Micky Blue Eyes had booked a motel in Denman in the Upper Hunter Valley for a few days.
"What are you coming here for," the man taking the booking had asked "for work, is it?" This wasn't exactly selling it as a tourist destination, but we made the booking anyway and then another at Maitland.
The drive there was actually quite pleasant. No puking! Hurrah! The boys were delighted because they actually scored Macca's drive through. I decided to try the lamb burger only to discover the thing is as big as my head.
Driving on, we stopped at a park for a break and had a spirited game of 'tips.' I had to at least pretend that I was still getting some exercise.
Upon arriving, we checked in.
"What's on?" the woman at reception asked, quizzically "what did you come here for?"
"No reason," I mumbled.
"Just to get away from the rat race," Mick chuckled.
"Oh," she said, shortly, obviously deciding we were nuts. Apparently even the locals can't imagine why anyone would want to go there. Interesting.
After a day or two the boys were (bored shitless) having a blast.
"Can we go in the pool? Pleeeeeease!!!" they begged. Reluctantly, we agreed. Trudging out to the deserted pool, we gingerly dipped our toes in. Holy shit! It was beyond freezing. Master 8 and 11 were not to be deterred, however and defiantly splashed in out of the water for 20 mins, with their teeth chattering, before we all finally bailed.
The following day, we visited Muswellbrook. The boys were keen to see some serious shops. We pulled up outside a Vinnies Store. Yay! Cheap books! I weighed the pro's and cons of going in.
Pro: I could score cheap books.
Con: Micky would inevitably buy some woeful old shirts.
In the end, the lure of cheap books was too much to resist.
Half an hour later, I heaved my bag full of books back into the car, now heavily weighted down and we headed down the street. We drove past a shopping centre sporting signs for Big W and Woolworths.
"Yes!" the boys chorused "Let's go in there!"
They were hoping for a food court with a KFC.
Sailing up the travelator, we then traipsed in. It was eerily deserted. There was the food court. Resplendent with a total of three shops, not one of them Macca's or KFC. The boys sulked and glowered.
Eventually Master 11 agreed to have a beef kebab, while the other two had hot chips. Happily stuffed with kebabs and hot chips, we then meandered around the shops. Inevitably, we ended up in the toy section in Big W, where I proceeded to repeat the word NO approximately every 2 seconds. I'm pretty sure I would have been able to experience such holiday (hell) bliss at home.
After about 16 million No's, we ventured to the front exit, where I agreed they could have a lolly/treat. Fifteen minutes of whinging about the crap selection of treats ensued, while the cashier looked on with a pained expression. Finally I paid for some Tic Tacs and a Mars Bar and left, forgetting to pay for a small packet of pins I'd stuffed in the pocket of the pram. Oops. I had unwittingly become a shop lifter. Little did I know, this is apparently a common occurrence in Muswellbrook.
Next, we went for a walk down the main street, noting how deserted the place was. We came to club and decided to go in and have a drink. This time there wasn't even the obligatory local drunk to turn around and stare at us like we had two heads. It was completely empty. The boys had a jug of lemonade to add to their sugar high, while I mellowed out with two scotch and cokes, and Mick with a beer, before he headed back to get the car.
|The Best Movie Ever|
Back in the car, the portable DVD player started up with the familiar strains of Shrek 4 Ever After. Henceforth to be known as The Best Movie Ever. Not only does it have a Carpenters song in it, but the boys were so transfixed by it in the car, that we managed to drive past Macca's and KFC, then turn around and drive past them again, and they didn't even notice.
Next stop was Maitland. This time the room was exactly right for (paralysing claustrophobia) cosy, comforting togetherness. Bunk bed battles began. As well as balcony paranoia, as they had put us upstairs. With no other rooms available we had no choice but to panic over Master 3's whereabouts at all times.
The highlight of Maitland was, once again, a massive Lifeline shop. More books! Yes, we are such classy people.
|The Griswald's. We are classy, like them...|
The final evening we settled in to watch National Lampoon's Vaction starring Chevy Chase. Ah, those crazy Griswald's. And we're just like them! See, I told you we are classy people. Just like movie stars. Yep.
The movie ended and we all settled in for the night. Except the boys decided to get an attack of the giggles. Finally, in a frantic effort to make them go to sleep Mick helpfully made the fatal mistake of saying: "Quick! You better get to sleep, I thought I saw someone near the window!" Good one. Great way to get kids to sleep. Scare the bejesus out of them!
The next day we arrived home (exhausted and drained) rested and relaxed, ready for them to go to back to school. Yippee!
Except...Master 8 was sick, then Master 3..and me.. boo hoo...
But, on the positive side, plans are already under way for another bogan trip in January. So move over Griswald's, it's now our song: Holidaaay Roooooaad....