Every so often David's extended family come together for a weekend of catching up, hanging out, eating/drinking too much, playing games and generally just being a family. I owe what little knowledge I have of non-Sydney NSW to travelling to these gatherings.
This year the family event was held at Umina Beach, on NSW's Central Coast. We were able to get there by public transport, which was a major plus for us - neither of us drive and sometimes the negotiation required to travel with others does my head in - and it was really quite a nice spot.
I know I've blithered before about how much I love David's family, and how they have always been welcoming and warm towards me. This weekend I really enjoyed hanging out with two of the girl cousins (aged 14 and 16) - girls of that age (I have a niece who's 15, and I include her in this generalisation) seem to be so much more together and grounded than I ever was at that age.
We all stayed at the Ocean Beach Holiday Park, which was a great choice. We all had little individual cabins like this:
and the park is planted out with native plants, so we saw a wide range of native birds feeding outside our cabin:
(not pictured: the awesome bush turkey. Note to all native birds: please don't turn up until I've had my morning coffee, as until I've had it I won't be able to remember where the camera is).
There was a beach nearby for walking and shell-spotting:
and on Saturday night we came together for a shared meal and a DVD presentation of a few generations of family photos. It was amazing to see so many facial features passed around among the generations.
It was lovely to catch up (albeit briefly) with so many cool people, and to meet the newest member of the family.
On a side-note, I am completely enamoured of my new camera. There was a spider's web outside our cabin:
which CrappyCam would never have captured.
Also, I don't really think of myself as a high-maintenance girl, but I packed our suitcase on Friday and I could barely lift it. I'd thought we'd be ok with the wee suitcase, but by the time I was done the big suitcase was totally over-filled. I could barely lift it (and I ripped the lining in my coat when I did) but I managed to wrangle it to Central station. So perhaps I am high-maintenance, after all.
Today we arrived home to a very grumpy cat, and watched the tape of the worst All Black game in (to my mind) nine years. So then it wasn't just the cat who was grumpy.