From August we stayed at Lake Conjola Island View Caravan Park. We went to Ulladulla movies, did our shopping and all the normal things you do if you are home.
We had some really heavy rain at times. A couple of times the rain came very close to the van and we drove through large puddles on our way to town.
Late August we had a trip to Brisbane in the car for a family funeral. Although it was lovely to catch up with family it wasn’t so nice in those circumstances. In October we went to Canberra to babysit our two lovely granddaughters while their parents went to Vietnam. They have a very friendly one eyed cat, which was locked out of our bedroom after the first night. We were exhausted after tennis, swimming, dancing, tutoring, reading, school drop off, homework, washing clothes for girls who wear 3 outfits a day. When we got home we slept in the following morning till 10am.
In November we went to Sydney, staying at Narrabeen Caravan Park. After visits to family we did the tourist thing and jumped on a bus to Sydney, then ferry to Manly. We took photos and I reminisced about my time living in Manly when I was a child. We drove around Neutral Bay and Crows Nest where Ian spent as a young teenager. Then we were off to Budgewoi for Ian’s brother’s 70th birthday.
After months of trying, planning, changing plans, arguing with council, we finally received advice from our architect that we have approval for our house. Yeah we were off and running.
We travelled further north to Port Macquarie and while there purchased 3 koala sponsorships for 3 of our grandchildren. This sounded like a better idea than more toys and they get a newsletter and little story about their koala.
Then we were in Brisbane for our daughter-in-law’s big birthday. They had updated their back patio area and had the party there. It looked great and worked well with lots of people.
We stayed in Brisbane until the end of November then off to Evans Head. It was very hot and humid. We stayed there for a few days and did the sights then onto Hat Head. Then we were off to Lane Cove Caravan Park in Sydney and visiting family before Christmas.
Mid December we were back in Canberra at Mathew’s place to mind their house while they went to Perth for Christmas. The cat didn’t worry us too much this time, I think he learnt his lesson from last time. We had a lovely time in Canberra, family visited us at Mathew’s on Christmas day and after Mathew’s return from Perth we stayed another 4 weeks before returning to our second home – Lake Conjola.
We spent the next month picking appliances, plumbing, handles, colours and every little thing for our house. We visited the block at least once a week and kept a photo diary of progress.
Mid-March we decided to go on a short trip and our first stop was Lane Cove, then Harrington, and onto Crescent Head. While there Ian developed a back ache that got worse as the day went on. So early evening off to the hospital. We are getting ok finding hospitals in regional places now. I stayed with him for a while and when they said they were keeping him overnight, I drove back to the van, after getting lost on the way of course. The next day when Ian came home we decided it would be safer to be near a hospital for the next little while so decided to go south. Mathew offered his driveway again and we set off after 2 days rest. Ian couldn’t drive so I had my first drive of the van. I drove from Crescent Head to 12 mile creek where we stayed the night, then onto Canberra the next day. 480km in one day and that is the furthest we have gone in one day. Mathew helped us set up in the drive and Ian was in bed and popping pills by early evening.
We spent 2 weeks at Mathew’s and Ian’s back improved but was still not 100%. We decided to go to Lake Conjola and he could relax there.
In mid-July we moved into a friend’s place just across the road from our new house. They were going overseas for 3 months and said we could put the van in their backyard and use their bathroom and laundry, so we jumped at it. This allowed us daily visits to the house. We were very excited and couldn’t wait to move in. Finally the house was ready and we moved the van into the carport on 17th September. We stayed in the van until our furniture was delivered on 23rd. There were no fences, blinds or curtains so we had a very bright red chenille bedspread on the bedroom sliding doors which faces onto a public walkway and put up a shower curtain in the ensuite.
We now have fences, curtains, blinds, and a garden (of sorts). I have had knee and hip replacement and I am very pleased to be out of pain.
Next trip is planned for September and October 2016.