We survived a week on the Gold Coast with the 3 kids - and we visited 3 theme parks.
On Sunday 1st April, Viv, Brian, Karen, Michael, Patrick, Angus and Owen piled onto Bob's airport transfer minibus for the ride to the airport. Using the M4 and M5 it only took 1/2 an hour. Amazing! Once at the airport we checked in and boarded our Coolangatta-bound VirginBlue flight.
Once we reached Coolangatta we were greeted by another Bob for the transfer to our apartment in Surfers Paradise. We settled into our apartment and had a swim in the pool and spa.
Suitably refreshed we went in search of some dinner and settled on Santino's Pizza/Italian Restaurant in Surfers. From there it was back to the apartment via the local IGA grocer to grab some essentials.
On Monday morning we found our way to the local bus stop and caught the bus to Seaworld - the first of our 3 theme park adventures. This is the closest park to Surfers and we were there in a jiffy.
It became all too much for Owen shortly after arriving and he slept in his pram for the next hour or more. We watched other people having an up close and personal dolphin experience and followed this with the seal show and Waterski Wipeout (the current waterski show). The kids were all suitably impressed thus far.
After we'd "done" the shows it was time for rides. Patrick and I rode the Corkscrew five times in quick succession due to the lack of queues. Viv, Brian, Patrick and Angus rode in one boat on the flume ride while Owen and I enjoyed the same ride behind them. Owen was most taken with this ride and it was to become his first in a series of many over the coming week. We rode other rides before making our way to the water park and riding the water slides and lazing about the pool. Once we'd finished there we boarded the monorail for the trip to the front gate and home.
Theme park trip #1 successfully complete!
However, later that evening once we had put the children to bed, disaster struck. Angus was awoken from his slumber by vomit all over his face and pillow. Later that same evening Owen suffered the same fate. Owen continued with a few more purges during the following day while still feeling mostly OK. Angus couldn't keep down anything for the next 36 hours and we took him to the doctor as a result. After his doctor visit (or just before, who knows), Angus began to pick up remarkably and was on the road to recovery. As a result we spent Tuesday and Wednesday in the apartment, by the pool and at the beach across the street.
By Wednesday afternoon Angus was feeling well enough to venture out so we headed into Cavill Avenue for a poke around and some dinner. On our way back to the apartment we came across the night markets along the Esplanade. These were interesting and familiar (if you know what I mean).
So our plan of having one theme park day followed by a rest day was scuttled. We decided after two rest days that we would now have 2 straight theme park days. Living dangerously!
Thursday saw the allure of Movie World too great and we succumbed. From the minute we walked in the gate it was a fun-filled, action-packed day. It started by Patrick, Angus and I going on the Batman 'The Ride' and being tossed and thrown around our little space ship simulator. Very good and the boys enjoyed it too.
We then caught the Shrek 4-D movie. It is 4-D because as well as viewing it in the traditional 3-D, you get other sensory pleasures throughout the film - such as a spray of water on your face when Donkey sneezes, etc.
Owen enjoyed yet another log/flume ride. With his Pooh Bear sandals on he was just on the 95cm height requirement for many rides. Lucky boy.
We rode more rides, had lunch at the all-you-can-eat restaurant and then saw the Police Academy show. It's an oldie but still a goodie.
Owen is rapt with the cartoon characters that walk around the them parks, as can be seen by his emotive display below.
He got the biggest thrill of all the following day.
So after more rides and an ice-cream it was off home again to have dinner and begin preparations for another day. The next day was Good Friday and the beginning of the NSW and QLD school holidays. The crowds were to become a bit bigger and we were going to Dreamworld.
Friday morning we rode the bus once more, to Dreamworld this time. We were met at the gate by Kenny and Belinda Koala and Owen couldn't resist.
Our first port of call was the Imax theatre. Owen became weary of this after about 15 minutes so I took him outside to give the other theatre goers some respite. Well, what a lucky break - we bumped into Dora the Explorer. She happens to be Owen's most favourite cartoon character of all time. And he showed her.
And yes, the "minder" above was looking at her watch and passed a comment regarding the time Dora had left before her next engagement. Owen could happily have returned home after that encounter - he was so chuffed.
Well, from here we spent the rest of the day on rides and making our way between shows and "worlds". These theme parks are continually updating there layout, attractions and shows. Great stuff.
Saturday was a more relaxed day and we wrapped up our stay by having a game at King Tut's Putt Putt. 3 courses of 18 holes are available for your putting pleasure. Sunday saw us picked up by Bob, delivered to Coolangatta airport, flying to Sydney where we were retrieved by Bob's Russian offsider for the trip home. All in all a very enjoyable, if tiring, holiday.