The bliss of the family holiday…

Picture this: a family of six holidaying in an idyllic bay region of the sub-tropics.  All day long we play in the pool and in the local park, eat fish and chips under a shady tree, take long walks in the afternoon along the bay and collect sea shells as we watch the crabs scatter madly across the sand.

Everyone is relaxed and chilled. The kids are zapped of energy at the end of the day and fall into bed exhausted each night at eight pm. Jason and I sip sweet bubbly wine and sit on the balcony, watching the summer moon rise and float over the water, enjoying this precious time out of our crazy-busy lives.  Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Now, picture this: a family of six holidaying in a three bedroom apartment while 314mm of rain is dumped from a freak weather system over a three day period.  The rain is so heavy that the bay, although it is only 100 metres from the balcony, is hidden under a constant curtain of gray.  The wind is cyclonic and picks up heavy plastic lounges and hurls them into the resort pool, where they reside like submerged crocodiles. The shade sails covering the pool area are torn to shreds and crack like whips in the wind.

Yes, last week we ventured on our second ever family holiday. The first was a mini disaster and this one was located in an actual mini-disaster.

We were able to make to the resort restaurant for dinner and I am happy to report that our dining experiences were a vast improvement on last year’s, which culminated in me down on my hands and knees, scrubbing Rylan’s vomit off a black carpeted floor, after he ate, (in his own words) ‘big, fat, poofy chicken nuggets’. In his defence, the restaurant would have been a perfect candidate for Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’. I am surprised only one of us brought it back up.

That was at the same time that Callum was slamming his tiny clenched fists up and down on his high chair, chanting  “dinner, dinner, dinner…dinnahhhhhh!” at the top of his voice for a full five minutes. Jason and I tried to suppress  our hysterical laughter.  On our way out the door I told the cashier that he would be happy to know that we were not locals and wouldn’t be returning. He looked relieved beyond words.

Happily, this time we were only treated to Callum break dancing in the restaurant – something only a three and a half year old can get away with, and Lachlan crying because he thought that rubbing pepper under his nose would be fun.  It wasn’t – for any of us.

On the second night we ventured to another restaurant.  On the way home we were picked up by the police because Jason had done a U-turn and driven (5 metres) down a one way carpark. This was a huge surprise to us because apart from the sleeting rain and electrical black out, there was no sign that stated this was the case.  How are tourists supposed to know? A fine of $150 and a loss of three licence points later, we were unimpressed.

Finally,  on the late afternoon of the last day, after  spending far too much time with our kids, the rain clouds parted and the sun came out. We walked on the beach and collected shells, we went in the pool and the kids were tired and ready for bed at eight pm.

The next day we packed up and were ready to go home, only to find that the rivers had risen so high that no-one was leaving this gorgeous little holiday spot- for another three days.

But with the nicer weather we spent all day in the pool, walked along the bay and collected more shells, ate fish and chips under a tree and had a great time. We even played a family game of tennis – during which ‘athletic’ Lachlan got tired and ‘starfished’ on the ground, watching his partner  run around like a maniac to return the volleys.

Callum loved the pool and spa, but unfortunately developed a severe case of the farts. He did it everywhere: in the lift, in the room, in the car and in public. He even took a spill and fell on his tummy and let two farts go as he fell.

We were planning a proper holiday later this year – either to the snow or Fiji, however, these plans are now under serious revision.


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