Day 63


Lennox Head



Where We Went:

Port Macquarie, Grafton, and Byron Bay

What We Did:

We’re road-tripping up the coast of New South Wales, heading north watching the landscape get increasingly more tropical, and the air getting more hot and humid.  From the Hunter Valley, we popped onto the Pacific Highway, stopping in Port Macquarie for a swim in Flynn’s Beach.  Onwards we continued to Grafton, which was all but shut down for Easter Friday.   We crossed a really cool bridge and found accommodation in a single family room at a motel.  The Highway Patrol were also staying there, along with some train engineers, a funny mix.   Raquel loved jumping between the beds, and both kids managed a swim. For a last minute motel, it was really clean and we could sit outside in the hallway and read the trashy magazines on the table while the kids fell asleep at last. Onwards in the morning to a bustling Byron Bay, packed with people for the Easter long weekend, and the Byron Bay Blues Fest. Michael Franti, Gomez, Robert Plant, Sheryl Crow, Lionel Richie, are all in town this weekend…and we’re not going to see them, because, well, kids. Still, we’re here to surf and kayak and swim and find ourselves with crystals, and we’re looking forward to jamming our own concert tunes in Byron Bay.

What We Ate:

Breakfast: Eggs Benedict and mango smoothies

Lunch: Gua Bao and dumplings and chicken soup and rice-paper salad rolls.

Dinner: Pan-fried lemon-herb salmon with mash potato, fresh veggies, salad and eggplant. “Why does this taste so much better than restaurants?” asks Jaci, and she’s right.

Where We Ate:

In Port Macquarie, we grabbed breakfast at Coffee n More at Flynns, which had a hilarious Kids menu. For lunch, we chomped on the Pan-Asian street snacks at Foxy Luu’s in Byron. For dinner, we had our own little seder night at our Air Bnb in Lennox Head. Raquel helped Jaci make dinner, and got her first little chef burn, which she was rather proud of.

My Favourite Pictures Today

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Where We Slept:

Two places, because we had to break up the road trip at the Fitzroy Motor Inn in Grafton. The family room was large and clean and the kids had fun having us all in the same room (which is often how it ends up anyway). Because it’s a long weekend and Bluesfest, we couldn’t find a place to stay in Byron and we looked months ago! But we did find a fantastic Air Bnb in Lennox Head, about 20 mins drive away. It’s a family home with young kids, so there’s lots of toys and books and space and a garden and the kids have even gone to sleep in their own room!

We Learned:

It’s awesome to cook in a family home, especially when they leave out herbs and oils and vegetables. It’s our second blue moon in an Air Bnb on this trip. There’s a lot of sugar cane along the coast, and the Clarence River is absolutely huge. That Highway Patrol hunt the highway from Sydney to Grafton (about 6 hours of driving), and then return leaving at 5am in the morning. That restaurants charge up to 10% extra on public holidays in Australia (wow). Mom can spot Brazilians everywhere in Byron Bay. That Aldi is not Coles or Woolworths. That cruise control is essential to keep you from spending. That Raquel can take selfies.

Reflection of the Day

The Best Part:

Seeing the beach of Byron Bay for the first time, to the lazy soundtrack of a great acoustic busker.

The Worst Part:

Raquel woke up with her first sty, which makes her look like she’s been in a street fight. We try to keep her hands clean and rubbing her eyes all the time but…kids.

  Today's Random Thing

  A Note from Mom and Dad

Gali knows how to say “top it, now!” when Raquel starts screaming in the car. He’s also fascinated by eyebrows. Mom had an epiphany that Raquel is overtired, not getting enough sleep, and this explains why she has afternoon meltdowns. She fell asleep in the car this afternoon and it seemed to help, barely. Gali is over his fear of sand and now loves the beach. His words continue to form, and he is increasingly fearless. We need eyes on him all the time. Mom has fallen in love with Cherry Ripe chocolate bars.

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