daily updates can be found at our travel blog, travel with eiseai
the first accommodation booked lived up to expectations. the moroccan in surfers paradise was huge, had the important kitchen essentials (though some needed an extra bit of cleaning), starter sets were given (coffee, tea, sugar, dishwashing sponge, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, simple toiletries). they even made up a sofa bed though we didn't use it. only the master bedroom had an aircond unit though, the boys were a bit upset about that but their room was small that a fan was sufficient (not to them however).
the traders hotel on roma street was ok. near the centre of the city, next to the transit centre (as we travelled into brisbane by train) with sufficient food outlet. but they would not let all of us in one room so we had to get another. for us though, having two rooms is really an extra and we don't really need the space. the reception guy was rude about it. he wouldn't even look at us and kept talking to agoda on the phone instead of asking me the questions he needed answers to. the windows also made a lot of noise, it was especially irritating on the second morning as it was noisy from 5am. the reception said it was due to the wind hitting the window, which i doubt, as if wind don't hit windows at other places in the world (sheeshhhh…). because of those two factors, we know to avoid this place in the future.
food wise, it was easy. there were halal outlets at every place we went (except currumbin and lone pine). of course we had kebabs and pizza on overdrive throughout the ten days. next time we'll buy seafood to cook at home. not that we didn't know to do that but we didn't want to spend so much time in the kitchen when our main plan was to be out and about with the boys. when the boys are older and can learn to control their mood not to base everything on their stomach, we'll have homemade meals more often.
shopping was good. i planned for shopping to be done only at harbour town and extra bit at target and stuck to that plan. souvenirs are of course a must and we had ample time to grab them at each park's gift shop. i bought all i wanted but i'm a bit miffed that i didn't get a seaworld fridge magnet and more water tumblers for the boys (i should have bought the nice ones at movieworld).
the boys were generally wonderful throughout. we had mood swings and pouting incidents and fights and screams like we do at home. but generally, they were great. we spend a lot of time outside, leaving after breakfast and coming back just before dinner every day. they walked a lot and all were good sports about it. they walked until they had blisters and even then, did not complain much.
the boys learned a lot on this trip. they learned about time difference, about eating right, about various transportations, about keeping time, about keeping to schedule. the parks we went to weren't crowded so they were spared of queues and having to wait. that helped a lot with their mood and how they were the rest of the day. they were confident and made friends easily. they talked to people around them while watching shows at movieworld, while playing at the beach in southbank, with the drivers on the bus and airport transfers. they were a bit difficult when it came to eating and waiting while we shop though those were expected. they were irritating when they didn't get their way and that got them a good and long nag from both parents.
this was the first holiday we had without having to bring diapers, formula and strollers. its a big relief not to need that formula break but toilet breaks are now essential (else we'd have the asyraf in coles incident) and akmal asked to be carried quite often (and would do so even if he's not tired). the boys were also fine and healthy throughout. no fever, flu, stomach ache (amir in particular). they only suffered rashes that we concluded were due to the sunscreen (it was between the qv cream and the sunscreen). we got an antihistamine from the chemist and it cleared up rather quickly.
all in all, it was a great holiday. we were out and about all of the ten days we were there and took back with us many wonderful memories, used up all the phones' memories, taking, in total, over 200 pictures a day. this holiday gave us a boost for our next, longer holiday (ehemmmm). now my focus will all be on that. may it be smooth for us too, that one, insyaAllah.
i compiled a few picture collages of us.
at currumbin wildlife sanctuary
on the theme park shuttle from currumbin
at movie world
a day in brisbane city
at the aquativity
the boys were especially proud of their transformation of taking the park rides.