After deciding with unrealistic chirpiness to get going early Saturday morning, in order to arrive and breakfast by the sea, we left the house just before noon. Sweaty, somewhat dishevelled, with M in need of a coffee and Small Z in need of a frolic and a feed. Thus, we only made it as far as Pearcedale, about 12 minutes down the road, where we went to the cafe (yes, there’s just the one) and soothed our respective souls. Bought the paper, got some juice for the car and, after about half an hour, embarked afresh.
Small Z deigned to sleep in the back, once she had been fed and watered. The caravan sneaks up behind her as she slumbers.
We tootled past Merricks General Store – the site of my birthday a few years ago, among other things, and I could feel M’s body tug toward it – the coffee, the cakes, the lashings of ambience. Ha! He drove stoutly onward. We reached Point Leo after about 30 minutes or so, and pulled up near the office of the campground. Almost instantly people began to ogle my small caravan. Which is fair enough, because it is nothing short of eye candy.
The first lot of people, while gazing at the caravan, also helped us with our choice of campsite. We hadn’t realised the huge extent of it. If you look at this map here you will understand why M then went back to bargain for any of the unpowered sites numbers one to eleven. I think we got number eleven, and we were v-e-r-y happy with ourselves.
After manouevreing into place and setting things up a little, M and Small Z went for a walk to the shop, where they got some blue brie that M and I stuffed in between two bits of rye bread and called lunch. Small Z rejoices in the caravan – it’s such a small space, just suited to her size. She has her own cupboard for treasures (a scrap of material, a small bear, a peg) and figured out how to get out and on to the ground (wriggle down backwards, pause, hope, drop). I think she loved having M and together in close proximity too.
We hit the waves just before the wind came up. The water was far less icy than I had thought it would be, and Small Z had a great time. She is at an age where one of her favourite things is to hold on to two adult fingers and walk as fast as she can, which is what she did, through all the ripples in the shallows. The wind came up after a while and it got a bit chilly – too cold for the outdoor shower. Got dressed and went for a walk along the beach to the more sheltered bit of sand near the life saving club.
Wow. I have never seen a beach more filled with little kids. It was the perfect spot for them – there was a bit of shade provided by the trees, and the tide was almost completely in. We made friends with an 11-month-old Matilda and a 15-month-old Saskia and their respective mothers. They lent Small Z a cup to play with in the water. I wished they lived near us… Having had no more than about thirty minutes sleep, Small Z eventually got her skank on, and we headed back to caravanland, where M disappeared on a beer run. I concocted dinner out of various tins, and coerced Small Z to sleep…
OK. So the night was hard. Small Z woke every two hours or so and my boobs saw a lot of action. M said he woke every two hours as well, but that was because of my sighing. Despite this, we all woke up at seven on Sunday morning and felt better than we ought to. I really have to sort out the curtains for the van… Several cups of coffee and tea made us more human, and Small Z had a blast crawling after seagulls and seeing her first kites.
We did not have a shortage of caravan admirers. One guy actually came inside and started giving me design tips. I think some people really expect the whole black and white checked floor and multiple pastel coloured drawer look. They gaze at the interior and visibly itch to inflict in-your-face retro. However, I wanted an airy light space that was clean and neither modern or particularly dated. And that’s what I’ve got. Anyway…almost every other person walking past said how cool they thought it was *grin*
As the night had been a bit wakeful, Small Z burnt out early and we took her for a long walk along the beach in her pram. She nodded off and we toured the other bits of the camping ground that we hadn’t been aware of, back up behind the beach. It was far more organised and populated than our spot. We were again very happy with our site on the water! Back at the caravan there was nowhere shady to park the baby, so we headed up to the shop for toasted sandwiches and some trashy magazine-ing. Small Z awoke and entertained herself admirably while we kicked back.
We packed up the van, and I practiced hitching it on to the car (must do something about non-existent upper body strength, must do something about non-existent upper body strength). We drove around to the babies beach from the day before, and stayed for another hour or so before heading home. There was more sleeping from the backseat (cue cheering) and we did a tour of the local hard rubbish before getting home. Oh my GOD it’s good to have a place to come home to that doesn’t cause an instant post-holiday slump! Later on that night I got my first ever kiss from Small Z. Call me mushy. I was thrilled.