Tuesday, April 24, 2012

there were five in the van: day one

Bells Beach. Rip Curl Pro. Twenty Year anniversary. The Great Ocean Road. An off-hand comment amongst some reminiscing about twelve months ago, and the seed of a plan was planted. When they were 14, hubby and his best mate went to watch the surfing at Bells. So why not all go down for a big old road trip? The planning and booking began. Us five in one campervan, four adults (Best Mate, his lovely wife and his parents) in the other.

I'm just going to put this out there. I got scared in the week leading up to our road trip. Really scared of what living in a confined space with three small children would be like, even though I knew it was only a couple of weeks. We hadn't travelled together yet, the five of us. I was already feeling a little unravelled as it was, and ashamed that I didn't take to the planning of the trip with the usual OCD gusto and list writing for which I am famous. Thank goodness our gorgeous friend had it in hand. So rather than tremors of excitement, I was experiencing shivers of mild dread.

And then, my darling arrived home with the glorious mobile. And I started putting things in it. Packing the clever little cupboards with breakfast cereals bought specially for the holiday and ingredients for easy meals I thought I could make in one pot. Our own pillows and doonas. The kid's scooters and teddies. Suncream and parkas. And joy settled in. That feeling of leaving it behind. Living simply for a while. And I got excited. Almost as excited as the kids, who the next morning would not get out of the campervan so we had to finish packing it around their jumps and squeals.

And at last, we popped the children into the car seats, the littlest one already asleep, and took off on the first, most boring part of our journey: taking the inland road from the Central Coast of NSW down to somewhere Abury-Wadongaish. Turns out over the Easter period, most places don't pre-book sites for less than four days. So when it came to some of our accommodation, we were winging it (because I am awesome at that).
The kids were awesome on the journey. They ate their snacks, they played with the things in their activity bags. I had prestuffed a couple of backpacks with sticker books and colouring-in. Good move. They had a little play when we stopped at Maccas and looked up some caravan parks on the ipad.
We finally rolled into Wadonga quite late- around 9.30ish. We were surprised at how quickly we got the van set up for sleep, even taking out the car seats was easy enough. The boys were mightily impressed at their big bunk bed:
We had landed at a Big4, as luck would have it. Which I discovered mostly have one of these jumping pillow things, which, if you are either nearlythree or nearlyseven, are the best thing ever.

So after brekkie and some bouncing, we headed off for the next, equally boring leg of our journey.

Oh, and the vehicle we hired was a Kea- we got a good price at a caravan and camping show we went to. It was a cool mobile. Stocked with everything you need, even wine glasses. We had the 6 berth one. You can look at their website here if you like.

Have a happy day!

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