Only in Queensland, right?
The kids, of course, are mine – Mr 10 and Miss 8 – and we’re at the Atlantis Marcoola Resort at Marcoola Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
I love the Sunny Coast.
There is something about pointing the car north that is good for my soul.
By the time we reach the Glasshouse Mountains, when Mr 10 helpfully breaks into a monologue about how they were named by Captain James Cook and why, a feeling of relaxation is slowly sleeping through my bones.
I’m entertained by the constant commentary, and I add my own knowledge about the native Aborigine's Dreamtime stories about the Glasshouse Mountains.
A road trip that is fun AND educational. Who would have thought?
The serenity is clouded by a farting Miss 8, who announces she has ‘bowel problems’ because long drives make her nervous. (Readers, the drive from the southern suburbs of Brisbane to Marcoola Beach is no longer than two hours. It can take up to an hour less if you live in the northern suburbs).
And she’s hungry, starving. (Because I am the Wickedest Mother In The World, and never feed my children).
Against my better judgement, we stop at the Ettamoggah Pub.
I’ve never actually stopped here before. It’s based on an iconic larrikin Aussie cartoon, and although it’s possibly aimed at tourists, it’s clearly a must-stop for many Aussie travellers as well.
The pub seems to be populated by men, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about them.
We don’t see any other kids, and there’s only one woman eating and drinking with the men in the sunshine outside. They look at us with a bit too much interest, as Mr 10 tugs on my skirt and says: ‘Mum, let’s get out of here; it feels weird’.
Toilets used, food consumed, we are finally back on the road to Marcoola Beach and the Atlantis Marcoola Resort.
Here, it is time to put my hand up and admit that the resort’s managers have put us up for the weekend.
But trust me, I honestly will not write anything nice about the place unless it's true.
Which, luckily, is all too easy.
We are welcomed warmly by Gordan, and later, Sue (who had been busy when we checked in, but knew exactly who we were, including the kids who she recognises from Maid In Australia. I’m not sure whether to be pleased about that, or alarmed!)
I loved that Gordan had a big chat to Mr 10, giving him the responsibility of ‘The Key'; telling him how to swipe it to get into the gated car park, and into our apartment; as well as entrusting to him the code to the swimming pool and spa area.
When Mr 10 inquires about the fishing potential of the region, he is quickly assured the going is good, but if any fish are caught, the manager gets a Big One. Mr 10 happily agrees.
The apartment we’re in is on the third floor, and the view over the treetops to the ocean is breathtaking.
The kids ooh and aah as they explore our comfy accommodation, which is almost as big as our house (and much tidier!).
And then there is the view! Blue sky, crashing waves, and a gentle breeze. It takes just seconds sitting at our outside setting on the balcony, to begin absorbing the sights and sounds and feel our bodies relax.
Well, MY body.
I try to help the kids meditate by focussing them on the gentle movement of the waves. The glint of the sunlight, dancing on the water; the crashing of water onto the sand. The sound of it, the feel of the breeze washing gently against us.
Miss 8 is instantly into it ( is it a girl thing?) but Mr 10 is bored.
“I want to go to the games room and the pool,” he says. Well, who can blame him really?
Miss 8 and I negotiate five minutes more, and then we give in. (Our breaks away have to be about compromise, as the kids are like chalk and cheese sometimes).
The pool and spa area is immaculate, and unbelievably, we have the whole place to ourselves.
Above us, the sky is blue and the sun is shining. It feels like summer, not winter! (I don't know the temperature but I'm thinking it's at least in the high 20's celcius.)
Because the pool and spa are heated, and the weather is so warm, the kids aren’t cold at all. I realised halfway through our journey that I had forgotten my own swimmers, or I would have joined them. Which is saying a lot, as conditions have to be perfect for me to enter the water!
Instead, I catch up on some reading and take photos. And I marvel, that just a couple of hours from our Brisbane home, it truly feels like we’re on holiday.
The kids are in their element. And they deserve it, because like me, they've had some crap to deal with recently.
Miss 8 had the foresight to bring her boogie board, but Mr 10, who couldn’t be bothered at the time, is happy to see there are several boards and balls for use of kids at the resort.
Finally, their skin wrinkled like prunes, the kids are ready to go upstairs. Miss 8 indulges in a bubble bath; Mr 10 settles for a shower.
And we all start to think about dinner ...
To be continued...
Disclosure: The kind peeps at Atlantis Marcoola Resort gave us two nights in a lovely two-bedroom apartment so I could review it at Chez MIA. I would happily have paid for the experience and totally hope to spend at least some of the winter holidays there.
Our apartment - that's Miss 8 dancing a happy dance on the balcony!
A comfy Queen-sized bed, complete with crisp white sheets. Sigh!
A separate room for the rugrats
The view ...
The lounge. That's Miss 8 dancing another happy dance!
The Atlantis Marcoola pool and spa. Look closely and you'll see Miss 8 and Mr 10 making the most of the weather!
The area at the left is a toddler pool. Or warm little pool for wimpy adults.
My bathing beauty ...