I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Driving 'Round Australia

Driving 'round Australia, just Mum and Dad and the kids...
Driving 'round Australia, I wouldn't trade it for quids...
It's such a beautiful country, so many things to see...
Driving 'round Australia..sounds pretty good to me!
(from a kids' CD we have in our car)
(the singer is clearly a masochist)

The shit part about being an ex-pat is that you feel as though every single holiday you take needs to be back to your Mother Country. The shit part about being an ex-pat specifically in Australia is that no matter what your Mother Country is, it's a damn long plane ride to get back there, AND you can be assured that the cost of returning is about the same as the budgets of some small European countries. It occurred to me this week that we've not had a family holiday in literally YEARS. In fact the last one we took was blogged about here. (OMG would you LOOK at how small my kids are? And how long DD1's hair is? OMG.) Anyway so that was 5 years ago - and since then, we've been on a few holidays but almost all of them have been Stateside. Those that have been within Australia have either been to the beach an hour away, or with other families, or with my Mom.

Not that I don't love my American family, because I do. Not that I don't love my Mom holidaying with us, because I like that, too. But you know what? I really, really, really just want to spend some time in the company of my immediate family -- without a plane ride over 5 hours, without anyone else around, and without having to do much of anything but smother my children and DH with love and affection and possibly good food. I just desperately need to be surrounded by their warmth and love and be allowed to truly vegetate for a while.

At dinner recently I floated this idea of a family holiday with just the five of us. Just so you know, we're still broke and in debt, I'm still opening the shop, bits of my house are broken and falling down and life at the moment has no money or space for holidays. So if this does eventuate, it'll be in a year's time...but, you know, a girl needs something to hold onto in times of chaos - so we're planning early.

I have to say that the kids' responses to possible holiday ideas were AMAZING. DD1 wants to go on a caravan trip up through the Northern Territory and entire Top End (can't blame her, I've BTDT and it's truly life changing.) DS wants to take the ferry to Tasmania and drive around there for a while. DD2 doesn't give a stuff where we go as long as it does not involve planes of any kind (poor kid averages about 3 spews per flight, and yes, we've tried the damn Sea Bands *and* Dramamine!). DH didn't really have much of an opinion except to say that he liked my idea, which was to do some sort of train trip within Australia - travel on The Ghan or something equally decadent. The kids also liked the train idea (although my budget, which is zero, did not. But that's why we need a year to get organised.)

My original idea was to go to the Gold Coast and go mental on theme parks - and I floated that idea expecting everyone to love it. They did love it...but then went back to planning long driving holidays. I know! Let's start in Perth and drive home, stopping at Coober Pedy! I know! Let's start in Sydney and drive to Far North Queensland and stopping when we run out of road. I know! Let's start in Darwin and drive home via Adelaide. Hell, let's just follow Highway One ALL THE WAY AROUND the damn country.

Good Lord. Are they serious? I know! Let's just shoot ourselves now and get it over with, and save some money on petrol.

My heart attack started somewhere around the point of DS looking at the (miles and miles) of bookshelves in our play area and saying, "Wow, packing up all of THAT to bring with us is going to be a bit of an effort." (My kids are freaks of nature who love to read in cars and can do so without spewing. Me? Not so much. I get sick reading the street markers on a GPS.)

Visions of myself sitting on the beach with a good book and an enormous Slurpee faded into visions of myself turning around in my seat, wrenching my back, and screaming, "Would the three of you *please* stop fighting and sit your asses down and shut the hell up?" while dodging the book that sails past my head.

I think we're actually going to NEED this whole year to negotiate..sorry, PLAN..our holiday. Heaven help me.


Danielle said...

Gold Coast idea is by far the best....only for my own selfish reasons, of course.
If your kids WANT a car trip, I would do it. There is no way you will find a better way to be "close" than being stuffed in a car together for hours on end. Look on the bright side. If they shit you that much, where ever you end up, you can fly home, whilst DH drives home with the kids!

Sacha said...

I think what they are all saying is that they really, really want to spend a lot of time with you (long drive) up close (in a car) where you cannot escape (in a moving car, on a long drive, with nothing around to distract you). It's a beautiful desire, but sounds nothing like a holiday for you.
And you know they'll bicker with each other wherever you go.....