Wyndham Cruises, Surfers Paradise

Seated at the iconic bar ‘Howl at the Moon’, I snapped a photo of what was to be our cruise boat for the afternoon.  Today was the opportunity to use a birthday voucher, which included a two hour buffet lunch cruise for two.   Leaving from Cavill Avenue, along one of the many man made canals, the wharf is easy enough to find.  Ticket office for voucher confirmation or to purchase tickets, is located around the corner of the bars, on the street front.  

A few cruises were tied up along this wharf, departing at different times for different purposes.   Boarding is easy enough, with the captain checking rickets before directing cruisers along the ramp to the boat.  Staff onboard then direct you to your table.

Big windows line the sides of the boat, allowing everyone a view of surrounding areas.  Upstairs, an open top deck with seating provided, gives the opportunity to lounge in the sun and enjoy the scenery with the wind in your hair, or a chance to enjoy many photo opportunities for the duration of the cruise.  Your lunch table setting includes a rubbish bowl for the prawn bodies and a water bowl for refreshing the hands after dissecting said prawns.  Bar prices are very reasonable, with beer, wine and basic spirits as well as a couple of jam jar cocktails, slushies and soft drink.  Not an extensive menu, but definitely sufficient for the cruises.  The Captain is seated inside the boat and gives a commentary throughout the cruise, pointing out locations of interest.  Captain Tony had a fabulous sense of humour, popping in added extras along the way, which, unfortunately, were only picked up by a handful of those onboard as most were not really listening.  We on the hand, did enjoy his dry sense of humour.

Lunch was superbly fresh, with plenty of salad, prawns, sliced ham, chicken and fabulously fresh buns available.  Tables were directed to the buffet by the staff, to ensure everything flowed, with an opportunity to return for more if you wished.  Tea, coffee and fruit were also available.  After cruising through various canals and past many mansions on islands, you are passing the Palazzo Versace, touted as the most luxurious hotel on the Gold Coast.  Surrounded by millions of dollars  berthed at the marina, the hotel peeks through the masts and various decks, with the canal frontage, not revealing the extent of the luxury inside.

SeaWorld theme park & resort lie along the strip next to the Palazzo Versace.   Beaches were filled with families enjoying the many water sport opportunities available to this area, or just a simple family picnic on this fabulous day.

 As well as views of those multi million dollar homes,  (one including its own canon!), an incredible array of boats, all shapes and sizes, you most likely will pass paraglider, jet skiers and canoeists.   So keep the camera handy!
 To top off this cruise, you are afforded some simply spectacular views of the Gold Coast skyline, showcasing the many high rises piercing the fabulously blue skies we enjoyed on our cruise day.

 Locals, tourists, everyone should take the opportunity to view the glitter strip from a cruise.   There are a number available, however check out Wyndham Cruises.  Aside from the lunch buffet, they do run other cruises including morning & afternoon tea.  

More photos are at Dine Live Travel on both Facebook & Instagram. #wyndhamcruises #dinelivetravel

Remember to take your camera, and listen to the Captains commentary, it could very well put a smile on your dial !  

Good Food & Wine Show – Brisbane

Designed to tempt everyone’s tastebuds, from those who eat and maybe enjoy a tipple or two, through to the food buff or wine connoisseur, the Good Food & Wine Show has it all. Purchasing tickets at a reasonably priced $26 each, whets your appetite with the anticipation of what these sought after entry tickets, will provide.

For three days, dedicated businesses manned and operated their stalls out of the Brisbane Convention Centre, all in aid of the promotion and marketing for their products. With a broad cross range including, large companies, family enterprises and Mum & Dad businesses represented, the variety of choice is simply impressive.

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Vibrant colours adorned food vans, stalls and food areas. More formal settings were a part of the different regions set up throughout the hall. Here, you could take your tastebuds and palate on a trip around Australia, or the world, without leaving the convention centre.

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If you have ever wondered what some of those different foods out there taste like, then this was the place to be. I would be very surprised to find anyone who couldn’t find something here to suit their tastes, or test a little something out of their comfort zone. The variety of tastings on trial is overwhelmingly mouthwatering, creating the initial first problem for the day – where to start??

Our group attended early in the morning which was definitely a good idea. At this time of day, there was plenty of room to move with the added plus of happy stall holders, refreshed and keen to talk to you about their products. As the morning progressed, alley ways started to fill with potential product testers, and some counters became a little harder to access.

Chatting with some fabulously interesting people from an assortment of areas, learning about their products, was both enlightening and a superb way to spend a weekend morning. I had a wonderful chat to a Father & Son about the family Lychee Farm in Hervey Bay, tasted a delightful probiotic gingerbeer, sampled organic melt in the mouth cheeses, oils, balsamic vinegars, yoghurts, chilli products, chocolate vodka and an array of wines. Helpful James at Wine Selectors, took us on a private tour of Australia, with his selection of wine tastings from different regions. Most enjoyable all round!

The majority of stall holders were happy to take treat you to tastings while taking the time to chat about their wares, without pushing their products. In fact, we only came across one young lady who was a little too insistent at trying to sell one of their product show bags. Everyone else was fantastic. The win for them was we did purchase their products after partaking of some interesting tastings.

As we progressed through the maze of alleyways, one did start to feel like a pack horse. Bag went into bag, which was usually already inside another bag. Yes great idea, less bags to carry but the couple you do have become progressively heavier. A neat little solution was raised, with stall holders offering to hold our bottles and purchases from their stall to one side, with us collecting them before we left the show. The only problem with this solution, remembering where you had left bags šŸ˜„. We did clear this hurdle though, with a well spent ten minutes at the end, collecting our shopping. It was about now, we realised how much we had brought!
(A very small selection only, in this next photo)!

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This time round, we simply wandered the walkways without any plan of attack, and did not partake in any of the classes, masterclasses and demonstrations on offer. We will keep that for next year!

This event occurs in different states throughout the year, be sure to keep an eye out for advertising. Most certainly worth a visit. See you there next year!

Carseldine Markets

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On a somewhat dreary overcast Saturday recently, I took the opportunity to visit the Carseldine Markets, located on what used to be the university campus.

This was to be merely a reconnaissance mission, I was not intending to buy but wanted to see what was available. Hence the fold up shopping bag, just in casešŸ‘.

Meandering around the markets, I was really impressed with the friendly, non pushy manner of the stall holders. Throughout my visit, I chatted to about ten of the stall holders, not buying anything but finding out information on their products. For me, I really did enjoy that no-one tried to force their wares on me, but they were more than happy to give out a business card and have a chat. This certainly makes for an awesome atmosphere!

The bonus for the stall holders here, is that I now know where to go when I need something they have, plus I’m happy to tell everyone else where to go and who to visit. Win, win all roundšŸ˜„.

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Talent abounds here. This isn’t a market full of stalls with cheap imported products. The variety of handcrafts is quite impressive.

Take a photo of your pet, and you can have Vicki personalise you a Pampered Pets Portrait painting. Or any photo to Lazy Larry and he will personalise you a wooden chopping board with your photo laser engraved. Or you can have that special occasion wine glass or bottle sandblasted at Blasted by Deb. if you love your honey, visit Karl at Queensland Pure Honey then take it home to enjoy whilst relaxing on the new pallet furniture you purchased at Pallet Shenanigans.

The list and the opportunities here are endless. The planning into the setup of these markets should also be commended. There’s a huge international food court area, an arts and crafts area, plus another separate area with your fresh foods.

My forward thinking in taking the foldup bag paid off. This assisted with the purchase of a couple of fresh foods, including 4 large strawberry punnets for $5. Still somewhat difficult to carry around, some strawberries did become a little squashed. Although I should mention, no strawberries were deliberately harmed in the making of this blogšŸ˜„.

Others had mentioned that at times the areas can become busy and hard to navigate. On the day I went, it wasn’t a problem at all. Being an early riser probably helps too as I did notice it was starting to get busier when I left around 8am. Plenty of parking around and no entry fee….what more could you ask.

Take a visit sometime when you have a spare Saturday morning, it is definitely worth a look. I’m definitely going back, especially now I know what is there!

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Costco

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Quietly smiling, whilst resisting the urge to fist pump, I clutched this piece of plastic in my hand. Now believe me when I say, to finally receive this card was somewhat of an achievement. This was my third visit out to the Northlakes store after having paid the $60 annual membership fee six weeks earlier.

The American store opened around the end of May in Northlakes. I had deliberately delayed joining by a few weeks, anticipating that most people would be keen to go in first. This I did pick right hearing of ridiculously long waits to pick up your piece of allocated plastic. The first two visits we didn’t even enter further than the carpatk. Long lines of waiting customers outside, saw us drive on through and head off again.

Today, I fooled the system. Picking a weekday as opposed to a weekend, taking a day off work whilst timing my arrival to twenty minutes before the 10am opening. This time there were only about fifty customer cars, tripling by the time the store opened.

In amongst the confusion of a sea of hardened Costco devotees pushing massive trolleys, we were informed by one staff member, that the new memberships area hadn’t opened for the day. A line of people without trolleys, were streaming in through the Exit door. After consultation with another staff member, we were told to go through the exit door to collect that elusive plastic card.

At 10.20am I was finally able to push one of the huge trolleys and barrel through the entry door, waving my new plastic card, embossed with my mug shot on the back, at the door entry staff. Finally now I could see for myself what this place was really about. Some had raved about it, more had said it was ok but nothing spectacular.

Today it was my chance to cast a critical eye over the workings of Costco.

In all fairness, after the disarray at the entry, I was now met with wide aisles, surrounded by lanes of warehouse shelving, housing everything you can think of. One point I did notice, particularly through the car area, yes you can buy floor mats, cleaning supplies and more, but there is only one or maybe two choices of each line.

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This particular dashcam seemed cheap enough. I did find the same item at Dick Smith for $60 dearer. That in itself is quite a saving. Onto the groceries!

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2.4 kilos of cake for $22. This was around three to four times the size of a supermarket cake which would cost about $15. Impressive. I would say if you are hosting a party or catering for an event, there are some serious savings to be made with the bulk buying here. Asian foods, a New Zealand section, options abound.

The seafood will hopefully taste as good as it looks! I was pleased to find a good variety of seafood. Oysters, lobster tails, bags of mussels, scallops, fresh and frozen.

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For the most part, fruit, veges and meat were not really any cheaper than my usual meat and vege market. If though, you are, like myself, a bulk buyer, then you will most definitely pick up some good buys in the grocery lines.

There’s an amazing variety here, you can order new spectacles, a set of tyres for the car, a sparkling spa pool, kitchen appliances. Or maybe pick up one these rings priced at over $100 000. Yes that is the correct number of zeros. There’s one here that’s a cool half a million.

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If you think this might be slightly excessive, perhaps you would prefer a Louis Vuitton handbag for around $1 000.

Certainly the variety here is impressive. This includes range of lines as well as price. I will shop here, probably around three or four times a year. If you’re not sure about joining, find someone who has a card and take a visit with them. Each cardholder is allowed one non card holder to enter the store with them. Depending on your shopping requirements, you may find this store worthwhile to you. My tip would be to pick a quieter time to visit.

Link

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Tucked away off the main highway, across the road from the hustle and bustle of the Northlakes shopping centre, is this sophisticated yet friendly salon. The hours here cater for most, with late nights Wednesday & Friday, plus Saturday days, for those unable to go through the week. On the other hand, if you are dropping children to Northlakes College, this salon is ideally located to pop in for a colour, cut or makeover.

Bright, airy, modern this business and the staff will not disappoint. Here you feel like the treatment is tailored for you, as opposed to a larger salon where it is more of a numbers game, and you are processed through quickly.

To Hair with Attitude, keep those ideas like the blow dry bar, rolling specials and all inclusive packages rolling. This is a good business in an equally good and accessible location.

To the customers looking in the Northlakes/Mango Hill area, give this salon a try, it could well be just what you are looking for.

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Specials run for different times of the year, be sure to check the website http://www.hairwithattitude.com.au