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What I did for, well, it was just September 1st

A couple weeks ago (September 1) we went on a mini vacation to Goolwa, South Australia. Andy’s parents were renting a house near the beach for a week and had invited us to come, but because Andy has only been at his current job for four months and he was off sick for a week he didn’t have any time off owed to him so we only went for Saturday to Tuesday. I have to admit that I did not want to go. My reason had nothing to do with Andy’s parents or anything like that it was simply because Goolwa is 650 kms away. Did I mention we were driving? Yes. 650 kms, or nine hours including breaks, in a car with two small children. I don’t know about you, but to me that sounded like the furthest thing from a holiday as you can get. But, Andy’s parents had picked a house with a one level (so we didn’t have to worry about K on the stairs all weekend) and a playground right in the backyard for E to make it more enjoyable for us. How could I say no to that? And so we went.

We left Saturday morning and things started out like I had expected with E sooking in the back seat and saying she wanted to go home not even an hour in to the trip. K was great, surprisingly, but E carried on until about one in the afternoon when we stopped at McDonald’s for lunch. E ate, got a toy and played on the playground and once we were back in the car she was pretty good the rest of the way. That was when K started to find things difficult because she was tired and finding it hard to sleep. In the end we got to Goolwa safe and sound around five or six and the girls went silly exploring the house. E spotted the playground before we even got inside and she was so excited at the prospects the next few days held for her.

Once the drive was over I felt pretty good. It didn’t feel as long as what I’d expected and while at least one kid was whining most of the time they were fairly well behaved considering their age and the huge amount of time we were all in that car. We all got a good night sleep and the girls shared a room for the first time and besides the two of them chatting and playing for more than an HOUR after they went to bed it went quite well.

The next day we took a look around Goolwa in the morning, went to a couple markets and I couldn’t believe just how beautiful this place was! So relaxed (though I expect in the summer months it’s probably a bit crazier with tourists) and just pretty. After the markets we headed over to Granite Island to see some Little Penguins. There is a causeway that connects Granite Island to Victor Harbour and you can usually go across by a horse drawn tram, but at that time there was a ban on any horse movement because of an equine flu breakout and we just walked across. E enjoyed the walk and made friends with a seagull when she shared her cinnamon donut with him.

He was coming for a piece of cinnamon donut

She also claims to have seen Ariel in the water, but I missed her appearance so I can’t back that one up. Once across we killed some time waiting for the penguin centre to open…

Family shot

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granite island sign

At the souvenir shop

E and her shark

K waiting to get into the penguin centre

The penguin centre was great. They take in abandoned or injured penguins a rehabilitate them and let them back out into the wild. Apparently, though, most of the penguins will be going along good, putting on weight and eating well until release day when they suddenly drop weight. The staff at the centre believe that the penguins know it’s time to leave and make any attempts they can at staying. I think that says a lot about the people who volunteer there. The entire centre and rehabilitation program runs solely on donations and entrance fees to the centre because they have no funding which is kind of a shame because they are doing a great service to those little penguins.

Little Penguin

Little Penguins

The island is actually home to about 700 wild penguins and at dusk you can do a tour and watch them all come ashore from a days fishing. We decided against it since the possibility of one or both kids screaming and frightening the little guys was pretty high, but we hope to go back and do the tour when both kids are a bit older. We did get to see one wild penguin in a man made burrow with her little babies, however, and that was kind of special.

We were a stones throw from a lovely beach and went there later in the day. E claims this was the best part of the trip for her, she loved collecting shells and whatever to make a collage with Andy. (They haven’t made it yet, but perhaps this weekend.) K also loved the beach and got a kick out of chasing seagulls and running away from me to try and get to the water. I don’t have any photos of the beach because you could see the salt in the air; it was so thick! And there was no way I was going to risk ruining my camera, but it was killing me to not be able to because we were there when the light was perfect and both the girls had so much fun.

We had decided the night before that it would be nice to get some crayfish to have for dinner Sunday night and kept an eye out for a fish shop while we drove through several towns throughout the day. It has to be noted that all these towns were right by the beach – there was never a spot where you could not see the ocean. Do you know how many seafood stores there were? None. Zero. Nothing. Fish and chip shops, sure, but not one place that actually sold fresh fish. Is that not crazy? When we stopped at a local grocery store I asked two men who obviously worked in the area if there was anywhere we could buy crayfish and they were all, “Ohhh. Well, you’d probably have to go to Adelaide for that.” – Just so you know Adelaide was 80 kms from where we were. – “We do things differently around here.” He wasn’t rude or anything, but what does that even mean in context to that situation? Needless to say there was no crayfish, but Andy’s mum made some lovely crumbed prawns with salad and we added olives and seafood marinara to the mix. Now I don’t eat either of those last two things, but I feel it important to add that E ate a small octopus arm (leg?) and she liked it. Blech.

Monday we decided to take a stroll around town and have lunch…at a fish and chip shop and made the mistake of feeding a seagull a chip. Before we knew it there were about five or six squawking at our table. Even though it was a bit embarrassing I have to admit that it was amusing to watch one bird pick up AN ENTIRE HOT DOG that E threw down for them. Crazy sea gluttons.

We also went to Coorong National Park. We only just scratched the surface of it, but what an amazing place. After reading a bit about it on the net I would definitely like to have a more in depth look around.

Coorong National Park, South Australia

Later that day Andy asked if we wanted to go see Adelaide. It was about an hour away, but it was only around one in the afternoon at that point so I thought why not? We”ll have a couple hours to have a look around the city and be back in time to make dinner. The only problem we had with that theory? Even though he will not admit it, even with the photographic evidence I have to share, Andy goes into panic mode when we enter a large city. Every time we go to Melbourne he freaks out because there are so many lanes! And crazy, aggressive drivers! And let’s not forget that there is about a bazilliongillion streets! He won’t admit it because in his younger days he got around Melbourne, and anywhere really, without a hitch.

We had barely driven onto our first main street of Adelaide before the panic set in and he was freaking out saying we’re lost! I have to figure out how to get back before rush hour traffic starts! (It was just after two) And I am not kidding when I say that we went through Adelaide in about 20 minutes. If I hadn’t rolled the windows down we wouldn’t have even breathed Adelaide air. Here are some examples of the only photos I have from our excursion to the city…

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Her Majesty’s Theatre

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A church. Adelaide is called “The City of Churches”. There’s a comedian, Danny Bhoy, who says, “I think Rome might have a problem with that!” Or something. It’s funny when he says it.

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Art Gallery of South Australia

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Hey, if nothing else it makes for an amusing holiday tale, no? Well, amusing for me, but I’m sure Andy will come around in a few…or 50 years.

K was quite unsettled on the way back from Adelaide. I thought she just did not want to be in the car anymore, but once we were back in Goolwa and at the grocery store she made sure we understood; She threw up all over the floor and grocery cart. Something tells me we have a special place in the heart of a certain Safeway employee who had to clean that mess up. After she threw up she was as happy as could be and had a blast playing with her toys and running around outside back at the house. I went back out to pick up some baby panadol, just incase, and must have forgot I was on a holiday and temporarily not an adult company deprived housewife and told the whole story to the cashier at the pharmacy. I’m sure I’ve also reserved a cosy little nook in her heart as well.

We had dinner that night…fish and chips, I kid you not (good none-the-less) and took off the next morning into the sunse…well into the 9:30am sun. The kids were great on the trip home. E was content the entire way and didn’t complain at all. K was great too until she spewed all over herself and her carseat…FOUR hours from home! Turns out she may have a touch of motion sickness. Who knew? The smell during those last few hours was awful, but we made it home in one piece.

All in all I’m glad I didn’t let my negative self win and that we went on the trip because it was a lot of fun!

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6 Responses

  1. Sounds fantastic! And god those penguins are cute.

    I am jealous of E for two things: that adorable polka dot jacket, and seeing Ariel.

  2. Okay, your photo tour of Adelaide was hilarious–everything through the car windows was cracking me up.

    Other than the puking, it sounds like a great trip!

  3. You made me laugh, Kalki. And I think you’ll appreciate that the sweater was only $10 from Target! 🙂

    Sharkey, it was a great trip! And I’m glad to see I’m not the only person who finds the Adelaide thing funny.

    Anyone reading last night, I did delete my “philosphical” post that I put up last night. It just felt like too much once I read it this morning.

  4. Love the pictures! Sounds like a beautiful spot. We survived our two week road trip with the boy. Everyone is intact, us crazy kids may do it again! 🙂

  5. And yet, another amusing tale! I love E’s & K’s matching outfits! And the looks she comes up with…classic. She’s just full of mischief isn’t she? I have to take gravol every afternoon before embarking the bus.

  6. Catching up. This is hysterical – thanks for the tour!

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