With only a couple weeks left, we are soaking up this beautiful country as much as possible. This week we get to do it with Sharon; she took off two weeks to play with us while we were in Brisbane and on our ‘beaches’ vacation drive down the coast. Beaches is a loose term at this point though as we had more rain and less beach than we hoped for.
I mentioned before that Bea can spot a playground a kilometer away. At home she always requests meals Chick-Fil-A; but, since they don’t have any, it’s Macca’s as they too have great playgrounds. We didn’t hit the playground this morning, but we did grab a quick breakfast here before heading to Mt Tambourine. We took a lovely tree top rainforest walk complete with beautiful green butterflies! Bea had a big time being the leader to point out which arrows to follow. Next we went to a man made cave to see glow worms. It was so neat as they started with 300 and are up to 5000 now. Their goal is 10,000 so they’re on their way. Teddy wasn’t a huge fan of the dark cave, even with a little red light to show you the worms up close. After a nice lunch, we drove on to Yamba for the evening.
Yamba is an adorable little town where we walked around window shopping then decided to hit the beach. We had seen that the weather might not cooperate this week with as much sunshine as we wanted so we took advantage of the sun. Sharon grabbed the kids pails and shovels which were such a hit! These kids really do love the beach. Bea is getting braver with the water but she still prefers to play in the sand. Teddy, on the other hand, will just walk straight on into the water. You have to pull him out when we go; he loved the water! After a beach rinse off, we went back to our hotel as Sharon had found a prize possession we had been looking for (in every freezer in Australia) since we left Adelaide. See Bea saw an Olaf ice cream before we went to Kangaroo Island; and after a few days of her requesting one, we bought one. However we put the original Olaf in our campervan freezer and forgot about him. When we realized it, we didn’t mention it. Bea never forgets and a couple days into our next city’s adventure she asked where her ice cream was! So when Sharon found one, we had no option but to go back and eat it immediately! It didn’t disappoint!
This evening we enjoyed a beautiful dinner in the home of Sharon’s aunt and uncle. They live in South West Rocks which was on our coastal trip heading south. They also joined us for breakfast the next morning at the national park and then showed us kangaroos in the wild! Then it started to pour so we drove on to Port Macquarie. We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon/evening in our unit along with the new Cinderella movie. Teddy was over it almost as quickly as it started. Ha
On Wednesday, we went back tourist style starting with finding the koala statues that were hand painted (matching the location in which is was sponsored by) all over Port Macquarie. Our first was at Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park where we also saw one of every animal including cockatoos (one who came after Sharon who had taken a work call and wasn’t aware), very smelly wombats, meerkats, beautiful cheetahs, snow leopards, koalas and wallabies. Today Teddy turned a corner because he decided the wallabies weren’t all bad after all and wanted to interact with them. We let him out of the stroller and off he went walking toward them, grabbing their faces, playing peekaboo with a joey and feeding them. It might be his confidence to walk is getting greater; but, whatever it was, it was fun to watch! Needless to say there are plenty of spills with a new walker. Unfortunately, being in an area where animals are roaming free, it isn’t the cleanest. Baths were a must when we got back to our unit that afternoon! Before nap time, we found a handful more koala statues around our lunch spot. Bea had a big time posing with them all.
On Thursday, we met some friends of Sharon’s at a Ricardo’s Tomato and Strawberry Farm. Cory and Bea toured the farm then we all went strawberry picking. We had a blast cutting our specially picked strawberries then even ate a chocolate covered one on the way out. Why not have chocolate dip at the register! Our final koala statue was at Cassegrain Winery so we also enjoyed a little wine tasting while we were there.
I drove us to a town called The Entrance this afternoon to our last night’s stay with Sharon. Since we need more rooms, we’ve stayed in sprawling units that I could actually live in! Ha. This place was no different with a pool off the back patio where we of course swam the next morning. We made the most of it the next day with pool time then on to lunch and beach time at the Norah Head Rock Pool….then back to the pool. Sweet Teddy however didn’t last for the second pool swim but I did get to hold him while he slept. This hasn’t happened since he was an infant and I loved every minute of it!
We had an amazing week having Sharon all to ourselves! Bea and Teddy loved being with her as much as we did. We soaked up our time with her especially Cory and me as we would chat and play cards at night. It doesn’t get much better than that. It was so hard to drop her off at the Sydney airport on Friday night to head home.
Cory, Millie, Bea & Teddy
Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park’s statue