Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Aussie World and an Aussie Goodbye

When we were planning this trip we wanted to avoid doing things that we could do in the States, ya know, get the authentic Australian experience. We bypassed the Movie World amusement park and all the zoos (we did, however, make a stop at Target. Because, Target. Which actually was a disappointment), but as we drove by Aussie World on our way north the kids all had their noses pressed to the dirty campervan windows, begging to stop. After the Whitsundays we headed back down to Brisbane where we were flying out of, so we decided to surprise the kids and make a stop on our way back. After a two year hiatus from roller coasters, the kids were over the moon. And honestly, the pure joy captured on their faces make these some of my favorite pictures from our entire trip.

So the older Jason is getting, the less he can handle roller coasters, and especially any rides that spin. Maddox begged him to go on these swings with him, and being the nice dad that he is he agreed. It was the first ride of the day. The next was one of those simulators and by the time he got out he was about to hurl. He felt so sick and it wiped him out almost the entire day. He slept it off in the campervan. Poor guy. I wish he could have joined us, but thankfully being a weekday and off season, we had the entire park virtually to ourselves. We probably saw like 20 other people the entire day, it was awesome and made it so much less stressful keeping track of the kids by myself.

And then this one just about did me in. It was this illusion place where each room had different illusions. It was cool, but being claustrophobic it made me feel so panicked. It was tricky trying to find your way out of some of the rooms and then we went into a small closet that locked behind us, which turned into a very slow moving elevator. I thought I was going to die. I was so glad to finally get out of there!

I love their little feet on here. Once again they had the whole thing to themselves.

This was by far Maddox's favorite ride. He rode it over and over and over again. It just made us laugh to see little Maddox all by himself on this big rocket.

And little Jayden all by himself on this big ride

Jason finally began feeling better and joined us for some log riding. Ryder's face just kills me dead.

We spent our last night in Brisbane. We spent some time at New Farm Park, which was arguably the coolest park I've ever seen. A playground built right into these incredible trees, a perfect mesh of a nature and a man made playground.

It started raining and we all sat under the playground ordering sand milkshakes and wood chip fries while we waited it out and figured out what to do. And Ryder accidentally left his new nerf gun here that he had just gotten for his birthday.

We headed back to the campgrand, swam and played a few competitive rounds of ping pong before the rain forced us in. So we decided to venture out to the movies. We finally found a theater that was playing Jurassic World for the older ones and Inside Out for the little ones at a time that worked. The problem was that it was right down town. Finding parking for a campervan in downtown is near impossible. It is too tall for the parking garages and a joke to parallel park. We spent over an hour trying to find a parking spot. We finally did, only to realize that Inside Out wasn't getting released until the next day and Jurassic World was sold out. So we cooked up some stir fry right there while parked on the side of the road in downtown Brisbane then turned around and drove back. A little anti-climatic ending to our amazing Australian adventure. Amazing doesn't even begin to describe it. 17 days and over 2,000 miles filled jaw dropping beauty, fascinating wildlife, countless adventures and priceless family memories. Sure we had every line of Diary of a Wimpy Kid memorized, sure the plumbing had a leak and the back left corner of the campervan smelled like a sewer, sure living in such close quarters drove everyone crazy at one time or another (or all at once), sure we almost ran out of gas and on multiple occasions had to sleep at the gas station waiting for it to open in the morning (pay at the pump, we've missed you!!), sure we were all dying for a long hot shower and a good night's sleep in a full sized bed, but it was all part of the memories. And I am ever so grateful for every single last one. Except for maybe the leaky toilet pipe.


Ali said...

Great post. Made me laugh (sorry), that the adults struggled with various aspects at the fun park, whereas the kids were totally confident and overjoyed. They probably need a small entry gate, and if you're taller than a predetermined size, you can't get in, and have to stay in your campervan until the kids are ready to exit :-). Loved reading your Aussie adventures!

Keely Raines said...

I have loved reading about your amazing journey since you were in NZ. I have almost identical photos of my kids in New Farm park too, such an amazing place!!!

Janessa said...

This has got to be the trip of all trips! Okay, the past two years with your grand finale trip home is really just one big trip, never to be topped. What a fun way to end the Aussie leg of it. Sometimes you just can't beat a good ol' amusement park. How lucky that you had the whole thing to yourselves! Glad you and Jason survived. It's not fun to get old :) That tree house playground is incredible! What amazing trees! Your stir fry instead of the movies story cracked me up! I love that in spite of the bumps in the road, you savor the ups and treasure all the memories.