I truly didn't mean to be 'missing' from the blog for so long but our four day road trip was exhausting in the strangest ways, and once we got home I needed to get my head into finishing some Christmas gifts and writing patterns for The Stitchery Club.
Here's a little photo album of our time away.
Now, I should explain that Mr E rarely stops the car on road trips. We had four 10-hour days in a row on the road, in Australian outback and tropical heat, but every moment in awe of our beautiful country.
I will never forget the huge wedge-tailed eagle that refused to leave his road-kill breakfast and waited till the last moment to swoop up over our windscreen and block out the sun as it passed across the car.
Days 1 and 2 we drove 1,600 kilometres from home (Townsville) west into the outback and down through the centre of the state, stopping twice for a cool drink or coffee from the thermos and some homemade snacks which we stored in the ice-filled esky.
Mr E had worked half a day at the car dealership before we left on Day 1 so we weren't on the road until 12.30pm and needed to get as far as possible before nightfall to avoid the dangerous road hazards that intensify just before sunset (kangaroos and wild pigs mostly)...
The sun began to sink below the horizon as we passed through Emerald...
...and as we got closer to our first overnight stay I captured this glorious sunset near Springsure. We were both frozen with wonder and had to tear ourselves away to drive on.
Dinner was a Guinness beef pie at the local pub then straight to bed for an early start on day 2.
At dawn we continued south with a breakfast stop for coffee at the RSL Markets in Roma and as we drove through it's pretty bottle-tree lined streets I saw this beautiful old church for sale and made Mr E stop so I could take a photo. For the next few hours I imagined myself as the new owner hanging a sign across the front fence with "Elefantz Designs World Headquarters". LOL!! It's good to have whimsical dreams on a long trip...
On and on we drove, listening to a variety of CDs - Michael W Smith, Third Day, Enya, Jeremy Camp, Big Daddy Weave, Fleetwood Mac, Casting Crown, Newsboys...
For a lot of the time I stitched blocks for 2016's "Gentle Domesticity" BOM...
Late Sunday afternoon we revived ourselves with grande double shot Cafe Mocha's at Zarraffas in Toowoomba before heading east back to the coast. We arrived in Brisbane around 5.30pm, booked into our motel and headed out to a lovely Thai restaurant for dinner.
A quick drive across town to where we lived from '95 - '98 to see if our old neighbour still wowed the neighbourhood with her unbelievable Christmas lights display (sadly, she'd moved away) and then off to pick up a 99c half-motor Mr E had won on ebay for my car - the actual reason for this hastily planned 4 day road trip!
We slept really well that night and on Monday morning went out early for coffee before a leisurely walk near our motel along the waterfront at Wynnum...
Back on the road after the peak hour traffic had subsided we took the coast highway for our return trip home.
We stopped under trees by the side of road for cool drinks and fruit...
...before a chicken & veg dinner and another motel - this time at Rockhampton.
The fourth day dawned and after packing the car we decided to treat ourselves to a hearty breakfast with the idea we'd only need fruit, nuts and water the rest of the day.
There's something really comforting about the last day of travelling; knowing you'll be home that night and sleeping in your own bed. We couldn't wait.
Day 4 was hot, really hot. The further north we drove the more we were reminded of the endless "won't ease up till May or June" heat that faced us back in Townsville.
The pretty coastal town of Clearview was our first refreshment stop, and though spending only a few minutes there to stretch our legs it was the view that really lifted us.
As we drove back towards the highway we saw this long row of around 100 white tyres filled with bougainvillea of every colour! I think there's a lot of tiny-town pride in Claireview...
Driving in intense summer heat over a long distance with views that may not change for hours makes you very weary, so we took a longer than usual break under these trees in the early afternoon while Mr E had a short revival nap...wise man.
The sun scorched my legs through the large front windscreen of the Jeep but these clouds just north of Mackay cooled me wonderfully...
...and having more stitching on my knees helped too.
Home again just before sunset of day 4 we unpacked, showered, changed, watered the plants, showered love on the cat, and ordered tabbouleh laden kebabs for dinner before collapsing in front of the telly for an episode of Magnum PI (Mr E has every episode as it's his favourite wind-down show).
Sleep was better than great that night.
Next morning Mr E was back to work and I drove out to the kennels to pick up Merri. She'd been there 4 nights and apparently enjoyed her time because though happy to see me she stopped at every kennel door on the way out to give a little bark of hello/goodbye to the other canines.
BUT our sweet 5 1/2 month old puppy came home with over 100 ticks.
Mr E spent three hours that night removing ticks from her (she has never had a tick before) and bless her, she was so calm for him which made the nasty procedures better for both of them.
Every day since he has been removing more ticks, but today there was only 1 so we think we may be seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
We threw all her bedding away and Mr E spent most of Sunday cleaning the yard and removing all the old palm fronds and leaf litter, trimming trees and generally clearing away areas that make ticks happy.
She has Advantix on her now, and is carefully screened every morning and night. Honest, this was/is a big wake-up for us as none of the dogs we've ever owned has had a tick and it's put us right off kenneling a dog or puppy up here in tropical cattle country.
From now on Blossom will care for her or we'll take her away with us.
We're just so thankful to God that she didn't have any paralysis ticks.
Bless you all if you got this far! I know it's been a bit of an epic so perhaps I should have warned you to brew a cuppa first?
I'll be back tomorrow, blogging as usual...a lovely life rhythm for me.