Despite traffic gridlock, long supermarket queues, tourists occupying all the best spots at my favourite cafes and an inability to snag a rock star park at the beach, I have to admit that this summertime, the livin’ has been easy in Byron Bay and we have enjoyed that ‘peaceful, easy beach holiday feeling.’
Looking back, 2016 was a big year for us: travel to distant destinations both abroad and here in Australia, the arrival of our first grandson, beautiful Hudson, ‘ Huddie’ James and our daughter Lyndsay’s picture perfect wedding at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania among the many highlights. By mid November we were ready to relax and get into the holiday groove. The Christmas tree went up and channeling that ‘peaceful, easy feeling’, I shopped early. I found I had time to wander, consider and unearth! My former self; a demented banshee rushing around in a blind panic trying to find the perfect present at the last minute and failing miserably, was banished … hopefully forever.
So with gifts nestled beneath the tree, we threw ourselves into the revelries of the silly season: parties and drinks with friends and of course, Carols at the ‘Byron at Byron.’ one of the premier resorts in Byron Bay. Nestled in coastal rainforest, the staff welcomed us with a glass or two of champagne on the deck (helps to lubricate the vocal cords) and offered delicious bites both traditional and local. Who could resist a delicious mince tart or a Bangalow Pork roll or a nibble of this or a nibble of that? Certainly not us! Our group was soon in a very festive mood.
And so we sang, mostly in tune, as the dusk closed in. Luckily the choir was loud enough to make us all sound ‘joyful and triumphant’.
The peaceful, easy feeling just grew and grew. Melissa and Ben hosted Christmas Dinner on the deck of their home in beachside Byron. Everything was just perfect. And I didn’t have to stress about a thing.
All I had to do was cook a turkey and make a couple of salads to contribute to the festive fare. So easy. So delightful. So restful.
Even Ninja got into the holiday spirit as we exchanged gifts.
All of Ben’s family had traveled from Adelaide to share Huddie’s first Christmas. Who would have thought that a roomful of adults could be spellbound as a 7 month old baby opened his first Christmas presents! And there were a lot of presents to open.
Eventually, it was time to return home. Christian, Kelly and little Genevieve were arriving the next day for a week. The cousins would meet for the first time!
And Genevieve traveled to Coomera to play with her great grandfather and mother and enjoy a swim with Nemo and Dad in their pool. It’s a special moment to see four generations all together these days.
And I got to play sandcastles with Genevieve and Huddie at Lake Ainsworth, located next to the surf club at Lennox Head and take them both for a swim. Watching their expressions as little waves washed over their feet and their toes dug into cool soft sand was everything I thought it would be. That beach holiday feeling had arrived.
Even though the days were hot, they were perfect for long evening walks along the beach.
Even one of the locals joined us entranced by the sunset.
And when the clouds rolled in, the sky seemed to say, ‘look at me, look at me
Despite the traffic and the arrival of bluebottles on a couple of occasions, we lolled around in the surf and when the waves permitted, caught a few in to shore. It’s reassuring to know that you haven’t lost the knack.
We have enjoyed leisurely breakfasts and evening barbecues on the patio while the cat has played with his holiday treat, a cardboard castle.
And there’s something about watching the cricket and tennis in the heat of the day. that is deeply relaxing, I find.
And so our summer continues: early morning games of golf, lighthouse walks, swimming and kayaking in the lake and in the bay and a new arrival to welcome and a special birthday celebration in March to look forward to. Yep, that ‘peaceful, easy beach holiday feeling’ is definitely here. Hope your summer has been as enjoyable.