One of the things I have been saying for about two years now is that I wanted to go away for the weekend when we had the money. We haven't had the money to do it for so long, and a "cheap" hotel just wasn't going to cut it. Let me point out that we don't have champagne tastes here in this household, but there are minimum standards. Like a balcony. And self-catering facilities.
Finally, I got my annual leave payout from my previous job, and I decided to do what I've been promising myself for so long - actually have a weekend away. No, not a Dirty Weekend - just a getaway, the two of us, to actually be someplace other than home. To sit on a balcony with a drink and just look at the view. To have a whole afternoon with nothing to do and plenty of time to think of something. Things like that.
So I got on the accommodation websites and after swearing a bit about what the Sunshine Coast now costs (!!) I turned my search to the Gold Coast. Our second choice, but a cheaper one. I stumbled across a great deal for a self-contained apartment for the night, right in the heart of Surfers Paradise.
So on Saturday morning, down the M1 we cruised, eventually reaching our destination, Wyndham Surfers Paradise. It is a nearly-new place, and right across the road from Q1. I was seriously, seriously impressed by the wine bar in the lobby, and thought straight away that it seemed far too posh for the likes of C and me.
We checked in and checked out our room. It was decorated in a modern style, lots of bright colours and thankfully not a tropical fish or shell motif in sight (all too common in older units). It was a lounge, a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and a balcony, and just plain perfect.
We took a short trip down to Burleigh Heads to visit a particular shop that C wanted to see, then stopped at the beach on the way back. It was grey and overcast, but I took the opportunity to practice my photography and I think I got a few good shots. I really miss the ocean sometimes. Even though I've never lived near it, I have memories of waking up to the sound of the surf from my childhood holidays, spent at a unit right on the beach at Tugan.
I had decided to cut costs a bit by planning an evening in - dinner in the unit and popcorn in front of the telly with a glass of wine. But first I wanted to check out the Surfers scene, so C escorted me down to Cavill Ave.
What a cosmopolitan place Surfers has now become! Walking along the boulevard, in parts it really reminded me of Bangkok, there were so many touts trying to get our attention. And shops full of junk, little restaurants selling Thai or Indian cuisine, strip joints, flashing neon and even a gambling den.
We actually got stopped by a Meter Maid. C was almost beside himself. Never seen one before, and of course produced $2 to put her in her donation bucket. I asked if he wanted a photo with her but then he got all bashful. I went and sat in what I believe is supposed to be King Neptune's throne.
Next was upstairs in the shopping mall to check out the prices for the indoor shooting range. C declared it a complete rort, and we walked out, though he conceded it is probably the only place in Qld you can legally fire a Desert Eagle.
We had a shake, then walked home. An evening in eating pasta and popcorn ensued, and a bottle of wine was consumed.
The next morning we toddled off home, and because I couldn't bear to acknowledge our Getaway Weekend was nearly over, we went to the movies. Pirates of the Caribbean topped off a great few days away.
We should do it again sometime.