Finding Shade!

Another totally gorgeous day on the Gold Coast. We are going to have to trust our eyes rather than our “app” weather forecast. When we woke up, it was brilliantly sunny, a few scattered showers and already very hot. However, our weather app said that there was going to be downpours of rain plus thunder and lightning for a lot of the day…. What to do???
In the end we played safe and decided to spend the morning around the pool at the hotel, then if it rained we could quickly decamp to the massive mall just down the road. We’d already booked cinema tickets for the evening at the multiplex there.
Well… as it happened… it was brilliantly sunny all day and then sometime this evening when we were in the cinema the aforementioned storm turned up dumped some rain and left, leaving behind lingering lightning somewhere off to sea.
In any case, had a lovely time around the pool, just relaxing. We had it all to ourselves for a lot of the day. It looks out over the inland waterway. Honestly, its so much like Florida here…. Really like areas around Fort Lauderdale with lots of homes built along the waterways, all with boat docks.
The sun is really fierce. We had a big umbrella over our beds, otherwise it would have been unbearable. Nice café in our hotel. Super coffee anyway. As good as any coffee specialist, better than most. A strange and massive lizard turned up at one point. It had rather horrid claws. I was glad when it ran off 😊
We had a bit of lunch in the apartment about 3pm and then headed out to the mall. We needed to buy some beach supplies for the future weeks.
Not sure I’ve mentioned my Australian beach trauma. Yes… I have been bullied and trolled online. I am a victim! I posed a simple query to the Australia forum on Tripadvisor along the lines of “We’re coming to Australia on a first visit and I notice from pictures that there don’t seem to be any loungers or umbrellas. Does that mean there aren’t any rentals? Just asking so I know to bring my own.” OMG. You would think I’d asked if it was true that Australians have romantic attachments to kangaroos….. A deluge of abuse fell on my head. No, rentals weren’t available because Aussies did not lie about in rows of loungers drinking cocktails and burning themselves to crisps like winging POMS do was the overall theme of most of them. This shock discovery nearly made us change our travel plans, needless to say! Gosh. I tried to make light of it and then received a torrent of further posts lecturing me that no Australians ever went to the beach anyway or only for a couple of hours AT NIGHT and the only people who ever did that were…. WINGING POMS… who burned themselves red. Oh dear.. No doubt there is an element of truth in all this, but I just wanted to know if I needed to buy an umbrella myself as we wouldn’t even go to the beach for a couple of hours without one. And I’ve seen Jaws so we wouldn’t be going at night. No way! 😊
So…. Today….. first stop Kmart looking for sun protection. This is where it gets even weirder. Now bear in mind that you can’t rent an umbrella on the beach. So, you’d think, you have to buy one. Well… Kmart… had all their summer stuff on clearance. Obviously with temperatures still around 30C+, its time to get the central heating on and forget all plans for the beach. Cos…. We went everywhere and everyone had sold off all their beach stuff. Kmart? No…. Target? No… Stockz? No…. Countless other places? No…… Finally, Big W! YES!!!!! We got the last two pop up sun shelters in the whole place. Forget umbrellas, they’d all gone. We managed to get a beach towel… but they were on clearance. Odd. Very odd. In a country where skin cancer is rife, you can’t rent a sun shelter and for much of the year you can’t buy one either. I suppose perhaps the message is: don’t go at all but there were loads of people on the beach on Sunday and it must be said not many umbrellas at all and probably this is why.
Apart from this rant…. Amazing mall. Just amazing. Partly in and partly outside. Over 400 shops. Everything from Chanel down to Big W. Big food court with lots of restaurants too. And the multiplex. Lots of car parking. A real pleasure to walk around and we must go back when we are not on a hopeless quest and can just enjoy shopping LOL! One thing we did notice and bears comment is that it closed really early. I guess we have got so used to American malls that stay open till 10pm every night, seven days a week… and even UK malls and shops that stay open late that it comes as a complete surprise to find that the mall shops close at 5pm. We came out of the film at 7pm and everything was shut, even the restaurants. Just to clarify: there’s nothing wrong with this and in many ways, it’s a nice old fashioned thing that still gives retail workers a break, but just something unexpectedly different in a country that seems – on the face of it – so similar to other places we’ve visited. You can’t make assumptions is the lesson.
So, the film we went to see was “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. Just great. Very black comedy with a superb cast. And such a nice cinema, easily on a par with the best, high end cinema in the UK. We paid 30AUD for our two tickets, which gave us booked seats. That’s about £8.50 each, so about the same as at home. Really enjoyable and we’ll go again while we are here. There are some good films just about to come out.
It had stopped raining when we came out, still thunder and lightning though, quite spectacular. Came home and made dinner. Massive barramundi fillets and salad. I did the barramundi in a ginger and soy sauce. They were gorgeous. We really like barramundi. We ate outside on our dining terrace, looking out at the lights and enjoying the lightning. Still very warm at night. Lucy sent us a picture of herself leaving for work with snow falling. YIKES!!! Glad to be missing that.
So, planning to take a trip up to the mountains tomorrow. Looking forward to that.

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