Australia Day 10 and 11

I rearranged the condo we are renting On day 2. The original set up was awful. When we walked into the front door we walked straight into the dining room table. If we tried to sit and eat, one person would be left out because the table was pushed against the wall leaving 4 seats open. The couches were arranged so we couldn’t see the TV and all the walkways were blocked with random side tables and chairs. I had enough. Scott was out BBQ’ing (the BBQ’s at this resort is like cooking on a stove top not a grill) and I pushed furniture around until it made sense. I created an entry and a living area/dining where everyone can sit and see the TV if need be.

Where you see the small, white hall table…that’s where the dining table was. That’s Merrick being a turd because we are doing math homework. Now, my dream is the owner will love the new arrangement. Odds are, she won’t and I should probably move it back before we leave. Hmmm, am I feeling lucky?

Today we didn’t have plans so we decided to do surf lessons. Mr. Snowboarder, Merrick, said no lessons for him. Weird. Barrett and Scott will have lessons on Tuesday but Kierran scored lessons today! We got ready and took off for Currumbin Beach.

It was a hot and sunny day today. It reached 85 degrees! The water was freezing however. The beach where the lessons were was not swim friendly. The undertow was really bad. While Kierran surfed, Merr and Barre played in the water and sunbathed.

Kierran was doing so well! He got up on his board in the waves and road them in. We were so impressed. Scott got some good pictures on the nice camera that I’ll share later.

After an hour I saw my littlest man staggering toward me with his lip quivering. He’d had enough and was taking a break. The waves were over powering him and he was tired. Poor pup. He snuggled on a towel and warmed up while I read my book. Scott played with the older two in the surf.

I’m not one to whine in the heat, but I had enough today. After we returned Kierran’s board and rashie (rash guard) we packed up and left for home. We ate lunch, played in the pool, showered and went to the mall. Barrett has been eyeing these wooden sunnies (sunglasses) since we got here and decided to make the purchase. The mall here is FAN-CEE! Stores that I can’t walk into for fear of being Pretty Woman’d. We stuck to what we knew and made a few purchases.

I am in absolute love with the way people dress here. Everything is so light and airy. The colors are muted or bright and cheery. Lots of linen and bare feet. Everything I want to buy I’d never be able to wear back home. BOOO

We returned home for a bit more homework and relaxation before dinner, an evening swim and bed. A very chill day.

DAY 11:

The boys (not Barrett) woke up at 6:30. I told Kierran to please go lay back down and see if he could go back to sleep. Fifteen minutes later he crawled back into my bed and said he went back to sleep with his eyes open while coloring. Scott and I rolled our eyes. “Wow, that’s talented.” I said with undetectable sarcasm. He responded, “Yeah, I’m talented.”

We had pancakes for breakfast and Scott took off for some errands so I did homework with the boys. When Scott returned we went to Sushi Train for lunch. The boys have been begging to go there and I was also eager because I’ve never been to one before.

Everyone loved their meal and it was the cheapest outing yet! Win, win!

Next was the cultural center. We found lots of information about the Gold Coast and some locally made crafts. We bought a few souvenirs and headed to the outlet malls. The boys had some money burning holes in their pockets and Merrick didn’t have much luck at the fancy mall so we were hoping for better luck this time.

We came home with some more souvenirs, a rugby jersey and two didgeridoos. Good luck all around. Scott didn’t get the romper. Too bad huh!? I told him it didn’t look half bad.

We came home and made dinner. After dinner the boys wanted to go swimming, but the pool was full of unsupervised teens who were being too vulgar for me and my crew so we watched a few episodes of Bondi Beach, Friends and The Amazing Race Australia. Tomorrow is our last beach day so it should be a good one!

Australia Day 8 and 9

DAY 8:

The day started off with homework for us and Scott went on a run. He found out he is going to have a PT test when we return to AK. Afterward we took off for a new beach in Currumbin. It was awfully windy and sand was flying everywhere so we called it quits and searched for another beach.

We came back to Burleigh Head. It was still windy but not as bad. I did some reading, the boys did some boogie boarding and Scott did a little snorkeling. We packed up a little early because Scott and I wanted to walk around the shops in Burleigh. We left the boys home with a phone and headed out.

We parked next to a Bowls Club and watched the men play for a bit as we tried to make sense of the game. We gathered it’s a little like bowling, bocci ball and pool. After a bit we wandered on. There were lots of coffee shops, bars, boutiques and the such. I found myself more excited to head back to the farmers market tomorrow. We bought some yummy sorbet and a nice smelling bar of soap and left for a drink and appetizer.

Scott found a food truck rally in rMiami. There was so much different food and samples that rivaled Costco!

It was the coolest location. Tons of venders and live music. I got shrimp ceviche and Scott chose nachos. Afterward we had the most delicious coconut and mango sorbet! Since the boys didn’t bug us they made out with a piece of coconut, passion fruit pound cake.

We came home to a clean condo and I was out like a light.

DAY 9:

Scott and I were up early so he went for a run on the beach. The boys woke and we all got ready to hit the farmers market for breakfast. Hot and delicious donuts from the gluten free donut guy topped with some blueberries, strawberries and bananas from the market. We even found some dog cookie mix for Linus and his current roommate Jake. I’ll make them some treats when we get home. I tried some delicious Spanish garlic in a marinade. Holy smokes! Sooooo good!! I learned there’s a difference between Spanish garlic, Australian garlic and American garlic. I never knew that. After our treats we headed out for Brisbane.

To avoid conflict in the back seat we let the boys bring their Amazon Fires. What a God send! A peaceful drive to Brisbane was just what we needed. Once there, we parked near the Boggo Gaol (pronounced jail). We had a tour planned for 11 AM. Scott found this old jail that opened in 1901 and closed officially in 1988. It was really incredible. Too bad our kids are young because there was a ghost tour at 7:30 PM. Eek!

This is the front of the prison. If you can read the sign above it says H M PRISON for –MEN (His Majesty’s). If you can see, the MEN is off centered because when it first opened it was a women’s prison.

This is the non-contact meeting area that opened after the prison switched from female to male. Five prisoners at a time would enter the room and an officer in the corner would listen to the conversations. They could only speak of family business. No politics and no discussion about the conditions of the prison. The family members would remain seated while the prisoners were escorted out. If done in reverse order, the prisoners tended to get very distraught and violent.

We walked into the prison the same way a prisoner would have been brought in, through the big green gate. They were then told the rules: No talking, the only talking could be done in the yard during that specific time. The bell ruled their day and they were to listen for the bell which signaled what to do next.

Kierran was chosen to ring the bell. You can see the video on my Instagram page. A link can be found on the home page of the blog. He only rang it once. If rang three times it’s said that it rose the dead since the bell only rang three times to signal an execution.

We then lined up, single file and walked into the yard where prisoners were strip searched and scrubbed to prevent the spread of lice and the such. The condition of the jail was the same in 1989 as it was in 1901.

The boys were full of questions. I had to monitor their questions so we weren’t the annoying Americans. Merrick was most eager to see the inside of the cells after he heard there was profanity and graphic images drawn inside by actual prisoners. UGH! That boy!!

We were told many stories about specific prisoners who left their mark on the prison. There were a few escapes and riots, hunger strikes and protests. Really incredible. Some of the cell graffiti was bad, but the worst the boys saw was Santa flipping the bird. We distracted them from the rooms with really bad images and words.

The end of the tour landed us in a contact space where prisoners could visit with their kids and spouses. The murals on the walls were painted by a prisoner named Ray Wallace.

After all that we were starving! We headed downtown to a highly rated placed call Betty’s Burgers and Concrete. The concrete was how they described their shakes or what looked more like a Blizzard to us.

I ordered the mushroom burger. It was the most delicious mushroom burger! I expected a portabella mushroom, but it was mushrooms and cheese pressed into a patty that was breaded and fried. Yum! It was also a very expensive lunch for the 5 of us. Everyone ate all the food so there were no complaints from the adults about the cost. Next door was Felons Brewery. There was the coolest boat for kids to play in on a fake grass lawn that had a great view of the Story Bridge. The kids were spent and wanted to head home to play in the pool. The majority weren’t down for the beach. Weird!

Once home, there was a bit more homework done and pool time. I got to read a bit and made some pico for taco night. After dinner Scott went to vacuum the sand out of the car. I wished him luck. I’d be interested to know how people keep their vehicles clean here. It was a mess and he worked up a sweat so he’s currently in the pool with the boys for a late night swim.