It’s taken almost a year and a half, but finally, we went on our very first family holiday.
We’ve been on loads of road trips to The Big Roundabout but they don’t really count, do they ?
It had been high time that we applied ourselves to the intrepid traveling with toddlers test and stepped up to the challenge. You know, pick a destination far enough that required a plane ride to get there.
So, we decided on Tasmania.
Well, actually it was my idea.
Truth be known, my initial reasons to go there were kinda selfish. There was little regard as to whether it was a kid-friendly place or an easy journey for a young family with toddler twinlets.
Going down south to Van Diemen’s Land was in fact, ultimately for the sake of a dear old high school friendship.
I’m sure you’re all thinking that was terrible planning on my behalf.
Yet, it was a pleasant surprise when first stepping foot in Hobart. Instantly, it felt laid-back. Comfortable, even.
Wide, spacious roads. Clean, crisp air. Pockets of yellow and deep orange leaves of the trees, showing the early signs of autumn. Driving into town, I knew I got it right.
Then, there was my actual encounter of how friendly the people are there.
Simple good ol’ small town kindness.
Towards the late afternoon of our first day, I had to hurry to the supermarket to stock up on our holiday’s supply of nappies and baby food. Despite the near perfect instructions from my friend on how to get there, I still managed to inconveniently park the car half a kilometre away from the shops.
What resulted in a box of nappies and seven bags of baby food, milk and other heavy groceries, I had promised the lady at the counter that although I would need the shopping trolley to cart all my stuff back to my car, I was sure to place the trolley back in its rightful place, back at the supermarket.
Of course, I was stuck with one of those trolleys that despite having all four wheels, one had a mind of its own. No matter how hard I tried to steer the wretched contraption back on the path, it would inevitably sway towards the main road.
Nearing the Witching Hour, I was certain I was going to arrive back at my friend’s house, having hungry, screaming toddlers to contend with. The stubborn cart was not helping my situation. Time was slipping and I was having second thoughts about keeping my dutiful oath to return supermarket property.
What saved me was the involuntary assistance from strangers at separate instances.
I counted. Three of them. Within no more than 500 metres.
From the perspective of a Sydney city slicker, those were impressive statistics.
By the time I reached the car, I decided that if the universe was going to throw me so many benevolent bones to get those darn groceries to the car, I could surely return the favour and race back and place the shopping trolley back to where it came from. So, in a mad rush, that’s what I did.
On the stroke of Crazy Hour, I finally made it back to the house.
However, when I arrived my expected scenario was not to be. No wild toddlers tearing down my friend’s house. Instead, there was my friend’s wife – who had just arrived home from work herself – happily cooking up a batch of veggies for my children. Just in case I didn’t make it back in time.
Karma, man. Totally believe that it’s out there.
So, that was my hectic, but welcoming first day in Hobart.
The rest of our stay was, I will cautiously say, had its moments.
The boys were restless the first couple of nights, causing major sleep deprivation.
It was a tricky situation of getting over the hurdle of unfamiliar surroundings before the twinlets could figure out in their little intuitive minds that yes, we weren’t in the comforts of our own home.
However, this is what we’ll be doing once in a while: Going on a h-o-l-i-d-a-y.
As we had predicted, they were sleeping peacefully by the second last night. The baby version of Murphy’s Law.
Then, there was the fun stuff in between. Every day was jam-packed with breathtaking sights, rugged, beautiful nature, fabulous local wine and of course, the much treasured and valued company of an old friend and his gorgeous family.
Watch this space for more Tassie tales of family adventures…