Monday, June 17, 2013

Jake and Tim head back to New Zealand

Setting the alarm is something we don't do very often but as we had to be up by around 5 am it was a necessity.  While we have been staying in the house Tim has been sleeping on a stretcher in our bedroom and Jake has been in one of the boys' rooms and Connor in the other.  Last night Jake wanted to sleep in our room as well, so with mattress on the floor he joined us.

Peter got up first and headed off to the shower and Jake and Tim both climbed into our bed with me for a few minutes to chat.  It was a special time.  However, before too long Peter was reminding us we had to be away by about 5.30 am so reluctantly we all got up, including Connor.  It was going to be a long day for Connor travelling to Cairns and back.  We had decided that we would not have breakfast before we left as it was just too early, so I had packed all the breakfast stuff into a bag and took it along with us for a stop along the way.
We drove out at 5.35 a.m. and followed the Bruce Highway north through Ingham, Cardwell, Tully, Innisfail, Babinda and Gordonvale to Cairns.  We had noticed last year as we drove south from Townsville that there were road works every few kilometres and it was constant stop/start as we travelled.  Whether they have finished those areas south of Townsville we have yet to find out, but they are certainly undertaking heaps of road works north.  Every few kilometres we had to slow down to 60 and then 40 and then stop waiting for our turn to proceed.  We would barely get going again and we had to stop.  We didn't count how many times this happened but it seemed to be constant. 

Time was quickly going and we realised that for us to arrive at Cairns Airport in time for Jake and Tim's check in we would have to forget stopping for a picnic breakfast.  Instead, during one of our stops at road works we collected the bag of food from the rear of the car and ate our cereal in the car.  Not quite as we planned!

We had about 380 kilometres to travel - surprisingly both Jake and Tim had a sleep and then as we neared Cairns we had our final car quiz on our travels and then decided to have a round robin of compliments for the person beside us and then random compliments.  It was really interesting to hear the boys thank each other for their contribution to the trip and was a very worthwhile activity.

Check in time was 9.50 a.m. and we arrived at Cairns International Airport at 10 a.m. - not too bad considering the stops that we had.  The lady at the service desk was very helpful and very quickly the check in process had been completed and we were told to wait at the café for the assistant who would come to escort Jake and Tim to the plane. 

It was sad for us to say goodbye to our two grandsons as it will be some months before we see them again back in New Zealand at the end of 2013.  A quick cuddle from Jake and a tearful farewell from Tim we said good bye and our travellers were on their way.  We waited in the airport until the plane was actually in the air before we headed into Cairns central.

Connor had not been to Cairns before so we wandered around the central area and then parked on the Esplanade and had lunch.  The esplanade has a large water park very similar to Townsville and this was being enjoyed by lots.  Unfortunately Connor didn't have his bathers so couldn't join in.

We hit the road again bound for Townsville and after a short stop at a roadside stall selling bananas we headed for home.  We were all exhausted as it had been a long day of travel.

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