Last week was such a whirlwind of a… hmm… should I call it a super long weekend? Yes I think I will! It was definitely a super long weekend for me, as it started midweek. The family decided to head up to Gold Coast for a short holiday seeing that Miss 11 had to go up for her school aerobics competition. The team made it to the finals to compete with other schools around the nation. We had about 2 1/2 days to enjoy the beautiful weather before finals on Saturday, where I had to sit around and wait all day.
We got there on Wednesday afternoon around 2pm and finally settled into our apartment, The Mantra Sierra Grand over on Broadbeach around 4pmish. First, let me say that the apartment was superb. Set just a stone’s throw away from the Gold Coast Convention Centre, where the competition was held in, the apartment was also within walking distance from the beautiful beaches.
The Mantra was reasonably priced thanks to the deal we got via Expedia. We got a two bedroom apartment, which also came with an ensuite, kitchenette, laundry and of course a beautiful balcony. The apartment also had a gym, an indoor and an outdoor pool.
Our mornings were spent going for a run along the beach, then heading off for a quick coffee down at the Oasis Shopping Mall. I asked for suggestions on Facebook for places to eat at and was recommended the Base Espresso for some nice coffee.
While we did venture out to Surfers Paradise, we spent most of our time over at Broadbeach, preferring to walk to have our meals. Surf Parade is lined with quite a number of restaurants, ranging from Asian, Australian, Italian food and even cosy cafes. If you walk a little farther down the street, past Oasis Shopping Mall, there are a few restaurants that offer 40% off your meal if you dine between 5- 6pm, each night.
On our first night, we opted to go to Yellowfin – even though we missed the 40% off special time, just so we could have some fresh seafood. Both Miss 11 and I had their classic fish and chips, which was beer battered snapper, while Master 9 and Miss 13 had their gnocchi with chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables, spinach, parmesan and olive oil . Mr. C chose to have their fish of the day served with thick chips, mushy peas and malt vinegar, which looked and tasted pretty good too. The service was warm and friendly, and we didn’t have to wait too long for our food either.
We tried Sage Restaurant on our second and also final night at Broadbeach. That was when we went for their 40% off special. The trick is to go there around 5:30pm, and once you’ve had your order taken and food ready, it would already be around 6:30pm and you still qualify for their 40% off special. On the first night, Miss 11 and Master 9 shared a plate of full rack of BBQ ribs, Miss 13 had the Ceasar salad with grilled chicken, Mr. C their Surf and Turf (lots of that in most restaurants), and I chose to have their scotch fillet served with chips and salad.
On our last night, I went with the beer battered snapper fillet and chips (yes, I know fish and chips again), well, it was our last night and you don’t always get fresh fish when you have fish and chips here, so why not right? Miss 11 and Miss 13 shared a plate of their Chicken Schnitzel served with some delicious seeded mustard infused lemon sage sauce, beer battered chips and salad. Master 9 decided to go for the kids meal minute steak and Mr. C had the full rack of ribs.
While Mr. C didn’t find the ribs that great – compared to others he’s had previously, the kids loved their food. The fact that they finished everything just says it all really. I did enjoy my steak and my snapper. They were pretty good, nothing spectacular really but decent enough; especially if you had a 40% discount of your meal.
We chose to hire a car to get us out and about, especially seeing that we were going to head out to Warner Brothers Movie World and Seaworld, the next two days. Expedia came to the rescue again and we snagged a decent deal via Ace Car Rentals. The first car we were given were alright I guess, but the one thing that turned us off was the fact that it reeked of cigarettes. I think the car rental place was trying hard to mask the stench and sort of made it worse. Here’s a tip… try airing the the car at least a day BEFORE you hire it out. We had to request for another car before heading out to Sea World. They were nice enough to accommodate our needs and thankfully were able to find another car at very short notice.
Having bought the $99 pass, we had the option of going to Movie World, Sea World and Wet ‘N’ Wild, with our VIP pass, which by the way is valid for a year. I did manage to dare myself to try out all the rides, even the scary ones! A quick tip? Stick to backpacks as they are a lot easier to hold onto when you’re on the rides, although most would require you to either have them stored at a locker or in a box when you board the ride.
Sea World’s main attractions of course were the sea creatures. We got to see their live shows – the jet skiers who showcased their amazing stunts and the dolphin show (although I am a little bit iffy about training animals to perform…). There were also rock pools where you could touch the sea stars, sea cucumbers and stingrays and also a huge underwater enclosure housing some beautiful fish, a turtle and shark. The penguins had their own enclosure too and we got to see a furry baby emperor penguin there too. There weren’t that many rides but we managed to go on everyone that was open that day. Both the Viking Flume Ride and the Storm Coaster got us all wet, so a really handy tip for you is to WEAR WATERPROOF MASCARA! That’s if you’re intending on wearing mascara because yes, I had mascara running down my face after riding the Storm Coaster, which wasn’t scary but got us VERY wet indeed!
It was definitely a fun-filled long weekend for the family and made sweeter when Miss 11’s team placed second at nationals under the category they were in. Well deserved girls, well deserved!