen my aunt and uncle for quite some time. I lived with them for a couple of months while I was doing a radio course back in the early 90's, so it was good to catch up. It was quite funny seeing Chickie running around the yard (they have a huuuuge back yard) and trying to get the dogs to play with him. They have two pretty elderly dogs and Chickie was trying to get them to run along with him. They followed him around - only at a very sedate walking pace.

While we were up that way, mum and dad drove us past the house we lived in when I was little. I have vague memories of it - painting on the shed down the back, a dog we had called Mitzi (I thought her name was Mincey and only discovered it was actually Mitzi when I was a teenager), and I vividly remember a black vinyl couch with bright purple cushions.

Then Tuesday we went to Australia Zoo. We saw the crocodile show plus a few others (my personal favourites were the otters). Chickie had great fun playing on this big wooden crocodile there. At one stage he climbed in the crocodile's mouth and waved his feet around pretending he was being eaten. J did get a photo but it was a bit dark and you can't really see much. Chickie got a kick out of seeing this crocodile because he's seen it in the Wiggly Safari dvd.

I'd decided beforehand that I'd buy Chickie a small souvenir from each theme park and so from Australia Zoo he chose a rubber snake. What is it with boys and snakes? He's got two toy snakes now. Not to mention, we've got a very good photo of him moving his finger up the glass window of a snake display and the snake following his finger. brrr... I'd post the photo but I'd rather not show photos with Chickie's face for now.

After a pretty full day at the zoo, we drove back to the Gold Coast and checked into our apartment. I'd organised a 3 bedroom apartment at a town called Labrador. We stayed at Sandcastles on the Broadwater.

J and I had the main bedroom upstairs, mum and dad the second downstairs and Chickie had a room to himself downstairs. I felt a bit guilty taking the main bedroom, though I'm pretty sure mum would have been complaining about the stairs after a day or two.

The main bedroom had it's own ensuite and balcony with private spa and a lovely view. If you haven't seen the pics yet, check them out here (I've set up Picasa Web albums as well as Flickr and prefer Picasa since you can organise them quite easily - thanks for the tip dogbait!). I've added photos of the apartment for holly & scolly mainly, since they're looking at a holiday at the Gold Coast too (and most of the accommodation websites have very few good photos of the rooms).

The apartment was quite self contained with laundry facilities in a cupboard. We didn't use them though, what was more handy to us was a full kitchen. There was no way I wanted to be in a hotel for a week and having to eat out every night. Our dishwasher didn't work though. It sounded like it did but it turned out that the motor/water pump was broken and though it generated plenty of steam, no water actually touched the dishes etc. I haven't washed dishes in the sink for a looong time.

The apartment complex also had a lovely big pool and heated spa, as well as a games room (you had to pay to play so I doubt it gets used much), a large bbq area and a mini-gym. The gym was pretty cool actually (yes, I did exercise while I was away - not very regularly mind you, but some). Some machines I'd never used before. If I had the money and space I'd get a few different machines.

On the Wednesday, we took it easy. My sister came down to visit and we had a look around a few shops. We didn't buy anything but some groceries (dinner, munchies etc). I found a bead shop that I could have gone mad in but thought better of it. I have so many different beads already and don't seem to find the time to do as much as I'd like. Then there were the different beading magazines. Cool, but magazines like these are so expensive these days.

The next few days we did Dreamworld and Seaworld, but I'll post about those tomorrow. I need to get to bed!


carmelo said...

I need to go to Auz...

My float said...

Sounds like a fantastic holiday. I'm quite curious about Australia Zoo. We went to Mooloolaba last year, before Steve Irwin died, and we decided against going because I thought it would be too touristy. Then Steve died, and we got Wiggly Safari, and it actually looks quite good so I'm a bit regretful about that.

Self contained is the way to go once kids are in the picture! As for the gym, don't you find that you're more enthusiastic about exercise when you're away from home? Oh, maybe that's just me!

Looking forward to more reports...

Tracey Petersen said...

It sounds like you were very busy on your holiday! No wonder you came home tired- bet it feels like a good tired though!

caramaena said...

carmelo - there's lots to see and do :) You should come visit one day.

my float - did you go to Underwater World at Mooloolaba? I went to that years ago and loved it. I was toying with the idea of going again. I'm sure Chickie would have loved it too, but we had plenty to fill the time we had.

I'm not sure that enthusiastic about exercise is a phrase you can really apply to me (terminally lazy is more applicable hehe) but I did want to try to keep up with some exercise since I was sure my eating would be a bit out of control.

tracey - we were very busy, but I'm pretty sure Chickie getting up at 5.30 every morning had a lot to do with it too ;)

Holly & Scolly said...

Looks great Carameana, thanks for the info!