This post is sponsored by Nuffnang and Yoplait
I think there must be a part of every ex-pat soul that feels the need to keep moving. The problem is that when we move and get settled, daily life takes over and the responsibilities of school and work and feeding the cat keep us in that one place. We have really been feeling that travel pull lately so this Easter holiday we decided to hit the road on a mission to explore as a family.
We felt it was important to get away from home so we could really switch our frame of mind. We had a week together and reserved a cabin up the NSW coast for a simple holiday experience. The vacation goal was to spend as much time outside playing and swimming and only coming in when the sun set. Now, seven (plus!) hours in the car with only recently potty trained twins and a seven year old who has sulking down to an art was ambitious, but Australia is a big gorgeous country and we are determined to experience it. It was not long out of Melbourne that we already had one side of the road emergency toilet break. It was not much farther down the road when the calls of “HUNGRY!” started from the backseat. We were on a mission to get there with as few stops as possible so I just broke out the giant bag of snacks packed from home. That kept them all pretty happy until we stopped for lunch and an adventure walk at Lake’s Entrance. Finding a huge nest and an abandoned egg on the beach was the highlight. While I was pretty sure it was a swan’s nest, Kieran would like to believe it belonged to an Iguanadon.
Back in the car we plied the kids with a few more snacks and multiple (MULTIPLE) repeats of their favorite song. My kids are not above a cliché, so they began to ask “Are we there yet?” about an hour or so out of our final destination. We filled at least another half hour of the drive with“I Spy” which is hilarious, by the way, when played with two three year olds who really only know the beginning letters of maybe 8 words total. So despite driving through winding thick forest, if Kieran said he spied something starting with an “H” it was always a “house” and if Clover saw something starting with a “K” it was “Kieran.” That left us with one hour to fill with whining and a rogue bee sting. Seriously, who besides me gets stung by a bee on the leg in the car at 8PM??????? But we got to Merimbula safe and sound (although at least me, a bit swollen).
The small cottage in a holiday park that we rented for the week is perfect for us with bunks for the kids and a full kitchen so we can make our own meals. There was even a grill on the front porch so we cooked dinner while the kids rode their bikes and scooters with the temporary neighborhood kids.
Clover has dubbed it “Our Tiny House” and I felt like we traveled seven hours not up the coast, but rather back in time to the 1970′s. Every day we woke up slowly and enjoyed breakfast in the beautiful light of sunrise out on the front deck watching the sea from our clifftop location. Stocking up our tiny kitchen at the local grocery store meant not only saving money on eating out, but less crazy rushing to get into the car and out to a restaurant with the kids.
We did treat ourselves a few times during the week, but mostly with lunch as we were already out and about during the day. We want the kids to enjoy nutritious treats like their favorite yogurt without having to pack up everything each time they get hungry, so we packed a small cooler before we left the cabin.
All the playing and just being outdoors all day really does bring out their appetites and being prepared with snacks meant more relaxing time for the grownups! Mornings and evening we were happily back at our tiny house. There is nothing that we had to do except be together. This trip has inspired us to commit to more family days out when we are back home in Melbourne. We don’t need to go far as long as we are focusing on feeding the things that bring joy to our family. First up we participated in the Nuffnang Yoplait Family Day Out in Melbourne last Saturday where we will enjoyed a French style picnic and lots of other fun under the Autumn skies with Melbourne blogging families. The Sydney Nuffnang Yoplait Family Day Out is happening this weekend, but we are not able to make it up to that one. The events are free, but are open to Nuffnang bloggers and their families only.