Category Archives: Wedding

Super Shiny Sparkles

White gold wedding rings on a wood tableIn 2005 when Claire and I were married, everything was shiny new – including our wedding rings. Over the last couple years, our wedding rings have become increasingly dull compared to their former glory.

While in Brisbane today, Claire dropped them in to get re-plated. I guess I’d become used to their appearance as they were, because when I put my wedding ring back on today – I couldn’t believe the luster the gold had after being re-plated, buffed and polished.

While the refreshed wedding bands really do shine now, they don’t compare against the diamonds in Claire’s engagement ring. As with the dull appearance of the gold, despite Claire cleaning the diamonds periodically – it appears that they were still very dirty. After coming back from the jeweler, the diamonds absolutely glisten! I’ll have to get a photo, just as a reminder so we don’t wait so long between getting our wedding rings serviced.

RaceNutz Driving Simulation

RaceNutz Hyper Driving Simulation, Gold CoastOnce we had finished eating ourselves into oblivion, we moved onto the afternoon activity – a car racing simulation. We could have gone to an arcade to play all sorts of different games but there was something kind of novel, about attempting to race around The Mountain in a V8 Supercar sporting a competitive time!

We had booked in for a 2pm session, which was not really limited in time. Once we got inside, the initial half hour to an hour was a bit of a mess. The simulators weren’t configured for us to just sit down and race, so we had some teething problems getting started. After the initial bump though, it was all engines go.

It took us a little while to get used to driving them, they are designed to handle like a real race car – so doing silly things in them just lands you into a wall. The owner spent considerable time explaining that it isn’t an arcade game to us and any inference or level comparison to a PC type game was frowned upon. While we all appreciated the complexity of his product, I think we all got a bit of a rise out of that – given we all work in IT or are at the very least, very computer literate. That said, the product itself is sold to various drivers in the V8 Supercar series, which is a testament to its seriousness. The tires take a period of time to warm up, you need to pay strict attention to gears, speed and breaking markers or things go pear shaped very quickly. The weight transfer of the car plays a huge role, so do the various surfaces of the track (ie: bitumen, ripple strips, dry and wet surfaces).

The owner was very accommodating, he opened on a Saturday and then allowed us to drink and drive! Overall, the experience was a bunch of fun. I don’t think an average person would get a kick out of it, the learning curve for driving fast is well above that of an average arcade style simulator. However, for his target clientele – it is spot on the money I think.

Ashmore Seafood & Steak

Ashmore Seafood & Steak - A Window Display of SteaksAfter racing go karts all morning, we were hungry and definitely parched – enter Ashmore Seafood & Steak. I had heard from two different people that the food was good and the servings plentiful, so it seemed like an excellent place to pull up a stump and relax for an hour or two.

I had never been to Ashmore Seafood & Steak to dine, I’ve only ever driven past, so I had no idea what to expect. When we arrived, the venue itself was huge – much larger than I had pictured from the road (shot taken outside from doors). When we arrived, the service was prompt and we were seated immediately.

After a few minutes of chatting and getting the first beer down, we all ordered. The food came out in reasonable time, considering there were a bunch of us. What none of us could have expected though, was the size of the meals – they were massive! Most of us ordered some sort of steak and they had to have been knocking on 500gm in weight, maybe more. Andrew placed his spanned hand over the top of his steak and it was bigger in every direction, if that helps to give you an idea of the size. The steaks were nice, though the meat could have been a little more tender; however I think I’m a little spoilt in that department.

We ate, drank beer, chatted and then rolled out to the cars. Below are a bunch of group shots taken by Brendan:

Next stop, RaceNutz!

Radisson Treetops Resort & Spa

Radisson Treetops & Spa, Port DouglasTo relax after the wedding, Claire and I went up to Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland. For something different, we stayed in a Radisson Resort, aptly named the Radisson Treetops Resort.

On arrival, our checkin was simple and fast. We were directed to our area of the resort. Soon there after, is where things started to get just a little scary. We had booked a Deluxe King room, which weighed in at about $350 per night, not including any breakfasts. When we entered our room, we were shocked it wasn’t bigger. It wasn’t that it was small, however I didn’t think it reflected the price at all. There was dust on the furniture and outside our glass doors there was construction going on; which I guess is where it was coming from. Thankfully, I received an industry rate for our stay – however, even at the discounted price I was a little disappointed.

Moving on from the room, the rest of the resort was very nice. They have two restaurants at the resort, the Outback Bar & Grill and The Wharf. The Outback Bar & Grill is a relaxed environment, overlooking the pool. The breakfasts were quite good, offering a buffet early in the morning and a late breakfast menu until 11.30am. The lunch meals were nice, however at times a little slow to come out – while the dinner meals were excellent. The Wharf was an different environment totally, offering a fine dining experience. The meal we at at the Wharf for dinner was absolutely fantastic, while dessert didn’t disappoint either. They also have a cocktail bar named the Cockatoo Bar (meet BoBo) there too, which has someone on the piano and singing most nights. I didn’t catch the blokes name but he was very good, we really enjoyed relaxing there, listening to some good music.

The staff at the resort were all very nice, offering a generally relaxed style of service. The one problem we had was with breakfasts at the Outback Bar & Grill. Claire is gluten intolerant, which basically means she can’t eat anything with wheat in it or it makes her sick. We repeatedly asked, asked and confirmed, asked checked and confirmed with the waiters that the meal was to have no breads on it. As sure as the sun rising, every single one of them came out with bread on the plate or food sitting on bread. Simple request, very frustrating to have to reiterate yourself over and over again, to the same set of staff each morning – having them stuff it time and time again.

Overall, the I would rate the whole Radisson experience in the ok-good range. There were positives and negatives along the way but we still enjoyed ourselves and had a relaxing time. If we’d have paid full price for the time we stayed there, the rating would have fallen more in the below average-good range I think.

Deja Vu

Amy & Andrew Horneman, The Ironbar, Port DouglasClaire and I have just returned after heading into Port Douglas for dinner. On the way back, we decided to stop by a cocktail bar, have a drink and listen to a guy on the piano. Not long after we got there, another young couple walked in and took a seat. When I looked at the woman, I thought I knew her, I just couldn’t work out where. It was her hair that twigged my memory, it was slightly curly and a little bit whispy.

I went to get another drink and noticed that a guy had left his camera at the bar, so I handed it in. Someone checked one of the photos on the camera and returned it to the young couple, at which point I made a joke about keeping it – but didn’t because I already had one. These few words were all it took and the female (Amy), asked what our names were and we were off and running. Claire had gone to uni and done German with her four or five years ago, what a small world.

After getting talking, Amy is now living in Canberra. We then find out that they (Amy and Andrew) are staying at the Radisson as well, what was the chance. We then find out that they are on their honeymoon too. What else could fall in line, they were married on the same day as Claire and I, the 24th September. Ohh, did I mention that they were engaged on the 11th, I proposed to Claire the very following day.

It was all fantastic chance that we ran into one another, I love it when that happens. We chatted for a few hours and have just called it a night. We’ve organised to go out for dinner tomorrow night and Port Douglas again.