Monday, 29 May 2017

TOURIST TUESDAY: COFFS HARBOUR PHOTOSHOOT HOLIDAY

I was backing up my photos today and realised that there have been many mini holidays that I have not blogged about. So, I am going to go back a few months, and preserve those memories. Because, for me that is really what blogging is about, encapsulating those memories before they are forgotten. Before time and the business of the everyday world fades, those beautiful moments.



Way back in January, Justin had a photoshoot at Coffs Harbour, so as Jarvis and I often do, we tagged along for the ride.

With a selfie and a twirl of the skirt, we set off on the road trip. After driving to South Australia and back, the drive to Coffs was over in the blink of an eye and a couple of crochet granny squares.

The apartment was right on the beach, which was lovely. But, for Jarvis the most memorable part of the trip was spending the night at the fair. He has never been to anything like it, so was totally enamoured with the lights and the rides. It was a pity the rides were so expensive, he would have stayed all night.

In the morning it was a quick swim, and then a stop for lunch, and we were back in Brisbane.


These trips away may not take long, but for me they hold so many precious memories for my little family. 













Side Note:
Coffs Harbour is a city on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia. It’s known for its beaches and the Big Banana monument and amusement park. In the waters off Coffs Harbour Marina is the Solitary Islands Marine Park, home to abundant wildlife, seasonal whales and coral reefs. Just east is the Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve, with its large population of wedge-tailed shearwater birds and learning centre.

Monday, 27 March 2017

TOURIST TUESDAY: ROAD TRIP TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA, DAY EIGHT

The last day of holiday blues were felt this morning. So it was fitting that the skies were dark and stormy. But then, it all cleared for a last dash to the beach and swim in the pool, before it was time to hit the road and drive back to Brisbane.






I could have stayed an extra week, so could have Jarvis, he loved the pool and caravan stay so much.


Only one stop on the way home, because Justin wanted hot nuts. 


But then didn't end up getting them? Macadamia Nut Castle, another iconic road stop along with the Big Banana and, Big Pineapple. What are your favourite cliché stops/landmarks? 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

TOURIST TUESDAY: ROAD TRIP SOUTH AUSTRALIA DAY SEVEN

Day seven was a tough day! Ha...not.


 A perfect day alternating between, laying around. Spending time at the beach. Swimming in the pool. Or playing games. Uno is still a firm favourite with Jarvis.






Caravanning at Sapphire beach was... relaxing to say the least. Still my favourite caravan park to date. If only it was that touch closer.


Anyone have any other caravan parks that they would recommend?

Monday, 6 March 2017

TOURIST TUESDAY: ROAD TRIP TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA, DAY SIX

Waking up at the Station Creek rest area was different. I was either so exhausted I fell into a deep sleep, or the rocking of the van lulled me all night.



After a quick (very basic) breakfast, we were on the road again. According to google maps it was only going to be a quick three and a half hour drive to Coffs Harbour. Nothing! Especially after all of the driving we had just done.

Unfortunately, we got stopped mid way on the highway for almost an hour, the fires were too close to pass through some areas. Lucky, for us, being stopped on the highway with the van attached meant I could just get out of the car, and go back and make us lunch.

We thought that we could not go through Coffs without a stop at the Big Banana. Coffee for Justin, and icecream for Jarvis and myself. Plus, we had to buy a fridge magnet for the caravan.




From Coffs it was a short drive to Sapphire Beach Caravan Part and Resort. Yup, this was the place! Holly Molly I loved it. Right on the beach, lush green grass and garden, with a pool. As soon as we set up the van, we decided that we were staying more than one night.





What a difference, the night before it was the roar of the traffic and smell of car fumes. To the roar of the ocean, and that distinctive small of salty fresh air....

Monday, 27 February 2017

TOURIST TUESDAY: ROAD TRIP SOUTH AUSTRALIA DAY FIVE

I was so keen to get going, and leave the caravan park. I wonder if I would have been so eager, if I had known what the day had in store for us?


The day started off similar, town after town. Continuous road. With a break in Yass, and lunch in Sutton. The end of the day, is what held the twist. The original plan was to drive through Sydney (Justin's plan) and stay in a caravan park just outside of Sydney. Estimated time of arrival about 5pm....

No. What happened was we got stuck in Sydney peak hour traffic. Torture for all of us. The stop start towing a van is not easy. Justin and Jarvis were starving, and do not function well with lack of food. I know just how hungry Justin was, as we ended up pulling over in a servo, and having Maccas for diner. First time in ten years Justin and I have ever had Maccas for dinner. The food was still as crap as I remember. Jarvis opted for banana bread and a chocolate milk from the Mccafe.


It was then back on the road, and my turn to drive to the caravan park. Justin and Jarvis must have fallen asleep in a sugar/grease induced haze, as they slumbered I started to think I could smell smoke... All too soon I was driving through bushfires. Very surreal to have flames on either side of the road.

Even worse, was the fact that when I finally got to the caravan park I realised we would not be sleeping there for the night! Bit to close to the flames! The whole entrance was ablaze!

There were lots of road blocks and detours, and we did not even drive through the worse of it. But, what I did drive through was daunting enough.


So I drove on and on and on. Trying to get us as far away as possible from the fire and smoke. After three hours, I could drive no more, so I pulled over and slept the night in a rest stop on the side of the road. There was a loo, and somewhere to clean our teeth. Wet wipes as a shower. And the traffic to rock the van, and us, to sleep. What more could we want? 

Monday, 20 February 2017

TOURIST TUESDAY: ROAD TRIP TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA DAY FOUR

This is the one day of the trip, I seriously have trouble remembering.


I did the "check-in" on Facebook for the whole journey to help remember where we stopped, and what we did. According to Facebook we drove through Robinvale, Swan Hill, Berrigan, and stopped for the night in Albury. Only memory is that the caravan park in Albury, was pretty crap.



Justin had planned we would go the back...back way that day. To avoid the boring roads we had already done, and to go around the flooded roads.

But, wow, this was an isolated back road journey. Yup, nothing of interest on those roads.


We stopped to take a photo of a tree, because it was the most stimulating thing we passed in hours.


Not sure if the tree was worth stopping for? Think I prefer the next photo, of Justin and the caravan, when I turned around to walk back to the car.


Now, I think of the craziness of newbie caravan towers going over these rough, and sometimes unsealed, partially flooded roads. With flooding in some parts right up to the road.




I just asked Justin if he remembered this day, he answered "you were sleeping most of the day". Must admit, I am not a very great passenger, I do love a good car nap.



 If Jarvis and I were not napping, this cutie kept me company with his endless enthusiasm for car games...

Monday, 13 February 2017

TOURIST TUESDAY: ROAD TRIP TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA DAY THREE

I woke super early, as this, was the day that I would get to see my caravan for the first time!



After fuelling up, we drove back into Hay. For every stop along our journey I wanted to buy a fridge magnet, and we had gotten into Hay too late the night before. Pretty much every stop Justin bought a coffee and I bought a fridge magnet.


Balranald was our first stop of the day. For Jarvis and I, to use the toilets, and Justin for more coffee. Can't say I was enticed to stay any longer than a loo break. So we headed off to Mildura, where we stopped at a cute cafe for lunch. Or in a crazy parenting move, allowing Jarvis to eat his body weight in meringue!

The idea was to go across the South Australian boarder to Lyrup, pick up the van, then drive back, and stay in a caravan park in Mildura. Justin estimated two hours for this....

What we didn't count on was the previous owner! Des... how funny was he, when he figured out that neither of us had owned, or towed a caravan. That Justin, had never even towed a trailer. So he took a huge amount of time, and effort, to teach Justin how to hook up the van, and all of the little nuances of the van.




I admit, it was too hot to stand in the sun, and get a lesson on the van. So Jarvis and I hung out in the van.


Very interesting couple, Justin stayed even later to do a portrait shoot of them. Anyhow, much to Des's concern I drove off the property towing our new van! Only under the strictest of promises, that if anything went wrong to phone him.

The car towed the little van pretty well. I took it easy, and sat on around 90 KLM instead of the 110. Thing I did note, was how towing the van sucked up the fuel. In my mind I could hear my credit card screaming in pain.

Pulled into the All Seasons Caravan park and the fun began. I made Justin park the van. I know when to admit that someone does things better than me. The set up was all pretty easy. Bar for the fact we could not get the power to work. Thankfully our neighbours came over and sorted it out.




We were all so tired we didn't really get to enjoy our night at the All Seasons. Also, their name is misleading, we only got sweat box hot in the afternoon, and so effing freezing overnight we all slept cuddled together like popsicles. Even after I added every towel and every item of clothing on top of the bed to add any warmth possible. Lucky for us it was cold, cause three in a double bed is cosy.