The Occasional Tales of Ailsa B du Bois

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Gold Coast Trip Coming Soon…

Posted by Ailsa B du Bois on May 5, 2010

I find it kind of hard to believe that we’re actually doing it – the seemingly obligatory Australian holiday ritual for families with young children…  We’re flying to the Gold Coast in Queensland for 5 nights in the July school holidays.   On one level it seems so mainstream and cliche, but then it also seems to me that it’s a great privilege to be going at all.  For many  families it’s a heart-felt aspirational dream that may never be accessible, because it is really a rather expensive extravagance, all things considered. Thus, I’m quietly pleased that we’re able to do it for our daughter.  In any case it’s ‘payolla’ for leaving her behind when we went around the world a year ago.  The poor love deserves a reward, and this trip is it.  I just hope she remembers it in years to come – after-all she’s only 6.5 years old.  But those that know me are aware that I’m a crazy keen documentary photographer of family outings, so there’ll be a mass of photos to prove to her that she really was there, and to encourage her sense of recollection.

A long time ago, in January 1974 when the Gold Coast was just a row of tall buildings one block deep astride a quiet beach, and an ageing Elvis Presley crooned on high rotation in cassette players all over Australia, and no-one even had seat-belts in their cars, my parents miraculously managed to drive me across the country, in their white Cortina, to the Gold Coast for some time in the sun.  And sun I did receive…  In that pre-sun-block era before skin cancer awareness, and before widespread use of sun-hats and sunglasses for children, I spent an entire  afternoon on the beach frolicking about with a pale blue polystyrene floatie borbel strapped to my lily white back, sizzling my delicate skin stupid in a pair of kiddie bikinis’.  Within a few hours I was victim to the most enormous array of blisters imaginable, and they took days to deflate.  I vividly remember us pricking them with pins, to release the steaming guk inside.  It was really rather disgusting and hideously painful.  To this day I blame the Gold Coast for all those freckles splotched over  my arms and shoulders…  To hell with ‘sun-kisses’.  Needless-to-say, I do intend coating my daughter in tube loads of sun-block, and we won’t be going out on the beach during the peak sunburn & UV damage risk times: of that you can be sure.  By some random coincidence I was also six years old when I went to the Gold Coast, and though I had a sibling, he was too young at that time to bring along, so my parents left him at home with Grandma.   So, it will be sort of similar for our daughter, minus the sunburn episode!

So anyway, we’ve booked a self-catered apartment on the Esplanade, in the heart of Surfers Paradise, which looks really slick and recently renovated in the contemporary style (if we’re to believe the marketing material and the handful of on-line photos exemplified below), and we’re going to spend a day each at Sea World & Movie World respectively.  That’ll be sufficient – We don’t want to spend the whole time in fun parks, and just because there’s a lot of them there does not mean we feel compelled to visit all of them.  Some dolphin watching is fine with us, but as our poor little love will be on her own, without any siblings or play-mates, I think there’ll be only so many kiddie rides we can take together!  We’d also like some time to just read magazines on our balcony after-all…

Prior to the Gold Coast, we’re also spending two nights with friends (from my Flinders Uni days – Gosh that’s a long time ago)…  on the Sunshine Coast…  Which will be great.  They have two daughters, and so it should be fun to see them all again.  We’re going to catch a train from the SC south to the GC via BrisVegas central train station.   I spend almost a week a year in Brisbane on business anyway, so I don’t mind missing it really.  Maybe if our daughter was older, we’d spend some time there, but 7 nights away in total is about enough for a family get-away, we feel. I do quite like Brisbane, but we’ll have to save that thought for another time.  Right now, I’m more than satisfied with the prospect of the quintessential Gold Coast family escape.

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