Upon arriving at Brisbane airport, the Globerollers headed on a bus toward Gold Coast. And yes, this magical place is exactly what it's name alludes to. A gorgeous sun glazed beach town where fun, relaxation, and happiness take full priority. The resort where Maddog, Jules and Roxy stayed at was by far the most luxurious of all the previous SPG accommodations, and even though roughing it, sweating and spitting blood are the names of the globerolling game, the Globerollers were far too seduced by the touch of 300 thread count sheets and lobby music to engage in physical activity.
After having shown our room by a very nice manager at the Sheraton, Madeline and Roxy immediately started binge eating the 'birthday' cake that was waiting in the room for Roxy's 'birthday'. Please note: we have no idea why some sort of birthday champagne, cake, or chocolate covered strawberries were waiting in every hotel room at arrival... Jules...?
Anyway, while Madeline and Roxy were scarfing away this elegant piece of chocolate cake with the aggression of hungry wolves - there was only one utensil to use, you paint the picture - one of the hotel's member of staff came in to set up the extra cot in the room where Madeline would sleep. This man was Irish and told Madeline about places in Ireland we had never heard of. As all of you loyal Globeroller readers know, Madeline and Roxy traveled the Irish part of the globe last summer, so were eager to talk to the man about his Irish roots.
The man mentioned a famous Irish dolphin, and little did he know, that's the moment when he both confused and captivated the Globerollers at the same. Is he confusing a dolphin with a sheep? Or some other animal that would appear more suitable within the Irish landscape...? Unfortunately, the Irish dolphin-discussing man disappeared into the night after being enamored by our wheels and stealing our hearts. The good ones always leave too soon...
The next day was dedicated to pool time and then exploring the city of Gold Coast. In Globeroller world, this means going to the pool and then bribing Jules with cocktails to stay at the resort for the rest of the day. The day, however, did not go according to plan, as Jules went to meet a friend he'd made in Australia (we shall call him Starfish). Madeline went to explore some of the city, and Roxy was left scared and alone in the resort pool, like a mermaid stranded on land. Just kidding! Roxy enjoyed some hot tub time, while Madeline met a fancy lady in the city who later drove her home while her dog barked during the entire car ride. Needless to say, conversation was flowing.
The next day, Jules literally took a hike with his Starfish, while Madeline and Roxy laid by the pool like two glorious seals - or in the mind of the Irish hotel staff member: two glorious dolphins. Obviously the day initially started with Madeline and Roxy having a buffet (aka eat your own body weight) breakfast and hoarding a big plate of pastries to their room. Julio went for a run and ate just as much as his body required. Jules consistently disgraces us.
Then pool time commenced and Madeline and Roxy resorted to the sick habits they had lived by during the previous Eastern European and Peru trip: eating their weight in fries and getting burned by the sun, which they then attentively watch transform to a deep golden tan. Burn-tanning sometimes goes to far... (Refer to: Madeline's violent fever in Budapest/ Roxy's achingly painful burn in Peru.) But we're not quitters and we feel like we've messed up the exact tanning duration and intensity so often that we now know exactly what the right amount of sun exposure is to get tanned without getting burned. Yet, we failed again. (Refer to Einstein's definition of insanity: doing something over and over again and expecting different results.)
The day, however, enabled Madeline and Roxy to be lazier than they had planned, as the sun subsided and boredom kicked in. Hence, they went over to the pool bar to order mock/cocktails and fries up to the room. The bartender messed up Roxy's drink by forgetting to put fruit in it and said he would personally bring all the food and drinks up when it was ready. It seemed as if the cocktail could have easily been fixed by adding the once forgotten fruit to the cocktail, but the bartender acted as if this were blasphemy and said he must start again. Being jaded and fearful of the wellbeing of our food, we decided to wait for the food to be done and took the whole mother load upstairs.
The journey from the hotel bar to the hotel room doesn't seem like a challenging globeroller journey at all to an outsider, but trust us, it was one of the most critical of them all because food was on the line. Also, whoever has ever stayed at the Gold Coast SheraTONE knows that this place has hotel floor hallways reminiscent of The Shining. It takes about five minutes by wheelchair and rollerblade to get through those rugged girls. While holding two plates and two drinks, however, it takes about twenty. Roxy held the two stacked plates on her lap while holding onto Madeline, who held a drink in each hand. Needless to say, ketchup was flying everywhere and wheels were bumping into every gold detailed wall in sight. Perhaps this explains the mysterious hotel fees on our final bill.
Once upstairs, Madeline and Roxy immediately scarfed down fries and chicken fingers like they were two of the guests at da Vinci's The Last Supper. Then a mysterious phone call occurred. Madeline and Roxy freaked out, as they are quite fond of being off the grid while devouring fried foods... it's not a pretty picture... After staring at the phone in complete horror for five rings, Roxy finally picked up and heard the voice of the bartender on the phone. He said he was sorry for messing up the drinks and is sending three more up. Obviously, free alcohol felt like the greatest expression of love known to man and Roxy granted him permission to come up. He arrived in less than a minute (HOW?!?), and delivered the drink. Roxy couldn't part from the fries to greet the man, but caught a glimpse and fell in love with this generous Vodka Clause.
After he left, Madeline and Roxy decided he would be fun to spend the evening with and show us around while Julio was STILL on his hike (ummh... should we call him...?). They called down to the restaurant, where they had never heard of the man ever before. This made them question whether this man even worked here...or if he ever existed at all.
Madeline persevered. She stood on the windowsill that overlooked the pool bar and called down for him. Guests in and around the pool were worried that Madeline was undergoing a psychological breakdown and would jump down at any minute, nonetheless, a Globeroller never quits. Finally, she caught the attention of the magical bartender's coworker who was ready to talk Madeline off the ledge. When she understood what Madeline was asking for, she answered that she would send the message to Vodka Clause if she would just get down. He called up after a few minutes and Madeline proposed the plan to hang out later and show us some of the coast. He agreed.
We met Vodka Clause (aka Reid) at around 7pm at the bar he suggested just across the road. Ginger beers were consumed and then we were off to the beach.This beach, similar to many beaches, is made out of sand, and this is the same substance that prohibits Roxy's big wheels from no longer coming off when the axel is pushed. In other words, Roxy is not a fan and declares sand Globeroller unfriendly.
Reid took Madeline and Roxy as far as he could without bringing up the inevitable sandy dead end. It was almost like he was scared to bring this word up. As if it was insulting and anger provoking. Similar to "Voldemort". He never did, and instead Roxy uttered the famous Globeroller words "like a bride", and Reid lifted her up to the stars and down to the ocean. Madeline took off her blades in solidarity and walked next to Reid in order to spot him. After all, no globewalker can be trusted...
Upon getting closer to the water, two abandoned duffel bags were spotted and we immediately evaluated the situation. Two thoughts came to mind. 1: Reid made a deal with the local drug lord to gift us to the ocean in order to receive the two duffel bags of money. 2: Reid had a friend, also know as The Flash, who had rapidly stolen our wheels right after we had removed them and placed them in the duffel bags to be transported to China. Either way, the combination of two duffel bags and Madeline and Roxy's paranoia made this sight extremely uncomfortable.
Reid kept promising that he had never seen the bags before, but we were on to him. That's what they all say. Beach time was spent talking and enjoying the ocean waves, but to this day it is still not certain whether the bags were related to Reid or not. Perhaps he's a time traveler and left us the bags to find at that beach and they contained something essential and we won't know until we're 78 years old and it's too late and the meaning of life will be forever changed. Maybe this is real life, maybe it's The Lake House. We're not sure yet... Either way, the suspense still haunts us.
The next day, Jules' Starfish kindly offered to take us to the airport so Madeline and Roxy over stuffed styrofoam containers with eggs benedict, chocolate croissants and hash browns. Roxy stole two forks from the breakfast room (don't tell the SheraTONE) in order to eat their five course contained breakfasts, while Julio opted to only contain food that doesn't need utensils to be consumed. It is obvious who the delinquents are in this friendship. How are you always so classy, Jules?!
The ride to the airport seemed carefree until traffic was hit and getting to the airport ASAP was vital in order to make check in time. Madeline called Virgin Australia to ask about the check in time deadline and never received a clear answer. It was almost like Madeline was involuntarily involved in a game of Taboo, wherein the deadline time was the word the customer service representative was not allowed to utter. Madeline kept guessing, but lost the game of Taboo. So the car ride was spent stressing and blaming each other for their part in making us a mere few minutes later.
Once arriving at the airport, Roxy wheelchair-sprinted out of the car to make it to the check in desk. She wheezed out "how much more time do we have?" The lady behind the counter verbatim answered: "58 seconds". Roxy's pupils dialated and she flew back to Madeline and Jules to collect their passports. It was like a relay race that only Roxy was participating in. They checked in right on time and boarded their plane. Next stop, New Zealand!