Sunday, August 13, 2006

Elijah's Big Adventure Day 1

Canberra to Melbourne

We had planned to get away early. We still haven't learnt that it always takes much longer with Bugalugs. What also didn't help is that we were so disorganised to start with, that we were up until 3am the night before, in the Mumma's case, sewing, in the Daddy's case, working on job criteria and in both cases, packing!

So after we eventually figured out how to get the pram, bassinette, suitcases and full bag of nappy stash into the car in a way that we could also get Elijah in the car, we got on the road. The time was probably around 10 past 11am. So much for getting away early.

Our first stop, for a feed and nappy change was at a lovely little rest area at Bookham. Then we stopped for a photo at the Dog on the Tuckerbox, just before Gundagai. Elijah took the photo. Just kidding. Elijah was asleep in the car just next to the random woman that offered to take the photo. The Dog is a bit hard to see in the photo, but is above my head.

Next major stop was at Albury-Wodonga. We stopped in a park on the bank of the Murray River. The paddle steamer that goes along the river was not operational on the day for unseasonal reasons, but it was there for photo opportunities!

This was also the first really picturesque place to breastfeed. Check out the view!

I fed a lot in the front seat of the car on the trip as it was the most comfortable seat, but we often managed to stop at places where I had a lovely landscape to look at. The Daddy usually went for walks with the camera while Elijah fed.

We stopped at Benalla to get a pizza from Coles to cook in the hotel room and we changed Elijah's nappy there. The Coles at Benalla actually had toilets with a baby change station, which was terribly convenient. Unfortunately, when we put Elijah back in the car, the whinging began. I thought that after a couple of minutes he'd go to sleep, but no, it escalated, so we thought that maybe he was hungry, even though it was a bit early for a feed, and pulled off the highway at Violet Town (birthplace of Killing Heidi) and found what I hoped would be a good place to feed: the local pub. We were in luck. The girl behind the bar let us feed in the privacy (and smokefree atmosphere) of the dining room, where there were very comfy chairs. We were well looked after and were brought glasses of water. The Daddy bought a pack of Twisties to thank them for letting us use their facilities for free and for being so accommodating.

Then it was back on the road. Unfortunately, though after his feed he seemed sated, Elijah started crying and screaming in the car. We guess he was just sick of being in the car by that stage as it was by then around 8pm. We resorted to driving with the interior light on in the hope that having him able to see his toy hanging off the seatbelt might settle him. We definitely couldn't stop anywhere to stay the night as we'd already paid for our accomodation in Melbourne. So we just drove on in the hope that he'd finally settle. And finally he did. We aren't sure whether he just wore himself out or if it was the cabin light, but he was quiet and we eventually were able to turn off the light.

The rest of the drive to Melbourne was pretty uneventful, apart from the fact that our borrowed Melways was very out of date and we ended up on the Ring Road instead of going straight into the city via the Hume Highway. Consequently we got lost because I had trouble finding where we were on the map and the signs above the highway were deceptive. Turns out we should have exited the highway at some point, but we ended up halfway to Geelong instead because we stayed in the lane underneath the sign for the city centre. Don't ask me why that lane went to Geelong instead.

We finally got to the hotel at 10pm, starving and exhausted. Well, actually it was more a serviced apartment as it had full kitchen facilities (hence buying the pizza) and laundry facilities. The only way we could afford to stay there at Quest Southbank was because the Daddy found a Sunday special on Wotif, which made it quite reasonable. We put on a load of nappies, fed Elijah, fed ourselves, and went to bed.

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