Gold Coast – September 2013

Day 1 (part 1) – getting there and settling in

Saturday 14nd September

I once again find myself sat on a plane heading off to somewhere new and cracking open the laptop to commence with another series of blog entries. I can’t remember the last time we went on holiday and I didn’t write up a daily journal entry throughout the trip, but I have to admit to just a little apprehension at doing so this time around. You see, the problem this time is that I’m absolutely knackered – and I know that I will spend up to an hour or more each night sitting here in front of the keyboard. Well, I’m going on holiday so there’s nothing unusual about being knackered, I suppose. After all, by the time you go on holiday, chances are that you are already tired and have worked hard to earn the break, right? This time around, there is a lot happening in my life that has contributed to me being even more tired and run-down than just normal family and work life. The new job I started a couple of months ago is absolutely full-on and very mentally exhausting. I’m putting in probably something like 50-55 hours a week. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the job and am very happy in this new role that has been carved out for me but I do come home fairly drained every day. And then there’s the new business, Bounce Learning Kids Pty Ltd, that I’ve been working hard on starting up for the past several months. In addition to my 50-55 hours of my ‘day job’, I must be putting in at least 30 hours a week on the new company also. I think it’s fair to say that a holiday is well and truly due and it remains to be seen just how well I keep up with the journal entries for this one.

With a 10:00am flight out of Melbourne to Queensland’s Gold Coast, we were up at 5:30am this morning. This was on the heels of a rush to get everything packed and organised the night before. Ok, so Sandy did the lion’s share of that work (she’s naturally much better at this than I am) but it was well after 11:30pm before we managed to get into bed and so we had less than a full night’s sleep between us.

Having learned from previous experiences, we were up and in the car relatively quickly and made our way to the airport with time to spare. Check-in was pretty good and the Jetsar employee went out of his way to accommodate us by arranging for our passage through the security checks to be swift and immediate in light of Joey and the challenges we often have with him in crowded queues. Good job to Jestar there.

Somewhat disconcerting, however, was the fact that all the TV screens throughout the airport terminal were showing that our flight had actually departed already – even though it wasn’t scheduled to depart for another full hour and a half. In years past, this sort of ‘unexpected complication’ would have been quite stressful for me but we pretty much took it in our stride this time. It wasn’t until we had finished a bite to eat in the waiting lounge, and had made our way to the departure gate, before we actually caught site of a Jetstar employee who confirmed that the flight was indeed still on and at the scheduled time.

So, with this new and somewhat unfamiliar ‘no stress’ attitude, we eventually made our way onto the plane and all was well, or so I thought. I had a rather unfortunate run in with a extraordinarily snooty bloody ‘trolley-dolly’, who felt that my camera bag was small enough to fit under the seat in front on me. In the melee of trying to get the kids seated whilst holding up everyone else trying to get onto the plane, I disagreed and felt that the overhead compartment (which was still empty at this point) was the best place for it to go. The truth be told, the bag was probably borderline in size and could have gone under the seat in front of me – but to the exclusion of any leg-room for me. Since there was no competition for space at this point, I felt there was no need to stash the bag under the seat in front of me and lose all my leg-room for the 2-hour flight. So, I wasn’t having it and stood my ground. In a battle of wits and dominance, a ‘verbal exchange’ took place between us and little miss snooty face decided it was necessary for her to ‘exercise her authority’ and gave me that ‘if you dare disobey an order from the flight staff, however ridiculous, you’ll be ejected from the plane’ look and attitude, and eventually stormed off to get her supervisor in light of my persistent non-compliance. The supervisor duly came over, looked at the bag in the ‘empty’ compartment and then told me that if there were any larger bags, that mine would have to be moved. She then went back up front and made several announcements to that effect. The upshot of all this was that the overhead compartment never did fill up and I wasn’t subsequently asked to remove my bag. I consider this a small victory. Snooty bitch!

Anyway, after landing at the Gold Coast airport a couple of hours later, we collected our luggage. Just like in Melbourne, there are various places dotted around the airport where you can ‘rent’ a trolley for $4 – four bloody dollars! Sod that! Just like in Melbourne, I wandered about a bit in the departure hall and simply collected a couple of abandoned trolleys that had been left by people that had checked their luggage in and no longer had any need for them – completely free 🙂

Now, we had booked a rental car, much like everything else, through my trusted travel agent and I went to the counter to collect the car. The counter staff were lovely and they even changed our car to a larger one once I told them that we would likely not get everything we brought with us into the car they had planned on giving me originally. Thank you very much Europcar 🙂 It was a good job that we booked ahead too, as several would-be car renters came up to the counter whilst we were being processed only to be told that EVERY car rental agency at the airport were completely booked out. None of the counter staff were able to offer any explanation for why this was the case and I was a little concerned that this might not bode well for how crowded it might whilst we’re here. We’ll see. It isn’t school holidays until next week, so we’re hoping that things won’t be too busy in the theme parks this week.

A quick half-hour journey out of the airport and over to our chosen accommodation and we were resting in the lush surroundings of the Ashmore Palms Holiday Village. We have a lovely, self-contained cabin with master bedroom and en-suite, a kids room with 2 double bunks and their own bathroom. There’s a fully equipped kitchen, BBQ, lounge, etc., etc., etc. It looks relatively modern and we will be very comfortable here.

We’re smack bang in the middle of everything here on the Gold Coast. It’s about 15 minutes to the theme parks to our North West and about 10 minutes to the beach due East. We’ll head out tonight to explore the beach and board-walk area but for now, I’m sitting here on my own typing all this up, whilst Sandy has taken the kids to explore the holiday village. Nice 🙂