Coming home to a cold house with lots of washing and cleaning to do was definitely depressing. It left me in a bit of a funk for the first few days but now I’m back into the normal swing of things. Our holiday was pretty amazing, we managed to see and do quite a bit, enjoy great food and spend some quality time together as a family.
We started off with a bit of a hiccup by sleeping through our alarm and waking 5 mins before we had planned to leave. Luckily being as organised as we were, everything was packed. So a quick brush of our teeth, grabbing the baby and putting him into his capsule and grabbing the bags meant we left only 15 mins behind schedule. We had given ourselves plenty of time so this was OK. We had quite a few restless nights that week with Ripley so we were really tired and he surprisingly slept through the night so when we woke up it was a bit of a shock!
We got to the airport, dropped off our large bag and the stroller in its bag and made our way to the gate with enough time to grab a magazine each. We never finished them, nor read any of our books, but we at least tried, right? Ripley was an absolute champ on the flight, he slept most of the way, no screaming and just fed on takeoff and landing. We were thrilled.
When we arrived, the private transfer I’d booked had somehow messed up and did not have a car seat for Ripley! I had confirmed it about 5 times so I was extremely annoyed, but the driver found a seat (albeit an old one with no infant insert) and we made the quick 4km trip to our hotel. Mental note: book your own car and car seat next time! We ventured into the CBD that afternoon for some food (yummy Vietnamese), coffee and icecream but headed back to the hotel pretty early as we were all exhausted.
The next day we caught up with some family that live in Cairns and had a lovely breakfast with them and their 14 month old son. We walked around most of the day, spending some time in an air-conditioned shopping centre and Ripley was pretty calm until about 2pm, when he just got really tired and lost it. We realised our hotel was way too far from the shops to make the trek back and forth so decided to hire a car to avoid tantrums and parental exhaustion! What a good decision!
Each day we planned a short local trip encompassing some tourists sites and a little bit of driving. We tried to pick places we were interested in but places we could drive ourselves so we could always retreat to the car! We went to Palm Cove and enjoyed buckwheat crepes with Mexican style meats (amazing!) and we had a swim at the beach. Ripley enjoyed the ocean but we weren’t in for long! The water was actually really warm yet still refreshing. If I was to go back to Cairns for a holiday, I would totally stay at Palm Cove. It had a good range of restaurants, a beautiful beach and was so relaxing. Cairns is great, but the beach isn’t swimmable.
We visited Lake Barrine and had tea and scones (or gluten free chocolate cake for me!) and drove across some of the tablelands and visited a coffee plantation (our favourite!). We visited a hippy style town Kuranda, which is a village in the mountains and enjoyed more buckwheat crepes, coffee, fudge and a Butterfly Sanctuary. One thing we really noticed was the extreme price of tourist activities. Being minimalists and trying to reduce our spending, we found it hard to justify but chose the Butterfly Sanctuary as it seemed reasonable value for money. At $19.50 per adult, it was still expensive but it was quite a magical place.
On our last day we visited the Cairns Botanic Gardens before heading to the airport. Unfortunately we got stuck at the cafe drinking coffee and didn’t see a lot of the gardens (whoops!) but we did see the Tanks art galleries, repurposed water tanks. They were spectacular.
We were really sad to come home but it was nice to see our dogs and sleep in our own bed.