24 September 2007

On the road

It's 5am and the alarm has gone off – ALREADY! It feels like I've just gone to bed. Wayne has jumped up and into the shower and the kids have all thrown themselves out of bed (I know because I heard the thumps as they hit the floor). Why can't they get up this quickly on a school day?

We are off on our holiday this morning. Up the Hume Highway, stopping at Glenrowan (this is a tradition, we stop here and have our breakfast), then onto Albury, Wagga Wagga, Junee, Young and overnight in Cowra.

We had a small break with tradition and decided to stop at the Golden Arches for breakfast. Hmm… It was a nice treat for the kids but I think we all prefer our own picnic breakfast. The queues were long and we had to wait for half our order,while the other half went cold. Not to worry, we were all making jokes about it and it was a good break and a chance to stretch those legs.

I haven't been along the Hume since the Albury bypass opened – what a joy to not have to stop and start at all those traffic lights. The only thing I'm going to miss is the stop at the park to watch the paddle steamer. Turning off at Gerogery, we followed the Olympic Highway (I'm old enough to remember when it was the Olympic Way) through to Wagga. We giggled over the sign stating 107kms to Wagga – we didn't know it had moved!

Of course all along this particular route we had followed the train line much to Wayne and Allan's delight. Every now and then we stopped so they could jump out and take a photo. Thank goodness for digital cameras, between them they took 143 photos! Lunch in Cootamundra, at the station of course, while they waited for the down-line XPT. The train was running 40 minutes late so we had a very lazy picnic in the sun and the wind. It was blowing such a gale the picnic basket blew over and milk and coffee went everywhere! Fortunately we keep a couple of old towels in the boot of the car, they came in very handy to mop up the mess.

A petrol stop made me very glad that we live in suburbia these days. At 135.9c per litre my heart bleeds for country motorists, especially when they have no choice but to travel such long distances. We continued on our journey, through Young, the cherry capital of New South Wales, and I thoroughly enjoyed the hill sides covered in cherry blossom. It was so pretty and a sure sign of spring time. And yes, we did get some photos.

Finally, much to Hannah's relief we arrived in Cowra. What a lovely town and there is so much for visitors to do. The Steam Museum kept the boys happy for an hour, and the Japanese gardens are amazing and well worth the visit but we had the most fun at the Fun Museum. This museum incorporates Railway, War and local memorabilia and it is so interesting. We were given a sheet with 32 things to find around the museum and it was the best thing for keeping the kids interested in the displays. They had to find things like an Irish teaspoon, a Kangaroo butter churn, a model of a steam train made from charcoal as well as other things and they had to search the information on the exhibits to get the answers. Even I had fun on this treasure hunt and it was educational to boot!

We can also recommend a visit to the Country Music Museum (you should have seen the looks on the kids' faces when I told them we were going there!). Even if you're not a country music fan (we're not particularly) it is interesting and quite interactive too.

Tthe Alabaster motel, the only one we could find with a family room that actually slept 5. was our overnight accommodation. I wonder who decided that families were limited to 4 members? It was lovely, spotlessly clean and the cheapest we could find too. It was booked it before we left on wotif.com.au and saved $34 off the rack rate. made me very happy and it was so easy.

We all fell into bed exhausted at 9 o'clock. Day one of our holiday was great!

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