Once again this year we went to Queenscliff for the weekend before Christmas, with Mum and Dad, and my sister and her family. We stayed in the same house and it was wonderful - LiAM said it felt like we lived there, and I felt like we'd come home. So great to be somewhere familiar that we all loved.
On Friday night (before we left) Caitlin was going to a sleepover and we were all going to see the new Star Wars movie (C at her party, and the rest of us together), so I had planned to be packed for the trip before we left for that at 3pm, so that we could leave early on Saturday morning. Friday was so hot however that I wasn't able to concentrate much on getting ready, and I couldn't get the food ready or clean up the kitchen because it was just too uncomfortable in the kitchen. So I got up early on Saturday to clean up and finish packing, and we didn't end up leaving until about 11. Extreme fire danger also meant that there was a bit of preparation to do around the house and yard before we left, and I dropped off our boxes of precious things to a friend's on the way.
We took 2 cars so that Tony would be able to come back for work on Monday morning. He took the kids and picked Caitlin up from her party on the way, then drove down to Sorrento, where he met his Dad who was driving down to Victoria for Christmas, and had decided to come that way so that he could see us on the way through. Tone and the kids left the car in Sorrento and caught the ferry across to Queenscliff with his Dad - Millie saw her first dolphin in the wild, and Caitlin saw seals as well. The kids all enjoyed the ferry trip.
I drove around the long way, stopping to buy fresh berries and cherries on the way, and then stopped regularly to check out the fire situation, as there were a few fires around that I wanted to make sure I avoided. I stopped in Point Cook to do some groceries for the trip, and Mum and Dad (who had also left later than planned due to bushfire preparations) were not far behind me so they stopped and joined me for lunch. With all my stopping and starting I didn't get to Queenscliff until about 5, by which time it had started to rain and the temperature dropped around 17 degrees (it had been 40-44 degrees all the way down, it was around 27 when I arrived).
When I got there the kids were playing with their cousin, T, who is nearly 2. He was excited to see me and took me into the kitchen to show me the toaster - toast is his favourite food at the moment. It was so much fun all weekend to listen to him talking and share his excitement about EVERYTHING. Such a fun age.
We had fish and chips for tea while Dad, Tony and Caitlin played a cricket board game we'd bought down. I played Uno Spin with the other kids and we had a relaxing evening. I hurt my knee again while putting the fruit in the fridge, so spent a fair bit of time on the couch with an ice pack. Mum took the kids for a walk and Tony and I sat out on the verandah for a while. We could see the ice cream shop from where we were, with lots of people going in and out and eventually decided we would join the crowd. It was packed, and the ice cream was delicious. The kids were home when we got back, they'd had a paddle in the edge of the ocean, and were happy to just share our ice cream, with the promise that we'd get them some more tomorrow.
F, Caitlin, Tony and I played another board game - a wine game that I'd given Tony for christmas last year. It was fun, and the conversations we had were hilarious (mainly due to my tired brain mixing up words). Caitlin and F won, using some clever strategies. Millie fell asleep on my lap and LiAM took himself to bed. Caitlin decided to sleep in the front room by herself so took herself off and read her book until she was tired enough, and Tony and I crashed after a long, hot day.