When you’d spent two weeks in one of the most stunning locations with your childhood friend and her family it’s difficult to know where to start with a blog post…unless you plan on it being a huge essay, which I don’t!
On one of the last nights, K asked me what had been my favourite bits of my holiday so far and I struggled to answer because I’d loved every second. Since returning home (a 26 hour journey gives you lots of thinking time) I have been reflecting and looking at pictures trying to decide on my highlights, including my pictures as I know they’re the best bits of these sort of posts!
1) Bullshit, Uno, Tea and Tim Tams
Given that our lives as driven by our
little dictators darling children, it was clear that our nights in Queensland were not going to be wild ones. We managed two nights in Cairns (which I will save for another post) and a couple of evenings out: one with the kids and one where K and I had a girls night. Apart from that we spent our evenings at the Wray’s dining table with a pack of cards, Uno and good company. We taught them to play Bullshit whilst they educated us on the rules of Uno. Occasionally there was the odd beer or cider but the nights always ended with tea and a Tim Tam or two (several!). Never heard of a Tim Tam? You’re missing out on the chocolatey goodness! Looking a little like a penguin (bar not animal) they have various flavours from salted caramel to Turkish delight. The true way to eat them is by biting each end and them sucking your hot tea through it so it melts and goes all gooey – heaven! We bought some packets home…it was a must! I guess the reason why these times were a highlight were because I got spend precious time with my true friend, time that a treasure how I’m back in Blighty at the other side of the world to her.
2) Horse Riding
We spent a lovely afternoon at Port Douglas Horse Riding with the owner Mandy. Mini R has never been on a horse before and took to it like a duck to water! Everyone was impressed by his lack of fear and confidence, including his Dad and I! When Mandy was teaching the hubby and I how to ride and fall when trotting, we looked to see our little man bopping round saying “up, down, up, down” – cute! Mandy made the session fun for all with games such as What Time Is It Mr Fox? and competitions like weaving in and out of posts for us adults and receiving flags for the kids. Again Mini R surprised us with his confidence, happily letting go with one hand and reaching for the flags with confidence. I was a beaming proud Mummy as we left!
3) Mossman Gorge
Considering this was my only encounter with a snake…and I have a phobia, many who know me would be surprised that this is on my highlights. However, the morning consisted of climbing through the beautiful (if not slightly humid) rainforest, ending at a fresh water pool where the two boys (H was at school) splashed around with my other half whilst K and I paddled in the cool water. The two boys, aged 4 and 2, did so well walking for so long, occasionally Mini R to rode on his Dad’s shoulders to rest his little legs. It was so cute hearing him shout “Where w-are you K?” if she got a little bit ahead and it was here I saw the bond they were creating which was amazing. 😍 The snake encounter happened as we were heading back down thorough the rainforest. I have to give myself credit, yes I squealed, but I was I incredibly brave. It’s fair to say I walked a little faster to get out of the rainforest after that! The area that the Wray family live in is stunning: green rainforest, crystal clear waters, open roads and sunny skies. I can completely understand why they live there!
4) The beaches!
I’ve cheated a little on this one as we had a few days/mornings at the beach but they are truly beautiful.
Our second day in Australia we went to Cape Tribulation and the beach there is not only huge but it’s quiet and picturesque too. Unfortunately, as we were in ‘Crocodile Country’ it wasn’t a good idea to go swimming in most of the beaches around the area but that didn’t bother me although it did my hubby who loves swimming and the sea. We spent that Sunday playing frisbee and ball games, flying the kite, building a sand boat and drawing in the sand with sticks. As far as days go, it was pretty perfect. The weather was warm, if not a little cloudy, but not so warm it was uncomfortable.
Visits to Port Douglas beach were frequent during our stay with K as she worked in the town so, when she had to work the odd morning, it was our location of choice. One of the few beaches were swimming is permitted, PD beach is pretty, over looked by mountains that are the home of stunning (and expensive) villas to the stars. The area felts a little more like a resort with the usual shops, restaurants and bars lining the main street. My hubby and son loved this beach because they could go splashing around in the sea. I loved it because I actually got an hour or so sat on a sun bed, reading a book – yes! An actual book! What will shock you more is that i finished said book on holiday! Finishing a book in my world is a rarity. Mini R loved building (and demolishing) sand castles, jumping over waves and drawing lines in the sand with a stick. It was uninterrupted family time which is another rarity within the Roversi life.
We also visited Manly Beach in NSW but you can read about that in a future post about our four days in Sydney.
5) Massages and Lunch
K booked herself and I into a gorgeous spa called Niramya where we had a full body massage with extra head and scalp treatment and lunch. It was a blissful couple of hours in a location that looked like something out of a film. Plush villas (costing around $1500 a night!), an infinity pool with whit lounges sitting beside it and spa rooms with outside baths and showers (like a Herbal Essences ad!) We had our treatments in the same room and despite not talking throughout the massage (because we were both so zoned out and in our happy, relaxed places) it was nice to spend that time with my friend and enjoy something together, just us. Lunch following our treatment was sensational. We had chicken burgers but they were like no other chicken burger I’ve seen or eaten before! Served on a black brioche bun, with a flavoured rice and relish, there wasn’t a chip in sight! It didn’t matter though, it was delicious and we both left chilled out and happy.
These are just five of the many wonderful things we did whilst staying in Queensland but, to be honest, I could write forever about the wonderful things we did: Daintree (crocodiles and amazing ice cream!), seeing amazingly colourful birds up close and feeding kangaroos at Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas, the Great Barrier Reef (I’m sure it’s even better without a toddler who can’t snorkel!) and finally, most importantly, lots of quality time with my friend K and her lovely family.
I’ll be writing a posts on our two days in Cairns and our four days in Sydney so watch out for those. In the meantime, please leave me a comment below or contact me on Facebook or Twitter. You can also read about my experience of flying across the world with a toddler here.