You don’t get quality time with your kids nowadays unless you make it happen. So, over the weekend we decided to take our little family to the Garland Valley which is approximately a 9hr drive from where we live here on the Gold Coast.
You’re probably wondering why we didn’t fly to Sydney, rent a car and shorten the driving distance to 1hr and 20mins, rather than the 9hrs we did. We’re not the easy way out kind of people and we like to embrace this sort of experience because they are the kind that create memories in our children’s lives. This way we also get to stop and look around and enjoy the places we are driving through a little more.
Also, my children are at the perfect age to do this sort of thing. I wouldn’t recommend doing this drive with a baby or a toddler, however with children age 6 and over, it is perfect.
The weekend was also very special to us because my youngest boy, Mason, celebrated his 7th Birthday. For years, I’ve been giving my boys an option of having a birthday party every 2nd year with their friends from school. However, this year I thought maybe we try something different. So, instead I asked Mason if he would rather go on a holiday with us, just the four of us and he said yes. While discussing with him options for our family getaway, he mentioned Melbourne. At the beginning of March, Hubby and I shared our very first tiny home experience and we absolutely loved it. We got to tour the Hunter Valley region and spend some very valuable quality time together which you can read more about on my previous blog “Tiny Home Vacation”. I knew Mason would also love this experience so I easily persuaded him to a 3 night stay in Sydney, to which he became very excited, so much so that he began a countdown.
With the Birthday Boy excited, I went ahead and booked a very different experience that I had a feeling he would love. Straight away I got in touch with the lovely people from In2TheWild who helped me book the perfect tiny home location for our little family to stay at. The best thing about this tiny house is that whilst all of their locations are set up in quiet and peaceful locations, some are more secluded than others. “More Secluded” is exactly what we wanted to experience with our boys since this was purely for the purpose of simply being us with no interruptions of work, computers, phones, television and so on. With all of this in mind we booked “Christopher”.
Christopher is situated within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area – there are a million hectares of national park and stunning scenic views from lookouts, walking tracks and cycling trails. However, what my kids loved and enjoyed the most, was the cupboard full of board games the tiny house comes with and the land they had to play and run around in. Hide and seek was their favourite outdoor game that they would play every morning after breakfast. Jayden, my oldest, kept saying how much he loved the night at Christopher because it was so peaceful, he was amazed at how he could go to sleep straight away and sleep so soundly. Mason kept saying how much it reminded him of Survivor the TV show however he didn’t feel quite like he was in survivor, because apparently we were cheating with our car which we used to drive around in….and the fact that we didn’t have to hunt for food because we had plenty of it, so not quite like Survivor.
As for my husband and I, what we enjoyed the most was the happiness we got in seeing our boy’s faces and the enjoyment they got out of the tiny house. I don’t recall having such a peaceful lovely time with our boys ever and I’m not lying when I say that and I’m not being awful either.
As a family we travel a lot and plenty of our holidays are memories built in expensive resorts, tropical countries with restaurants and swimming pools, however we didn’t realise how hectic our travelling holidays have been until now. Our usual holiday consists of getting on a plane and having 7 days to see everything, so we are constantly on the go and we don’t really get to relax and enjoy our surroundings. However, this time it was different…we got there and purely relaxed, watched our kids run around, read books, roast marshmallows over the fire pit and play family games. We told jokes, stories and really got to enjoy each others company which was pretty amazing…and the best thing about that was that there were no distractions.
Family time is so precious and this experience has not only helped us realise that, but also it has taught us to do things a little differently from now on. Time and time again, I say to friends that we live in a world that never stops and as a result of that we have adapted to the busy lifestyle and hectic life. This means that we shut our kids and our worries out with technology and we no longer experience parenthood like the way our parents did when we were kids… running around in the backyard, having fun and laughing out loud, reading books, using colouring pencils and paper to draw their dreams and funny pictures.
As a family, it was pretty clear that this kind of holiday is what we need more of. Back to basics and back to spending time with our boys with no interruption and surrounded by nature was the perfect get away for us. As to celebrating Mason’s Birthday, well we did do that too…we bought him a cake and sung happy birthday. Mason is now saving for his next tiny home getaway and planning for his next birthday, which he would love at another tiny home, as according to him, it was better than any birthday party.
As a family we have experienced many amazing holidays, to different countries however not once did our children ever cry when it was time to leave. When it was time to say goodbye to our tiny house, Christopher, both boys shed a tear and said they did not want to leave. If that doesn’t sum up our experience at Christopher than I don’t know what will.