WTD 17: Stuck in Canberra
Not so happy about that. Did our appearances - which were fine - and then attempted to poster the city. The city is made up of a series of round abouts, inner and outer ones. If you are on the inner, yet require the outer, forget about it. And vice versa too. After a few rounds of just going around, I started saying "Hey kids, there's Big Ben.....Parliament" just as Chevy Chase pointed out to his kids over and over again when the Griswalds hit London during European Vacation. We saved an hour in the afternoon to visit the War Memorial which was well worth it, especially as we were there for the evening closing ceremony. I can't help but feel a sense od pride for my great grandfather who was an Anzac and reading about what he took part in, as well as a sense of sadness and complete hopelessness for the men and women who went out there, really having no idea at all what was to come. I got very teary reading some of the stories. Just young men and women like you and me, but do you think you would do it?
Unfortunately Meg got a migraine and spent the remainder of the afternoon/evening vomiting. Due to the size of our room, I tried to spend as much time out of it so as to avoid being vomited on.
WTD 18: Canberra vs. Liz: A Mexican Stand Off
Upon checking out in the morning, I decided to have a quick word to our 'friendly' receptionist about the state of affairs of our stay at this particular motel - The City Walk Motel I believe it was. I was very diplomatic and matter of fact about the fact that the room should not have been sold for the price it was ($95 a night) for 2 single people - perhaps as a couple it would have bee on okay. The women decided to take it very personally and blew up at me asking me what I expected of a Budget motel. I pointed out to her that we have been staying Budget Motels right across NSW and have been very pleased with the level of service provided, as well as the product, often for a much lower price. This fell on deaf ears as she kept on and on and on about what Budget is and isn't. I finished up with the killer of all comments. Considering also the previous day we had given her a bunch of long stem roses that had been handed to us at one of our appearances that we could not keep, this woman had it coming. I waited for her to finish her 'Budget' rant and quite politely said "I understand this is a bugdet motel, but that does not excuse your budget attitude. " I held my head high and out I walked, away from her stunned slience. We drove onto Queanbeyan, where we heard a very said yet inspirational story about one of the boys who attended the pre-school. He had nearly drowned a year before and was in a coma, during which time the medical staff and parents did not know whether he would wake up, and if he did, how damaged his brain would be. Well after a few weeks he did wake up and the first thing he asked for was to see his beloved Wiggles video. He was so rapt to meet Dorothy, it was a pleasure to be there, and wonderful to learn that this boy had made a full recovery.
After Queanbeyan we headed onto Cooma, which was a delightful little town - so pretty and very mountainous country side (it is the gateway to the Snowy Mountains). Everyone in town was happy to have us there and the appearance co-incided with the 8th birthday of the kinder we were at so we stayed on for cake and candles. From Cooma we had a 5 hour drive ahead of us, and it was already 3.30 by the time we left. We were pretty excited as we would be heading over the Victorian border....yay!! So close to home, yet still so far.
The drive to Bairnsdale was beautiful, going through Cann River and the surrounding national parks was just divine. The sun was setting (and unfortunately in my eyes while I was behind the wheel as we were heading east), yet through the trees it created quite a sparkle. And it was great to see this part of Victoria green. NSW has been SO green that at some points we felt like we were in another country, especially between Newcastle and Tamworth onto Glen Innes. It was a shock to realise that Victoria is nothing but DRY and I recommend you all do a drive around other states to realise just how precarious our water position is (more on this when I write about my time in western Victoria).
We stopped at Cann River, well we were going to in order to re-fuel, yet the wasp nest drove us back to our car and back onto the road!! It was hideous, we parked and within seconds the wasps had descended on all the dead bugs on our car. It was quite scary actually.
Around 9ish that evening we finally pulled into our accommodation in Bairnsdale, absolutely exhausted. There won't often be times we have to drive for that long at the end of the day - I have tried to cut down on any night driving for reasons of fatigue and animals - but in this case it had to be done as we had a deadline to be back in Melbourne by the weekend in order to prepare for our Tasmania leg, beginning on the coming Sunday.
WTD 19: Home Sweet Home Round
We postered Bairnsdale in record time before our appearance....but the location was difficult to find and the directions were less than decent, even when we were speaking with the venue on the phone while driving. Finally we got there, we got it done and we were out, heading back to the office and home.
We arrived at the office thoroughly exhausted. Although we were told someone else would prepare the car for Tassie, we soon realised that wasn't to be the case and it was left up to us....not what we needed after a long trip!! Finally packed, Meg got a cabcharge home while I still had to navigate the Kia back home to mum and dad's. Still I was pretty excited because I knew Harry would be there waiting for me!
Harry is the newest addition to our family. Mum and Dad picked him up in the middle of March, a young, baby Welsh Terrier, black, tan and cute all over. He was running amok with my youngest nephew Alex in the backyard as I got home.
As exhausted as I was, my awesome mate Tam had also arrived in Melbourne from Cairns for a family engagement. She came over, we ordered pizza and drank a few bottles of much needed catch up wine. It was great to be back with my family, my new puppy and a great friend. Like I said exhausted beyond words but VERY VERY happy!!
Coming Up: My weekend - Stuck on a boat with a Pirate