School Holiday is our family’s newest novelty. Vick braved the first week (of two) on her own. It was cold and rainy and they spend a lot of time baking and visiting the museums. By the end of the first week though (despite heroic displays of positivity) it was getting pretty clear that if we the three of them spent the next week on the boat, in the rain, it was not going to be a good scene. We consider ourselves to be pretty stout, flexible cruiser types. When the condensation gets so thick that it starts collecting as drops on the overheads, we grin and bear it. But this wet season seems to have started when we arrived in Australia and 7 months later, is still going strong.
We needed to escape to somewhere with heat, somewhere it didn’t rain indoors. My boss just moved to Mullumbimby and touted it as the center of the hippy universe. With an endorsement like that, I felt we had to check it out. So we rented a car and and AirBnB and prepared for a 4 day thaw in a cute little farm-side cottage.
On Thursday morning we drove down and I realised about 30 minutes into the ride that driving 2hrs might well be harder on the kids than sailing across the Pacific Ocean. When we are sailing they have some degree of freedom. They can move around freely, play with their toys and make food when they are hungry. You can be quite happy with that limited range of options for 24 days. But strap them into the car seats and deny them food or loud play for 2 hours and (I discovered) you’ll have a serious revolt on your hands.
Thankfully we found a great cafe in Southport with a seriously friendly proprietor that fauned over the kids. The experience refreshed us and gave me (just barely) enough patience to make it to the BnB. The BnB was lovely; the wood burning stove was just what the doctor ordered; and it was blessedly dry. Vick and I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in a bed that didn’t require us to jam our shoulders together, but found that in spite of the palatial space the bed afforded, we still slept on one corner of the bed with no space between us.
We packed our short weekend full of adventures. Ruby really wanted to check out the Crystal Castle (which was described to us as a Hippy Disney Land). We ate out a lot and went to the Mullumbimby farmer’s market (which was awesome). We went to the beach and checked out a seriously unwelcoming bar and harbor entrance. Our last day was our most ambitious. Mark met us bright and early at the cottage and we packed the car to go home. We caravanned to the Byron Heads Lighthouse and did a rigorous little hike from the beach to the lighthouse and back. I’m still not sure how we pulled this off but after a light lunch we managed to get the kids to walk the entire craft market with almost no complaints.
Exhausted and somewhat recharged we headed back to Convivia. Despite the welcome change of scenery, warmth, and lack of internal precipitation, I am pleased to report that the crew of Convivia were all delighted to be home.