Friday, July 10, 2009

Catching Up ...

Oh My Goodness, it has been such a long time sinc I have posted to this blog, and I sincerely apologise for that. Life has gotten in the way (and, I guess, so has Facebook !!). In one way, it is fortunate that so many of you, my blog friends, are also on Facebook, so we haven't really lost contact at all. For those of you who are not on Facebook, I will be by your blogs soon to see what you have been up to !!

So, on to what I have been doing since early March ....

As you may have been aware, we have been looking for ages for a new camper trailer (that was the reason we sold our permanent site at Bonnie Doon). We constantly looked on the internet, on the Trading Post, Ebay, etc., to see if there was any of the particular type (a Track TVan) that we were after, at the price we wanted to pay. By pure coincidence, Hubby was online on the Trading Post, when all of a sudden, up popped a new advertisement for a TVan. Turns out it was exactly what we were after, with all the accessories that we wanted, AND at the price we wanted to pay !! The only problem was, it was in Cairns, and we were in Melbourne (for all you non-Aussies, we are basically at the southern end of the country, Cairns is almost all the way to the north). We rang the people and discussed the camper with them ... decided it was for sure what we wanted. Next, we had to figure out our finances and options ... and decided we would go for it. We sorted out the money, booked airfares to Cairns, arranged a hire-car (with a tow-bar) and off we went. We flew up to Cairns on Monday 23rd March, early in the morning, arrived and collected our hire car, and headed off to collect our camper. It was love at first sight !!! After spending an hour or so with the sellers, who explained numerous things about the camper, we were off. We started driving home straight away (it was going to be over 3,000 kilometres till we got home !!). First overnight stop ... Townsville ... 348km (we didn't go hugely far, as we were very, very tired, after the excitement of the past couple days, and the early flight). It was hot in Townsville ... very humid ... something we weren't used to, as the weather was starting to cool in Melbourne at this stage !! We had picked out a lovely caravan park, and met some nice people. We had packed bedding, so we were able to sleep in the camper at night, saving money on accommodation. We ate on the run, at Roadhouses, McDonalds, KFC, and wherever. Not particularly nourishing, but filling, none-the-less !! Next morning, very early, we headed off again, stopping as little as possible (only for nourishment, petrol, toilet stops ... nothing much else). We got just over 870km, to Banana (south of Rockhampton), where we stopped for the night ... it was a very basic caravan park, but it had showers and toilets ... what more could we ask for. Next morning, again very early, off we went again ... this time we made 1014km to Dubbo, where we once again overnighted (this time in another really nice caravan park). Another early morning, and we headed for home ... 874km later. It was total madness, driving such distances in so little time ... we left on Monday, arrived home Thursday night ... OMG, were we tired. We had left Chicky at home with my parents ... didn't see the point in taking her out of school for a week, just so she could spend it sitting in a car !! But, we were soooo happy, we had our TVan, and it was just perfect ... it is what we have been wanting for quite some time, and we were excited to have finally gone one of our very own.

Our hire car and camper in a caravan park in Townsville

Next up, early April, and it is the school holidays. We had booked, months ago, a week in a resort in Bright (using our Timeshare). Of course, by this stage, we only wanted to go camping in our new camper, but the holiday was booked ... so off we went !! It was a great week, we took along a friend for Chicky, and we did a lot of exploring. We explored Bright; went driving around the district, doing a bit of 4WDing; went for a drive up to Mt Buffalo, found a lovely bush camping area up there; went to Beechworth, checking out all the history there, and lunched in the Beechworth Bakery; went to Albury / Wodonga, vising the Hume Weir ... sad to see how little water is in there ... less than 10%. We had a wonderful time, took plenty of photos, and did a lot of relaxing, too.

Autumn trees as we drive into Bright

We returned home the day before Good Friday, quickly unpacked, then repacked, and packed up the camper for a brief trip over Easter into the Victorian High Country. Chicky had made arrangements some weeks before we got the camper, to stay with a friend a Bonnie Doon, and was hesitant to change those plans, as she wanted to catch up with friends at the caravan park ... we weren't overly happy that she wouldn't be joining us, but understood her reasons. Anyway, after dropping Chicky off at Bonnie Doon, we headed into the High Country, to a lovely spot in the King Valley, near the King Hut. We had a perfect spot, on the banks of a flowing creek/river, in a gorgeous part of the country. We stayed here for 3 nights, constantly missing our daughter, but we had a lovely time. We were out of mobile phone range, which distressed me a little, as we couldn't keep in contact with Chicky, particularly on Easter Sunday ... but we all survived, and all had a great weekend.

Hubby enjoying a beer by the fire at our campsite in the King Valley

Late April brought Chicky's 15th birthday ... she had a bit of a gathering / party at the local roller skating rink, with a bunch of her friends. We also had a family day here at home, to celebrate her birthday. We kept it all fairly simple ... next year, her 16th, I imagine will be a big one !!

Not sure if I'd mentioned it at any stage, but I have joined Curves, a women's only gym. It is great fun, and I am trying to go as often as possible. Sometimes, the motivation isn't there, and I really need to push myself ... but life's like that sometimes. I am starting to see results, and am very happy with the program. I would recommend Curves to anyone.

I am still happily scrapbooking away ... currently, I am working on Chicky's dance photos ... it is great fun, and I enjoy the challenge of making every page different, and coming up with new ideas.

It was Hubby's birthday in late May ... we didn't do much, just a family gathering.

I went for an audition for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Hot Seat ... ummm, that's all I'm going to say about that one !!

I have been majorly obsessed with the Twilight movie and books ... couldn't help myself, they are very addictive books ... read them twice through (there are 4 books, and they are all over 500 pages each) ... and have watched the movie a number of times. Can't wait for the next movie.

I am still working, only a couple of days per week ... just casual data entry ... but the social aspect of the work environment is great, and the girls (and guys) I work with are lots of fun.

Just last week, we had 5 days camping in Echuca (we were hanging out to use the camper, and decided that although it is very cold ... the middle of winter ... we would give it a go !!). We chose a nice caravan park, with a powered site (so we could take electric heaters !!). We had a great time. We explored new, and old, Echuca; went for a paddle steamer cruise, with lunch on board; went mud bashing in the Barmah Forest (well, it was just a drive, but as it had been raining, the tracks were very muddy !!); caught up with friends from Kyabram; and came home via Cobram and Yarrawonga, exploring our old camping area (Dead River Beach). We were horrified, when in Yarrawonga, to see that Lake Mulwala was empty. We also came home past Lake Nillahcootie (also extremely low), and Lake Eildon (last count, it was around 14%). Very sad to see how the drought is affecting the water levels. Although, it is great to see that the countryside was very green, due to the fact that we have had some rain throughout the Winter so far.

The PS Emmylou ... we had a wonderful lunch cruise onboard

Umm, what else can I tell you ??? Might leave it there ... I've probably bored you enough with my rambling writing for now.

Hope you are all doing well, and life is treating you as well as it could be.

Love to all of you, and your families ...

Take care,


Peter said...

G'day stranger, you have been busy little beavers haven't you, good to catch up with all the news, congrats on the TVan.

Gattina said...

Indeed it was a long time ! I thought you disappeared from Blogworld ! What an adventure to pick up your camper ! We had already enough of driving 1200 km to Italy 3 weeks ago. We did it in two times. It's too tiring. Hope to see you now more often !

Puss-in-Boots said...

Welcome back, Connie. I've been checking on your blog every time I'm online to see if you had posted...but no joy, until now! Woohoo! Sounds as if you've been busy having fun...

Chicky is 15 already...I can't believe how fast time goes. Now I feel old...

It's so good to hear from you, Connie. I took Facebook off my computer, because I ended up with a virus and had to get it no more Facebook for me. It's not really my thing, anyway.

Take care. Hugs.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Thanks for the update. Glad you've been on Facebook.

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