Monday, October 21, 2013


It's been a long long time since I've been on holidays. Nearly ten months to be exact since I traveled home to Ireland at Christmas. God how time flies. This week I decided to take a few days off from the craziness of city life and transport my mind, body and soul north for a few days of sunshine, heat and fun along Queensland's Gold Coast. The two hour trip north was a breeze thanks to an easy flight with Virgin and upon arrival the bus took us straight to our hotel. We had left it pretty late to book accommodation however Kevin picked a cracker of a self-contained apartment for us which has the most incredible views of Broachbeach promenade and beach itself. It had everything you would need, washer-dryer, pots, pans and an iron. Essential for two guys who never pre-iron clothes.  

Our first task after unpacking was finding a cafe for a great coffee. We were blessed as around the corner we found Elk Espresso. A cool little cafe housed in an old garage which served great coffee and really delicious food. Over the course of the next few days this place would become our go to for coffee and food. On the first trip I ordered the salmon skewers with Kevin ordering the scallop salad. Fresh, flavorsome and rather filling those dishes took us through to dinner. 

Wandering around Broadbeach for the afternoon, it reminded me of my summer here nearly a decade ago when I came for my eighteenth birthday. Back then I was obsessed with the beach side lifestyle. The beach dress code of Billabong and Quicksilver and I remember buying a hell of a lot of stuff back then at City Beach at Pacific Fair. City Beach is the quintessential Queensland surfer store and stocks every skateboarder/surfer brand to name and for me I lived in Billabong t-shirts for many summers after that trip. Well that was until I started college and was introduced to Abercrombie & Fitch. 

That evening we made our way along the beach road to surfers paradise which is roughly a 20-30 minute walk from Broadbeach. We walked rather fast considering our destination was none other than one of Kevin's favorite restaurants, Hurricanes Grill. We had been introduced to Hurricanes a few years back while staying with our friends Maureen and Jay in Sydney. This is the ultimate spot for ribs, steaks and burgers and there is a reason why one needs a bib. It's not pretty, it's incredibly messy and there is nothing better than seeing everyone collapse into a food coma after their meal. I ordered the lamb salad served medium rare and Kevin ordered a half rack of pork ribs with a baked potato and corn on the cob. The salad was incredible and the meat so tender it literally melted in my mouth like butter. This place is definitely worth a visit if you're in Surfers (or Sydney for that matter)

 Sunday began with a long run along the beach side promenade from Broadbeach to Main Beach at 7am. There are a myriad of differences between Broadbeach and Surfers with the vast array of nightclubs in Surfers being the biggest difference to me. Surfers is known for its nightlife and Broadbeach for its more laid back lifestyle. Running around the streets of Surfers at 7am, it was crazy seeing all the nightclub staff leaving work while I was getting ready for my day along with the hundreds of people running along the beach with me. 

The morning was then spent on the beach working on our tans. The heat and strength of the sun was intense and we lasted perhaps half an hour there before heading back to the hotel to get changed for Sunday drinks with my uncle Martin. 

We spent the afternoon at Helm Bar & Bistro along the water near Paradise Island. With acoustic music and a lively atmosphere it was the perfect spot for a Sunday catch up session with family. The afternoon turned into evening and the evening into night and two silly little boys woke up the next day with seriously sore heads. 

But it was worth it. 


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