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Twice the nice spice

The weather may not be so hot up here, but there are other forms of heat.

A simple day of simple pleasures. Though a McDonald's breakfast may be simple it is not really a pleasure. Neither is it for the heavily tattooed young man seemingly passed out on a table inside, removed by police and taken to an ambulance.

Using a Go Explore card, we ride the tram up to Broadwater Parklands over the canals lined with mansions and speedboats.

Maddy and Mike, a statue of a girl and her teddy bear, sit atop a hill of soft green grass. It's quiet and a respite from the tourist hordes. Beyond is a playground and swimming area.

Alex pedals round and round on the playground monorail and took a dip in the chilly water, swimming to the man shaped pontoon. Others bounce on the giant cushion or play in the playground. Alex surprisingly doesn't want to swim in the inflatable water park.

Now and then the sky spits light rain.

We cross over to the Australia Fair shopping centre, which is open despite Google's information otherwise.

We look for somewhere to eat, wandering outside, past Chinatown, and eventually to Tenjin Ramen. The "Irasshaimase" welcome at the door is a good sign that this is a proper Japanese restaurant, and indeed it is.

The gyōza is perfect and our Tenjin ramen very good. Alex has the Jigoku ramen, named for a fiery hell such is its spice.

Too hot for us, though Alex eats a lot through pride.

We share in a milkshake afterwards back at Australia Fair, buy some books to relax with.

Back at our hotel room, while Alex reads B and I relax. I have my headphones on listening to the soundtrack to Sunshine. As I listen I am half asleep entering a dreamscape of memories.

Earlier in the day I stood by the beach and watched a couple of flights descend through the clouds towards the airport. Since Alex's birth our only visits to the Gold Coast have.been transits to and from Japan.

That take-off, that turn out across the ocean, the high rise skyline of the coast in the distance as we ascend, the sense of adventure, flying above those clouds, that is what I am dreaming of now to this music.

Reality, memories, relaxation together.

At last I am on holidays.

As the music ends and I return to reality the sky outside is turning grey with drizzle. Rather than return to the beach Alex and I read, do craft, build an electronic inchworm with LittleBits while B sleeps.

The rain stops and we all head out for some early dinner. Near Caville Lane we find Bali in Paradise, an Indonesian restaurant associated with Shalom, familiar from Sydney.

The food seems to be genuine Indonesian fare, is really good and really spicy. We all reach our limit, lips and tongues burning, so we hit the nearest ice cream vendor, which happens to be Ben and Jerry's. First time we've tried them. Quite nice, very necessary.

Then, quite full, we take a quiet walk along the Esplanade back to the hotel. Low cloud skims across the sea, obscuring the stars. Lines of white surf suddenly appear out of the blackness, as if there is no world beyond them. It is somewhat spooky, but I love the battle between the peace of the night and the violence of the waves.

Back at the hotel Alex and I pummel our bodies with the warm water of the jacuzzi by the freezing pool, alone in the evening. It doesn't matter if we have an early night, or neglect to see every last attraction or many at all. Sometimes all you need is a holiday.


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