I bet your thinking that Mischievious Mum (me) went M.I.A? Well I am back. I have to admit that I did have a mini holiday and I found myself thinking about my blog and what I wanted to do with it! My mind was going crazy – I wrote many of my ideas down on paper – and I am still adding to the list! First of all, however, I am going to tell you the quick version of my week away…well not quite a week.
The Microsoft Tech Ed conference was back again for another year down on the Gold Coast. We love the Tech Ed conference as we pull the kids out of school for the few days, and head down the Gold Coast. Along with thousands of other computer based ‘Big Bang Theory Computer People’. Its a real computer related ‘Big Bang Theory’ fun fest, just as you can imagine.
Dion goes off to conference each day, and the kids and I have a fun week exploring the Gold Coast. Our adventure started Tuesday, and sadly came to an end late this afternoon. There is something about the Gold Coast that brings so much joy to us as a family. I am deeply in love with the fun and the lifestyle one could have down there, and I often find myself wanting to live down there more and more.
At this time we are committed on the Sunshine Coast, but in the future I would love to think that living on the Gold Coast is a possibility! But, if we can’t do that – I want to at least own a unit down there that we can use on a regular basis, and if we aren’t using it, I can offer it to my brothers and their families. Anyway, back to our time on the Gold Coast.
Tuesday afternoon we arrived, found our apartment and dropped Dion off at the conference, the kids and I headed toward the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre. We did a quick grocery shop for the week and then we headed back to the apartment. We were eager to get back to the apartment as Jaden was getting very cranky, and he did end up falling asleep in the car on the way back.
We stayed at the Breakfree Neptune Apartments at Broadbeach. We were sucked back into the early 1980’s…! The Gold Coast has improved on many levels since the 1980’s, but the Breakfree Neptune was very much stuck there. We had a great time down on the Gold Coast. Its amazing that advertising laws are not more strict…..lets just say that if you go to the Breakfree Neptune website, the pool looks inviting and lovely and large. The reality is that the pool is small. In fact the whole pool area is tiny. Basically, it was a square – 4 metres by 4 metres and not at all like the lush pool advertised on the website. Now, its important to acknowledge that the resort was stuck in the 1980’s and the pool was nothing like the website photos, but when it came to the kids, we decided to teach them a lesson in appreciation. What did we have to appreciate in this instance. Well, that’s easy, we appreciated that we had a place to stay for the week, and we appreciated we didn’t have to pay, and we appreciated that we could have a great time on the Gold Coast, and we appreciated that Dion could walk over to the convention centre each day and evening. I am not sure how long we can get away with it, but stuffing 6 people into a small unit is becoming a little bit difficult. Doable, but difficult.
Again, I have gotten distracted.
On Wednesday morning we were up early, and because we were on holidays and eager to explore the Gold Coast, the kids and I didn’t realise that we were in the car by 8am. Dion had left for the conference, and we found ourselves at a loss of what to do. We knew we were going to Sea World to use our passes, but we didn’t realise how early we were, and the thought of going back to the unit to watch television did not appeal to anyone, so we decided to go to the park. Now, it is important to say that this park is probably one of the best parks we have ever found – hands down, no question. It’s a gated park, called the Kurrawa park right near the surf club on the right hand side. Whoever designed this park did a fantastic job. The designer must have been a mum, as it has something for everyone and it caters for disabled children. It also has toilets right there in the design of the park, and a couple of drinking fountains. I am completely impressed by the thought that this person has had to cater for so many people and possible issues.
So from the park, we went to a nearby op shop store up in Mermaid Waters near SuperCheap and then had a quick look at the Cash Converters store. If you know me, you know I love op shopping and cash converter stores! Dion is off to a Mexican party on Saturday night so we needed to find something he could wear! As we walked into the op shop, Bethany spotted this beautiful Mexican hat….and it was made in Mexico for the grand price of $6 …I could not believe it – the hat is fantastic! This photo is of Bethy with the hat on…
We left the op shop happy that we had achieved our goal – we at least found a Mexican hat!
From there we spent numerous hours at Sea World. The highlight for the kids was the Castaway boat ride where they could wet people in other boats, and people on the shore line. It was fun to watch. Chanel, Jaden and I didn’t go on the boats on Wednesday, but we still got wet as we didn’t realise that where we were standing and waiting for the girls – was a wet area, and lets just say that we got saturated by these Japanese adult guys who thought they were extremely funny! I saw them kiel over in fits of laughter when they bombed us with water from their boats. Poor Jaden got such a fright as he got bombed. The kids had a ball at the Castaway boats, and because they were drenched we ended up leaving and going back to the apartments. We had spent many hours at Seaworld so we weren’t upset that we were leaving. The plan was to have dinner early, and then head out to the twilight markets.
The night lights of the Surfers Paradise strip are fantastic and I just so desperately want the ability to go and use the Gold Coast more often. The Twilight markets are on every Wednesday and Friday night start from 5:30pm and finishing around 9pm. Overall we had a fantastic day, and we really went from one activity to another. We left the markets at 7:30pm and made our way home. Jaden was literally snoring as I took him up to the apartment and tucked him into bed. I was going to write a brief update, but was literally too tired.
Thursday was a little slower, but we returned to Seaworld and again we had fun. I had told the girls that we would see the Dolphin show and then they could go back on the Castaway boats. One of the things I was annoyed about with regard to Seaworld is that they have these pool areas where kids would enjoy themselves, but you have to pay. Not if your a VIP gold member, or if your staying at the resort…but if your an ordinary family like us…we have to pay $5 per person to use the pools, OR, we can pay $50 for a Cabanna for the day! The Cabanna is a hut with two poolside chairs, a fridge and towels. The only thing missing is the margarita’s! I guess though when you have a family of our size, its going to cost $30 just to use the pools, if you could have your drinks and food refridgerated for the day its only an extra $20 for the Cabanna. That is if you want to spend an extra $20 at Seaworld
So we finally saw the Dolphin show and we thoroughly enjoyed that. Jaden was a little difficult as he really was past sitting in the pram and he really didn’t want to hold anyone’s hand, so you might say that he is really at that terrible two age. I don’t remember it being so hard with the girls, but I am sure they pressed my buttons too?!
Anyway, we survived the Dolphin show – just, and we flew over to the Castaway boats. The goal was to let the girls go crazy on the boats and then head home. As we got in the car we decided to get fish and chips for dinner and hit the beds. I couldn’t wait to have everyone in bed, so that I could have some down time. The activities of the week were catching up with the kids, so they were more than happy to shower/bath and head to bed.
Today is friday. We were going to pay for another night on the Gold Coast, but for some reason the Breakfree Neptune resort was fully booked. Not sure how or why, but it was. Maybe there were many people out there who wanted to reminisce the 80’s? We pulled out the stops this morning and packed the car up in record time, after learning that we had to check out. We were out by 9:40am and we had dropped Dion off at the Convention Centre on the way to ‘not really sure’. We now had no plan for the day. I was going to take the kids scootering, but now that we had our things in the boot, I felt apprehensive about leaving the car somewhere with no security, so I literally thought on my feet. What I knew for sure was that if we were going to do anything, I wanted to park somewhere there would have some security, so I took the kids to Australia Fair. I had hoped there was a bank…and there was, just not the one we bank with, I had money on me luckily, so I took the kids to see Madagascar 3…and boy was it funny – a worth while flick!
We grabbed a few things at Coles for an inexpensive lunch, and then headed into Surfers Paradise. The goal was to pick Dion up at 4pm outside the Convention Centre, so I needed to fill in 2 1/2 hours…which was very easy. We parked in the Paradise Centre car park, walked up Caville Ave to our bank, dealt with our little issue and returned to the Paradise Centre…we spent just over an hour at the best Time Zone fun area I have ever seen, raced into Woolies to get nappies and then we had to leave so that we would be on time to pick up Dion.
Dion’s exciting news was that he won a mobile phone – A new Nokia Lunium (I think its called). I had to laugh because he didn’t win it because he had worn this bright orange microsoft t-shirt from the conference – prizes were given to the guys for a variety of reasons, and one of them was if they had worn a particular shirt. As we waited for Dion to come out of the conference, I laughed as coming toward me were thousands of ‘Big Bang Computer guys’, about to flood the Broadbeach area. I had come to the home of geekville – the Convention Centre!
Well, I really hope Dion has the opportunity to go to tech ed next year. Did I mention how much we loved being on the Gold Coast!