Natalie Sullivan (@this_sweet_life_of_mine) is a wife and mum of two (Ari and Chloe) living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She understands that motherhood takes on many forms, and hopes that her experiences along the way can provide you with inspiration.
I know the importance of spending time with family. Not just my husband and children, but my parents as well – my mum and dad, my children’s grandparents. I value my time with them not because I must, but because I really do enjoy our special moments.
There were several years where my parents lived on the opposite side of the world to me – them in the UK, and me here in Australia. I understand what it’s like to rarely see them in a physical sense, and I never take time together for granted.
Recently, I was blessed enough to spend three beautiful nights staying at Wyndham Surfers Paradise with Ari, Chloe and my gorgeous parents. My husband happened to be on a trip overseas, so I recognised it as the perfect opportunity for some bonding time with my side of the family. At the end of the day, your time is what family values the most, and holidays are such a great way to share that. Our Gold Coast vacation was full of love, laughter and memories I will cherish.
Staying at the Wyndham Surfers Paradise was a dream; from check-in to check-out, our stay was faultless. All the staff were incredibly helpful and welcoming. The room we occupied was a two-bedroom suit with a large living area and fully-equipped kitchen. The view was phenomenal, with a panorama encompassing the Gold Coast hinterland, the canals, the cityscape and the beach. Ari’s favourite, of course, was his bedroom view of the quaint little Gold Coast tram-track. The facilities at the hotel included a large swimming pool, spa, gym, restaurant and bar. Although the rooms are fully self-contained with everything you need to make your own meals, there is also yummy room service. The best part for me was that feeling I got of staying in an apartment, and how it felt like being back living with my parents. We all enjoyed feeling relaxed and at home, possibly because Mum did my washing for me and made pancakes for breakfast! Any extra help with Mama’s duties is totally amazing. Seriously, though, travelling with parents is the best travel hack ever!
While staying with Wyndham, we took full advantage of the hotel’s location, which positioned us close to the Coast’s best attractions, yet away from the overwhelming busyness of the city’s centre. We headed to the beach, swam in the pool, made pizzas in the apartment and went for ice cream. One of the most exciting nights was when we headed up to the Sky Point Deck in the Q1, (which is located practically next door to the hotel) and marvelled at the insane view up there. On another evening we jumped in the car and headed to Burleigh for a late afternoon swim the Tallebudgera Creek (recently voted Australia’s best swimming spot in the 2019 Uniquely Aussie Awards), following by dinner at The Tropic.
Even with all the cool things that we got up to, it was the moments of fun inside our Wyndham apartment that were the most memorable. The children jumping on my mum and dad’s bed, tram-spotting in the mornings, making dinner together and afternoon naps cuddling on the bed. Those simple moments of bonding as a family. It was so valuable that now I’m thinking about booking a holiday with my husband’s side of the family, or perhaps both sides together. Growing up, my favourite thing to do with my parents was to travel. They took me on my first overseas trip at five weeks old and continued to travel with me at least three times a year to the moment I moved out of home. It’s where my passion for travel comes from, and what fuels that passion is the joy I get from being with my loved ones.
Life can be so busy, with so many things to do, that sometimes you just need to take a moment to be together and remember how amazing it is to surround yourself with family that you love. I am so grateful for the special time that we spent together and would highly recommend a family stay with kids and parents for anyone.