Sunday, May 11, 2008
We wandered into the shops to spend the last of our Australian money, and to see the Doctor. I had thought I was getting the flu on Tuesday, but that seemed to clear, but now I had an ear ache. I have had problems with eczema in the ear canal in the past, so wasn't sure if it was that, or inner ear infection. After a long wait, and an expensive visit, I found out I had a fungal infection, so had some strong painkillers and more drops. This cause great problems on the flight home, as it is I usually have problems, but with a sore ear it was 5 times as bad. The flight was good, the kids good, and we got in to Auckland a little earlier, and stayed at the hotel again, before arriving home mid Friday afternoon.
I had intended to update a couple of times while away, but we just didn't get near a computer till the last couple of days. I was going to do it in one big post, but then had lots of problems with photos matching up, so I have done a post for each day, just skim through the photos if you wish, as it is more for my future references.
We stayed the Saturday night in Auckland, as this meant we were only a step away from the airport, and gave us free car storage, and shuttle to the airport, so our holiday began with a 3.30am start. The hotel bed was hard, and I had only just got to sleep about 1am, so it turned into a very loooooooong day, especially with the time differences aswell.
The kids were great on the plane, and we had no problems getting to our 'apartment', only problem was we were early and they hadn't finished getting it ready, so we were given a spot to store our bags and went for a walk. We had some lunch, which was actually breakfast for everyone there, and had a wander down the beach. We made it back to our 'home' for the next few days, wow. It was nearly if not as big as our house. 3 bedrooms, ensuite, lovely open plan living area, full kitchen including dishwasher, and laundry. After getting sorted out, we jumped on a bus, and headed out to a new stadium to watch the Warriors play the local team. That was interesting being the odd ones out, but it was impressive to see how many Warriors fans there were there. Back to the apartment for fish and chips, and I think I was in bed, asleep at 8.30.
Not a good start to our day. Our first ride was the Green Room, and I have to admit, it was horrible. Unfortunately we had just put sunblock on, and our hands were slippery, and the ride really required you to hold on tightly. It put Cameron off trying anything even slightly adventurous, although Braden did try a few more different rides
We had hoped to head up the Coast to a Factory Outlet we had heard of, but got caught up in traffic due to a burst water pipe, so we jumped off the bus and went to the Wax Museum, which also included a tour of 'A torture chamber'. It covered the history of various tortures, fascinating, although the kids weren't impressed, and we weren't able to take photos. We were able to take photos of the wax models, and the kids liked that part, but I have to admit the rest was a bit too much for them.
Jon had an appointment up in Brisbane on the Friday, so we had hired a car and were going to head up to Australia Zoo on the Thursday, but by the time we got going and got the car, we knew it was going to be late, so he managed to squeeze an early appointment (7am) out of the guy, and we just took our time heading up the coast. While driving we spotted what looked like a great place to stop, so wandered around there, bought some clothes, and....... bumped into Vicki. Now, I knew Vicki was going to be there, but fancy meeting her there, and on their last day! Lucky she recognised us, 'cause I wouldn't have noticed her. We stopped in the middle of Brisbane somewhere, because we didn't have a map we were just following traffic, which was probably our first mistake, we didn't need to go anywhere near town to get to the airport. Finally found a motel, that was easier said than done, and caught the city cat into town to do some shopping and dinner. We obviously had no idea where we were going as there were no shops to be found, probably further out in the suburbs. We did find a small mall type place where we had some yummy dinner, but not much else. There were no movies on for the kids, so we just jumped back on the ferry and headed back to the motel.
Jon went out for his appointment, and then we headed up the coast to Australia Zoo. Have to say, while it was a pain to drive so far, it was a great experience. The place was beautiful, very, very clean, nice options for lunch, friendly staff, etc. We were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, and got a sneaky encounter with the koalas. It was right on closing time, so they had taken the signs down to say the koalas were resting (as we were to find out later), and there were no staff around so we just wandered over to them, and had some great interaction. Finally a staff member spotted us, and ushered us to the koala on 'display', who was half asleep, and very boring.
Labour Day in QLD. We ended up at Dreamworld, not the best decision, but wasn't too bad. One ride we waited for about 45 minutes to go on, but most were reasonably quick. Oh, no, hang on, after waiting 45 minutes for that ride, we went to go on the revolutionary Mick Doohan Motocoaster, which had a queue a mile long, so we didn't go on that, which was disappointing as it was definately something different. Dreamworld seemed quite bitsy, I thought it was OK, but because we had done all the others we probably could have passed on it, the reason we went was I had free passes using our FlyBuys. I did step out of my comfort zone, and go on the Tower of Terror, which was all over in about 10 seconds. 160 kph in seven seconds, 38 storeys high, 100 metre vertical free-fall backward. LOL
This was what I had been waiting for all holiday. Only problem was I was so tired by this stage, and was also getting a touch of the flu, so climbing all those stairs was really draining. A great place to spend the day, and if we lived there I could see us getting an annual pass. There was so much variety, although the tamer rides were separated by miles, which was a little frustrating trying to fit in some of our rides with the kids, walking forever.
In the evening we got a babysitter in, and went to the Casino. Unfortunately because I wasn't feeling so well, and was also tired, we came home early, which was fine as we weren't doing so well anyway!