Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The day finally arrived and we dropped off our yellow labs, Rusty and Raven at our pet hotel and headed for the airport. The journey turns out to be as long as expected as we leave Norfolk and head for Los Angeles and wait for what seems a lifetime for our fourteen and a half hour flight to Australia's Gold Coast at Brisbane.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The drive from the airport to the coast is a short half hour or so. Surprisingly we lost a day or so after we crossed the international dateline! Quantas took very good care of us and the flight was terribly long but we made it. When we get to the Breakfree Diamond Beach Resort, we are greeted by numerous pools and are just a few short steps from the beach. I rush down to see the surf and it is just barely rideable but am too jet lagged to paddle out. I am confident it will be ridable tomorrow and my new 6' 2" fish I rented was waiting for me at the hotel. The weather is surprisingly cool here, much like Santa Barbara. You definitely need a sweat shirt on in the morning and evenings since it is their winter down under.
Our accommodations are surprisingly nice with a full kitchen and the pool areas have lots of barbecues to cook on. We pretty much spent the day walking the streets and admiring the tall buildings where it seems every architect had his idea of what "Wow Factor" is and created their version of it with little or no regard to unity in the landscape. The skyscrapers are so tall, that they actually have a monorail running through some of them so you can get around. I feel as if the have put Miami into Australia. The sheer abundance of huge buildings is overwhelming and while I stand amazed architecturally at their scale, I also feel sad for the environment at the same time.
Friday, July 17, 2009
We have Broadbeach School just across the street from our hotel. I was told that they all wear uniforms and it really keeps down on the discipline. If they can't afford one, they are given one. This way there is no class prejudice since they all wear the same thing and therefore are on the same level.
I finally got into the water for a surf but it was pathetically flat. The chances of coming to the worlds best surf destination and getting no surf is slim to none, but apparently, I am destined to be surfless this entire trip!
One of the coolest buildings here is called "The Wave" and understandably so. It is all wavy and very tall. They allowed us to go up to the top floor and take some pictures and the view was impressive! We could see the Pacific Fair Mall that has over 300 stores, the coliseum, the casino, and just about everything else for miles.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Today we took a cab to the Carerra Market and did some shopping. It was very much like Williamsburg Pottery however, it was much larger! Not too much authentic stuff though. A lost of Australian stuff made in China for Australia, but still, interesting stuff. There were however some very nice made in Australia brands that we loved.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Today we took a cab down the coast to Burleigh Heads which was very crowded and very small surf so we opted to go to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and good thing we did. They let us hold a Koala Bear, feed kangaroos and emus in the open, and had tons of wild birds and exotic reptiles. They had an impressive nocturnal exhibit but our favorite had to be the Koalas. They just hang out all day and eat eucalyptus leaves and look very cute.