The Gold Coast

We thought we were headed to Brisbane. After all that’s where we flew in to from Melbourne. But as we faithfully followed the google maps lady towards our next Airbnb we discovered the Gold Coast – a whole metropolis with its own international airport and a series of beach towns along the beautiful coastline. Apparently the gold refers not to the color of the sand, which tends more towards a fine powdery off-white, but to real estate prices. This area is densely developed, with high rises all the way along the beach, and a section that Jen and I dubbed “Dubai”.

We came up to the Gold Coast for one reason – the beach. And we were more than happy with what we found. Every morning after breakfast Jen walked to the beach. Jo worked with the kids to help them finished their schoolwork and we soon followed. The day was spent in serious pursuit of laying at the beach, boogie boarding, body surfing, walking, swimming, and whatever else we could manage. In the evenings Jen and I cooked dinner and the adults had a bit of wine. And we finished watching the last four episodes of Avatar on Netflix. Evan made an Aang (the lead character) out of Plus Plus one day when he was bored because he didn’t have access to his devices.

One day we drove to a place called Paradise Country where Jo and the kids and Jen held koalas and then had a session learning about the animals. They are extremely cautious about “working” their koalas and individual animals work for 30 minutes or less a week. We learned that koalas are very picky eaters, only preferring the leaves of a small subset of eucalyptus trees of a certain age and species.

On Christmas Eve we went out for a very nice dinner and then we bowled. The next morning we went for a hike in the Burleigh Head National Park. And we went to see the new Star Wars movie.

A couple of days after Christmas we dropped Jen back at Brisbane airport for her flight back home and we turned our car southwards along the coast towards Sydney – our last destination in Australia almost a thousand kilometers away.

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