Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Travel: Gold Coast Day 8

Our last day on the Gold Coast. We have had the best time. We head into the main area of Surfers Paradise one last time for souvenirs and our flight doesn't leave until the afternoon. We take the typical tourist photo.

We check out and make our way back to Coolangatta airport. We board our plane.

And head back to Sydney.

I should have kept a tally of the costs, but I didn't. I'd say all up we spent about $4500, but that includes flights, accommodation, car hire, entrance fees and food for the five of us. We ate out every night and while I took sandwiches and fruit with us for lunch, we always seemed to end up buying more. You can do this trip much cheaper, but however you do it, you'll have some amazing memories to look back on.

Check out the rest of the days:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 & 6
Day 7

Friday, June 17, 2016

Travel: Gold Coast Day 7

Today Kate, Luke and I head back to Movie World as this was their favourite park. Steve and Amy decide to go to the beach and Timezone. We head over to the Wild West flume ride to see if it's open. It is and there's basically no line. We get straight on and I have to admit, it's a fantastic ride.

After this ride, Kate makes it her mission to go on the Scooby Doo ride as many times as she can. She cracks ten times.

And somehow in all this madness, I get her to come on the Arkham Asylum with me. She kept her eyes closed the whole way, but she still did it.

Afterwards we duck into Sea World as Kate lost her hat there on our first day. We have half an hour to spare so we decide to make the most of it and Luke and I ride the Storm Coaster five times in a row. Awesome.

Dinner that night is the most expensive meal we have had. We go to Bazaar at QT, an all you can eat buffet that will cook you anything you want. I think I got my money's worth eating the Balmain Bugs and prawns. It was delicious and we almost had to roll back to Q1.

This is our last night before we head back home. I don't know if we are ready to go home.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Reading: TIME on the new app

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and TIME.

I was at the airport yesterday on my way home from Adelaide as I was there for work. Of course I was killing time in the newsagency/bookshop before my flight. I picked up a copy of TIME Magazine and had a flick through it. I am a long time reader of TIME. When I was in year 10, I needed to complete an assignment that collated health articles out of newspapers and magazines. I came across TIME as part of this assignment and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve never been interested in gossip magazines and so when I do buy magazines, I will go for either TIME or a science magazine. I find the topics so much more interesting and the best part is I’m actually learning things! Things I have contributed to actual adult conversations!

When I started using Twitter, TIME was one of the very first accounts I started following. I had no idea how Twitter worked and so I just did some random searches of things I was interested in and TIME popped up and I started following them. I have since downloaded the new TIME app onto my iPad, and checked out the free issue. It was from July 2015, the Answers Issue.

I have to admit that I’ve even stopped checking out certain news sites on the web. I find these sites full of celebrity stories that have zero impact on my life. Sometimes it feels like these pieces are written just to fill a quota of articles or with specifically designed content to ‘go viral’. I am uninterested. I want articles on people, on places, on world-wide events that mean something. I want in-depth and factual information of world events and issues. This is what I am interested in. This is what I am passionate about.

This is such a cool edition as it has the articles I know and enjoy, as well as some really cool infographics. The app has interactive pages, so when you touch the + signs on the plane for example, additional information pops up. Turns out we should be sitting at the back of the plane.

Seriously, the app is great, it features all the normal print articles and sections, but it even comes with bonus digital content, which includes audio of the articles, which is great for me as I love to listen to podcasts while I craft. There’s also videos and interactive content. It’s taken TIME to a totally new level. You really have to check out this YouTube video as I can’t explain how awesome this app is in words (well, I can, but we’ll be here all day): or on this Vimeo link:

And because TIME wants everyone to experience and explore the world of what quality journalism is (I’m looking at you, click baiters!), they are now offering a 65% off subscription deal until the end of June, get it here!  Steve’s got his big 4-0 birthday coming up and I know exactly what I am going to get him as he loves TIME as well! I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read my blog, so he’s not going to find out. And I know who’s going to be more excited, me!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Travel: Gold Coast Days 5 & 6

We had kept an eye on the weather all week and timed these two days accordingly. Friday was meant to be hot while Saturday had a forecast of rain. 

So on Friday we once again head out to the theme park area and go to Wet n Wild. Now since you are basically running around in your swimmers all day, you don't keep your belongings on you, so needless to say, I took very few photos on the day. They have a wrist band that you load money onto and that is what you use to buy food and drinks throughout the day. It's a great idea.

These two photos were taken on the Calypso Beach ride where you just floated around and around. It was awesome and importantly, Amy was enjoying it!

Luke and I decided to go on the Aqua Loop, the ride where you're in a capsule and the floor falls away and you free fall up to 60km/hr apparently. Well, we get to the front of the line and there's a weight restriction so Luke isn't able to go on it as he is too light. I figure, I may as well go on it and I can tell him about it. He's probably lucky he didn't go on it. It wasn't fun. It wasn't terrifying or anything, it just wasn't fun having water sprayed into your face for the entire ride. Next.

All up, I think we ended up going on every ride. I really think Wet n Wild is my favourite park out of the three that we have visited.

Dinner that night was Pancakes on the Rocks,

Saturday is teeming with rain, so we head up to the outlet stores at Harbour Town. There are bargains to be had, Amy got a pair of Adidas sneakers for $30, but you do need to look for them. not all the store appear to be outlet stores. But we still enjoyed out shopping trip.

That night we eat Italian and for the kids, there's a clown for entertainment. He made Luke a sword and Kate and Amy a dog each. Wow, Amy looks so tired in this photo!

After dinner, we go 10 pin bowling! And there's Amy again as every one else refuses to be in my photos. Humph.

Only one more day left.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Travel: Gold Coast Day 4 (part 2)

After Australia Zoo, we thought we would go back to see Glass House Mountains as we saw the turn off on the way to the zoo. It didn't take too long to get there. The red car on the left is our hire car.

The rock formations are really fascinating.

We didn't stay here too long as there really wasn't much to do after you looked at the mountains. Steve suggested that while we were in the area, we might as well go and see the Big Pineapple. We were very surprised when we got there as neither of us knew that it had closed down! That was a little disappointing, but at least we could still get a photo with it, especially because it was a bit of a trek up from the Glass House Mountains.

At least there was no one else to get in our photo, I guess.

We then start the drive back to the Gold Coast and of course we catch the afternoon peak, so out drive back takes a while. We decide to go the sushi train restaurant at Q1 for dinner as Steve and the kids love sushi.

After dinner we head up to the grocery store and while we're there, we check out Timezone. Oh how many hours did I spend as a kid at Timezone?

And we slept really well that night.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Travel: Gold Coast Day 4

Be ready for a photo heavy post!

Today we drove up to Beerwah to go to Australia Zoo. It was in peak hour traffic so it took ages. Now, Australia Zoo is pretty expensive to enter, however, when you actually get into the park, you can see exactly where your money goes. This is an excellently maintained zoo with fantastic enclosures. The zoo is just so clean and we were lucky it was drizzly because visitor numbers were quite low.

Amy got to hold a blue tongue lizard.

We got to pat kangaroos.

We got up close and personal with a koala.

There were some amazing decorative pieces that tied in well with the Bengal Tiger enclosure.

We saw the safari animals.

And some animals hitching a ride.

We got to have a ride on a camel.

And we ended up with way too many of these types of photos.

We also saw a bunch of crocodile shows. The main arena show was amazing and I highly recommend it. It pays such a lovely tribute to the late Steve Irwin. Well worth the drive and I think this is my new favourite zoo.

I think I'll leave the second part of day 4 for another post.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Travel: Gold Coast Day 3

It's tough waking up to this view every morning...

So after our super fun day yesterday, it was a no-brainer that we would choose to check out Movie World! It's a bit more of a hike to get there, but as we have the car, it's all good.

First up, Luke and I go on the Superman ride while Kate patiently waits and Steve and Amy check out the kids area. FYI: Luke can scream pretty loudly.

Kate really wants to go on the Scooby-Do ride and it's a big wait, about 30 mins, but as it's inside, it's not too bad. Steve and Amy are still in the kids area as Steve gets vertigo so he's not interested in going on the rides and Amy is just too scared.

After the Scooby ride, we all go to the kids area and go on the rides. We keep trying to get a photo with Scooby and Shaggy but they never stopped for a photo. Lucky Porky Pig and Foghorn Leghorn were more obliging!

After a few rides (I didn't take many photos as we were too busy going on rides!), we head over to the Wild West flume ride, It's closed. Bugger. But there's a photo wall and we decide to pose for some photos.

After a few more rides, we find a good spot to view the parade. It's nice just to sit down and rest the legs after standing in lines all day.

One last ride on Scooby-Do and Amy wanted to go on it. We tried telling her she wouldn't like it, but she wouldn't hear of it. Needless to say she near had a panic attack halfway through and vowed not to go on any more rides.

No dinner photo tonight, we ended up at Pancakes on the Rocks.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Travel: Gold Coast Day 2

Before we left for our trip, I had bought a 7-day holiday pass for entry into Sea World, Wet n Wild, and Movie World. Our biggest decision this morning was picking which park we would go to first. We decided that since Sea World was closest to where we were staying, we would check it out first.

We start off by checking out the penguins. I love penguins. I could watch these guys all day. But alas, there's much more for us to see and do.

We then explore the park. The Creatures of the Deep were really cool. They freaked the kids out a little at first though as they are interactive and they weren't expecting them to move!

Then off to the touch pool and aquarium.

Afterwards we went to Castaway Bay and we had the best time here. In fact, all the adults we saw were having such a fun time blasting water at each other. We ended up soaked through, but it was so hot that it didn't matter.

Luke and I then decided we needed to go on some rides. Firstly we went on Jet Rescue. I thought this would make me feel sick, but surprisingly, it didn't! After we went on the Storm Coaster, which was awesome. While we were doing these, Steve, Kate and Amy were at Nickelodeon Land.

And then they went on the little roller coaster. Amy was scared and vowed not to go on any more coasters.

The line for the log flume was huge all day but in the afternoon the line was quite short so Luke and I decided to go on it as no one else wanted to. Truth be told, it was really disappointing and I wouldn't bother going on it again.

Luke and I ended the day with a selfie with the best character, Patrick.

And the day was topped off with a yummy dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.