Friday, 10 June 2011

Last stop Rockhampton

After spending a couple of days with our wonderful friend in Brisbane, it was time to continue on with our trip. I managed to get everything packed the night before and convince Thunder Maker to load the car up so that we wouldn't have to do it in the morning. For once, we actually got away when we said we would.

On the drive, we noticed signs for a place called Sexie Coffie. I thought it was rather amusing and Thunder Maker is always sucked in by a gimmick involving a picture of a pair of legs and a cup of coffee, so we went through their drive-through at Marybourough. All I can say is best. chai latte. ever. Seagull was pretty impressed with his big babychino too. Seagull is a real sucker for a babychino. We can't get coffee/chai latte for ourselves without getting him a babychino.

By the time we got into Rockhampton, I was ready for a lie down. I made Thunder Maker go and get the key. There had been a mix-up and the family sized on-site caravan (how deliciously bogan, I know) that we were meant to be staying in had been given to someone else. The van that we ended up with was way too small for all four of us, so the caravan park manager kindly offered us an on-site cabin for the night at no extra cost.

The cabin we ended up in was actually the same one Thunder Maker, Seagull and I had stayed in 18 months previously when we were last up that way. The only reason we weren't staying in the cabin for the length of our stay this time is because half of their cabins had been washed away/damaged in the floods and the other half had already been fully booked out for part of the time we were staying up there by the time I had gotten organised enough to make the booking.

The next morning, we were able to move into our family sized van. There was a double bed and a single bed in the van. The double bed was on a platform that was supposed to be up against the wall of the van, but part of the wall had buckled out, so there was a slight gap in between the two. Me, having a typical mother moment, went to have an afternoon nap and forgot to take my mobile phone out of my pocket. You know where this is going, don't you? Yep, my phone fell out of my pocket and down the gap while I was sleeping. The gap was too small for me to get my hand down and there was no other way of accessing it. To cut a long story short, the caravan park manager had to drill a few holes in the floor of the caravan with his hole bit from underneath the van and reach up into it to rescue my phone.

I started my residential school the next morning. I got the times mixed up and thought that I had to be at the uni for an 8am start. Turns out that we were actually starting at 9am. Fortunately, I wasn't the only person who mixed the times up and I got chatting to one of my classmates. It turned out that she was doing the same two subjects that I was, so we agreed to pair up for the lab work for both subjects.

Meanwhile, the boys were all having a whale of a time without me. In the time that I was in classes, Wombat became a lot more aware of Seagull and vice versa. For the first time, Wombat was interacting with Seagull. As Thunder Maker said, trips to Rockhampton are a real bonding experience for the males in our family. Even when I got home of an evening, the boys would quite happily muck around with each other on the double bed.

 Seagull and Wombat

At night, I was sharing the double bed with Wombat and Seagull and Thunder Maker had the single bed to himself. One night I was woken up by movements and the sound of giggling. I rolled over to look, and there was Wombat and Seagull mucking around and playing with each other in the middle of the night. The funny thing is, I'm pretty sure Wombat rolled over and hit Seagull gently until he woke up to get him to play.

The day after my res school finished, we started the long trip back home. Rather than boring you with a whole post all about the drive, I'll just mention a couple of highlights here.

While we were packing up our stuff to leave, a couple of rainbow lorikeets landed on the ground right next to our car. Seagull loves birds and thought that the lorikeets were wonderful. After a couple of minutes, they went across the road to one of the other caravans. We had been chatting to the occupants of this particular van when we passed them over the last couple of days, and when they saw that Seagull was interested in the birds, they got out a piece of bread for him to feed them.

Seagull feeding the birdie. If you like his hoodie, check out Mm is for me.

Thunder Maker and I were conducting a highly scientific social experiment. We were driving past a lot of roadworks and Thunder Maker hypothesised that the friendliness of the lolly pop people at roadworks sites is directly proportional to their proximity to an Esky. With the hypothesis in place, we set out to test it by waving to every lolly pop person we saw. For the most part (there was the odd exception in both cases), the closer a lolly pop person was to an Esky, the more likely we were to get a smile and a wave in return.

On the second day of our journey, we were driving through a small northern NSW town and Seagull became rather animated. His talking went something along the lines of "Hello birdies, hello trees, hello bogans!" to a couple who happened to be minding their own business walking along the footpath. Just in case Thunder Maker and I were in doubt as to what he had said, Seagull then proceeded to say "hello bogans!" again about ten times.

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