Japan 2015 – getting there and back via the Gold Coast

by Diane on 06/02/2016

I can’t believe that I haven’t had a chance to blog about our Japan trip yet!

It’s been almost 2 months since we’ve been on holiday, and life simply got in the way of me sitting down to write about it. There was Christmas with lots of sunshine and gardening time, there was the kitchen renovation (I painted all the walls, including the dining area all by myself!), there was the job with extra demands because I took on an additional project… lots of things that meant that I didn’t feel like sitting at the computer in the evening because I’ve been too busy all day long.

But now Waitangi weekend is here – 3 days with absolutely no plans, apart from celebrating the 10 year anniversary of our friendship with Cathy and staining the deck if the wind stops blowing at some point. No more reason not to blog, so here we go.

Back in December

Kai spent a week with his client at the Gold Coast before we went to Japan, so I joined him in Australia for 3 days of winding down and kicking off the holiday in style. Kai still had to go to the office each day, but I was on holiday and spent heaps of time just wandering around, reading books by the sea and running at my favourite Southport park.

Diane sitting in a park, holding a juice cup, with the beach and sea in the background.

Holiday reading in style.


Diane's foot on the path in the park. There's a sun symbol painted on the path, to the right of it the words "Have a happy day".

Running in my favourite Goldie park.

Highlight of these days was a day trip to Brisbane to see Meggy and the girls. Kai’s god child and her family moved from Wellington to Australia quite a while ago, but we still miss them heaps. Getting to Brisbane from Southport is a pain, so even though Kai is quite often relatively close to them, it’s a pain to get out there by public transport. But I had a full day available to do whatever I want, so I walked to the bus stop, took a looooong bus journey to Robina and a looooong train ride to Brisbane, where Meggy and the girls picked me up from the station. The length of time it took me to get there was the same as getting from Wellington to Southport by plane. No kidding.

It was quite a hot day, so rather than trying to do something fancy we decided to just hang out at Meggy’s and Fabrice’s house (shame Fabrice had to work).

I attended a special concert (Ambre and Lila both play the piano), had yummy lunch together, had some girls’ time just for Meggy and myself while the girls wrote Christmas cards and letters to me and Kai, and we spent heaps of time in the pool.

Diane, Meggy and her 3 daughters in a jacuzzi, all smiling into the camera.

Play time in the pool with Meggy and the girls.

It was a fantastic day and I really, really wish we could see them more often. The journey back to Southport took ages again, but somehow it felt much shorter.

On our last day at the Gold Coast Kai only worked for half the day and we went for a walk through the Cascade Gardens and over to Mermaid to play mini golf (I won!!!) to end the day on dinner at Mandala Organic Arts Cafe, our favourite Vegan eatery in the area.

On the way back

We spent another night at the Gold Coast on the way back, this time in Coolangatta. It’s our favourite Goldie destination, and it’s home to one of our favourite cafes: Raw. That’s where we went for a juice just after we had landed back in Australia. It was too early to move into our apartment, so we decided to hang out at Raw as tired and un-showered as we were.

And you know, when you look your worst and all you want is to be clean and nicely smelling again after an overnight flight, you bump into a celebrity!

You do know Didga the cat, right? If you haven’t lived under a rock in the last few years, you will have seen videos of Didga skateboarding around Coolangatta, or of Didga and her dog friends enjoying summer to the tunes of Pharrell Williams’ song Happy. If not, go and check Didga’s YouTube channel now!

Diane holding Didga the cat, with Didga's owner Robert standing to their right.

So while we were having a juice, waiting for our apartment to become available, Didga’s flat mate Boomer showed up. We had a chat with his owner Robert, who kindly got Didga from the car so we could meet her. She was really friendly and relaxed, both cats just hanging out at a cafe. I wonder what Max would do if we took him out for a coffee or juice!

Later that day (once we were feeling clean again) we went to the Arts Centre Gold Coast to see an exhibition called ‘A permanent mark: the impact of tattoo culture on contemporary art’, which was quite interesting. We also saw exhibits from the ‘Gold Coast Art Prize 2015’ – very contemporary, but also quite interesting. Afterwards we walked to the lake behind the Arts Centre, when jet lag kicked in and we got really, really tired. Back at the apartment we went out for a beach walk and called it an early night, only to get up again in the middle of the night to finally fly home.

What did we do in between the two Gold Cost visits? I’ll tell you soon…

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