Friday afternoon at 5pm (ok let’s be honest, it was more like 6.15pm) marked the start of Matt’s official two week paternity leave. We don’t leave for Fiji until Thursday though, so we’ve got a little mini-holiday-pre-holiday with Daddy home this week – yay! We borrowed Matt’s parents camper trailer, hooked on to our new family wagon (we went with a Patrol in the end, after much compromise and debate) and headed only a bit over an hour from us towards the east. We had no real plan in mind, somewhere along Ninety Mile Beach we thought, an afternoon of exploring and we decided on the grassy campsite at Paradise Beach. After setting up, lighting the fire, trying in vain to settle the baby to sleep in her portacot (#gotosleepeleanor!) Matt commented how it was just the same as before…only the crying baby part…and the new vehicle part…and a camper trailer part…and in Victoria…with no crocodiles…and not 45 degrees. So no, not as before, but still just as good. Different, but good. We really want to continue camping and exploring just as before, now just with Eleanor on board too!
In the morning we cooked breakfast just as usual, I made coffee just as usual (although much more needed these days!), Matt got out the trusty electrical tape just as usual…in order to keep Eleanor’s socks on after putting them back on 50 times! We went for a wander on the beach, practicing with my ring sling as I’d like to take it to Fiji with us, Bella and Tessa came too – the whole family! Eleanor eventually slept in her pram outside (something I want her to get used to for Fiji), Matt caught up on some important overdue Weekly Times reading and I started crocheting yet another blanket for Eleanor before packing up again.
We took the scenic route home, meandering our way along the Grand Ridge Road, finding ourselves in Tarra Bulga National Park, continuing through the Strzlecki Ranges – what we thought would take us about an hour to get home turned into four! A hungry sad baby, restless dogs, tired mama, we pulled in to Brindabella last night – bathed the baby who promptly fell straight to sleep for almost 6 hours (hurruh!) She seems to be breathing easier at night, meaning she can actually stay asleep for longer than 1-2 hours. Yes!
Our first camping trip as a family heralded a success in our books – super easy with the trailer, especially more so if it were our own and set up just for us, although I am yet to convince Mr Anti-Towing that a trailer is the way to go. Despite our four-hour-meandering, it really is not a huge drama to pop away somewhere close by for a night, we have the luxury of being close to so many nice spots. Next time, the added bonus of a 100% healthy baby would be advisable, but we’re getting there. Bring on that humid Fijian air!