Surfers Parasite

There are so many reasons that Surfers IS a Paradise for us.

* Surprise visit from Auntie Loo and cousins Jemima, Marcus and Elliot. Who knew we could cram so much activity – and exhaust six children so completely – in just four short days.

* Much anticipated rendezvous with Papa David, Nanna Laima and Uncle Joel, that is much enjoyed and once again seems to end much, much, MUCH too soon.

* Tackling three theme parks in the space of one week, where Jack distinguishes himself not only as a King-Of-The-Thrill-Rides but also as a Master-Of-Persuasion in coaxing someone to accompany him on them. (First prize here to the ever obliging and gutsy Nanna Laima. Dare devil daddy a solid Runner-Up.)

* Discovering that apart from changing its name from Grundys to Timezone (and issuing game points electronically instead of via paper tickets), not much else has changed about Caville Avenue’s top family attraction. It even has the Rifle Shooting Gallery! We are lured in twice.

* Benji only just making the minimum 100cm cutoff for entry into the family thrill rides at the theme parks – narrowly averting what would otherwise have been the biggest, loudest, most heart wrenching disaster of the entire year.

* Hanging out at Nanna and Papa's new Surfers apartment, with its “see it to believe it” view, sparkling spool, and capacity to sleep three children in three separate bedrooms for three nights straight.

* Benji finally scoring the skateboard he has been angling for since we watched Back to the Future months earlier, as an early birthday present from Nanna and Papa. Hello Benji “Marty McFly” Bihary.

* Enjoying the simple pleasure of being able to walk for kilometres in either direction along the beach or boulevard. (Enjoying the more complicated pleasure of distracting weary children when they have been dragged along and the appeal of walking has worn thin.)

* Celebrating not one but two big birthdays together with family, as Jack turns 9 years old and Papa turns 66 years young.

Ten days in Surfers. Paradise, for sure!

First photo after the cousins arrive. We had predicted there'd be hoots, howls and shrieks of surprise when they appeared - out of the blue - on our doorstep. Instead, Jack steps outside, takes it all in with a sweeping glance, shrugs and says casually "Oh. Hello Marcus." One cool cat indeed. (Though as the bear hugs are exchanged over the next few minutes, there are definitely tears of delight that we spy in his eyes. No hiding the joy in this boy.)  
Sharing a felafel meal together with our long lost mishpoocha on their first night in town.
Heading home after a big night at Caville Avenue's Timezone. Benji has already crashed.
Bro and Sis bonding on the beach.
The Spool.
Bigger than a spa. Smaller than a pool.
Dug into a balcony nine floors up at Nanna and Papa's apartment in Surfers.
We can't get enough.
Pig tail princesses on their way to Jack's Birthday Brekkie Buffet.
Last photo before Nanna and Joel scoot to catch their plane back to Melbourne. It is about 2:30pm. By 4:30pm both Rikki and Benji have falled asleep for what we presume is a late afternoon nap. Naive us, yet again. They don't wake up (they don't roll over... they don't even twitch...) until after 7.30am the next morning.