We started off in the car Thursday afternoon, we had planned to pick up a few last things and grab a late lunch before making our way to Rockhampton. All was well. A bulging kebab with humus and tabouli was my choice. The ingredients pushing at the sides of the wrap attempting to escape. They were successful. We returned home shortly after so I could change my dress. I’d done an excellent job of messing it up. AS I do.

And then off we set. A little behind schedule and with way too many snacks for two people and a tiny car. What can I say, I have a thing for those Toobs chips. You know the ones, right? Sort of like Cheezels but not. Like sauce flavoured or something? The best.

We were on the road to Rockhampton to visit Hubby’s eldest brother, wife and two girls. They operate the Citywalk Motor Inn if you are EVER in need of great, affordable accommodation in the old Rock-Vegas. I can vouch for their comfy beds and the extensive number of tissues. We certainly burnt through a few given that we were still shaking off the last of the cold that had attacked us previously. We are happy to report that we did not pass our germs on, so that’s a win.

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After a night, a day, a nap, a visit to the park and a roast dinner we were on the road to Emerald. Hubby had been medicated with scotch on the rocks so I was the pilot of our ship for the evening run into Emerald. I like driving at night and can do it for ages, just pondering things and singing along to the Pitch Perfect soundtrack. Hubby drifted in and out of sleep, he had he told me gotten the cold MUCH worse than I did. Obviously. Sounds like man-flu to me.

We made one stop along the way and we were there. Arriving at Hubby’s youngest brother’s home. It was late but our hosts with their two young boys in bed were keen to press on with the evening. And we just aren’t the type to say no. So pressing on we did. Way on. It was 2 or 3am when we went to bed grinning from ear to ear, pleased we had visited.

The next morning we weren’t as chipper BUT the kids slept through until 8am so we were all happy with THAT. We had some breakfast, slowly but surely packed up the car and hit the road to visit the Theresa Gorge Dam {maybe, that is probably its name, I’m terrible with names}. The boys slept and looked super adorable. My sister-in-law and I chatted the entire way.

And the way back too actually. Full bellies and tired eyes we drove back to their house where I managed to squeeze in a late afternoon nap on the trampoline. Seriously have you ever napped on a trampoline? It’s the best. Do yourself a favour and try it. Maybe wear bug spray though if you’re in Central Queensland, okay?

The next morning was Easter Sunday and after the excitement of the bunny’s arrival Hubby’s brother whipped up anĀ omelette that could have been plucked from my dreams. I mean, it had camembert cheese in it for goodness sake. But still my beating heart. Literally. HA. So after a slow morning, a shower and a visit to the local car wash to scrape the bugs of the front bar of my car we were on the way… Cania Gorge, ready or not here we come.

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We arrived mid-afternoon after a few driver swaps {apparently I suck at driving during the day, day-time is for napping} and two lunches. My nieces, the eldest two were nowhere to be seen but we immediately caught up with Kel’s older sister, her Hubby and their friends. After we settled in with a beverage. Camping requires it, yes? We set off on a mission to find the girls who were fishing by the river with the rest of their group.

In all seriousness I think it was a ploy to lure me towards the bird feeding thing that happened at 5pm that I was keen to avoid. The idea of being pooped on or swooped was not in my plans for the remainder of the afternoon. Not me, I’m a bird poop free zone thanks. After much girlish squealing {who knew I had it in me} we set off for the river. As soon as the girls set eyes on their uncle they came running towards us. Love that.

Afternoon was turning to evening so not too long after {two fish and an almost face plant into the river later} we turned to head back to camp. After we tackled the hill, I threw my arm over my eldest niece’s shoulder and we walked and talked along the path. Catching up on the goss and pumping her for information on all the things.

Hubby called from the back of the group that he had spotted my Aunt’s car and caravan. No way, I said, seriously? He and I doubled back and went off in search of her. The neighbouring campers told us they were in the camp kitchen. It was her. So we had an impromptu catch up with her and her husband until the football ended and the mozzies had moved in. With our fingers crossed we could find our way back to camp we set off into the darkness hand in hand.

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The next morning we woke slowly. It was delicious. The campground was chilly but not unbearable and it really, for the first time, felt like winter might be coming. Having regaled the group with what was probably entirely inappropriate camp stories the night before we had plans to lay low, shower and hit the road home by lunchtime. But not before Hubby had his turn on the boat. He’s a mad keen boatman, yes? And if there is fishing involved, well even better. There wasn’t fishing involved. There WAS wakeboarding and tubing though. So close enough.

I lay on the shore, soaking up the sunshine through the trees and listening to the women chat. Relaxed and happy that our adventure had worked out so well. It’s not often that you can take four days, visit three families {with a bonus fourth thrown in for good measure} and come out the other side content. But that’s the power of family, right? They restore you. Give you energy when you have none. After what seemed like decades the boys on the boat finally came back to shore. Hubby dried off and we packed the car to head for home. We had my family coming over for a roast dinner that night… And we were running out of time to cook it!

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My lot arrived in dribs and drabs around 5pm and we hung out in the backyard enjoying the green green grass of home. The kids love Hubby’s mower and digger and spend lots of time sitting on it, playing. A perfect excuse to get out the camera and grab some photos of them all together. All together and all willing for a photo is something else entirely. But in the fun way kids do, I managed some great shots.

We complained about the amount of chocolate we had eaten over the weekend, drowning our sorrows with more chocolate. Laughed at Dad as he complained about being eaten by mosquitos but refused to let anyone light a citronella candle because he hates the smell. Seriously. That’s what he does. Shake your head with me, it’s ok. We do.

Dinner was late, the roast took ages to eat. The kids all had a bath together in the way that when they are older makes for the most awkward teen cousin conversations. And we caught up on the family goss. They really are my favourite people. I love people. I love these people most. As you do. And do you know what the best part of all of this was? Went they went home, when the dishes were done, we curled up on the couch just the two of us. A squished pretzel of people. And THAT was the best bit.

The end.

I’ve got the life, right?

Chief Blogger at Suger Coat It; An Australian lifestyle blog for women who work for themselves. Melissa is a social media consultant & lover of stripes. Most weekends you’ll find her at the beach or home on the veranda kicking back. Around here, they call her Suger. Feel free to do the same.