I just realised how rude I’ve been. I went away on a weeks holiday and didn’t leave a parting message warning about my expected return.
Here’s a little bit of a summary of the boring time I had.
Day 1. 250km drive from home to Coolangatta. Short bike ride.
Day 2. 700km drive. 11 hours of quality time with my wife, 16yo nephew and my own 3 darling children. I must remember to plan the meals and drinks better. “how much further” and “I need to go to the toilet” were the 2 most frequent phrases. Viva le Gameboy. Viva le iPod.
Day 3. Swimming, tennis, 20km bike ride. Collect my 69yo mother from the bus stop. No, I didn’t make her catch the bus. She flew and then caught a bus from the airport to the town near the resort we were staying at. Visited a local community that has a cheese factory and a chocolate factory (no oompah-loompahs).
Day 4. 45km bike ride (nobody told me there were no flat roads around Cessnock). Why is it so cold at 10am/why does anyone choose to live this far from the equator. More tennis and swimming. My sister (aforementioned nephews mother) and her boyfriend arrived. Sake and sushi at one of the nearby restaurants for dinner. 9 people fed and watered for under $250 was the highlight of the day. A flat tyre on the car was the lowlight.
Day 5. Followed my sister and boyfriend (on his 1300cc Honda) 120km back to her house for a BBQ. My kids had a great time. We’re not from the big city, just a giant holiday destination near the capital city so the kids got to see a swag of farm animals up close. Horses, a donkey, pig, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, chooks, goats. All except the horses, donkey and pig had babies so my 5 year old daughter was in heaven. I do a parallel post tomorrow in photo essay format (I came home to a dead computer and am currently flying a borrowed laptop that I’m too lazy to attached all my peripherals to).
Day 6. This day is an almost religious event for my mother. Today was the 72nd birthday of THE KING. It was also the 12th birthday of my eldest son. So it was the obligatory breakfast at Ronald McGreasieFood before mum had to get on a bus for her return journey. Dropped the car into the tyre shop to get 4 new tyres (remember the flat – it was beyond repair and apart from the spare which had never been on the road all the tyres were close to retirement anyway). While the car was in the shop we went to the movies and saw Night at the Museum. Then back to the unit for a swim and a game of Monopoly (not the boring old game, but the super-dynamic 21st century Simpsons edition which is still like having teeth pulled). Mr12 and I snuck out late in the afternoon to go back to the cinema and watch Flushed Away.
Day 7. Our last real holiday day. We visited a cheese factory for the educational tour and talk (interesting for a science teacher – boring as batshit for 5, 8, 12, 16 year olds). A little bit of wine tasting (did I mention we were staying here in the Hunter Valley). The last swim and game of tennis. And then the inevitable attempt to work out how to fit all our crap back into the car for the return journey. It may seem obvious to a more seasoned holidayer but we decided to relieve the pressure by mailing home 2 full suitcases. At $22 per case it gave us a lot of extra room in the car and I highly recommend it.
Day 8. 950km in 10h45m. That was the total time elapsed from handing the keys to the lady on reception at the resort until I put the key in the front door of my house. There was a brief potty stop at around hour 3 and a 15 litre splash and dash 45 minutes before our planned lunch and fuel stop. A full 30 minutes to install the afternoons calories at the Colonel’s finest dining establishment and then a 65 litre fill up just down the road. The afternoon run was punctuated by 2 stops to adjust the straps on the bike rack and 2 snack/potty stops. Yes, I averaged 88 km/h including stops. Yes, the speed limit was 100 km/h with constant interruptions (towns) where limits varied between 50 and 70 km/h.
Day 9. There really isn’t a day 9. We’re all safe at home and day 9 involves the horror task of unpacking and washing a weeks laundry while trying to overcome the aches of sitting still for so long. I did manage to dicky up my right knee. One of the hubcaps was crooked after the tyre guys had finished so I gave it a little jab with my right boot and then tapped my way around all 4 wheels just to be sure. After kicking the car 25-30 times my knee swelled up and is now in the loving care of an icepack.