As I mentioned in my last post (which seems like a former lifetime now!) we have had lots of interstate visitors, a steady stream pretty much since Christmas. We LOVE having visitors, it's always so nice to spend time with our friends and family who live so far away, and Alex particularly gets soooo excited :) At Christmas we had my Mum here, and we've since had the pleasure of entertaining my buddy Suz (who I've been friends with since I was 8!), Boofy's Dad and Stepmum, my Dad and Stepmum and one of my Sistas (aka sisters in law), 'Aunty Shez'. My other Sista 'Aunty Dini' is due to arrive with my beautiful niece and God-daughter Ella Rose on my birthday in May - I can't wait and am counting down the days (49 days to go - woohoo)!! Its a shame my bro Michael can't make it as well, but he has just got a new job (well done Mick!!! xxxx)
So in addition to being busy with visitors, we have had a bit of drama. My good friends Julie and Tony decided that we needed a child free weekend to reconnect and chill out, so they offered to have Alex for the weekend (they have 4 year old twins who are Alex's besties, so there was much excitement!) We were stoked and so grateful - living so far away from our families means we rarely get a break - we were really looking forward to it! They are mostly in the same boat, so understand what we're dealing with - although theirs is two-fold, having twins!
On the Friday afternoon of the child free weekend, I arrived home from work and was flipping through the archive of recorded TV shows I never get around to actually watching, when I got a frantic phone call from Boofy - he'd been in a car accident. He told me he'd lost concentration for a second and the big meaty 4wd ute (complete with dirty big towbar) in front of him came to a halt.... sadly he did not! The towbar in question went straight through Boofy's grille and radiator.... He was in shock and not thinking clearly - the ute driver had no damage so he said no harm done for him and Boofy told him no worries mate, off you go... without getting any details (not even plates)... Oh well, lesson for next time, should it ever happen again (hopefully not).
So on my way to pick up Boofy, I called our mechanic who recommended a towing company. Long story slightly-less-long, we got the car towed, called the insurance people, and towing company later got the car to a repairer. The repairer did a quote for the damage which came in at $3373... with mostly second hand parts!!! Uh oh... this car is 15 years old, its just a little Corolla hatchback, and is insured for market value.... Anyway an assessor came out 6 days later (still very busy from all the flooding around here) - I told him it was worth so much more to us alive than dead (its a great little car, low kms, reliable, really good nic), pointed out all the car's good points, and BEGGED him not to write it off.... He sat on it for 2 days (he needed to do some research) then called me back and said he was going to authorise repairs - yippee!!!
In the end, we ended up having to hire a car for nearly 3 weeks (cursing myself for not taking out the hire car option on my insurance now - will be rectifying that very soon!), so with the excess and hire car ended up nearly $2,000 out of pocket, but it was worth it, we got the car back all shiny and new :) It really is a great little car.
With our car dramas behind us, we set off for a week's holiday in Noosaville on the Sunshine Coast (which we'd been planning for some time). I had the Friday off work and we were due to leave Saturday, so I spent all day Friday packing, and we put Alex to bed early with strict instructions to have a really big sleep! We also went to bed early but at about 10pm Alex woke screaming that his mouth was sore - he would not be consoled. It took a long time of laying with him and asking him to point to where it hurt, etc before I realised it was actually his throat that was sore... and his temperature was rising rapidly. Straight away we recognised these symptoms - tonsillitis :( We dosed him up on panadol and nurofen to get his temp under control, shifted him to our bed, and put on a Winnie the Pooh dvd to calm him down and shift the focus (he was hysterical - and having had tonsillitis myself, I know exactly how painful it is, so can't say I blamed him). Boofy went to sleep in the spare room so at least one of us would be well rested enough to drive the next morning, and I spent the whole night awake with a whimpering little boy sleeping fitfully next to me.... poor little man :(
In the morning, we were due to pick up my Mum (known to most as Mimi since the grandkids came along!) in Brisbane, an hour from here, at 9.35.... so we got up early, loaded the car, and got ourselves to our local Dr's surgery right on opening to beg them to fit Alex in with a Dr asap (I've done a lot of begging lately haven't I?) Fortunately the Dr's first patient was not there yet so he slotted us in. He confirmed our suspicions, although he did say the tonsillitis was in the early stages. We whipped from there straight to the pharmacy for his antibiotics, and hit the (very wet) road. We arrived with time to spare to collect Mimi from the airport, and then drove through heavy rain most of the way to the (allegedly) Sunny Coast! Not a great start to the holiday! Oh well, fortunately things did get better :) We got the penicillin into Alex early so luckily he did not have a really bad dose of tonsillitis and was full of beans two days later :)
We stayed in a small holiday resort called Noosa Riviera - it was a lovely complex with tropical gardens, and really well situated (park next door, very close to Noosaville shops and restaurants, and very close to the river for Boofy to fish), with only 12 apartments in the block.
(Image from www.noosariviera.com.au)
We stayed in apartment 12 which is a penthouse and was great.
(Images from www.noosariviera.com.au)
It had 2 separate lounge areas and a private rooftop terrace with a corner spa bath (great late afternoon with a glass of wine, and a fantastic way to give Alex an open-air bath without fuss or protest - once we were done with the jets of course!)
(Image from www.noosariviera.com.au)
Other apartments in the resort looked like they had even nicer interiors (such as number 8 below)
(Image from www.noosariviera.com.au)
But we chose apartment 12 as it was the only one with two seperate living areas (each with its own TV, and when you've got a Boofy like mine who loves footy and doesn't have pay TV at home, but you're staying in a resort that does - this is a must!). Plus it had the rooftop terrace with spa bath :)
My mum gave us a break overnight for the duration - the original plan was for Mimi to have her own room, but Boofy was quite sick with what we thought was a flu and very bad asthma, so he had his own room to minimise infecting anyone else - and Mimi and Alex shared (which Alex thought was the best arrangement ever... not so sure Mimi entirely shared his enthusiasm, although she obliged without protest, actually I think it was her idea). Boofy was pretty miserable and had two Drs visits in our week away, but he did manage to get out and fish a couple of days, so it wasn't all bad.
All in all we had a lovely time - we visited the Noosa Marina markets on the Sunday, it was incredibly humid, but very nice. My good friend Katja, her hubby Adrian and little boy Cooper live in Gympie which is about an hour from where we stayed. I haven't seen them in ages, so Katja and Cooper paid us a visit at the resort and we had a lovely morning catching up on Monday, it was great! (And she brought us an awesome organic pumpkin she grew in her yard - thanks Katja, it was delicious! xx)
The next day we went on the Noosa ferry which was really nice - its a 45 minute round trip so perfect amount of time for a 3 year old attention span, and the skipper, Johnno, was very entertaining. Mum and I went to Eumundi Markets on the Wednesday, which I still maintain are the BEST markets anywhere... and they didn't disappoint :) Late afternoon we took Alex to the 'beach' (on the river) and he had a ball swimming and running up and down - the resort also supply sand toys, so he built some sand castles (briefly... in between running up and down the beach like a maniac!) We followed with fish and chips for dinner. On Thursday (the day before we left) Tim was feeling really sick, so Mum and I took Alex to The Ginger Factory while he rested. It was a really nice morning, we went on the Overboard boat ride, and because it was mid week and there was nobody else on it, the lady let us ride twice :) We also went on the train ride... a little bit lame, and very smelly in parts (a kind of swampy, septic, ginger smell... not pleasant) but Alex got a kick out of it, so that was the main thing. I was a little disappointed also that when we went to shop for souvenirs, many of the honey and ginger products were actually made in other parts of Australia, some even in NZ! But I think the highlight of the day was probably this incredible coin operated digger we found while waiting for the train.... Unfortunately Mimi hasn't been able to download her photos (as she has one of him sitting on it), but it was a digger that he sat on with a big sand pit in front of it, and Alex got to operate the controls to dig, pick up the sand, move it and dump it somwhere else (or in the same spot!) From a kid's perspective it would be enormous (as a real one would be for an adult) and he absolutely loved it. We've all been through shopping centres and seen those crappy $2 rides for kids, but this is one I was actually happy to put my money into! Alex had 3 goes (all the $2 coins we had on us!) and he left it kicking and screaming... can't say I blame him, it was heaps of fun!!!
I think the absolute highlight of our holiday, though, was the dinner we had on our last night at Trio's On The River at Noosa Marina. We have been there before (with my good friends Nat & Steve and their boy Ollie - Alex was about 15 months old and Ollie was about 11 months old) and absolutely loved it, so we were pretty keen to return. Not only that, being situated right on the Marina, it has a spectacular outlook.
(Image from www.noosaguide.com.au)
We arrived very early, around 5pm, so we could eat early and get our rambunctious 3 year old out before most of the other diners arrived! As it turns out we were the first ones there (not surprising at 5pm!) Our waiter, Johnny, was really lovely. He seated us right next to a little balcony which was over the water, and opened up the big doors for us so we could catch the breeze and Alex could look down at the water. He also brought out some crayons so Alex could draw on the paper that was covering the tablecloth, and we thought that was really special, but it was just the beginning...... Shortly after that, Johnny arrived with a fishing rod and some bait.... He baited the hook, threw out the line and put the rod in the rod holder on the pylon - I cannot tell you the intense excitement that Alex was experiencing, he was just LOVING it!! Literally about 2 minutes later the line was bent over and Alex 'helped' Boofy reel in a catfish! He was just bursting out of his skin with excitement by this stage.... so cute :) They threw back the catfish and re-baited the hook to cast it out again - 2 minutes later, another catfish. This time the chef claimed it for his crab pot, so that one didn't get the Rex Hunt treatment! We didn't immediately re-bait the hook this time (in a vain attempt to get Alex to eat is dinner, lol). In the end, he ended up eating his nuggets over by the fishing rod, it was the only way he was going to eat them, he just couldn't bear to be away from it. So the hook was re-baited again... and a short time later that line was bent over once more... this time a little sting ray! The line needed to be cut, and that was the last catch for the evening, but what a great experience for Alex! (Although I did comment to Johnny that fishing would be ruined for him forever, as he'd probably never again have so many exciting catches in such quick succession! Lol). In between we met David, the owner, who told Alex he would do a magic trick for him... sure enough a little while later David appeared with little lights on his thumbs, he 'put' them in his mouth, pulled them out of Alex's ears, then his own ears... well you get the picture! Alex loved it... When we asked Johnny for the bill, Alex was very disappointed he had to leave our table, so Johnny took Alex with him, he sat on the counter while Johnny prepared our bill and 'helped' him welcome some other customers (who recognised Johnny, so I'm assuming they were regulars). Alex was so excited on the ride home, when he wasn't talking about the fish he caught, or his friend Johnny, he was babbling excitedly about David who "put candles in my ears!" It took ages for him to wind down, but he was so happy, he'd had such a great night - what a tremendous dining experience for a little boy! I can't imagine anywhere else going to this amount of trouble - ordinarily our dining experience consists of shovelling food into our mouths at Fasta Pasta so we can get a fidgety, whining Alex out the door as quickly as possible.... we were therefore very worried about how he would behave in an upscale restaurant (the likes of which we had barely attempted since we had Alex!), and we were so pleasantly surprised.... well, I'm gushing aren't I.... but I can't help it... because there was another major highlight... THE FOOD!!!!
That's right, in between all this excitement was of course our meals.... I'm going to make your mouth water here... For entrees, Tim had five spice pork belly (I tried a bit and it was very good), Mum had sesame crusted seared atlantic salmon which was cut very finely (almost like sashimi, it was only just seared on the outside so was mostly raw) and I had duck spring rolls which were absolutely divine, I don't eat a lot of duck but the last time I had duck that was even comparable was at the Spirit House in Yandina (also on the Sunshine Coast) when I did a cooking course there (again with my good mate Nat... it was wonderful by the way - if you've ever wondered, DO IT!) For mains Tim had peppered eye fillet cooked in congac and cream, Mum had Moreton Bay bugs and I had red emporer in a coriander and cashew crust on stir fried Asian noodles and julienned vegetables with a tom yum broth..... All of us left so full and just RAVING about our food... every single morsel we put in our mouths was totally delicious (sorry to the guys at Trio's, my descriptions might not be entirely accurate... I can't recall all the finer details!! But if you'd care to remind me, I'll gladly include the menu descriptions in the post for accuracy... and the rest of you, don't dismiss my credibility either, I know my food and this was utterly fabulous!) Anyway, sufficed to say, the food was out of this world, the best meal I think I've had in years - and couple this with the excellent service we received, and the attention they paid Alex... well this could be the best dining experience I've ever had - it was a really magical night... Just perfect! :)
Well in the words of our
Well the next few posts will be in quick succession... as I've finally had a bit of time on my laptop to get it all down! Hopefully I'll be able to keep up a semi-regular pace once I get back into it ;)
Bye for now :)
PS - One more tiny bit of news... a strange thing happened while we were on holidays... I went from Mummy to Mum... Daddy also went to Dad, and Mimi went to Mim.... we still call each other Mummy Daddy and Mimi but something in my little boy decided it was time to move to the next phase (dragging 'Mum' kicking and screaming, lol....). I have tried to resurrect Mummy, and he does say it occasionally (usually when he's very tired or wants something REALLY bad!) but for the most part I am now Mum.... it seems its time for me to get with the program.... build a bridge and get over it Mum(my)! xx