Thursday, June 24, 2010

Easter camp

Back at the beginning of April, we went camping with the Websters, Walkers and Coronas over the Easter long weekend. Collette came too, if only to help Simon put up the tent because I am HOPEless.
No she was worth her weight in gold because I was having the morning sickness run and after one night with us, Collettie was taking Jonty back to Hobart with her for 2 nights. So no running around after a 16mth old, worrying about him walking into the fire, getting bitten by big camping creatures, getting lost.... you get the picture.
SO here we are setting up camp at a place called Southport, about 1.5hrs passed Hobart. Alot colder than Hobart too I might add but we ended up having the most beautiful weather and we kept warm anyway by eating lots and staying toasty by the campfire.

Those big ole camping creatures I mentioned - well it didn't take long for the kids to find one.......arrgh!! I was zipping my sleeping bag up way tight. Nothing was getting in there!!

All up we counted 9 adults and 12 kids. Which explains why noone was watching Jonty get stuck into the fizz. Ah what the heck, we were camping! The oldest kid was Jacko, aged 12 and the youngest was Baydan, aged 5mths.

Sounds crazy but we were the most organised camp there. We set up our tents in a semi circle to keep the wolves at bay, no not really, just the possums, and had a separate food tent (very important) and a marque with tables that we prepared the food on.
Months before we went, Mel had done up an itinerary for each of us of what to bring, including a meal roster which we were to bring ingredients for and cook together each night. It worked like a treat. I have never eaten so well on a camping trip before. None of this baked beans in a can stuff. We ate like kings.

We went for a few beautiful walks down to the Southport beach. The sun setting was just perfect.

Presumably the Southport jetty.

Okay so if you know Collette and you know her really well, then you will understand the humour in this. As we walked past this road on the way back from the beach, we both started cracking up and I knew I was not getting away without a photo. SO here it is COllettie........... BIG Q is, whose butt is whose??

On the Saturday we all headed to Hastings caves where we had heard about the hot springs there. The kids went for a little nature walk before their swim.

And spotted a platypus.

This would have been a great photo if Ollie didn't look like he was holding himself, busting to go to the loo.

Don't believe what you hear about the Hastings hot springs.........they were freezing. We were sorely disappointed but knew we could warm up around our trusty camp fire.

After Hastings, we decided to drive to the southern most tip of Australia which was quite ironic because on our trip to Qld last Nov, we visited the easterly most tip of Australia.
Liz wanted to go look at the whale but we couldn't be bothered walking over there so took a pic of it for her instead. :)

Proof that we did actually get to the southern most point of Australia.
Here we are enjoying our nights around the campfire. I think this was the highlight for us, just to relax and talk about whatever came into our minds and have some time away from television, internet, mobile phones and music.

Plus we always had ample food....... banana boats, smores, (cooked on the fire) hot chocolates, caramel slice and choc chip cookies.

What I love about camp fires is while you are sitting there around a big warm fire, the conversation swings between profound comfortable silences as people watch the flames, to really interesting and stimulating conversations. A fire brings out the philosopher in all of us.

Ollie starting to look pretty tired.

I remember one night staring into the flames, wondering about the little life growing inside me, pleased that the brisk cool air was making the morning sickness abate somewhat. I had no idea of the perfect girl inside struggling inside an imperfect body. I had no idea of the enormity of what was in store for us in a few short weeks.
I had no idea that instead of delivering a healthy baby at 40 wks (well 41wks for me) that instead I would be delivering her at 16 wks. I had no idea of the anguish I would endure in finding out she had Down Syndrome, falling in love with her all over again inside this new unexpected body and then a mth later, the inexplicable grief of having passed through all of that, of finding out she was called back Home.
Oh but the love I felt and continue to feel for her is a blessing that cannot be disguised. For that I am eternally grateful. But all that is for another post.

Can I say, if you are ever thinking of camping, go with these guys. They were THE BEST camping companions ever. The kids (I know it sounds farfetched) were so good and there was not one fight. As adults, even though we are all different, our personalities complimented each other and we were all so relaxed and content.
We miss that sometimes caught up living in this modern world.

On Sun morning, before the kids all got up, Jackie came around our tents and pretended to do bird calls to let us know that all the Easter eggs were scattered around the tents. It was SO funny. Next time you see Jack, ask her to do a bird call!
Because we had all brought eggs, we had HEAPS. I don't know if the photo picks up here how many there were.

Ty Ty loving his stash.

Lilly counting out all the eggs so all the kids got the same amount.

The people who own the campsite, put on an egg hunt too but it wasn't as good as ours. ;)

Another beautiful walk down to the Southport beach.

People still ask me if these two are twins.
Oh what a wonderful time we all had. So much so that I don't care where we camp next time, as long as it is with these guys again. It may seem like a lot of hard work, especially if you have small kids but with a bit of organising (thanks Mel), it does not become overwhelming and the time away from the rat race is SO worth it.
Getting back to nature (and yes we were on unpowered camp sites - although we didn't stoop to long drops but had a toilet block) is truly medicine for the soul.


The Kings said...

oh wow what a mammoth post!! Looks like a fantastic time. The photos are great!
LOVE the one of Collette's butt! ;)
Isn't it 'funny' how life can change in an instant.

Nettie's Blog said...

Do you know you almost convinced me that i should have another shot at camping...till i saw that MONSTER... I really had to "Syke" myself up for YW's Camp.... Love the post , the pics, the place(love the beach ..any beach and a campfire is soothing to the soul i agree), and the campers you went with...Thank you for sharing the out pouring of eternal love you have for your beautiful little girl..for bringing us back to what life is all about ..Love, hugs and Nettie kisses...
PS And Collette's Plummers was the one in the jeans...he he

Jess said...

THIS blog post is HUGE good effort.
LOVING Oliver holding his crotch, Sarra standing next to the sign posing like a model with her leg on something. Hallie in her Ben 10 p.js and Jonty trying for the fizz and giving up and stealing Collette's water.

Makayla said...

Wow awesome post! I love Jonty getting into the fizz, and the photos from the beach.. Looks like you had a great time. I also love you sharing your thoughts about your beautiful little girl :) xxx

Collette said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA YES! That pic is GOLD! wahoo it only took you a million months to finally post it!
p.s WRONG nettie...the massive crack is simones! can't even see my plummers (i'm in the trackies) can you just imagine simon taking the photo " nah there's not enough crack simone, pull your jeans down more" hahahahahahhahaha
p.p.s very observant of you jess...yes jonty is stealing my water! haha

Chelsea Parsons said...

ahhhh so cool. We are heading back down to Southport in September with some of our fave families. I love it how the kids dont fight when we are away like that too!!!

Becky said... I am having a hard time getting past the GIANT BEASTS that were at your campsite. What ARE those creepy things? I'd be zipping my bag over my head too. YIKES!!!

Jackie said...

hey your was such a pleasure to go camping with you guys..we had the bestist time ever (thats what the kids would say!!) I think going camping where there is now communication with the outside world is a bonus..I think you get to find yourself sometimes, because we get caught up with so many things and we are always rushed..(especially on Sundays for me hehehe)..anyway, we have to think of somewhere fun and we got to have a campfire..thanks again for sharing your blog and thanks for taking months for doing you guys..

Sim-Dim said...

He he, I don't know what kind of creepy crawlies you get in NH Becky but we get some whopping great ones down here. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about them. That one I didn't look long or close enough to know what type other than it was one HUGE Mama spider.:)

Rebecca said...

wowo love all the pics Simone and gotta agree with the freakishly large spider - don't know if I could have stayed - I may have volunteered to take Jonty straight away!! DO you know even though I lived in the south most my life I have NEVER been to southport - been to coles bay but yeah!!

Bride said...

ohhh cool, you got to visit one of my all time favourite places in the world... Cockle Creek. We camped there every year as kids and Loved it, the best holidays and the best memories.
It's so much fun camping with friends too, sounds like you all had a wonderful relaxing time- especially no kids fighting! Thats the best!

Thanks for sharing your feelings about your sweet little daughter- so sorry to hear what you have been through, and sorry i wasn't aware of this when we bumped into you while you were in Melbourne

Penny B. said...

What a fabulous post! I can't believe you got a picture of a platypus - very rare!