??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


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BIG Heatwave

img_3307The BIG heatwave that crossed other parts of NSW also hit here at Port Macquarie. First we knew of it, was leaving our room to walk the hotel cafe at 9am, for breakfast – we melted in the 10 metre walk. After breakfast, we thought a BIG sea breeze might be found at the beach, so headed there. The first beach was awash with seaweed so we moved on.

 

Lucky for us we got a great parking spot at the next beach. The early birds had caught their worm (or wave) and were leaving as we arrived. Brian went for a BIG swim but I tested the water temp and decided it wasn’t warm enough for me.

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  BIG crowd

 

BIG Bluebottle swarm

BIG Bluebottle swarm

I  also saw bluebottles on the waterline and took this as a warning to find shelter away from the sand, in the shade. Shade however was at a premium,with tall pine trees giving sparse deep shade.
An hour later we headed in search of ice cold Coke and drank this in our (air conditioned to 22C) hotel room fighting with incredibly poor wifi 😥

 

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In the afternoon, with the temperature still soaring, we headed to some breweries. On arrival at the Little Brewing Company we saw one of the ‘Hello Koalas’ that are spread around Port Macquarie. Hello Koalas is a Sculpture Trail of 56 painted koalas. They are definitely worth a drive around following the map here. Brian with his BIG thirst, had a 4 taste adventure and, of course, we left after purchasing some products.

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Driving on we moved on to the  Black Duck Brewery, with Brian enjoying another taste sample. I liked this too, not for the beer, but a lime soft drink and dukkah with oil and bread platter. Yes, Brian bought some of his favourites here too! bdbbDinner was at Hogs Breath. We had a table outside enjoying the soft breeze. But… BIG gusts came, threatening to knock the large umbrellas over, so we were moved into the veranda.

We had a BIG ( actually enormous) dinner then raced home buffed by wind gusts beating at our backs. Great day for me to choose to wear my circular skirted dress 🙂


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Ways to enjoy a swimming pool and ensure others do too (?) !!

I decided although I like to wear the newest style clothing and hair, keep up to date with music and can tell you the latest Kardashian gossip with the best of them, there is still a hidden ‘old’ gene that surfaces every now and then. I think it was surfacing big time when I was sitting poolside at a resort and while I wrote this. 🙂

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1. If mum is sitting on the pool edge in her pretty bikini, well styled hair and make up, don’t jump in the water there. Instead walk the 10 paces to the stranger who is also sitting poolside, also has perfect make up and hair and is enjoying her quiet time. Jump right in there, creating a splash that won’t splash far enough to wet your mum.
2. Signs don’t apply to men. Don’t let the ‘No Diving ‘sign take away your fun. To maximise your fun, ignore those empty spots poolside when choosing your spot to execute your dive. Choose less than 30 cms from the lady sitting quietly poolside relishing in the peaceful water gently lapping over her feet. Select the lady who is enjoying the fact that she no longer has to do the ‘watch the kids safety’. Step as close as you can, bomb into the water. If you really want it do it well stand up after the dive ( yes the water is only shallow) then do your most splashiest duck dive. Very impressive.
3. Children need to practise their swimming strokes every opportunity. You have invested many dollars in those lessons and where better to practise the fast feet kicking. The best method is to do it pushing out from the beach area of the pool. More often that not the beach swim out is only used by one or two people. They are sitting there using the area as it is designed, to sit in the water without disturbing others and enjoying the sun’s rays dancing on the soft water lapping around them. Sit back on your deck chair and bellow ( oops use soft tones) at your children, “Do It again!” “Go back to the edge and kick harder this time!” This will buy you time without the kids . Those sitting close by will enjoy watching your children have fun and listening to your exquisite instructions, not to mention being covered in water splash. Another suitable venue for this activity is near the swim up bar as well. All those drinks being carried away can be made more tasty with a good splash of chlorinated swimming water.
4. The lady staring out at the water , saying nothing, enjoying the vision of palm trees swaying , music of a solo guitar player singing ‘her’ music,is just waiting for you to bring your baby over to splash right up close, and not to mention you engaging in loud cute baby talk and yes, splashing. Nothing cuter than someone else’s baby in a baby float that keeps floating to her and knocking her legs. What fun would the empty area of the pool be for this activity? No , close range to another is the preferable place.

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5. Don’t just bring a float to the pool. Bring a huge ( decent size) float then ride it close to others floating in the water. Up close those floats look even more impressive as they glide past a face , pushing glasses from the face of the plastic float free person. Don’t bother with a verbal apology, no, respond with a simple splash wave as enjoy your hands help you paddle on.
6. Bring a decent size ball ( talking regular football size of course!) to the pool. Stand the person who is least likely to catch the ball near the person who is standing and / or floating in the pool carefree. Purposely ignore the empty expanses in the pool. Have the strongest tosser hurl that ball so it skims the water creating a perfect splash – yes in the face of unsuspecting swimmers. This can only be topped in greatness if the player who didn’t catch the ball does some hectic water thrashing to reach the ball.
Most of all, always have your interactive pool fun as far away as possible from the empty parts of the pool…and your mum. Choose an unsuspecting stranger instead. 🙂

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Have you any other examples of where others involve you in their fun at the pool ?


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Challenges

Can’t believe it’s first day of my holidays and I’m awake this early. Actually I awoke at 6 am with the alarm going off for my husband to get up for work. Guess my body is still in work mode.

 A friend set a challenge for those of us not going away for the holiday break to set ourselves some goals. I took up the challenge …

 1. To accept I’m not going away for the vacation period and so will make sure I don’t end up buying myself a ticket somewhere
This will be my hardest challenge. I’m not good at staying home during a holiday break. I get a bit twitchy and more often than not end up escaping somewhere if only got a few days. But, I have a vacation planned for later in the year and so I am going to work hard on meeting this challenge. Maybe Challenge 4 might help me stick to this one.

2. Write some blog posts and read the blogs of others.

I love writing but it seems to get pushed to the background with the demands of a day job. I love having time to sit back and paint my reflections of life with words but sometimes finding the time is the challenge. Reading the thoughts of others is insightful. It’s people watching of a different kind. It stretches my my mind to new ideas, opinions and visions and takes me to places that are already in my memory or have been beyond my thoughts.

3. Spend sometime outdoors in the sunshine admiring the beauty of where I live. 

 

 I live in a coastal town but rarely take time to enjoy the beauty of what I have at my doorstep. I allow the mundanes of life ( and my often sheer laziness to get moving) to get between me and this natural beauty. Winter is the perfect time for hot coffee watching the waves crash on the sand and possibly a whale frolicking on its northern migration. I’m getting out there!!
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4. Put together a photo book of my Europe trip of 2014.

 

This definitely might help me avoid a trip away as I relive memories and organise the photos and thoughts ( or will it make the desire to get away burn stronger- we’ll see). I have so many photos of the trip I took to Europe – travelling with my husband and our kidults. At this stage I’m imagining a coffee table style book . Anyone with suggestions of easy online bookmakers to work with?
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So with those challenges set up , I think I shall make myself breakfast in bed and as I eat my jam and cheese toast and sip my coffee I’ll start with reading some of the blogs in my reader.


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Norfolk Island Experience

Our journey was infinitely more comfortable than that of the early convict inhabitants. We flew Air New Zealand and the staff from check in to the end of the flight were friendly and helpful.of course for us we never travel without ‘a story to tell’. Today’s had a few chapters 🙂

Chapter One Proceeding through Check in and customs
I was feeling a little disappointed as our check in was fast and all too easy. The line wasn’t long, desk staff helped with boarding passes and our bag was within the legal weight ( not always the case – no pun intended).
Customs was a breeze and I had a chatty officer who listened politely as I told her of my travel plans …well she DID ask where I was going , how long and why – she wouldn’t ask if she weren’t truly interested right 😉
Then things turned to our more common ‘Griswald ‘style. We put our carry on bags through screening and of course I’m chosen as the body scan person . So, having had my experience before ‘Your hands aren’t high enough up!” I stuck them up nice and high …this time was ‘too high!” I must commit to travel overseas more often to get this task right 🙂
Then I was told to step forward after the scan and she patted around my waist . I smirked and said, “It’s all fat”. She smiled…I’m sure she was thinking no one could have that waist naturally .
Then, collecting my bags from the security screen, I notice the contents of Brian’s backpack is being scrutinised. At first when he heard it was something ‘long’ he questioned that it could be his selfie stick…but no!! Turns out he forgot he had scissors and a letter opener ( both which had to be handed over) in his pencil case. While all that excitement happened I stood by watching as if I’d never seen him before, only to be chosen for the ammunition check. I must admit though it’s good they do screen.
Chapter Two – Unlucky to some
Those of you who know me,or read my blog regularly, will know the number 13 causes me distress. Yesterday , as soon as I could, I checked us into our flight for today. Our designated seats were in row 13..and the flight showed to be full with exception of row 12 which were exit rows . These seats cost to change to them. My dilemma was should I choose these seats and pay the $50 and risk changing fate or accept and sit in row 13. I remained strong and sat in my designated seat. On touch down I cheered YOLO ( my catch phrase from the beginning of 2014) proud of myself for having sat in the seat. It was only a slightly over 2 hour flight though. Not sure if I could do it for a long haul

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On arrival on the island we were given our hire car and shown to our apartment. It looked nice. Starving we hit the shops to lock for a late lunch. Being 2:30 we had to hurry as lunch cafés seem to close around 3pm. We also found out the liquor store closes at 5:30 ( but discovered that at 5:45 pm) …haha…we will learn to be better organised. We also must remember on Wednesday afternoons many things close , so the residents can play. Good afternoon for a tour that day 🙂 took a drive around the island to get a feel for things and experienced the rule ‘Cows have right of way’ 🙂

My apologies for the poorly presented post. Internet is a bit difficult so I wanted to post while I still had access . Photos are small as when I tried larger it slowed down sending until if totally stopped 😦

 


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Thankful Thursday

I don’t get around to writing it each week but I do have so many things to be thankful for. Always thankful to link to A Parenting Life.

I’ve chosen two scenarios to share this week.

Firstly I am thankful that my daughter and her friends chose this week to go to Hamilton Island for a holiday. This time last week, the island was in the grip of Cyclone Dylan a category 2 cyclone that crossed land about 50 kms north of the island. Thankful too that no one was injured in the cyclone. Property, though it’s still a heartbreaking loss, can be replaced.

This  image is  from the NASA site. The time stamp is Jan 30 approximately 12 hours before the cyclone crossed land.I have marked Hamilton Island (approx) on the image.Dylan_Jan_30_2014_0350Z

The island is experiencing periods of heavy rainfall at the moment (also predicted for the next few days) but it’s not cyclonic. Must admit I’m watching the low pressures on the weather sites closely though.  There are lots of activities still for them to join and the weather is tropical warm. It’s always fun to get together with friends anyway.

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Storm clouds brewing yesterday afternoon.

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These photo were taken by my daughter’s friend. Rain or no rain still wish I was there ! Thanks  Dani 🙂

 

 

The second thing I’m thankful for is my elderly father in law looks like leaving rehabilitation hospital on the 11th February. About 9 weeks ago he had a major fall down some steps where he lives fracturing /smashing about 8 ribs and having an arterial bleed into his lung from it. Surgery was required and then a reaction to medicine caused an alarm for his life as blood pressure and heart rate dropped dangerously for several hours. But the hospital was able to reverse the effects of the drugs and he began making a pleasing recovery. Several weeks ago he was moved to a rehab hospital as he worked to restore his mobility and strength to enable to him return to his home. For this in itself I’m thankful but I’m also thankful that my husband will be getting some rest too.

Since the accident he has spent 4 week nights and 2 weekend afternoons visiting his dad to help keep his spirits high. For the first 6 or so weeks these visits involved about a 70 minute round drive after work. My husband commutes daily to the city for work – leaving home 6:30 am and arriving back at our local station close to 6:45 pm (approx. 80 min train trip each way). Then he had the drive. I was worried about his health as he was showing signs of fatigue from the routine but I also knew he wouldn’t have it any other way ( as in not  visit his dad regularly). The rehab centre reduced his drive by about 20 minutes so he was also able to spend more time then with his dad.

My husband really is a caring person and values his family highly, for that I’m thankful. I’m thankful that soon we will be back to eating dinner at 7:15pm rather than close to 9pm. I’m also especially thankful to have more time with my husband again soon (looking forward to nagging him just so he knows I care of course !). I’m not thankful to be starving knowing I have about another hour until dinner 🙂


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Days of Freedom Gone

Always liked the humour of this joke ( is it really humour though? ha ha )

Mother goes into her daughter’s bedroom. “You’ve got to get up for school.”
Daughter pulls the blankets over her head and replies, “I don’t want to go to school, mother.”
“But you have to,” Mother said.
“I don’t want to. All the kids make fun of me.” Mother pulls the blanket back a little, “You don’t have any choice. You’ve got to get up for school.”
“OK, OK”, says the daughter, “But only if you give me one very good reason!”
“You’re 53years old and you’re the teacher.”

Well it’s that day for me. The alarm is due to go off in five minutes but I have actually been awake since my husband’s earlier alarm.

I have had time to calculate this term has 53 work days . So little time in reality to do so much. I’m excited to return. I think most kids are like that too. I look forward to catching up with my colleagues and setting up my new class. I look forward to getting to know my new class and helping them to rise to new challenges and to have many successful achievements under their belt by the end of those 53 days.

But I do rue the days of laziness, doing things when I want and as I want and completing tasks I’ve set myself. I will miss the ‘no alarm’ wake up and no pre-made lunches.
But I’m lucky that I’m going back to a job , a job I love even, as not everyone is that fortunate.

Wishing all the children, parents and teachers an exciting , prosperous school year.


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Thankful Thursday

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This post isn’t designed around Thanksgiving. As an Australian, I don’t do Thanksgiving. Rather, my post was written in response to a blog I found out there in the blogging world, A Parenting life. Rhianna has a Thursday link up about being thankful. I enjoy reading those that link up. I decided to have a go at putting my thoughts into words.

I’m thankful for so much but chose just three things to comment on …this time. I hope to try doing this fortnightly if not weekly. I think it’s important we take time out in our busy lives to reflect on all the great things we have.

 I am thankful for…

1. Having dinner with my husband and kids. Both my kids are grown up so meal times all together are no longer the nightly occurrence they were when they were younger. Tonight all four of us sat around the table for dinner and it was like old times of chatter as stories about the day were related. It’s so important to keep in touch. I love it when they have their partners with them too, all the extra stories… especially me sharing tales of when my kids were little. I am so thankful for my family in general.

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Pie for dessert

 

2. My friends. Times aren’t always good but a chance to vent, and a chance to listen strengthens the bond, makes the bad times bearable and the good times even more cheery.  I have friends who are family, friends of long time, friends of short times, but investing time in all the relationships is such a wonderful addition in my life. The internet has helped friendships by bridging the distance of miles and the time zones of the world.

 

 

3. Holidays are only 16 working days away. Can’t wait to break routines, be lazy , have time to pursue hobbies,  play with my pets , spend time with friends and family….Oh and a holiday to Hamilton Island to celebrate the New Year arriving…and no pet care to organise cause those grown up kids of mine will be at home to care for them , do the bins etc ( the best house minders lol).309214_10151158768079491_602161341_n

 

What are you thankful for? Please share a few of your thoughts in my comment section 🙂