Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Tuesday and I can't wait to ....

It's Tuesday and I can't wait to .... get in the car, drive to Dorrigo, visit the bakery and relive one of my old childhood memories!

Living in the Riverina as we did when I was young, meant that driving to Coffs Harbour for family holidays was a bit of a massive chore. It was a two-day trip - we'd drive to Sydney, break the journey overnight with one of my aunts and uncles, and then drive to Coffs the next day.

We never took the highway, always the back roads. This was in the days when the Pacific Highway was a one lane deathtrap in both directions. So we would always take the road less travelled. Three young kids, in a van with one of those long bench seats (ie, we were jammed in together like you wouldn't believe, for hours on end) and just about no suspension.

I really loved the drive though, despite the inevitable fights with my sisters and the whingeing about no room, and the sly pinching that went on.

I loved it because it meant we'd drive up through the rainforest, and to me at a young age, it was one of the most magical things I could ever imagine.

Coming as I did from a town where everything was hot, and dry, and plants grew limply in the dusty ground, the rainforest was a revelation.

Ferns! And giant trees! And canopy! And leaf litter rotting into humus! And strange birds! ANd lovely sounds!

It was like driving through an enchanted grotto. And to me, it always signalled that Coffs Harbour was close, and holidays were about to begin. It was a kind of limbic journey, where travelling through the wet and dripping and verdant rainforest was a transformation.

We'd stop for lunch at Dorrigo. Dad would go to the bakery to get a high-top loaf and we'd all get out of the van and stretch our tired legs, glad to be away from each other for a few minutes. Mum would cut up the tomatos and cheese we'd brought with us, and we'd munch on our sandwiches and drink our water (always water, we were always on a budget and wouldn't waste money on flavoured drinks).

And then, before long, it'd be time to get back in the car and drive the rest of the way to Coffs, and I'd be yearning eagerly inside myself for the smell of frangipani flowers on wet concrete and the utterly foreign tropical experience of my cousin's house that was so far, far away from my home town.

My best childhood holiday memories are of Coffs, and I can't wait to revisit this one.

Hop on over to Buttons By Lou Lou and see what others can't wait to do today.

PS, at the top of this post is the fabric I picked up in yesterday's scour of the Coffs Harbour op-shops. So many! And so good! I thought it was suitably appropriate that everything I found was a shade of tropical green.


m.e (Cathie) said...

ohhh, sounds like so much fun, enjoy :)

CurlyPops said...

I remember those long country drives... except we had four kids squished into the back seat.
Make sure you visit each and every op shop and come back with a carload of goodies!

Buttons by Lou Lou said...

Thanks for playing along. Sounds so lovely being on a nice relaxing holiday - bakeries, fabric, I'm trying very hard not to be jealous.

Finki (jay) said...

It was so nice to read your post. Our family used to travel to Queensland each Xmas. 6 kids, 1 car, skinny roads, with cliff faces on your left and rain forests on your right. I loved to hate them.
Now that dad's gone I'd do anything to have them back. (: