19 July 2010

Eyes Wide Open On Holiday


Back from our holiday we are. So much seen, so much done. Here is a glimpse of our ten family days on the other side of the Tasman, at Brisneyland the Gold Coast of Australia. I went around with my eyes wide open and was surprised how much there was to learn...

I learnt that it's always a good idea to double check everything before heading to the airport, even if you have a super-organised husband. Had a lovely time at the airport with Dash and Miss Fab eating lunch and shopping for earrings while waiting for Daddy and Scrag to return from driving all the way back home to get Daddy's Drivers License.

No Drivers License=No rental car=we won't be going very far.

I also learnt that if you are lost or have lost somebody and it's nearly time to board your airplane it's a good idea to ask at the Help Desk. Chances are the missing person will arrive there looking for help at the same time you do. Great minds think alike. We also learnt that it pays not to panic. Things have a way of working out and we have never missed a flight yet. Phew.

I learnt (the hard way) to never pack a backpack full of sweeties as a bribe for good behaviour when a two-year-old is involved. Toddler+sugar rush+plane trip=BAD NEWS!

The Scrag had his own seat. But he hardly ever sat in it. Oh no. He stood in it, he jumped up and down on it, he climbed all over us and ran up and down the aisles. Thankfully he found a little friend and then the sugar high wore off. I wore my blinkers and refused to meet the disapproving stares of the surrounding passengers - they should try travelling with a bouncy two year old and then see how they like it! (Next time I'll pack fruit and nuts).

I learnt that arriving at your destination three hours past your kids bedtime can be a good thing.

They fall straight to sleep and wake up at the right time the next day, adjusted to the time difference (more or less).

I learnt that if you book a budget rental car, don't expect to be able to get into it and drive it away. You will end up catching a taxi. I learnt that if you have a husband who is great at negotiating and who hates being ripped off, you will end up getting a great deal on the stupid budget rental car after he goes in and hits up the manager about the fiasco. It pays to have a hubby who is bold when travelling.

I learnt that my daughter is a natural nurturer. If I didn't realise it before I know it now. The way she took to the puppy at Mr G's Aunty's house... it was like that puppy was a baby and she was it's mother. Awwww, so touching. So sweet.

{The puppy's name is Tilly and she almost wore me down; there could maybe be a dog in our family's future after meeting Tilly. Maybe. One day.}

I knew I was in Australia when the roads were called names like this...

I enjoyed proving to my husband that women CAN read maps thankyou very much. And we had fun taking silly photos. In the car. While I navigated around Brizzy. Without getting us lost once.

I even found our way all 13,457km across town to see Weza and Anya!! Ok, it wasn't that far, but it sure felt like it with all that darn rush hour traffic. And all those hundreds of motorway exits. I felt just a bit Laura-like (Piece of Cake Laura, you know, her USA roadtrip meeting up with famous bloggers on the way??)

We had a wonderful evening at Anya's gorgous art-filled home, eating her to-die-for pizza and hanging out with the kids and hubbies we had only read about.

It was wonderful how they all meshed and played so well... Dash and Levi hit the PS2; Miss Fab and Weza's twins took over the amazing playroom; Scrag just scragged around and Phoenix was his supercool self.


The mummies retired to the Book Nook with wine (except for Weza who is expecting!) and the daddies gave each other moral support about their wierd blogging wives while having a beer and watching the footy. All in all, it felt so natural, so normal to be hanging out with each other's families and having dinner.

I was reminded that blogging friends are real friends. And I have friends all over the world. How convenient! (The Team G travelling circus of crazy clowns could be coming to a country near you... are you up for it??)

Now I look at the clock on my computer and I know that at any minute the door will burst open with the end of the first day back at school. I have so much more to tell! So many great photos, some great stories and lessons learnt... on this holiday I really did go around with my eyes wide open.

And what I saw was...

Thousands of people rushing around theme parks looking... miserable. Stressed. Anxious. Unhappy. Not the way you should be looking on holiday!

I saw my kids  thriving in the blaze of their parents full attention.
I noticed that even though I wasn't blogging, my attention was still drawn to other worlds... the world of books sucked me in at times and so I realised that blogging is not the problem for me. It's me. I like to escape to imaginary worlds, be it online, in books, movies, TV. That's just me. But as long as I manage it and put boundaries around it so I can keep my head in the (real) game, we'll be OK.

I discovered that our best fun was simply hanging out together. Playing bulrush on the beach. Jumping in the waves. Snuggling up with books. Riding bikes. Swimming in the pool. Playing water tag.
I saw for myself that you don't have to be somewhere amazing to have amazing fun. The simple things are the best things. Fancy theme parks don't make for a happy holiday. Bike riding and swimming can be done at home. You can make your fun anywhere and you don't have to wait for a holiday.

Oh and so much more. There's so much more to tell... but it will have to wait til tomorrow because my kids are nearly home... and that's one of those blogging boundaries I must maintain :)

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meg said...

welcome home Simoney :o)

Cadi said...

Wow. What a great trip. It was lovely to read about you meeting blogga-logga friends. Blogga-logga friends just rock! ;-)

A Life Less Complicated said...

welcome back - looks like you guys had such a good time.

Natasha in Oz said...

I am so glad to hear that you had a wonderful time together as a family. Your pictures are full of love, happiness and big smiles, sure signs of a fabulous vacation. Next time you visit beautiful Brisbane we will get more organised so we can meet up!!!

Welcome home!

Best wishes always,

Anonymous said...

Brilliant photos, looks like a fantastic holiday x

Leonie said...

wow, it looks like you had a great family time. I tell all my NZ friends that the Brissy is the best place to visit and you DONT need to got to the expensive theme parks cos there's sooo much free stuff to do in Brisbane and around it.

Anonymous said...

looks like a great time away S
I hope that if you are ever in my neck of the woods you would drop in for a night or two visit!!!

Rebecca said...

Wow!! Love the photo of you in the pool and on the bikes, you look so beautiful...beaming!!
How cool is Anya, that pizza's making me hungry...
Funny how we were at Dreamworld the same day but didn't cross paths...with all the kids we were here there and everywhere!

Sammy said...

I LOVE that photo of you and Scrag in the water. You look beautiful (awww!) My lovely friend xxx

Unknown said...

What a great post and wonderful insights! Your trip looks absolutely the most fun. I have always wanted to travel to AUS. I even have friends there! You are right, blogging friends ARE real friends and I am so thankful for you and the others in my bloggy world.

Sarah (Chez Lee) said...

Welcome back! I love the angle you took for this post and some great pics too!

Gail said...

yay, i can comment. My computer is hormonal.

So glad it was a great trip! We love that place! And yes, get yourselves a dog.

banban said...

Make sure it's a real dog though!

It was so good to see you guys. Thanks for taking the time to visit!!!

I especially love the photo of you and Scrag in the pool, beautiful, and the handstand photo. I'm so glad you had such a great holiday. See you next year when you actually stay for a few days! xx

Fiona said...

Cool, cool, cool. Love the pics of gorgeous you that you took in the car/mirror, the handstand one (clever girls Miss Fab - not easy in soft sand) and the one of Dash and Scrag in the car - that Dash is going to be a heart stopper when he come into his own.

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