Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Starting off 2011 in a tent

We were lucky enough to call and they had a cancellation that we could take. And so it was that our little family packed up and headed to the Great Ocean Road for a week's holiday in the new year.
Our modest set up

We camped at a little caravan park that I'd camped at between the ages of 12 and 22. It'd been over 10 years since I'd camped there and it felt strange  yet wonderful to return and see all the old familiar faces that I grew up with...and meet their children!

Typically our days started with a walk to the toilet block followed by a walk on the beach. Shells and rocks were collected on each walk. We ate breakfast in the sun then got ready to head down the beach for the day, or into town for a coffee.

The creek that runs along the top end of the caravan park provided ours of fun for the girls. Safe fun. Is has turned out to be a dare devil and would crawl right into the waves given the opportunity. After a minor dumping on her first day she quickly learned to crawl into the waves and then stand when they reached her, then crawl some more.

S spent hours and hours in the water. She loves the sun and sand. One day she was a mermaid and I was visiting her rock pool castle. The next she was too cool for mum as she played with the older kids in the creek. The following day I'd be her side kick as we explored the rocks and the holder of found shells.

We camped directly behind the sand dunes and would fall asleep to the roar of the ocean each night. If we positioned ourselves correctly we could enjoy a vino and an ocean view while still staying close enough to hear and "supervise" sleeping children (that is, when they finally slept).

My sister visited us for 3 days. She brought with her a world of excitement for the kids (she has an amazing imagination) and some repreve for the parents. She'd encourage me to go for a walk, go see the sun setting, have another drink, sit in the comfy chair. She even fixed up the toe situation I had going on by painting them bright red. Thanks Studio Christensen. She was a breath of fresh air and so fun to play with...and I'm not just talking about the kids.

Is with Aunty Lise

Being a seasoned tent camper I had learned (sometimes the hard way) that the illusion of privacy that one may feel inside a tent is exactly that, an illusion. That flimsy canvas does not block out your private conversation or confessions when you're 15, nor the honeymoon sex you're still enjoying in your first year of marriage.

Enter two children into the mix. Our first time camping with them. I was acutely aware that the way I spoke with, played with and disciplined my girls was public knowledge. I even yelled in whispers at one stage. It is possible - email me and I'll give you a run down on how to execute it. I think its all in the scary, earnest face.

Anyway, we couldn't have been too much of a problem for our neighbours even if S woke at 6.30am and couldn't for the love of God master the whisper. One of our neighbours told us how well behaved our girls had been. The next day each overtired child flipped out on separate occasions for a looong time...perhaps they'll be so kind as to keep their compliments to themselves next time.

Dad shielding S from the strong winds whipping sand onto S. Ouch!

All up I'd say it wasn't always easy but it was a wonderful holiday. It was warm and sunny with no rain (a campers enemy). The girls played in the water every day and made friends with a family of 3 girls next door. Our beds were comfy and the food and wine was good. I'd do it again next year if I could convince the Big Fella its a good idea.

No luck so far as he claims he came home more tired than when we left. He may or may not have a point. x


Jo said...

looks wonderful, just like you described... and I am sure that if you went again next year, you would get more sleep, that extra year of growing up will do wonders to your girls I'm sure.

lilredsquirrel said...

That last picture makes it look magical - almost selling me sleeping in a tent! Looks like you had a lovely time

Anonymous said...

Julia I enjoyed seeing pics of your holiday in Skenes Creek...nice to see the family tent being used again. Again your eloquence in describing your holiday made me feel like I have been with you...and how lovely it all was...maybe Nonna will get her tent out of storage and join you one year. The pic of the sunset is amazing...just like you! xxxMumxx

two little buttons said...

what a lovely post, sounds like you had a great time. the bottom picture is amazing. the family shot looks like everyone is relaxed and having a great time.
the muscles are pretty impressive on the guy sheilding S from the wind !!!!