Well, if the road to hell is paved with good intentions then my path is gilded. I wanted to get this whole mainland trip blog done before the excitement of it all had worn off but just couldn't seem to find enough time to sit down at the computer to do it so here is a scaled down version. Now where did I get to? That's right, Gosford. After the beautiful stay at Merimbula we headed for Lou's with a few stops on the way. The kids hadn't quite got the whole 'long haul' business yet but I felt they were beginning to turn a corner. We bought an extra DVD player for the trips so the girl could sing along with Zac Ephron and the boys could hit the ropes with Nacho Libre, Arriba!!! They still had their moments but it was okay considering the pain of the 500 - 600kms we were trying to cover in one day. Stopped at a few places on the coast but really loved Kiama. It had a really nice, relaxed feel and somewhere we will want to go back to.
What was cool: Catching up with Dan and Lou and kids, Playing Wii, Terrigal Beach, Seeing AVATAR! What was not cool: Sunburn! (I was so down on myself for not reapplying and suffering the consequences of that decision.)
COFFS HARBOUR -
What was cool: Big Banana water park, Pool at the resort, the CH jetty What was not cool: Kid's pee in some of the attractions at the Big Banana Water park; Infections gained from the resort pool (not me thankfully)
Miami, GOLD COAST -
What was cool: Christmas with the Lawlesses and Ma and Pa Page (Man when those guys get going on Christmas eve it's a real crackup); Theme parks; Great surf; AVATAR in 3D!; Catching up with Kit and Jean and others; Theme parks; Tambourine mountain
What was not cool: Pus from the infections (once again, not mine)
What was cool: Indoor petting zoo at the local shopping mall; Mangoes falling off the trees; Bat's everywhere in the dusk sky.
What was not cool: The hotel without air conditioning.
What was cool: Seeing how much this place had changed since I served there in 1989; Sitting in the hotel swimming pool as the sun set. Magic times!!
What was not cool: The weather. 38 degrees of the driest heat you'll ever feel; Trying to find somewhere open on Saturday night where we could get dinner that wasn't KFC, Hungry Jacks or Maccas; Seeing how hard it must be for people to work the land in the harsh times.
GOSFORD part 2:
What was cool: Taronga Zoo. Would have to say that it's winning the zoo war against Melbourne. A brilliant bird show that's worth a few viewings!; Ferry rides; Darling harbour water fun.
What was not cool; The cost of things. 6 gelatis = $37 - Box of 6 Heaven Ice creams from the Woolies at Paddy's = $7; Getting beaten at Wii by Dan and Isaac (I hate losing!!!!!)
What was cool - Questacon; Parliament House; The War Memorial!!!! (Double tick); Some of the pictures Blanche took on her camera (which have subsequently been stolen)
What was not cool - Not spending another couple of nights in Canberra. So much to see and do. Really disappointed we didn't go to more places; Running into some Hutchins kids at Questacon (AAAARRGGGH can I not escape them????)
What was cool: It was an op-shop heaven although we didn't find much; This really tall guy I took a photo of (NBA scouts should check this out.)
What was not cool: Albury. Bit of a dump. Only good thing going for it is that Wodonga is even worse; The hotel we stayed in. Creepy.
What was cool - Getting to the Australian Open after a 21 year hiatus (a bit more expensive this time around) and getting to see the womens champ on the practice court with her substantial 'asset' on display; ; The kids having a good time with their cousins; Kicking back with the Lawlesses; An enjoyable trip home with Reubs on the boat;
What was not cool: Doing some special 'Anthony' Exercises and then paying for it the next 1, 2, 3...5 days.(Has inspired me though - Thanks Tone); Seeing a van catch fire just before we were about to get on the boat(Not ours thankfully); Our holiday coming to an end.
What was cool - Our holiday coming to an end
What was not cool - .Blanche's camera getting stolen first week back at church.
Well that's it. I feel somewhat cleansed now but here's looking forward to our next trip in 4 years time - The RED CENTRE!!!
P.S. - Forgot to mention the biggest highlight. Spending lots of time with Blanche and knowing that when we got home we'd have even more time alone whilst all four kids were at school.
I've opened this blog for selfish reasons. If by some coincidence you have an affinity with these topics then by all means, make your comments known. This is not a personal diary or travelogue (or should I say travelblog) but a place where fact will meet fiction more often than once. This is for entertainment purposes only so please feel free to comment on anything you see and read here.