Holidays (D13 – D16)

Day 13 of my holidays was Thursday… which also marked the first real actual holiday (away from home) so far this holiday period. My boy headed over at around 10am and we left for Springbrook (kinda up in the Gold Coast hinterland area) shortly after. It was a nice drive, and we arrived about 1.5 hours later.

We decided to have an early lunch first, so we ducked over to Rosella’s Cafe (we’ve been before – it’s quite nice) for their Canyon Club sandwich – a triple decker avocado, chicken and bacon sandwich with the usual trimmings – very tasty. The lookout across the road gives a great view of the canyon – including the Twin Falls, although there was a lot less water flowing over the falls than last time, due to the lack of rain.

Afterward, we headed back south for 5 or so minutes and stopped in at The Fudge Shop… and wow, they do awesome fudge. So much so, that we cam back a second day for more… but more on that later. Dale & I bought some soap there (they also sell soap!), as well as a block of Cookies & Cream fudge plus one of Cherry Milkshake fudge. Very nice!

After that, we checked into our overnight accommodation at the Springbrook Mountain Chalets. They’re located 3 or 4 minutes down the road (in a northerly direction) from The Fudge Shop (on the right hand side, when you’re coming into Springbrook from the Gold Coast). The lovely lady in the office, Sandy, even gave us a bottle of champagne – on the house. They also have a pretty nice VCD / DVD collection. It was a short drive around a dirt-track circuit from the main office to our chalet… Chalet #1, which is great because it’s all really nice and private amongst the forest. I think, other than one other couple (who we didn’t see – but we saw some lights on in another chalet later that night, we were the only other guests there. So yes, very private indeed 🙂

We knew that, due to the lack of cafe’s and restaurants in the area (and even the cafe isn’t open for dinner during the week), we’d have to cook dinner ourselves – but that was fine, since the chalet had a self contained kitchen… fridge, oven, 4-burner gas stove, rangehood, toaster, kettle, sandwich maker and a selection of pots, pans, crockery, casserole dishes and the usual colander, can opener, spatulas, etc. So with this in mind, we headed over to the little corner store and grabbed a bag of pasta, some frozen vegies (they didn’t have fresh ones) and some grated cheese. Actually, they didn’t have any grated cheese but since there was a closed takeaway store next door (which they also owned / ran), the shopkeeper kindly went over and grabbed some grated cheese from the sandwich making station and gave it to us in a little container. Sadly they didn’t have any pasta sauce, but having already been to the fudge shop a few minutes away, we saw that they did sell organic pasta sauce there – so we went back to the fudge shop on the way to the Chalet and grabbed some sauce for our pasta dinner.

On the way back, we passed the Springbrook Observatory – they were scheduled for a tour / telescope demonstration that night, so we took a card and would call them later to see if the cloud would clear up.

With food in hand, we returned to the chalet for a relaxing afternoon – we read a book and a magazine and decided to watch a movie – so we walked over to the Springbrook Chalet’s main office and grabbed 3 or 4 DVDs of interest from their library. We watched a movie called The Village – I rather enjoyed it! It takes a while to get into it and to understand what’s going on – but it all made sense in the end.

After the movie, I made a fire in the fireplace with the twigs and logs they gave us. It was nice and warm, considering it had quickly become cold outside. I think my boy was proud of my fire-making abilities, hehe. We called the observatory, but due to the cloud cover, they had to cancel the evening showing. I made dinner for us shortly after that, which we ate whilst watching Star Trek Generation in front of the lovely warm fire… nice 😀

At around 6:30pm, we decided to go and see the glow worms at Natural Bridge national park. It was a 25 minute / 25km drive south, across to the east and then back up north again, but a nice trip at night on the mountainous roads… coupled with some great driving music on my boy’s car stereo, it made for a bit of an adventure in its own right. We arrived at around 7pm and met some rangers at the start of the walk who explained the track, where to walk and what to do / not to do. After the nice 50m walk, we got to the big cave at Natural Bridge – where the water flows down the middle through a hole in the bridge (which was actually called Natural Arch when I was a kid – not sure why they renamed it?). The glow worms were great – some were really bright! Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos because no torches or flash photos are allowed down in the cave because the lights make the glow-worms “turn their lights off” (hehe)… but go and see them for yourself, for sure – it’s fantastic!

We left at around 8:30pm – and lucky we did, because that’s when all the tourists must come to the glow worm caves – we passes 3 fully-laden coaches on the way out of Natural Bridge national park! We headed on back to the chalet for a cup of tea (we must sound like nanna’s :P), restocked the fireplace with more big logs and watched the rest of Generations… followed by the first half of Bugs Life. By this time, it was almost midnight, so we decided to go to bed. We’d forgotten that hot air rises so it was very hot upstairs on the mezzanine level of the chalet where the bedroom was… so much so, that we had to open the windows and turn the fan on, haha… whoops 😛

 

 

Day 14 was Friday… yay! We woke at around 9am to some light birdsong (it wasn’t as loud as expected! hehe) and I made pancakes while we watched the rest of Bugs Life. A kookaburra decided to come and sit next to us on the railing just outside the front of the chalet, so we took some photos of it – cute!

We checked out at around 11:30am (they’ve very casual there and don’t seem to mind if you checkout at 10m 11 or 12noon) and headed back to The Fudge Shop for a coffee and more fudge (we, ahem, kind ate all of our fudge in the one night… haha!). After buying more fudge, including some for our friends, we drove back to Natural Bridge to do the same walk again – but this time, during the day. We were able to get some great photos of the waterfall this time, too! We couldn’t see any glow worms in the cave this time (not dark enough) and our attempts to find out what a glow worm actually looks like were also foiled – they were nowhere to be seen.

After that, we drove on down to Broadbeach and checked into our hotel for the next two nights. I’d been to The Sofitel on a previous occasion for a conference – it’s a nice hotel. We had a nice room on the corner with views to the beach and also to the hinterland (where we’d just been! heh). We went to a nice cafe for lunch, walked around a bit, did some window shopping and just generally lazed around. At 4pm, we got ready for our dinner & show at the casino and caught the monorail over shortly after that. The show we were seeing was called Dance of Desire – think Riverdance and those kind of shows… Irish and tapping put together. It was a great show and they managed to tell the story really well – with little acting, only 2 singing numbers and a whole lot of tap dancing in the Riverdance style. The sound was very loud in some parts – it was actually uncomfortable to watch in some parts because of that (maybe the sound engineer was deaf?), but it improved after a few dances… maybe someone had complained? 😛

The dinner we’d had prior to the show was included in our ticket price (when you buy the ticket you can choose from one of 4 casino restaurants) – we selected the second most expensive option, a lovely Italian place called Andiamo – very nice. The show menu included 3 or 4 different options, but we started off with the pumpkin soup as the entree and I had the pumpkin risotto whilst my boy had the chicken – both very nice dishes. The risotto was one of the best I’d ever had – incredibly creamy & rich.

After the dinner & show, we decided to grab a few drinks and watch some of the blackjack, poker and roulette. Then my boy decided to try his luck on one of the 1c pokies… and it seems he was in luck. $10 in became a $50 payout – not bad! Unfortunately he lost it after a few games at the roulette table, but it was only $10 after all – and it was fun playing 🙂 We headed back to The Sofitel around 10:30pm and remembered that mum and her hubby were arriving at the hotel… so we gave them a quick call and met up with them for a cup of coffee at The Beach House Grill Bar. We headed off to bed around midnight.

 

 

The next morning was Day 15, aka Saturday. We met up with mum & Baz for breakfast at The Beach House Grill Bar again, which was very nice – I had the Big Breakfast and my boy had something with salmon on it (we forget its name). We went to Pacific Fair shortly after that, did a bit of shopping (I bought my boi the add-on pack for Fallout 3), and then my boy, Jake and Ryno went on the Slingshot and the Fly Coaster… be sure to check out the photos, hehe! I, of course, was a wuss and didn’t go on either, haha. I wanted to go Jetboating, but they didn’t have any spots free until later in the afternoon… when it’d be too late for us.

After some lunch at The Coffee Club (ugh, shudder – we all hate that place but there was nothing else cafe-ish near by), we headed back to the hotel and showered / got changed for Dracula’s!!! (the main event for the entire weekend). The 13 of us met in the hotel bar (called Room 81) for a few cocktails at 5pm, and we walked across to Dracula’s at about 6pm.

It was a fantastic show – called Vampirates! 10/10 I reckon… absolutely awesome – as was the audience! Very loud and cheery… even the cast could tell. A fantastic night! After the show, we walked back to the hotel and had a few more cocktails in the bar before heading upstairs to our rooms at about 12:30am and off to bed about an hour after that.

 

 

Day 16, Sunday, was our final day on the coast. We awoke at 9am, had showers and packed our bags. We met some of the crew (8 of us) at The Beach House Grill Bar, yet again, for breakfast. My boy had the waffles today (he said they were very nice) whilst I had Sunset Eggs (eggs, toast and chipolatas)…again, very nice food – so be sure to checkout the photos!

After breakfast we headed on up to the hotel room, finished packing and checkout of the hotel around 11am. We then drove down to Kingscliff (where Jake’s parents own a holiday apartment) for a BBQ lunch… Ryno cooked up a storm while we all had a few drinkies and chatted. Jake’s parents are pretty cool, especially his dad – is was an awesome way to spend the Sunday afternoon by the beach (again, be sure to check out the photos).

We headed home at around 4pm… and wow, what an awesome few days with my boy. It was good to just ‘get away from it all’… until next time 🙂

 

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