Sunshine Coast and Heading Home.
The boys spent the first hour after we checked in to the resort with eyes as big as saucers, exclaiming "This is the best place EVER". Note: I didn't realise when I booked our room online that it was in fact a resort. How do you miss a small detail like that, honestly! So the waterpark, mini golf, jumping pillow and pool were quite the bonus upon arrival. It turns out that my uncle was the project manager for the waterpark...crazy small world we live in!
We had five days on the coast and a lot of that time was spent catching up with my family at my brother Chris's place. My other brother Tim came up for the week with his girls and Mum popped over for a visit before she had to head back on the long drive home out west. It was the first time all of our kids were together, including gorgeous baby Eva, so we just had to get a happy snap!
Soph and Tash are at the perfect babysitting/snuggling age and Eva was rarely out of their arms.
I did manage to sneak a few cuddles in. She's such a little koala and I'm smitten.
Day 2 on the coast was the one day it rained but it didn't stop Jack playing in the waterpark for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Harry and I huddled in the marquee watching him squeal with sheer delight every time he went down the slide. What's a bit of water from the sky to a four year old whose splashing about and soaking wet anyway right? Besides, he's a Canberra kid, 16 degrees ain't cold!
Day 3 we met up with the my brothers and nieces at Currimundi Lake for a paddle and play in the sand dunes. It was great fun seeing the kids racing up the dunes and sliding down on a boogie board into the water. Jack enjoyed playing the pirate captain on the kayake, brandishing his imaginary cutlass at whatever scurvy dog dared challenge him. Unfortunately for us, the wind was incredibly wild that morning, with sand whipping our legs and faces. The kids stuck it out for a while but in the end it became a bit ridiculous so we waved the white flag and scarpered.
In the afternoon I took the boys to one of their favourite touristy haunts on the coast...the Ginger Factory. There is no possible way that we could stay on the coast and not take a ride on the Ginger Train. It was a pretty cruisey afternoon with lunch, a train ride, an ice cream (macadamia and ginger mmmmmm!) and a play in the playground.
Day 4 we popped up to the Bellingham Maze for an hour's entertainment. In the main maze at one point we did start to wonder if we'd find our way out again. But find our way out we did and in good time too. I think its a one off kind of attraction, a little expensive for what it was but the boys enjoyed it. We got back to the resort in time for a game of mini golf and a jump on the giant kangaroo pillow before dinner.
Friday was our last full day on the coast.
We'd all been hit with a headcold the day before and were feeling pretty average but decided to get up and out into the sunshine anyway...and I'm glad we did.
We caught up with my friend Amanda and her kids for morning tea and a play on Chambers Island. It was a gorgeous day. The brilliant winter sun was reflecting off the Maroochy River, fishing boats bobbed about tied to their moorings, people cast their fishing lines from the river bank and pelicans were gliding past, eyeing the bait. I adore coming back to the places of my youth and always love catching up with old friends. Poor Harry began feeling feverish & miserable mid morning so we said goodbye to AJ and found a chemist to stock up on medicine. Even though we were feeling flat we persisted with our plans and headed up the range to Maleny to have a picnic lunch in Mary Cairncross Park. I don't think I'll ever get enough of those stunning views across to the Glasshouse Mountains. The sun was drowsily warm so we stretched out on our picnic blanket, snacked on some fruit and crackers and the boys occasionally strolled over to the playground for a play. None of us felt like doing the rainforest walk after lunch so we headed back to the resort for a very quiet afternoon in our room and an early dinner and bedtime for everyone.
Saturday morning we checked out of the resort and along with the rest of the fam,
hit the highway for a family reunion just north of Brisbane. It was really fabulous catching up with my cousins. We keep in touch online but nothing beats seeing each other in person. I was too busy chatting to take many photos, so my nieces Soph & Tash snapped some for me.
Abby's cheeky face and Lucy's sweet smile are the greatest!
When the boys were all worn out and lunch was done and dusted we gave everyone a big squeeze goodbye and headed further down the highway to Brisbane to stay at Queen Kathleen's place for the night. Mum also stayed the night so that she could visit my Nana the next day and it turned out to be an extra lovely evening. The boys played with lego on Kathleen's back deck, we had fish and chips for dinner, the most divine sour cherry cake for dessert and pored over Kathleen's photos from her recent holiday to New York.
Sunday morning we were back in the car and homeward bound.
The trip back was, as it usually seems to be, a great deal more tedious than on the way up.
Feeling snotty and tired probably didn't help things either. We were missing Husband terribly and thoroughly fed up with motels, unhealthy take out and being cooped up in the car for hours on end. We went further inland on our way home which was mostly dead straight and horribly dull, staying the first night in Goondiwindi, the second night in Dubbo and arrived home mid afternoon on the third day. By golly it was good to be home after such a long drive.
It was a fabulous trip with lots of great moments made all the better by cuddling up to Shannon that night in our cosy little house while the winter weather raged all around us. Yesterday we woke up to a light snow flurry and the hills surrrounding us were capped in white.
What a lovely way to be welcomed home.