In case you are wondering where we are – we’re taking some time out and traveling the East coast of Australia (Canberra to Cairns) to visit family and friends.
We’re a few days in and, to be honest, although traveling this sort of distance with a newborn hasn’t been a painless experience, I can say it has been particularly nice just being together as a family without many of the distractions of everyday life.
Just us, the road, and the next rest stop.
Catch you all in a few weeks.
Last weekend we made a scheduled visit to the Gold Coast to visit Mel’s grandfather. It had been over a year since Mel had last visited, and with a new bub on the way it wasn’t clear when we’d get up there again, so it seemed like a good time to call in.
It was great to get away for a few days, enjoy the warm weather and go for a daily swim in the surf, but it was especially nice to be able to spend some quality time with Mel’s pop as a family. He clearly enjoyed the prospect of becoming a great-grandfather, and the visit has stimulated ideas of him relocating, to be closer to us all.
I do hope we can bring him down.
For New Year’s Eve we took off to the Kosciuszko National Park for some camping and getting away from it all. We were joined by family – siblings and partners – at a quiet rest area called Geehi Flats, on the western slope of the Great Dividing Range. There is no mobile reception here, nor many of the other modern day distractions. This place offers a pristine environment teeming with wildlife and a crystal clear river to sit by and relax, let go, and unwind. This is a place where the biggest decision of the day is when shall we have lunch. This is my happy place.
I like fishing. I’ve not done a lot of it to date, but I think it would complement my lifestyle and I want to get into it. My sister-in-law’s partner is a keen fisherman and he helped me get a grasp on the casting technique for fly-fishing. We didn’t catch anything, but I suspect it was mostly a timing problem – we were too slow – they were literally dancing in the air in their quest for a feed first thing in the morning.
The weather was perfect – sunny and warm – an iconic Australian summer day. A lot of time was spent in the water, either sitting in camp chairs under the shade of trees in the shallows or going for regular dips to keep cool.
One of the things that makes camping for me is the food. Food always tastes better when you’re “roughing it”. The best mandrin I’ve ever eaten was offered to me as a snack when on a district hike as a young boy scout, and I still remember it today. To bring in the new year my sister and her husband prepare a roast lamb with veggies in a camp oven, and it was easily the best roast I’ve ever enjoyed.
After dinner we sat around a warm camp fire until the strike of midnight, enjoyed a few drinks, listened to each others stories, plans and aspirations for the new year. The new year offers much in the way of anticipation, and for us we hope to more closely align our life to our values while looking forward to the arrival of our new baby. Happy new year.