Every time I look at this top photo, I feel happy. I remember stepping off the plane at Maroochydore airport and feeling warm air and sunshine on my face. I remember the moment of absolute joy at seeing Betty and Ruby-Lee and Maeve as they walked into the airport. Oh the excitement, and the lovely feeling that we hadn't really not seen each other for months. That we can just slot back into being together.
But and there is a but. It's not really a big but in the scheme of things, but it's still a but. There was a whole lot of talking we hadn't done because we don't do the series of small visits like we used to. Nothing earth shattering, just the usual family stuff, but it's a bit intense when you have those conversations all over a couple of days rather than a few months. While staying in the same house. Actually being family house guests is bit intense too. We're getting better at it, but it's not like going for an afternoon visit. Grace found it hard at times too. She loved seeing her cousins, but by the end of the week she was ready to see her Dad, her friends from school and sleep in her own room again. Oh, and I managed to score an overnight visit in Nambour hospital being filled with morphine on account of my gallbladder deciding to give me grief for the first time in about ten years. Apart from being massively inconvenient and painful, that was a side of the sunshine coast I hadn't planned on exploring.
But really, it was a good holiday. Late winter on the sunshine coast is glorious, especially when contrasted with late winter Melbourne which is vile. On the sunshine coast it's warm enough to go swimming and not wear shoes but not so hot you'll get burnt to a crisp. Grace adored going to the beach, indeed on the day we were at Mooloolaba, she declared it the best day of my whole life and alternated between rolling in the sand, dancing on the beach and going in the water. I wasn't going to go for a swim but changed my mind at the last minute and it was great. The water wasn't even cold - well, I guess I'm used to swimming in Bass Strait which is freexing even in summer. We held hands and jumped through the waves. Excellent fun. Grace loves the water and pretty much the key to keeping her happy was to slot in as many swimming situations as possible. Even a bath with the cousins was a winner sometimes. Grace and I spend a lot of time together and slept in beds right next to each other, waking to big cuddles every morning which kind of balanced out the less thrilling aspects of early rising (for a holiday).
It was awesome hanging out with Ruby-Lee and Maeve. Ruby has this amazing laugh, you could say she is a handful at times but she is also really caring and full of joy and spirit. Maeve is into everything and still likes a baby cuddle, not for much longer though I suspect. It was great to be in their life for a week and even if kids dinner was a bit chaotic some night, it was always followed by mellow hanging out with Betty and Cam. Now I just miss them all terribly. But we'll see them all again soon. And it will be intense, but whatever.