Yep, we took a little holiday to the coast to attend 'Beef Australia 2012' and catch up with the always-lovely Aldridge clan who were rendezvousing in Rockhampton before heading back together 'home' to Papua New Guinea. So, we packed up Carrie the camper on Friday night and set off early Saturday night, headed due east about six hours to Rockhampton, the undisputed home of the Australian beef industry.
After picking up the happy traveller Glenn at the airport we headed out to Yeppoon (about 40 minutes out of Rocky, on the coast) where we were staying. Found our caravan park, as well as Ange and the three crazy pikininnies. Aldridge clan all staying at the resort up the road, us happy campers set up Carrie. Next morning called for pancakes and ice-cream breakfast, oh yeah we're very fancy campers, turned one of our fridges down and enjoyed a freezer! Caravan park was pretty nice, right on the beach.
We spent Sunday at the resort with Ange and the kids whilst Mr Beef hung out with a heap of genetics dorks (one Mr Matt very jealous). There was lots of 'relaxing' by the girls, sharing milkshakes and a camel ride or two. I brought with me a little something from AnK headquarters - a white and pink pettiskirt which was right up Ange's alley! (Read: totally not what she would dress her children in haha). Of course the very insistent Sassy had to wear her pettiskirt everywhere, including bike riding.
As well as all those strenuous activities, like mojito drinking and leaning on palm trees, we got to snuggle baby Pepe a lot, which I was a big fan of! These people make some pretty good looking babies...
On Monday we thought we'd better go check out this big beef show that was apparently happening, Mr Beef was still hanging out with genetics dorks, so we wrangled the troops around the showgrounds. We saw the most enormous bullock which was more like a baby elephant, some cattle we recognised (Charolais/Angus) and some which we didn't (that weird looking speckly thing with horns...) Also ran into some familiar faces...that Tom Lawson wasn't much of a talker though. Rude. Kids were a bit over boring beef though so found some entertainment in the form of a hula hooping mama and blatant advertising body paint. After Matt and I ditched the kids we ran into some more familiar faces, had a beer and talked about what we like to talk about best: good cattle!
Monday night we looked after the kiddos whilst Mama and Papa Bear headed out for a hot date to local Japanese restaurant (all reports were yummo!) Big girls slept soundly, baby Pepe not so much, but I did manage to get two babies to sleep...eventually.
Matt, being the loving husband that he is, said he would cook the pancakes Tuesday morning. Excellent. Actually...not so excellent. Oh well. Matt and Glenn headed back into Beef to attend some seminars and put their thinking caps on whilst Ange, girls and I hit the shops. Tough work being Sassy and Lulu...
Continued to try and wear the girls out by swimming at the resort, very good kids pool with beach and not deep water. I even managed a swim in the freezing water! All the swimming and playing and shopping to tire them out was to keep them happy for night time activities in Rocky - The Man from Snowy River horse arena spectacular!
Lucky buggers that we are got to watch all the action from the international lounge and despite Luella asking me what on earth a brumby was I think they generally enjoyed it. Lots of people riding around on horses, trying to get the colt from old regret back, local kids dancing and Jim Craig did eventually get his girl and ride off with Jessica on the back of his noble stead. Happy days.
Wednesday morning we packed up Carrie (which always seems to take longer than anticipated...but may have something to do with me losing the key to the toilets and pulling apart everything trying to find it!) We dropped in back to the showgrounds, said good-bye to our favourite ex-pat family and hit the road back west to Malden.