On Saturday we headed down to Queenscliff for 3 days away with Mum and Dad, and my sister and her family. On the way we stopped at Tony's cousin's house as we were thinking about buying their camper trailer (they have just upgraded to a caravan). We hadn't seen them for ages (nearly 2 years we think) so it was great to catch up and for the kids to play - LiAM was able to play Skylanders and the girls played on the swings and Millie set up a bit of a tea party for us. We set up the camper trailer and chatted about how and when to use it, and did decide to buy it - very very exciting, I've been wanting one for a few years and I'm thrilled to have one now!
We arrived at the house we were all sharing around 5.30 on Saturday afternoon. The others were already there and settled in. We explored the house and played with the baby and chatted to everyone and felt very relaxed and happy to be away for a few days. We had fish and chips for tea, then Tony and Dad and the kids and I headed down to the beach to see the sunset. Tony had thought we might see the sun set over the ocean because of the angle of the peninsula - and he was right. We arrived just in time to see it hit the ocean horizon and were able to watch it set - beautiful. The kids paddled in the edge of the water then started jumping the little waves, and eventually moved in as far as their knees and slightly bigger waves - they were all saturated and very happy by the time we headed home. The kids started a game of Monopoly back at the house and the adults played Monopoly, did puzzles, read books etc until we all went to bed. The kids and Tony let me sleep in the front room by myself on the sofa bed so that I could have a sleep-in the next morning - very much appreciated.
Sunday was a relaxing day with a leisurely breakfast, and then everyone in and out of the house doing various sight seeing things as the mood struck them. We had trips to the beach, to the shops, to the train station, in basically every combination of kids and adults. Tony and I had some time together browsing the shops, F & J were able to go out for lunch on their own, and the kids went out at various stages with different people, one, two or 3 at a time. Dad and I took the kids on a steam train ride which we all enjoyed immensely. We had a couple of trips to the beach each day - and discovered that at low tide, the beach where we'd watched the sunset turned into a series of rock pools which led to safe, calm water for swimming, and lots of chances to see sea stars, crabs, fish and heaps of plant life. With so many adults around it meant that usually each child could go home or go out when they wanted to, there was generally someone happy to help them out, and others could stay longer or not go out at all and it worked very well.
Monday was similar to the day before, lots of outings and lots of hanging around at the house. There was a great selection of games in the house - Monopoly, Uno Skip, Pictionary, which we played quite a bit. F had also brought along a trivia game which we played on Sunday night.
Tony left early on Monday to head back to work, and it was a bit weird not having him there - I kept waiting for him to wander out into the living area, I missed him quite a lot.
One of the highlights of the house for the kids was the spa bath. After each trip to the beach they returned home and jumped in the spa - a great way to warm up (the weather was a bit chilly at times) and relax and really feel indulged on our holiday.
My highlight of the weekend was an early morning (7am) walk to the beach alone, and a swim in the ocean. The tide was up but knowing where the rock ledges were meant I knew where the water would be safe - the swim bought back many memories of swimming in the ocean early in the morning (for a few years I did it every day). I felt so happy and excited and calm (all at once) in the water, it was an amazing start to the day. I walked home around the beach and headlands where there was only a tiny gap between the rocks and the water (tide was coming in) and got wet once - it felt like an exciting adventure trying to beat the waves around the headland.
On Tuesday morning we all packed up in a leisurely fashion. F & J left around 11am and the rest of us were ready to go around midday. Mum and Dad were coming home with us as Tony had taken their car on Monday. The 6 of us went down to the observation tower near the ferry terminal - LiAM had been keen to go to the top all weekend. The view from the top was fantastic, seeing the headlands on both sides of the bay and out to the ocean, and the bay and shoreline in all directions. From there we went back into town and got a big bag of lollies each from the lolly shop and a gelato from the gelato shop (we'd had an ice cream the day before from the Swedish ice cream shop), then headed towards home.
We stopped in Geelong for pizza for lunch and for me to pick up Caitlin's christmas present (a RipStik), and then again at Tony's cousin's to pick up the camper trailer to bring it home - I was a little nervous driving with a (very heavy) trailer in peak traffic, and down the hill at Christmas Hills, but it wasn't too difficult and I made it home happily without incident.
(I have photos to add, once my internet speed is faster and can actually hang in there long enough to get the photos uploaded...)