Friday, October 26, 2012

This Pool Water tastes different.....

I can dimly see my family through a dirty Perspex window. A calm voice counts down 3, 2, 1 and my whole world goes light then dark and then light again. I have no idea which way is up and when I screech to a halt in 2 feet of water I now know what projectile vomit feels like.

So why am I here with a spinal  board style piece of plastic strapped to my body and why did I mortgage my house to experience this ?

Yep ...... School holidays.

That glorious time when we attempt to spend time together without :

a) Killing each other
b) Having to re-mortgage the house 

So as per standard family rules, we try at least once a year to go to a place where we have not been before and try something we have never tried before.

This time we  headed off to a small coastal town near the border of New South Wales and Queensland. Its perfect. Stunning views  and a gorgeous lagoon pool, that has a day time water temperature of 8 degrees, which turns out to be fine because we're from Melbourne and once the outside temperature rises above 12 degrees we pretty much strip off and start running around naked.

The kids had decided that as we were near the Gold Coast (over 60km away) we should go to the theme parks. The Beloved said - only two as they're pretty pricey. So water slides and the opportunity to get our bathers wedged up our backsides it was.

So off we headed to the water parks. The entry fees has set us back well over what Rupert Murdoch earns in an hour and if the line to get in is any indication there is a lot more lining up to come.
image courtesy of
We pay for a locker (cash only of course) and dutifully line up for each ride. The wait time can be expressed as the following :

Wait Time = Length of Ride x Excitement

In other words you are going to line up a lot. Some rides are better than others.

After all that excitement off to the wave pool we go. As I am standing in the calm waters (they only turn the waves on every 10 minutes or so ) a thought occurs to me exactly how much snot would be in these things ?

As I sit there thinking this the waves start up I get I get knocked over and  manage to gulp several mouthfuls of  the pool water which seems to consist of children's pee diluted with a splash of water.

Now it's time to eat. It's important to note you can take your own food into these parks, just not commercially prepared food, which,  as we are on holidays is really all we have access to.

This means we have to buy it inside. So again we line up.

What genius came up with the idea of 3 nuggets, (notice I didn't specify what what type of meat was in the nuggets, that's because it's completely indeterminable) a handful of fries, a coke and and a Krispy Kreme doughnut and said "that's a lunch pack!" ?

And then what led them to the conclusion that we would pay $16.99 for this equivalent of 5 Big Mac's worth of calories and then feed it to an already over stimulated child ?

And as if that's not enough, don't even try to think about the volumes of sugar in the food sold , including a three foot plastic tube of frozen sugar proudly bought to you by your friends at Coca Cola (which of course can be refilled at a marginally lower price that what you originally paid.)

So as the afternoon draws on and I try to digest my "lunch" I begin people watching (when your stuck in a line on a stairwell 20 feet off the ground there's not much else to do). I notice a couple having a pretty intense discussion.
I hear him say " I just can't take it anymore" she is crying. He walks off - she looks lost.

Oh shit - they're breaking up ! Who breaks up with someone in a theme park ? That's like going to Disney Land and walking in the gate and walking out straight away because it looks boring. You just don't do that.

I mean sure - if you are coming down off a sugar high after one of those frozen coke tubes , maybe you could be a bit irrational, but breaking up ?

So as the afternoon ticks on towards closing time and people start to realize the stinging pain of the parts of their bodies they missed when putting on sunscreen in the morning, it's time to go. The obligatory traipse through the gift shop is mercifully painless and we make our way through the car park the size of the Northern Territory towards the car.

As the palm trees along the highway whiz by, the kids are asleep with huge smiles still on their faces, so it all seems worth it.

I think next year we should go somewhere less crowded.

and hopefully nobody is breaking up while I'm there.