Ok, not really. That’s not a good look at the best of times, let alone at 7.5 months pregnant. No-one wants to see that.
Anyway, so Airlie Beach. Trés delightful. We pottered and puttered and just generally chilled out. The weather wasn’t crash hot, with rainy nights, and scuddy showers during the day (side note – does anyone else use the word “scud” in a meteorological sense? We’ve been discussing the validity of such a term for days…). But the was enough sunshine in between for us to get out and about and have some fun.
We had a wander through town to get a feel for the place, before hitting the supermarket for some groceries, and a swim in the heated pool (a delightful 28 degrees!). The children adored the playground and jumping pillow, so we hung out there quite a bit, as well as a couple of rounds of mini golf. The weekly markets were on Sunday, so we had a bit of a wander through there – the boys were fascinated (and rightly so!) with a fab sand sculpture of a dragon – complete with flames coming from his nose! Bess was more taken with the live music, and boogied her way through the crowd – nothing stops our disco baby!!
A little explore down by the marina led to some shell collecting (which I’m not entirely sure is permitted – shhhh….!!), including a stack of flat circular shells with holes in the middle, just begging to be crafted into something. I have a few ideas on what to do with them for a personalized souvenir – plenty of time to decide before we go home! We also had a wander along the boardwalk and had a sticky beak at some of the lovely boats and waterfront apartments – I may have done some “when we win lotto” daydreaming
And of course, we found the ice cream shop! Not once but twice, even, and the smalls were very taken with the sprinkle cones on offer. The “cafe espresso” ice cream I had on our second excursion was incredibly yummy, but didn’t seem like such a grand idea once a certain someone got the caffeine hit and decided it was dance party time!! Dear Bean, that is mummy’s hip bone, not a foot-activated escape hatch. So less with the karate practice, k?
We also took a drive out to Shute Harbour, up to the lookout and then found a little walk in the national park – according to the sign it was 1.1km but it felt a lot longer!! We wound our way through the bush, and emerged onto a coral beach, where Daddy and O deposited the two small ones and their mama, and went on to check out the headland lookout, while we lazed and sun baked and played with the coral. Then those threatening dark clouds started rolling in. Uh oh. Thankfully, that was about the point the prodigal explorers appeared at the other end of the beach, and so we gave them a wave and got scooting – though a big round mama with a shoulder-riding toddler seems to be a slow moving beast of burden and they soon caught up to us. Got lucky and the storm swung back out to sea – no drenching for us!!
The rest of the holiday passed in a similar fashion – pool, playground, scooting. Fish and chips for dinner one night, and on our last night, Hogs Breath. It was suggested we didn’t go all that way just to have Hog’s Breath. I countered that as it is THE Hog’s Breath, the very first one, if we have Hog’s Breath anywhere, this would be the place to do it. Even if it does seem counter-logic to go to the Great Barrier Reef for a steak (bit like going to the country for seafood…).
With every morning starting off rainy, plus having made the decision to can an overnighter in Rockhampton and just go straight through to 1770, we decided to pack most of our “extras” on Tuesday night, giving us a head start Wednesday morning. Which of course, dawned bright and sunny, nary a rain cloud to be seen. But at least it gave us a good heads tart, and with only bedding to be packed up, the tent folded and the trailer attached, we were loaded up and ready to hit the road by 7.45… Just as well, with an 8 hour drive in front of us! Airlie was fun, next stop, 1770!!