Thursday, October 13, 2011

Family Holidays (Vacations)

 We've just got home after a week away on Rottnest Island. And what a wonderful week it was.

In fact, it was so good, we forgot to take photos. We were just too chilled out to bother! I do have a couple of pictures: the first one was taken at a seal colony, found down a track, right at the end of the road on the island. A very long bike ride, or a short bus-ride (we took the later on that particular day).
Watching the seal colony

One of the many things to love about Rottnest Island is the abundance of wildlife: the gorgeous quokkas, we saw whales breaching and blowing, the fabulous seal colony, ospreys and their amazing nests, cheeky lizards who ate our brownies on the beach and swallows who lived in our toilet - the nest built on the wall light.

Osprey nest
But there is so much more to love about our holiday at Rottnest Island.

I love that we get to spend a week with our dear friends, Rhiann and Aaron Gosper and their gorgeous kids (though the boys are grown now and we only had Beth this year). We are blessed to have such good friends, who have been loving and supportive and fun since we met them 18 years ago in Merredin. We can be ourselves, totally relaxed and comfortable with them. We drink many cups of tea  and coffee, complete the cryptic crossword daily(they are so much better at it than we are), drink wine, beer, gin and tonics and cider (in Rhiann's case), watch the sun go down at the pub, go snorkeling and swimming and sunning on the rocks at Ricey Beach and just chill out for a week.

The island lends itself to being a really relaxed holiday. Firstly, you can only get there by ferry or plane. There are only service vehicles on the island, so you ride a bike or walk everywhere. There is a general store where you can purchase everything you need, and it is in easy walking distance from your bungalow. The bungalow doesn't have a television, Internet access or telephone. Perfect, if you want to be cut off from the world. And it is relatively inexpensive.

I think family holidays are really important for children. As my friend Rhiann was saying, it gives them beautiful memories and the ritual of an annual holiday is also important. Our children benefit from the relaxed atmosphere, time spent with friends and the freedom to roam and play outside safely.

Charlie was the most relaxed he'd been in ages. Before we went away he was having regular tantrums, he was frustrated and angry, but we had very few altercations at Rottnest, and he really loved it, often saying,"we go to Rottnest house, not home", if we were out. Since we've been home he has talked about going back, and guess what?  We've booked for next year!

I'm hoping to keep the "Rotto glow" for a bit longer, but coming home to the clutter and complications of life is starting to wash it away!

Riding a bike on the island (despite getting a sore bottom) has renewed my love of cycling, so I'm hoping to get a bike for my birthday this year, and hope to ride it regularly. I always feel healthy and happy on the island, and I think it is due to all that fresh air, time with friends, exercise and sunshine...Ah, bliss.Oh, and the afternoon naps.

Charlie slept so well at Rottnest

1 comment:

  1. That looks like a beautiful place to hang out, and I totally agree about taking a holiday together as a family - it gives you time to reconnect in a relaxed and different environment. Rottnest sounds a bit like Flinders Island (where we moved to about 5 weeks ago). I am mostly using my bicycle to get around and even with the wind (roaring forties), I am loving it!! (With you with the sore bottom though - mine has finally adjusted to life in the saddle now, thank goodness!!)
    Hope you can keep the glow a while and not let the daily grind take the shine off xx