We arrived on the Thursday night at Lynn’s home, where we spent several nights. Lynn has 12 children, so it truly felt like we’d walked right into the movie set for ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’! During our stay, we rode horses, played with frogs, cats and dogs, and even took a visit to the local dolphin pool, where we were ‘kissed’ by the dolphins and the seals! During the evenings, we were privileged to join in with the family’s prayer time, and what a blessing it was, to see families joined together in prayer, with little ones, teenagers, and adults sharing time together. We also managed to fill up the church seats quite well on Sunday! After that, we all set about packing, ready to leave for camp on Monday morning.
The camp was so full of activities, it’s difficult to summarize! There was kite-flying on the beach, a visit to the rock pools, a sports day, concert, dancing, singing, and of course, daily prayers and daily Latin Mass. We caught up with many friends that we’d met last year, and met several new ones as well. Fr. Rizzo was a delight, and it was wonderful to see a priest who could connect so well with all the age groups, but especially the teens. The final night was bonfire night, and the teens headed off to the beach, while the younger children had their own bonfire at the camping ground. I spent the evening with the younger ones, and we had a merry time telling jokes, singing songs and chatting. But, all too soon, the camp was at an end, and once again, it was time to pack up, and move on.
So down the coast we went, and began our week-long stay with Erin & family. I can’t say that all went to plan – at midnight on the 1st night, the vomiting began, and over the week, most of our family and theirs came down with some sort of bug But fortunately, it only hit each person for 1-2 days, so we were still able to make the most of the holiday. Our days included a trip to the local soccer grand final, walks around the property, lots of chatting, a birthday party, LAN computer games, and many hours out on the dune buggy! Even Bill and I took a ride. The children are all such great friends, that it was very difficult to pack and leave, but again, time catches up with us in the end, and it was time to come home.
The return trip saw one blown tyre, but otherwise, we returned home safely. Mind you, I did learn an important lesson about saying ‘yes’ when the GPS asks if it’s OK to take the dirt roads – more like fire tracks! Here is one of the ‘roads’ it took us on in NSW – for over an hour, we travelled through the middle of a forrest, with no fences, houses, or other signs of life, along dirt tracks, through deep creek beds and slippery, sandy pathways. Some of the roads looked like they’d not been used in years – and yes, that is a tree growing up right in the middle of the road! At one point, it was quite like an obstacle course, with dear hubby darting to the left and then to the right to dodge whatever trees were in the way!
But, we got here in the end. We have arrived home exhausted but relaxed, enthused, and encouraged. It was a long trip, but worth it to know that when the opportunity presents itself next time, we have wonderful friends who we will be visiting once again. In the meantime, we’ll no doubt be making use of blogs and emails to keep in touch. And not surprisingly, the countdown to next year has already begun…