Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trip to Gold Coast (23 Nov-1 Dec 2011)

Posted by Dawn at Tuesday, December 13, 2011
During the long vacation, I went on a trip for the first time together with my family, parents, as well as in-laws. It was also our first time flying with Etihad Airways, supposedly the world's leading airlines for few years consecutive. What I liked about the airlines is that the TV was touch screen and you could even view what the pilot is seeing from our TV.
The children were given 2 bags filled with children's activity sets for them to be occupied, ranging from card games, to colouring and activity books. We stayed in "The Meriton on Main Beach" Apartment which was just 5 mins walk from the beach, and 2 mins away from restaurants and quaint little shops.
We got 2 units of apartment- 1 was 3 bedroom, while the other was 2 bedroom which my parents stayed in. Our 3 bedroom apartment was huge! It was probably about 2000-3000 sq feet big, with a million dollar view.
Almost every morning and evening, the kids would gather out here for their breakfast and dinner. The family would also gather together to catch the sunset...
The next day after arriving in Gold Coast, we went to the Sea World which is just a 5 mins drive from our place.
It was probably an eye-opening experience for the children to see the sea animals and learn more about them.
When the kids were tired, me, hubby and my sis-in-law, Linda went to sit the rollercoaster. It was fun being away from the kids for a while. After that, we ended the day with the extreme stunt show.
For most of our dinners, we did our cooking at home. It was fun as we would go to the supermarket like Woolsworth or Coles and prepare food for the family. My mum, mum-in-law and myself would cook about a dish or two each. To be able to cook for the whole family is always a privilege and no matter how tired I was, the thought of the whole family gathering together for a meal, just pushes and motivates me to cook a good meal for them...from the heart.
My mum was made in charge of the rice and from the first day to the last day in Australia, her skill for cooking the rice improved tremendously. It started off like porridge but then it gradually became like Japanese rice! Impressive job especially when we do not have a rice cooker!
I also cooked kangaroo meat for the family to try..goes well with rice!
Here's what we only had for our cooking..
After Sea World, the next day, we visited the Tropical Fruit World. There were so many fruits which I have never seen before. We sat through a presentation on the fruits as well as a fruit buffet after that which we all looked forward to!
The children ate rounds of ice cream with the chocolate fruit!
We also had a tour of the whole plantation in a tram..Made a number of stops along the way- to crack our own macadamia nuts, sit on a train which was probably the most fun ride ever!
As well as a boat ride where we could feed the ducks with the bread given to us.
The kids had loads of fun feeding the farm animals as well.
After that, we dropped by a Pacific Fair Shopping Mall for some shopping before we headed back home. The next day, we went to Carrara Markets to shop. Its an open air market with fresh produce as well as stalls selling goods...like pasar malam.
After that, we had a fantastic Chinese lunch at Conrad Jupiter Casino Hotel.
The next day, we went to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where the kids had fun playing with the animals.
Caleb is a very inquisitive young boy and he would touch anything he sees interesting..without any fear.
He has so much fun playing and running about..
that he feel asleep after a while..in a very strange position.
The whole family had lots of fun playing with the animals..
CT got scratched by the Parakeets while feeding as Caleb went to pull the tail of the bird. Poor CT.. The next day, we went to Harbour Town Shopping Centre. Its a factory outlet branded shopping mall.
I did quite a bit of shopping there. Caleb went with my parents while Danielle stayed with me. She had fun sitting on the kiddy rides.
After a great time shopping, we went to Southport Yacht Club for lunch. Great food, ambience and view!
At night, went on a date with hubby down at our apartment to Basket Robbins for ice cream! Woo hoo!
Our next day at Gold Coast was at Tambourine National Park. I love nature as its free and natural. Dont have to pay a cent to enjoy the wonders of God's creation.
And one thing I love about parks is that it is a good place for picnics! So we went to a small little seafood cum burger shop to take away lots of food.
We ordered a whole spring chicken, fish and chips, and burgers..not forgetting, chocolate milk shakes! My kind of picnic!! Too bad it was raining. So we had to eat in the shelter. Freezing...
Food was awesome!
Our drive back to our apartment was nice and scenic despite the rain.
Back at our apartment, we got changed and brought the children to the beach nearby.
I went into the ocean for a dip with the huge waves! Love the waters..The waves were so strong that I felt it was whacking me on my back when it came crashing on me!
Caleb seemed to have lots of fun too!
After that, we went back to our apartment outdoor swimming pool for a dip. Our apartment has 2 swimming pools- one indoor, and one outdoor.
Our last dinner at Gold Coast was spent in Hog's Breath Restaurant. Went there as its an Australian Restaurant and I wanted to tell the difference and compare it with the one in Singapore. Of course, I took the steak...plain old steak with no frills. My kind of steak..
Danielle had pasta and she loved it! Danielle prefers Western while Caleb prefers Chinese food.
Here's a photo of my family with Jonathan, who kindly ferried my dad to and from the airport. He studies in Brisbane and was from my youth group in church where I was leading the youths in Bible Study. Used to teach him when he was Sec One and now, all big and grown up..
I was so happy to see him and more importantly, to see him have the love for others by sacrificing his time to help chauffeur my dad to our apartment and back to the airport which was quite a long drive from where he stays.. Our flight home was great despite the 8 hours flight as the children were entertained by the wide range of cartoons and computer games provided in the aircraft.
I have to admit that throughout the trip, I was exhausted from taking care of the children, doing laundry, preparing their stuff every day before we go out, bathe them, feed them etc etc..But it was the kind of tiredness that makes it all worth it when you simply see the smiles on their faces..and to see the family come together and do things together. I will definitely look forward to more of such family trips where we can all have quality time together, away from the computers and TVs..if possible! How about a cruise next, dear?

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