We’re making the most of these school holidays by wandering about the countryside! Travel to date:
Thursday last week: hopped on a plane to QLD. Kids travelled well, Jetstar was fine. Flew into Brisbane, then hired a car. Got to Toowoomba that night, as planned, for a not terribly restful night’s sleep (note to self: two year olds are not fun to share a bed with, and 9 year olds who want to see Grandpop and go fishing wake up really really early).
Friday: drove to Miles. First stop lunch, where my mate Sharryn joined us. Second stop, hairdresser! My favourite hairdresser is one who has done my hair since I was a teenager, and the salon is kid-friendly and nice. I always take the opportunity to get my hair done there when I’m visiting the family. Though it’s getting to the point it would be WAY cheaper to fly her down to visit us instead! Finished there and went to the Historical Village to wait for Mum to arrive back from a bus tour she was on for work, then headed out to brother’s place. S-i-L not home, nor oldest nephew, but enjoyed catching up with brother and his two youngest. Dad also joined us there, so was able to leave hire car rather than brave the kangaroos on the gravel road. Aunties from Sydney arrived at Mum and Dad’s not too long after we got home, so it was a bit chaotic!
Saturday: Dad and Master Nine headed in early, as Dad was driving a truck in the street parade. M9 not terribly impressed as all he wanted to do was fish, but he had a good time in the end I think (helped that he got to go home with Grandpop at 11 – not at all interested in the rest of the events when there was fishing to be done!). The rest of us left at about 9am, to wait about for an hour in town pre-parade. Miss Six and Master Two were on the Village “float” (the historical ute), looking very country (M6 actually won Best Dressed Girl, which she was chuffed about!). I took a bunch of photos of the parade, but haven’t downloaded yet, so these are my aunt’s. Saw a few people to have chats to after the parade, which was very nice, then walked up to the football grounds where the rest of the festival was taking place. Pleasant day, lots of free rides for the kids, people to see and market stalls to peruse. A bit weary by mid-afternoon but lasted until about four I think before taking my ratty kids home.
Sunday: Mum and the aunties took Miss 6 in to the Poet’s Breakfast quite early, and I wandered about getting myself ready to head off on the journey to WA. Left for Roma about 10.30 – boys barely noticed I was leaving I think! Airport at Roma didn’t even open properly until an hour before flight, which was interesting. Little plane filled almost entirely with miners, but a short flight to Brisbane. Reasonable layover there, but not too bad, before hop to Melbourne, where I only really had enough time to visit the chocolate shop before it was time to board. Felt like a very long trip from Melbourne to Brisbane, but I survived with some Doctor Who on the iPad. Nice to travel Qantas and be fed and watered regularly! Got in to Perth about 10.30pm, picked up hire car and made my way to hotel. Nearly midnight before I hit my room, but still didn’t sleep for a while. Discovered the hotel had free wifi, which meant I could watch the new ep of DW on ABC iView! But I didn’t watch it (all that night, at least!).
Monday: Woke stupidly early (and did watch the DW ep!). Wandered down to breakfast nice and early and enjoyed the buffet before walking down to the shopping area as I needed a cami for Awards outfit. Shopped at Myer (sale!), then found I had time for a quick mani/pedi (haven’t had one ALL YEAR) before I caught a taxi to Perth College to meet up with Brenda for a little while. Of course, PC is in Mount Lawley, and this necessitated a visit to Robin at Planet Books! Eventually made my way back to hotel to prep for first of the Awards events, which was a meet ‘n’ greet at the State Library. Nice to meet up with Miffy, Bev and other fellow judges (sorry that Judi couldn’t be there though) and see the team. We then headed back to the hotel to joosh up for the Awards proper, which was held at the State Government Reception Centre in Kings Park – quite swanky! Nice to see so many awardees there and the speeches were short and interesting! Caught up with Dave Luckett and Sally Beasley (which shouldn’t have been unexpected, but was!) and the lovely folk from Fremantle Press, among others. It bucketed down on us just as we needed to leave for dinner, so we all looked a little like drowned rats (except for Alice Pung, who managed to still look sleek!) when we arrived at the Old Brewery for our meal. Enjoyed chatting with Penni Russon, Alice Pung, Max Barry and Anna Funder’s brother (who accepted her award on her behalf and sat across from me at dinner). Back to the hotel by 11pm, for another very late night (I had to pack as the next day would not leave time) followed by a too early morning!
Tuesday: Breakfast started with Penni and Mif, and ended with Amanda (who got up much earlier than usual to meet me!). After a prolonged chatting/eating time, I hopped in the car to head to Rockingham. First stop was the real estate, to sign the contract on our house – two weeks from listing to contract – gotta be happy with that! Next was Kolbe, to see my work mates and friends there – I’ve missed them! Got well fed, as usual, and just great to see them. Dragged myself away, but only because more good friends and lunch awaited me at Helen’s! Lyn, Sarah and Ju well and truly beat me there, but hopefully weren’t too cross I was so late! Beautiful lunch and great company. I reluctantly headed off from there but still more people to see! Found my way to my cousin’s house, and enjoyed a very pleasant chat with aunt and cousin and soon to be cousin-in-law. Cross I can’t get to their wedding next week, but won’t be allowed to fly :( Eventually moved on from there, to pick up Helen and Amanda at the train station and go to Terri’s for the final social destination of the day! Alisa and David beat us there (pretty impressed by David’s effort – flew in from Melbourne that morning, worked, and still found his way to Mandurah for a social evening!), Terri naturally had a gorgeous meal ready for us, and we had a lovely evening (wasn’t all social, we worked too!). VERY reluctantly dragged Helen and Amanda away from there rather later than anticipated, and drove them both home before finally finding my own bed around 1am. Have no idea where I found the energy for all that, but managed!
Wednesday: SUPER early wake up, but ended up being good to get to the airport early as I got my requested points upgrade to Business Class which meant I could go Qantas Lounge! Woo! A bit too tired to eat much or truly make the most of it, but enjoyed it anyway. First time travelling Business Class and it was most pleasant. Love that you get so well looked after, with real china etc and lovely food and BIG seats! Again, probably a bit too tired to fully make the most of, but glad I did it. Shortish layover in Brissy, then back on the weeny plane to Roma. This time it was half empty, but I still managed to get someone next to me. A pleasant young fellow on his way home from boarding school, but still! And then I had the drive back to Mum and Dad’s – loud music and junk food required for final leg! But did it! Absolutely shattered by the end, but had a great couple of days.
Thursday: Very slow and quiet start to the day, before heading into Drillham to see the Gaze family for a visit, lunch with Mum in town, and a short stop with S-i-L. Nice to do all that, but not entirely sure why I bothered getting out of the house – it was HOT (33 degrees at least most of the day, which is a big shock to the system when the top in Tassie has been about 16 recently!) and I was tired. Thought the kids could do with the outing, but they were a bit feral (well, M2 in particular, but the others didn’t seem too fussed what we did!). And my feet and ankles are showing the signs of six flights in a week, being rather puffy. Not at all painful, but anything other than sitting with them elevated makes them puff even more! Looking forward to getting back to the cooler weather I think (there’s something I never thought I’d say!).
Today we are home for the morning, but we’ll head to town to see more friends this afternoon. Today thus far has been about responding to important emails and writing reviews that have a deadline. And washing. Back to it then!