Tag Archives: gold coast

Gold Coast: So, we meet again.

When I was at uni, my friends (cruelly) dared me to strike up a conversation with a fellow bar patron. They identified him from across the crowded room as the man with the highest blood-alcohol content and, presently, the least dignity.

“Hey, you look familiar,” I said. “Do we have a class together?”

Through the haze of his intoxication, he had some difficulty recognizing that he didn’t recognize me. “Yeahhh,” he slurred. “Yeah. Friday mornings?”  Continue reading

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ESPN Gear Review: NSP Coco Mat Longboard



Some superfluous info for ladies interested in the 9’2″ Coco Mat:

The best thing about longboarding at Snapper is that you can, basically, surf all the way down to Kirra. Which is about 1 km and it’s amazing. The walk back, however, will leave you disinterested in lathering your shampoo and shaving your legs. On a side note, a whole bunch of good-lookin’ dudes will offer to help you, which is good for your girl self-esteem (if, in fact, you’re a girl) and bad for your surfer ego.

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Dear Gold Coast Family

Please forgive the forthcoming sappiness.

I always seem to meet the most incredible people when I travel. And I always seem to be traveling, so fortunately, I’m always meeting incredible people. People who walk me to cafes instead of merely explaining how to get there; people who lend me wetsuits and surfboards and warm coats; people who welcome me into their homes, who make their homes my homes, whose friends open their homes; people who actually consider whether their homemade meals clash with my morals; people who share their Coronas, their whiskey, their Milo, their wine; people who pick me up at the airport, who drop me off at new breaks, who reveal hidden waterfalls; people who give me birthday cards and Christmas cake; people who show me things I’d miss on my own. People, in short, who make me feel like I’m not on my own. Who make this big world feel small.

Not so many places that I’ve been have felt like “home.” There have been a few: I instantly felt like I belonged in Paris. New York has always been “the City.” My city. I never seemed to make a wrong turn in Glasgow. And I still think I’m a Californian who just happened to be born in Jersey. I didn’t fall in love with the Goldy the first time I came here. I felt comfortable, but that’s different than feeling right. And that’s still different than feeling at home.

I don’t believe home is a place. I believe it’s a person. Sometimes, it’s people. As a constant wanderer (and hopeless romantic), I conveniently pin “home” to movable being[s] . I have found family on the Gold Coast, and it’s for that reason that it feels like home.

My family in the States will probably tell you that I have no trouble–at all–leaving people behind. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fought back tears while boarding a bus. That’s a lie; I can tell you that it’s happened twice in recent memory. Ask Yudi about the bus ride we shared. I’m terrified of walking away. I hate leaving people I love nearly as much as I love leaving. Nearly. So, I choose to believe that we’ll run into each other at Versailles, at The Pass, at the QT Hotel. It wouldn’t be the first time. Because it is a small world, after all. And, of course, you’re welcome to come with me. If not, until next time, at least we have Facebook. But seriously, thank you. For everything. And see you soon…

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Boxing Day: Kirra’s Mean Right Hook

Thanks to Cyclone Fina, the Gold Coast picked up some major swell over the holly days. Check out my current home break on Dec. 26th:

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Circumnavigating Part 3: Byron Bay to Cairns

“The itinerary” for this trip has been a little on the dodgy side. When it exists, it does so only in weekly increments and only once I have made a reservation for something. Typically, it materializes as vague notations in my planner.

In the middle of the week, in the middle of February, I am considering a modified itinerary. The current version puts me in Byron Bay next week. I’ve already booked a place to stay, already reserved a bus seat. But the thing is, I met this guy.

But the other thing is, I want to spend a week in everyone’s favorite Aussie beach town before I have to be on the Goldie for the Quik Pro. Logic prevails and some uncivilized hour finds me stretching my legs in a gas station parking lot, after deciding that an oversized candy bar will make a fine substitute for actual food.

Twelve and a half hours is a very long time to spend on a bus–even when fortified by Milo bars. At least they showed a film on that bus. Do you know what it was? The First Wives’ Club.

Paddy, the genial proprietor of Byron Haven, has given me what I believe is an okay rate for a week in a studio in Byron: $650. He has also offered to fetch me and my many belongings (still no baggage charge!) from the bus along with his morning paper.

It’s still early and the room isn’t ready yet, so I walk into town and end up finding this great café. The waitress happens to be from Seattle. She’s living in a tent at one of the hostels. I feel like a yuppie, so I don’t tell her where I’m staying. She suggests I try BBQ sauce on my bacon, egg, and cheese. I must look skeptical because she says, “No, really, it’s delicious. Their BBQ sauce is different than ours and besides, it’s a very Australian thing to eat–you have to try it.” I’m surprised to discover that it’s scrumptious. She also tells me that I can pick up “wireless internet” (“Wifi” is met almost unanimously with “Ehh?”) at the Beach Hotel across the street. Thank you, Michelle!

When I get back to my pricey digs, I feel like even more of a snob and even less sorry for it. The studio is gigantic: Two king-sized beds, kitchen, flat screen… no roommates. Paddy asks if I need help with anything else. “Will you take a nap?” Half an inquiry, half a suggestion.

It is 80 degrees and sunny, and the waves are small but clean.

“Can you please tell me how to get to the beach?”

Continue reading

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Quik Pro Day One (And Aftereffects)

February 27th, 2011


8:45 a.m. NSW

7:45 a.m. QLD

I am not a snob.

A piece of overripe fruit just fell from a tree and splattered on my leg, from which I also occasionally flick a renegade ant. I am sitting on a filthy bench at a bus stop, having a $1 cappuccino from 7-11 and feeling triumphant because a moment ago, I won a battle of wills with a seagull—over my apple walnut scroll. That fucker got pretty close, but I held my ground.

I’m wearing yesterday’s denim skirt and white tank—and bikini bottoms. I think I have been spending a lot of–possibly too much–time in the sun. At least that crater in my foot is no longer packed with sand.

Continue reading

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