The World getting to me I gathered by beloved family and dragged them away from it all.
Spontaneous as one can get when requiring some level of decent accommodation to sleep and shower in, of course.
I’m sure camping requires some level of organising and planning and blah, too. And although the idea of being out and surrounded by nature, with no electricity or, dare I do it, wifi, for a few days did appeal to me, well … the idea of camping just doesn’t appeal to me at all.
It’s all wonderful in theory. The reality, well, cold and hard ground and no sleep due to increased risk of things crawling on you. Like, not kids, cos that I can tolerate way more than insecty things that I can’t identify.
Probably good for bonding and shit but …
I just can’t do it.
So I did a search and found a hotel and said “Right, pack, we’re going there” and found ourselves in Warrnambool.
Which had some bonuses, because I could at all stages reduce the rate of obstructive, obstinate and whiny children by one.
One is going to be a marine biologist, so he was quelled with promises to see if we could find some whales, and another likes rocks, and the climbing on of rocks, so we could happy him up with promises to find some rocks to climb.
The other one just isn’t happy unless wifi and screens are involved, and wasn’t going to be happy no matter what we promised him.
Thus the standard discussions that involve considerably reluctance to agree with anything suggested, by all three of them, ensued. I even asked if we could skip the bullshit, but no, they weren’t happy with that idea.
It seemed they weren’t able to cooperate at any level until they had complained about it quite considerably beforehand. All part of the ritual of eating breakfast, getting dressed, bitching about anything and everything that is suggested, for no other reason than just because and even despite the fact that they do this every single time and know that a) they’re going to go anyway, and b) they have never had a crap time, ever, when we’ve gone anywhere so there are approximately well fewer than zero experiences that would give them any inclination that this time will be shit.
Whale watching was first on the list, so off we went to the local whale watching zone.
Mother Nature was about as angry as I was at this time, and we she and I got along really well. In fact, her rage did wonders for calming me. I do love the beach, but I love it so much more in the wild, wintry moments.
The waves were awesome, in the true sense of the word, and the kids had a fabulously enjoyable time building sand fortresses and running away from the waves.
And not spotting anything even whale-like, although this did not stop the smart arse 14 year old and his snide comments about the whale-like proportions of his parents.
He may have accidentally got pushed into the water and got accidentally wet and I don’t know how it happened. Really.
Fish and chips and a play and our first full day was done.
Home again home again via the Great Ocean Road and the major landmarks along the way.
Commencing, innevitably, with the bitching and complaining about doing it so.
The wind was wild, but not so cold, and the waves were simply amazing.
Our several minute stops increased in length at each stop we made … I could ramble on about being in touch with nature, being a tourist in your own town, in living in the moment, taking in the spectacular views and the intensity of nature … but none of it comes close to capturing the reality of it.
Also, it’s all terribly wanky and I think I’ve just exceeded my dose of such commentary for the moment.
It did, however, blow away all the stress of the last week, and quell my very own internal turmoil.
Also great for family bonding*
We all basically ended up wet to some degree, some of us having to make the journey home pantsless, or given I was driving and didn’t think driving home with no pants on was a good idea, and would drastically increase my chances of being pulled over, bursting a tire and being required to change a tire on the side of the road, or some other such inconvenience that would likely expose my blanc mangey thighs to the world, I kept my wet jeans on.
And my massively huge smile.
*Not a guarantee