Remember how I said the boo and I came across a quiet beach by the name of Narrowneck Beach? It wasn’t really a deliberate find as it was really jammed up going to Surfer’s Paradise and I really wanted to go to a beach, so we just stopped by anywhere with proper parking. It was almost sundown and the weather was turning cold and windy. Strange how it got especially windy on our last two days.
August 28, 2013
We skipped the whole Movie World and Dreamworld theme park thing on our visit to GC. I was actually pretty much looking forward to going to Movie World even though everyone assured me that it was small and I shouldn’t expect too much – but seriously, taking pictures with Batman, Bugs Bunny, Marilyn and taking all the rides (those that don’t look too scary anyway) are tourist traditions.
Since we’ve been to the original Disneyland in Anaheim (or better known as the happiest place on earth literally) the boo and his parents decided that we should skip all the theme parks. Sea World was bought on a package deal with whale watching so we went for that instead.
August 26, 2013
Before going on my trip, I sat down and had a long talk with Jon on what were the things I should be doing there. Jon being Jon gave me all sorts of outdoors-y, nature recommendations such as: hiking, glow worm cave and whale watching. Whale watching was something I had noticed myself before but the price per person was pretty steep so I put it out of my mind. However, Jon gushed about how it was the highlight of his year and that we just had to go for it. Luckily for me, the boo’s parents were on the same wavelength and they bought the Sea World and Whale Watching combo ticket.
The day we went whale watching, the sun was high in the sky. Armed with my telephoto lens, I was in high spirits. The boat we were ferried it was a solid one with luxurious leather seats and large LCD screens where animated infographics were played during our journey out to sea.
August 23, 2013
On our third day, we headed to Lone Pine Sanctuary to look at what Australia was most famous for: koalas and kangaroos! Being at the sanctuary kinda reminded me of the time I went to KL Bird Park (except Lone Pine is colder, doesn’t smell like bird poop and there were just a little bit less feathers floating around everywhere).
We started off with the Birds of Prey show before walking around looking at other stuff.
August 21, 2013
Even in the middle of winter, beaches in Gold Coast are not to be missed because what makes Gold Coast famous are their sun, surf and sand so how could we miss out on at least the sun and sand even if we couldn’t surf? Gold Coast is built right next to a long stretch of unbroken beaches, so all you have to do is walk straight towards your left/right (depending which way you’re facing) and you’ll eventually reach a beach or coast at some point. The boo and I discovered this one afternoon by accidentally coming across a beach that was serene, quiet and wonderfully clean by the name of Narrowneck Beach, but that’s a post for another day.
Mermaid Beach is famous with surfers and even in winter there is no exception as the water is surprisingly and pleasantly warm when compared to the cold wind and sand on the beach. Only issue is after you’re wet from all that seawater and a breeze blows right through you, you can seriously get the chills! On our second day at GC, we made a trip to Mermaid Beach and made a beeline for their famous seafood.
Seafoods on Mermaid is located just a stone’s throw away from the beach and serves up a wide array of seafood choices. There’s a chiller at the counter where you can pick fresh oysters, mussels or calamari, salmon or prawns. The shop is pretty small with only three to four tables, so the boo and I ended up sitting outside and freezing in the cold. :(
Except it’s pretty pathetic for me to admit that I was freezing since the locals were dressed in a string vest/shorts/slippers combo and sitting outside like it was just another warm summer’s day while we were wrapped up in jeans, shawls and stockings.
More photos after the jump.
August 19, 2013
And so I have survived my first week back with little drama and not-as-severe-as-I-feared post-holiday syndrome. It helps to have a lot of work to get on with everyday. I barely had much time to take a breather all week between the preparation of payments and AGM related materials before all the council members left for the month. =.="
Anyway, flying to Australia this time was a piece of cake. When you’ve been stuck in a plane for 16 odd hours flying to USA, anything less than that feels amateur. It’s like watch a couple of movies, have a meal, take a short nap and poof you’re there! Flying back was even better since this time the boo and I bought ourselves a neck pillow each. Why oh why didn’t I discover the neck pillow earlier. It would have saved me a lot of pain on that 16 hour flight because using the neck pillow actually help me sleep comfortable for 6 hours from Brisbane to KL. Best sleep on a plane ever.
I get really happy looking at the clouds from the window of my plane seat, and I make a point to try and stay awake to see the sun set across the horizon. Before a flight, I always do a mental calculation on the time zones, whether I’m flying towards a sun set. Watching the sun paint the sky pinks and oranges makes me feel at awe with the simple beauty of nature.
August 12, 2013
I travelled a lot as a small kid, when my parents were still into the whole travelling-every-school-holiday thing; not that I even remember much about the trips I took as a small child. As I grew older, the holidays stopped and there came a period of more than 10 years where I never left the country until last year when the boo’s parents graciously brought me along on their trip to LA.
Before I started travelling as an adult, I always felt that I had no need for holidays and that Malaysia offered me everything that I could ever ask for. My memories of travelling as a child involved painful plane rides, spending all day outdoors and being bone tired at the end of the day and being unable to sleep in the hotel bed because I missed the comfort of home too much. Since going on my first trip as an adult last year, I found myself hooked on seeing new places and an unfortunate side effect that is apparently showing itself every time I come home.
Post-holiday syndrome is a thing. It’s even on wiki. Every time I get back from a holiday, or towards the end of the holiday, I feel slightly depressed and unwilling to come back to real life. I suppose most of it is because I hate my job and I’m definitely not looking forward to getting back into the whole humdrum routine that is my life. Sigh, it’s such a catch-22.
Anyway, whilst I’m editing my photos from the trip I thought I’d jot down some of my thoughts on Gold Coast:
- GC is really sunny. I mentally smacked myself across the forehead for completely forgetting any sort of sunblock/sunscreen on my trip (how could I forget that Australia is where the hole in the ozone is???) and having to pay the consequences now. Other than having a horrendous tan on my face (rest of my body was all covered up) I am also flaking like a 20-year old paint job and have to apply dermatologist recommended moisturizer that is made for extremely extremely dry skin. =.=
- Weather in GC is cold and extremely dry. However, locals wander around all day in vests, bikinis, shorts, flip flops like it’s summer while I’m freezing in my fluffy hoodie.
- Everything closes early. By early I mean as early as 5pm or 6pm. Some restaurants are not equal to others, as in some restaurants do not open for dinner whilst others do. And make sure to check their website or Urbanspoon/Yelp first before going in case they close at 4pm or something. The receptionist at our apartment closes up at 5 sharp and leaves work at 5 sharp. Sort of reminds me of my job.
- There’s nothing much to do in GC other than beaches, beaches and more beaches. But that’s the part I like about it. It’s so so so relaxing to just sit by the beach or just walk around barefoot, watch other people surf or pick some seashells.
- All the seafood that you get in GC is fried. It’s really annoying because after the first few rounds of fish and chips you feel like if you see another serving of chips or fried fish you’ll hit the wall and it feels as though your throat is parched from all the fried food. Also, proper salad is hard to come by. I had a “seafood salad” at one of the seafood shops and 80% of it consisted of crab stick (not even real crab) and the remaining 20% were dingy pieces of celery.
- Everything in Australia is really expensive. We were walking about at one of the outlet malls in GC and everything was so bloody expensive. One normal dress that wasn’t even branded cost about 60AUD. 60!! Food is also relatively expensive with every meal being about 15-25AUD per person. Even water and soft drinks are expensive. After conversion you basically hold your wallet to you real tight and studiously ignore all form of purchase.
I’m writing this now as I sit at my desk toiling away at what I’ve toiled at for the past year and telling myself that life goes on, and work is inevitable. Thinking of printing some motivational quotes/typography to stick up next to my desk to remind myself to keep going.