Last month I booked a girls weekend in July for my nieces, Izzy, Jenna and I, using the timeshare that I’ve owned for ages and have hardly ever used. I also booked a week in New Zealand for David28 and Izzy’s honeymoon, also using the timeshare.
While I was on the website, I noticed that I had 1,500 points to use up before June 30. Yikes! With all of the lockdowns going on last year, I’d completely forgotten about unused points. I decided that I’d do my best to get rid of them.
As it happens, New South Wales school holidays start a week later than Victoria, so I was able to snag 5 days in Manly Beach during our first week of the holidays. I decided to break the journey on the way up with 2 additional nights in Bowral, which brought the unused points down to 150. That, I can live with.
On the last day of the school term I got up early and drove 800 km to Bowral. There, I visited the Woolworths supermarket, buying butter, a couple of frozen meals for dinner and some snacks. Naturally, I brought staples like wine, coffee, vegemite and a few other bits and pieces to save money on breakfasts and dinners.
Because I’m travelling on my own, I adopt a ‘safety first’ routine whereby I go out and about during the day and then spend dinner and the evenings in my rooms. I read or watch Netflix or Stan shows on my laptop – basically just having a self-indulgent time. The normal routine during the day is that I see what I want to see, grab a nice lunch and then make it back to the room by twilight.
Driving 800 km in one day is tiring. I spent the whole of the next day in my room, reading and sewing a couple more rows of the 5,000+ piece quilt I’m making. I ‘did’ Bowral on the last time I spent a holiday here, so I didn’t feel bad. It was just so nice to have a day where no one was asking me for something, you know what I mean?
Oh! When I say I ‘did’ Bowral, that’s all except the Bradman Cricket Museum. I’d rather die.
At 6 PM that night there came a knock at the door.
Turns out it was the manager, bringing a bottla sparkling wine, to say thank-you for using both Bowral and Manly Beach for my holiday. Wow. I was blown away. What a lovely gesture!
I hadn’t put any preparation into this holiday, so I was surprised to realise that Bowrl was so close to Sydney. I left at 10 AM and was pulling up outside the Sebel in Manly Beach by 11:30.
Of course my room wasn’t ready, so I parked my car in their underground car park, grabbed some lunch at a café – (you’d think a halloumi wrap would be tasty but it had absolutely no taste at all), and then I headed down to the foreshore.
It was a beautiful day and the place was packed. I, of course, was wearing my mask but I only saw 4 other people all day with one on. I was amazed – but I guess it shows that when you have “mockdowns” instead of lockdowns, you take things a little less seriously. Personally, with all of the evidence now coming to light about Long Covid, I want to keep any covid I end up getting to a minimum.
I had a few hours to kill before I could check in, so I walked, then sat and read for a while, then I’d walk a bit more, then sit and read, etc. There were heaps of tourists and lots of locals walking their dogs and toddlers.
The place was pumping. All of the cafés were bursting at the seams and everyone was in a great mood.
I took this shot from a seat where I was reading for a while. It doesn’t do justice to the shades of blue.
Such a quintessential Aussie scene! This was a ‘Nippers’ class, where the local surf lifesaving club is teaching the kids to surf.
A little further away, some surfers were clumped together, chatting and waiting for waves. They seemed a bit optimistic to me, but then again, even these piddly waves are bigger than we normally get down in Melbourne in Port Phillip Bay!
Can you imagine being able to live in these houses? The views that they must have?
For the next few days, this is the view from my balcony. I’m sitting out here now on Monday morning. I watched the sunsise and now I can hear birdsong from the pines over the road, while sounds of laughter float up from the street below. The sun is sparkling on the waves.
I live very close to the beach at home and when I was a kid, we used to spend school holidays at Inverloch, where my grandparents lived. They had a house which was just over the road from the beach.
But I’ve never lived in a place where you can hear the sea all the time.
In the twilight, I was out on the balcony with a glass of wine. I called Mum in the hospital and chatted away.
Then, as I was talking I was visited by a couple of lorikeets. My foot is in the shot to show how close they were.
They ended up coming really close before they flew off. Being five floors up seems to have its perks!
Is this room perfect?
Well… there’s no coffee plunger, and only enough NON-decaf instant coffee for 2 more mornings.
You know how you always forget something when packing? (Or maybe that’s just me.) I forgot my Aeropress, so I have proper coffee but no way to make it.
I might see if the staff can chase up a coffee plunger for me. I had a cup of instant coffee this morning and this may surprise some of you… but it’s just not the same.
Meanwhile, look at this sad, sad photo. Tom30 took this at 4 PM on the day that I was driving to Bowral.
They’re all at the window, thinking, “Any minute now, Mum will be home…”
I felt bad when I saw it…
Dad joke of the day: