The 2 April 2021 was the day, month, and the year I turned 39… WOW! 39 years old.
I decided, as I had a ‘COVID’ birthday last year, that this year was going to be filled with family fun and activity. I asked Ahmed if we could go away for the weekend and with all my ‘big ideas’ he smiles and says sure… I knew that I wanted to go and see his parents at some point during the Easter holidays so decided to use this as an opportunity to do both. Ahmed’s parents also have April birthdays so a perfect opportunity for a three-way celebration. Next year is the big 40 and it is going to be a wild one.
So, in usual Jalloh style, we packed up the car, packed up the kids, and hit the open road Jack.
1 April 2021
The first part of the road trip was Canberra to the Central Coast. MacMasters Beach to be exact. I was looking for somewhere en-route to Brisbane but would not see us traveling long into the night. This is Australia after-all and the wildlife comes alive at night. We set out at 4:30 pm and arrived at our destination just before 9:00pm with a few stops for petrol, snack, and toilet breaks. We also popped to Coles to buy some food for dinner and a few bits for breakfast the following day.
The Airbnb we booked was AMAZING!!! We took a look around the house, unpacked a few bits, as we were staying for a couple of nights, and settled down for the evening which consisted of us having dinner, showers/baths, and hopping into bed, exhausted from the 4 hour drive, in the dark.
I woke up at around 8 am and had a super slow start to the day. We stayed in bed for an hour; The kids came in to say good morning and happy birthday, and that day started. We had breakfast together and took a walk down to the beach.
As we sat, drinking, at the ‘Barefoot Café’. I couldn’t help thinking, I was the luckiest girl in the world. I reflected on how far we have come, as individuals, as a couple and as a family. Saffron read our horoscopes and we laughed at the descriptions they gave us; We drew from situations where we have seen the behaviour/trait described. We talked about what the next 5-10 years held in store for us and we decided more travel, more investment and more family. The walk back up to the accommodation (all uphill) was gruelling. We had to ‘de-sweatify’, -I don’t think this is even a word-so we took a shower after the walk which was super hot and reminiscent of the old house, in Gungahlin.
2 April, 20210-|_–
The whole family got ready and headed into town to have some food, followed by a trip to the local HOYTS cinema. As it was Easter and COVID-19 was still kicking off, we ended up in Grill’d, because it was the only place open with vegan option and because the Vegan burgers are amazing! We then walked across the courtyard and settled in the cinema for the next few hours to watch Peter Rabbit 2. This was a movie I wanted to see for a while, but it’s been delayed due to the pandemic, so I was super excited that we finally get to see it. Junade was excited too. We had bonded over the first Peter Rabbit and and must’ve see it about 15 times. Ahmed and Saffron were easy and happy to go along with what ever I wanted. It was my birthday present after all.
From there, we headed back to the house, had our baths and showers, got in our PJs, before settling down for the evening. We watched some short ‘reaction videos’ on YouTube and one by one we started to doze off. Starting with Ahmed, of course, he always falls asleep!
3 April, 2021
This day was a little bit of an earlier start, we were making the trip North from the Central Coast to Brisbane, QLD. The drive was around 9 hours, so we decided to set out at 8 am to try and arrive before dark. One of the reasons we travelled to central coast was to make sure we didn’t do the 13 hour trip from Canberra to Brisbane in one hit. We love travelling but even that’s too much for us! We have done it a few times since arriving in Australia in 2019.
Stop 1: We stopped to pick up breakfast for Ahmed and the kids, Ahmed chose Subway and the kids chose the Golden Arches… McDonald’s. I had made some porridge before setting out on the road and ate that from my thermos flask. We also used this as an opportunity to fill up the tank; one thing I am aware of and that is different from the UK is the need to fill up whenever you can, especially on the long journeys, as petrol stations are further apart – as you would imagine with the size of Australia.
Once our bellies and the tank were full, we hit the road, again.
Stop 2: As you can imagine, once the liquids had time to do their thing, we needed our first toilet break of the trip. Well, Junade and I, anyway, Ahmed and Saffron hung out in the car and waited for us.
Stop 3: We had our final stop just after ‘sleepy hollow’. We saw a sign for ‘facilities’ and attempted to locate them. As we turned off the motorway we realised this may be ‘the place for us’. It gave us GET OUT vibes. As we left the sleepy little village (it was, literally, one road), the Satnav had other ideas. We follow its directions and we ended up right back in the centre of the same little village. We’ve seen this movie before! We knew better than to stop and ask for directions. It never ends well for those “teeny boppers”, so we used our experience of horror movies and kept it moving. Ahmed tuned out the Satnav and kept going until we hit “civilisation”. Phew, that was a close call.
There was a quick toilet break – Ahmed got in on the action this time, then we were on the road again.
After nine hours of scenery bleeding into each other, we arrived safe and sound in Brisbane just after 5 pm. Ahmed’s parents did not know we were coming – click the link to check out the VLOG with mum’s reaction. We decided to give his sisters the heads up, so we sent his sisters cryptic messages, as we started to see landmarks of Bris Vegas. We sent a picture of The Joker rollercoaster as we drove past Movie World – watch our vlog when we went last year. My sisters both said “NO WAY!” And guessed we were ‘in town’.
We spent the next four hours catching up and eventually got tired from all that driving, so we made our way to the house to settle down for the night.
What a wonderful birthday I was having so far. All my favourite things in one weekend. Family time, cinema, travelling and sight seeing, and more family. The only thing that would’ve topped it up would’ve been, sleeping in a caravan. Go with it – It’s a thing.
Thank you for your generous and thoughtful gift of time. You could be anywhere else at this moment but you chose to be here reading our blog and for that we thank you.
The Jalloh family