Thursday, 28 February 2013

Staying at the Gold Coast

The past few days we have been staying at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.  We come up each year at this time to play in the Gold Coast Bridge Congress, organised by the  Queensland Bridge Federation, which is one of the largest, if not the largest congress of its kind held in Australia.  This year is the 52nd anniversary of the event.  We are playing in the 3 day Open Teams event at present - there are about 420 teams playing concurrently in the Open, Seniors & Restricted events.  That translates to about 1000 players in one event, and there are quite a few other events over the period as well.

Here is a shot of the play area from yesterday:


We are staying at the Meriton Apartments (find out more about it here).  They are reasonable, very comfortable and close to the shops, beach & Convention Centre were the bridge is held.  We have stayed here now about 5 years, and it is beginning to feel like a home away from home.

This is Broadbeach from 29 floors up:

 
And the view from our room early yesterday morning.  The clouds were stormy and threatening, but there was a ray of sunshine way out on the horizon which was glittering on the surface of the water.
 
 
I took the photos from our balcony.  I freak out a bit about the height, although I'm sure its perfectly safe.  I just can't lean over to look down!
 
The weather is often pretty terrible at the end of February, and this time it is no exception.  There have been several bad storms in the area, with huge tides, over the last few weeks and the beach here is totally washed away.  The viewing platforms have been cordoned off because they are hanging over thin air, with the beach underneath all gone.  At least this year we have managed to dodge the showers of rain on our way to and from the Convention Centre, and there have even been one or two bursts of sunshine, albeit very brief.  Not beach weather at all, so its just as well each day is taken up with bridge.

Our time here is often very social.  We catch up with interstate friends, and those from Sydney too.  Although the apartment is self catering, you don't really cook, so lots of dinners out with friends and takeaways at home as well. 

This year I caught up with my best friend from Years 7 & 8.  We don't see each other often as I moved to another school in Year 9, and then Kerrie moved out of Sydney when she left school, teaching in lots of country towns.  It never ceases to amaze me how one reconnects with a friend from the distant past, and you just take up where you left off.  Obviously, the things which attract people to one another  in a true friendship continue to attract through the years.  Love it!  Of course there are people I have associated with over the years, who have just filled a need at the time.  These aren't lasting relationships and when I bump into them many years later, I wonder at what it was I saw in them in the first place. 

Time to head for the bridge table!

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