Driving to Queensland Via The Long White Line.

This weekend, I finally found out what it’s like to be an Olympic swimmer. Not that I was swimming faster than a turbo-charged Marlin. Rather, I experienced what it would be like swimming up and down the pool hour after hour, fixating on that never-ending black line.

You see, we’ve been cast in an excruciatingly long horror movie driving up and down the Pacific Highway and we’ve been fixating on the broken white line for eternity. Indeed, I can barely remember what it was like to set foot on terra firma and roam free.

Indeed, I’ve been looking at this broken white line and the dull grey bitumen for so long, that they’ve now become permanently imprinted on my retinas. My goodness I’ll be seeing the world through road-coloured lenses for the rest of my life.

Rowena High Tea

Here I am in Queensland.

Well, you might ask why on earth any sane person would be driving two thousand kilometres over an extended weekend. It was my Sister-In-Law’s sixtieth birthday. I know it probably sounds crazy to drive that far for the weekend. However, we didn’t even think twice. It’s what we do. We love her and the smile on her face was more than worth it. Besides, we had a wonderful time gallivanting around between Byron Bay’s lush green hinterland, admiring the Gold Coast’s glitzy bright lights and savouring high tea Queensland style in Mudgereebah. With a name like that, you could only be in Australia.

What with all this driving, it’s only natural to ask why ecstasy is so fleeting, while tedium lasts forever.

I don’t know.

However, before you start accusing me of being a miserable glass-half-empty sod, I’m hoping we could possibly devise some kind of mechanical lever, which could permanently change the tide. Switch over to a perpetual paradise with only very fleeting, intermittent commercial breaks from all those undesirables…boredom, sadness, grief, pain.

It would be such a relief. If only I could access that lever right now and leave all of that far behind.

However, what we’re needing right now, is an oversized variation of Dr Who’s fabulous flying machine, the Tardis. That way, we’d only have to drive in, park and the next thing, we’d  instantly arrive home. I had considered converting the car into a modernised Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. However, after my application to add supersonic power was denied,  I had to change tack. After all, Chitty barely flies faster than Donald Duck and I want to get home NOW!!

However, I can dream on. We still have 3 hours to go and the hours are getting longer and longer, the closer we get to home. My goodness! We’ve all developed an unhealthy interest in road signs, as the agonisingly slow countdown continues. Nowhere near home, we’re either driving through dull green pastures or eucalypt forest and not one of us is asking: “Are we there yet?” We know. The end is nowhere in sight!

Anyway, we can’t complain too much about the drive. The car is decked out like a mobile entertainment centre. The kids have their electronics, books, colouring-in devices and snacks. You could even call it “fun”. I’ve actually managed to read Roald Dahl’s James & The Giant Peach and Danny Champion of the World as we’ve been driving up and back. Obviously, I’d be getting through my book pile a hell of a lot faster, if we did more of these interminable drives…as long as I was a passenger.

Thank goodness I don’t get car sick.

However, then the sun set and the story changed considerably.

Although we’ve had glorious sunny weather, which would be considered Summer in so many other parts of the world, the day length has been cut brutally short and the sun is setting around 5.00PM. This has left us with two hours of travelling in the dark. Even though my daughter and I both tried capturing all available street and moonlight to read, we soon gave up. The kids’ electronics were flat and so we had to do the old fashioned thing and talk to each other. Develop the fine art of conversation.

I took it as an opportunity to get them talking about their holiday, a precursor to writing their grandparents an old-fashioned letter. “What would you tell your grandparents about what you’ve been up to?” I asked.

When they weren’t saying very much, I launched off with my account. Then, my daughter said that I’d said everything and she had nothing more to add. Hence, she was silent.

All these gurus advising you to spend time listening to your children need their heads read. All I can think of is that infamous quote about NOT working with children and animals!

I was tempted to launch a round of I Spy but we’re all a bit over it. All we wanted to spy was our drive way and our puppy dogs.

Aside from catching up with family and having some fabulous conversations with people we met, here’s a brief photographic snap shot from the trip:

Surfers By Night.JPG

Surfers Paradise, Queensland By Night.                    Photo Rowena Newton.

Kombi Family

Kombi Dreaming at the Bangalow Markets, Near Byron Bay.

High tea kids

The Kids at High Tea.

Hope you enjoyed our trip without having to endure the drive!

xx Rowena

14 thoughts on “Driving to Queensland Via The Long White Line.

  1. merrildsmith

    Wow–that was a long drive. I’m not a fan of long drives, and I can’t read in the car. At least you had some beautiful scenery, and no bad weather. I’m sure your sister-in-law appreciated that your made the trip for her celebration. (And the puppies were glad when you returned. 🙂 )

  2. Midwestern Plant Girl

    I don’t mind (highway) driving. I guess it’s because I can focus on something and my mind will calm because of it. Now I hate driving on regular roads. People drive like idiots. As a passenger, I need to read as I’m a back seat driver and need to shut up or be left at a rest stop! 😉 I can’t wait for automatic cars… I want to paint my nails on the way to work!
    Glad you had fun at your party! It’s always worth seeing family!

  3. itsathought2

    i want a little door that I can walk through and get to anywhere in the world. Just for tea or shopping or whatever. I find the idea of GETTING to a place so tedious. But being there is wonderful.

  4. Rowena Post author

    Automatic cars would be great but they might make me redundant.What am I going to do when I’m not driving my kids all over the countryside?
    By the way, I’ll be posting some photos of my in-law’s garden later in the week. They have some great tropical plants. Hope you’re doing well xx Ro

  5. Rowena Post author

    Really? What a small world! I loved our high tea and tthe stunning Queenslander house. My grandparents had a Queenslander and it brought back such memories! xx Rowena

  6. codemanbc

    Magic and I made the 3,500 kilometer (2,200 mile) drive from Chicago to the Pacific Coast of Oregon (and back) last August-September. We were in no hurry, and traveling with a well behaved canine is sometimes preferable to traveling with fellow humans. Loved your story!
    -Tom and Magic

  7. Tails Around the Ranch

    Traveling over 3000 miles to attend my oldest grandson’s high school graduation, I know exactly how important this travel thing can be for loved ones. It’s just what we do. The hardest part about traveling without the dogs is we miss them so much. Hope your reunion was a bouncing/barking “oh my gosh, they’re finally home” one. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share 29th May, 2016. | beyondtheflow

  9. Rowena Post author

    It was great, Kath. How are you going? I am long overdue for a visit to your blog. Sorry. I have to catch up with the “real world” after the April A-Z Challenge.
    Have you been watching Masterchef or The Voice? We’ve been right into Masterchef but watched the Voice battles last night and I’m in again.
    My daughter is going in the Central Coast Dance Festival with school and tells me she needs black harem pants tomorrow and that she’s in trouble for not having them. After having a job interview at her school, I spent hours going through every possible shop in Westfield Tuggerah asking for harem pants, feeling like I was asking for a “frock”. Miss is tiny too. Eventually found a pair which she’s holding up with an rubber band at the waist. The school choir got into school spectacular so she’s off to that again…and off to the Opera House playing her violin, which she’s really only been playing for 6 months, other than a stint 4 years ago which started me off. It’s funny because with all these performances, she sounds incredibly gifted and talented but it’s all group work and I guess as long as you’re half decent and willing to put in the effort, that’s all it takes…along with parental support.
    Are you getting heavy rain there at the moment? It’s been bucketing down here all weekend. It floods around here fairly easily and one of my daughter’s friends up Wyong way is on flood alert and Geoff just said they’ve sandbagged Terrigal surf club with the high surf. Our niece has posted photos on FB apparently.
    Hope you’re all nice and dry!
    xx Ro

  10. Minuscule Moments

    Had no power last night and today pretty rough for farmers Rowena school closed kids happy mum???Not so much but so happy we have power tonight. Don’t worry about visiting the blog I have barely written a thing. Too busy with market stall prep and art for gallery and picture book but must blog soon. Stay safe and dry xxx

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