Sunday, January 27, 2013

South Durras

We knew there was rain coming when we set out for a camping adventure but it didn't start until well after we had set up our tent, went for a swim and had a visit from Mr Whippy.

We watched the lighting above the tent like fireworks and had an early night. When we woke on Sunday the skies were clearing and it was warm enough for a dip in the ocean, followed by another swim in the pool and a hot lunch.  

The thing about camping we've found is you don't need to 'do' so much. We skipped the 4WDing, zoo and fishing just to hang out, walk along the beach and read iPad books. Jack and Will both complained about leaving the camp grounds to have dinner at the Golf Club! They had so much more fun swimming laps of the pool, riding their bikes back and forward to the park and watching movies in the outdoor theatre.

William was terrified when he walked off in a huff and came across a kangaroo. 
I haven't laughed so much as I did when Stu told me he heard kangaroos outside the tent that night. He couldn't really tell me what noise they made so we tried to guess 'boing, boing'? I guess you had to be there. Tears of laughter streamed down my face.

The rain didn't start until the early hours of the morning but when we woke up ducks were swimming in the pond that was formed right next to the tent. Jack said 'This is the most awesome day ever' after he rode his bike through every mud puddle and found a dead frog all before he was even dressed.

They are real campers now!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pool Day

From just after breakfast until well after dinner the boys were in the water. At one stage I tried desperately to drag them out so we could get some milk but they were having too much fun and even Tori was in the water.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jack's Birthday Marathon

After a birthday breakfast of scrambled eggs (Jack's favourite) we were off to the bowling alley. Jack and William organised themselves and decided they didn't need any help. I was most impressed and shared a lovely coffee.

 The kids played the arcade games as well and Jack scored the big prize which made his day.

As we got home it was sweltering at almost 42C. I tried to teach the boys how to slip and slide but didn't have much luck until Gye came over and really showed them (and me) how to slide. Who knew a bit of soap would make all the difference?

The were still sliding until 8.30pm when we all hoped into the inflatable pool to cool off some more.

Jack met his friends at the Dinosaur Museum the following day. It was a happy reunion and Jack compared bush fire stories with the boys.

Anne did a wonderful job painting 12 little faces in the time she had and the kids enjoyed the private tour followed by pass the parcel.


Holiday Week

We are still living in holiday mode since we got back from Tassie. Not a day has gone past that we haven't welcomed visitors through the door. Grandpa and the uncles came for a shared birthday dinner of steak, spaghetti  and freshly baked sour dough- Jack's choice.

We enjoyed a day at the pool followed by a day at Questacon. The kids managed to convince me it was a good idea to go on the new twister slide at Big Splash which left me feeling motion sick. The following day I decided I'd try the 360 swing at Questacon which almost gave me a heart attack!

                                                     Click here to watch the whole clip

Stu made a delicious summer dessert and I made my first meringues in the Kitchen aid. The boys tried to conquer the world in Casscone while the kids enjoyed sharing the blu rays that Grandpa bought for the boys.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Wild William

William turned 3 on Saturday and he had the best birthday he could imagine. He requested a 'horsey party' so I asked the kids to wear their 'Western Gear' and when they arrived they donned a mustache and scarf. 

Stu filled the pool to take the edge off the 37 degree heat and when the kids weren't wet they were on the horses and they all had smiles on their faces.

 Rosie and the 5+ kids had the most success with Bobbing for apples. William enjoyed the 'panning for (chocolate) gold' more than any other.

It took some time for some kids to pluck up the courage to ride but eventually they all did and felt very brave.They all enjoyed giving the horses an apple to munch.

William, you make us laugh every day. You complete our family and we love so much. You've grown so fast and you're Jack's best friend. Happy third birthday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Things to do while stranded.

 There has been plenty to do while we wait for Arthur Hwy to open. The caravan park has a hot pool, put put golf and a park for the kids. I recently discovered the free WiFi for Nubeena refugees :) There is a wood fire pizza and pasta restaurant but the corner shop is a 20min walk along a busy hwy.

The lady at the desk has been very accommodating and she gave the kids a free game of put put and entry into the hot pool. Stu introduced himself to some other campers who also left their car in Nubeena.

 William had his haircut by the resident hairdresser in the bus that is owned by the newlywed Irish lady who is a self proclaimed 'tart at heart.' She's onto her forth husband and trying to keep up with Liz Taylor but in her words 'they won't friggin leave fast enough.' Her new husband Pete gave me a lift into the corner shop for bread and milk.

The boys have watched movies from the hard drive, caught up on some rest and found a new love of origami.

We caught the Tassie Link bus from right outside the caravan park to Hobart city. It was nice to stroll around and we happened to run into an ex Lyneham teacher who was also stranded with her husband and their 3 young boys.  

 We ate the best Japanese since our America trip and booked a bus tour for tomorrow. Avis decided the road won't be opened for at least a week so kindly refunded us for the days we didn't use the car and waived the retrieval fee after some bad press which was stirred up with some strongly worded emails by Juliette herself.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Eaglehawk Neck Fire

So after a radio call out in sea the boats left at high speed to get into shore. The police were waiting for the boats to arrive at Eaglehawk Neck to escort us to Nubeena refuge. We were the last of about 3000 people to arrive and hear that the road had been cut and homes were burning at Dunalley, a town we had driven through just hours before.

It wasn't long before there was very limited food and water at Nubeena. The toilets became blocked and unusable within about 6 hours. I was shown around the tiny corner store by torch light and could only grab what I could pay for with the $20 note in my pocket. We had packed nothing and the people next to us were a little more prepared as they were camping so they grabbed a few essentials. They lent us a sleeping bag to share and we folded down the seats and slept in the x trail. The boys slept soundly until just past 7am. Most people were up around 5.30 with the sun and rumors were buzzing about the damage that had occurred at Dunalley. The Girl Guides volunteered and handed out tea and cereal. By the time we got to the front of the food line they had roast potatoes and they were quickly running out of food and water. The electricity was cut and not likely to be back for weeks. 

 After speaking to the police it was decided that we had to abandon our hire car and head into Hobart via the emergency ferry that left at 9.30 that morning. It was a stressful 2 hour journey after one person was seasick it set off a chain and Jack joined 20 people vomiting over the back of the boat while William fell asleep.

 The pics below show us waiting for the ferry at Nubeena and the police and Fire Services have been very vague about when we might be able to retrieve our hire car. Unfortunately Hobart is out of hire cars and we are staying in Cambridge which is a $37 taxi ride from Hobart. At least 70 homes, a school and the RSL were lost at Dunalley that day and we are so thankful to get out as fire still threatens the area. Importantly there have been no recorded deaths and we have accommodation in Cambridge until we fly out on Jan 10th.