Vote Charlie!

Reunion with Chloe at the Gold Coast after a foot injury

Posted at age 24.
Created . Edited .

I’m writing this a bit in retrospect because I’ve fallen behind on my blog, but I want to break up the entries a bit.

The week was going fine for the most part, as I’ve just been working from Oliver’s home while he works in the city.


Oliver got a lottery ticket for the night's 100 million dollar drawing. Apparently the smallest ticket you can get is this 24 game beast for $28.80. Lottery in Australia is really an investment!

Wednesday afternoon I went for what was supposed to be a lovely half marathon length run along the ocean. About halfway through, around mile 7, I started feeling a slight pain in my foot. Throughout my running experience, I’ve had lots of random pains that always went away after a while and never seemed to cause a problem. Well, this one didn’t. Another mile, I took a break to stretch my foot and see what was going on with it.

It felt similar to the pain I had after the marathon I ran in July, with the same spot on the top middle of my foot hurting when I press on it. But mainly there was a sharp pain on the outer underside of my foot close to the toes. It especially hurt when I flexed my arch (which barely exists because I’m flat footed).

I tried walking a bit, but I could barely do that. I was getting very frustrated. I decided to try jogging a bit, and discovered somehow it hurt less to run on my forefeet than to walk. So I awkwardly jogged the rest of the way back. At least the scenery was nice.


Almost sunset, from a bridge on the bike path near Brighton Beach

Then took a hot bath. I have no idea if that was a good idea or not. Then I wrapped my foot tightly with bandages to prevent swelling it if was a sprain or something. I need to do more reading about athletic injuries…

Anyway, I could barely and painfully walk around the house by myself, so I mostly confined myself to my room. The next day, the pain was the same, so I was getting really worried I would not be able to go to Brisbane that weekend with Oliver, as the first part of the journey was for me to walk a mile to the train station so I could meet Oliver after work.

When the time came, I decided to tough it out. I packed up and headed out. Once I got into the swing of walking, it was not horrible, but still hurt a lot. Then it hurt even more after I got off the train and had to walk another five blocks to the airport shuttle, where I met Oliver.

We headed to the airport, and it turned out OK.


I've never seen weight limit signs for carryon baggage in the States. They actually made us weigh our carry ons and pay extra for anything over the 10kg. I'm surprised they don't weigh the customers, too!


This was in the boarding area. No idea.


Cheapy boarding passes


I wonder what they do about people who need wheel chairs.



Once we got to the Gold Coast airport, we met Chloe in the pickup area and headed to town to get food and go to a haunted house. My foot pain was manageable by that point, probably largely due to drugs I was taking all day.


We didn't make time to visit Condom Kingdom to get our fill of love, lube and laughter, but maybe next time.


Apparently Surfer's Paradise wanted to build a ferris wheel, but there wasn't much space… so they built it on top of a bus station. Very strange.

We wandered around looking for somewhere to eat, and eventually settled on Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar in this little mall area called Chevron Renaissance. The olives on the pizza were served whole, unlike the sliced ones served in the States. Chloe pointed out, though, there are no pips. Apparently that means seeds.


I think the one on the right is an “Aussie” pizza, but I forgot now where this was or what it was!

Then we went to the last time slot for Dracula’s Haunted House. I think it was my first such house in more than a decade, and I was a bit nervous what I would think. I knew I wouldn’t be scared, but I was hoping I wouldn’t think it was totally lame. It turned out all right, though, and was especially funny to see how reactive Oliver is to surprises. It might have been even better with some drinks first, but oh well!


This is inside a haunted house we went through. Chloe is trying to pass without touching a green laser. Oliver didn't even try and just ran through, triggering all the air blasts and sound effects.

Chloe showed me around a bit before we headed to her place for the night. We played in a park.


Fun in the park


Fun in the park

Once we got to Chloe’s, I went to bed right away in the guest room, and Chloe and Oliver watched some True Blood. Oliver had a few episodes left, and he needed to get through it all because he was to meet one of the actors Saturday.


Chloe's driveway is reminiscent of much steeper hills in San Francisco!

Then we headed to Dreamworld!


Chloe's neighborhood


Steering wheel on the wrong side!

Chloe says the ibis are like the pigeons of Australia, though they have pigeons, too.


Apparently the ibis are like the pidgeons of Australia.




Time for a roller coaster at Dreamworld!


I wish Apple didn't hold back on the quality of the iPhone's front camera… :(

My feet were all right that day. Still hurt to walk, but definitely improving.


My poor injured foot.


Chloe said we weren't going to get wet on this one.


They had random tigers available for petting and photo purchase.


Tiger chilling in the shade on a hot day.






Our little kangaroo friends


My first kangaroo experience. It did not kick me.




We made a new friend


This kangaroo didn't like to pose for pictures with Oliver and me :(


Oliver going for a ride on the train that goes around the park.


On the train


This croc just sat there completely still for ages with its mouth open.


I already forgot what this thing is called. Chloe says it runs fast.


Tons of these little orange like fruits littered the ground around the park


Oliver thinks my driving is like a roller coaster I guess…


Smile for the log ride drop!


Got a little wet again.


I've never seen a coaster quite like this… but then again I've only ever been to Six Flags Great America near Chicago.


And that concludes our stay at Dreamworld.

After the theme park, we drove up to Brisbane, and it was time for perhaps the most exciting part of the day: eating at Ginga Sushi Bar. It was my first sushi train restaurant, where you sit around a conveyor belt and pick the plates you want. The plates are colored according to price. It was fun and delicious!


After Dreamworld, we drove from the Gold Coast up to Brisbane. First stop, a sushi restaurant with one of those sushi trains!


My first selections off the sushi train.


We each ate about six things, and it was delicious!

We then checked into Urban Hotel at Spring Hill in Brisbane. It was decent and cost $125 per night.


This garage (“car park”) is apparently designed to challenge drivers as much as possible.