Ever heard of the saying I need a holiday to get over the holidays?
Why is that?
Maybe because a holiday can mean different things to everyone in the family.
On a recent trip heading for home, after a few days up the North Coast we stopped at the Australian Reptile park. It was a birthday present for our son. He was looking forward to seeing the large collection of alligators and crocodiles.
My husband set the alarm for 4.30am. You say WHAT now. His theory….. we had a three-hour drive to reach our destination. When the alarm ripped through my slumbering brain and I woke feeling bug-eyed and sluggish. I knew the days of sleeping in, had made me soft. I cursed the hour he had chosen for us to rise, but I stumbled out of bed anyway. Knowing I will have to get back into my early morning writing sessions soon.
My well-planned-man reminded us that we needed to beat the crowds, if our boy was to have any chance of enjoying himself. Due to his sensitivity to noise and large crowds. I could not argue. Hubby smiled at me when we reached The Reptile park with one minute to spare before opening time. I could tell he was waiting for a pat on the back.
Three buses of international tourists were already waiting at the entrance. My son became nervous. We reminded him why we were there. I love reptiles too. I don’t know why, but they intrigue me. Especially crocodiles. They sure know how to soak up the sun and store energy.
This is Eric, a salt water crocodile. He did not move at first and we thought he was a sculpture. We had a giggle when we realised he was not a sculpture. Giant sized and majestic. Measuring in at just under five metres. Sometimes its fun to do nothing. I was a little envious of Eric.
Holidays are a good way to take you out of your routine and comfort zone. The kids left us behind. Calling out across the park and doing a running commentary at every enclosure. The favourite, stop as crazy as this may sound, was the spider laboratory.
The Australian Reptile park has a Funnel-web Spider Laboratory. How cool is that? Maybe for the kids and hubby (they love eight legged, hairy creatures)……I have an arachnid phobia.
My kids encouraged me to walk the walk with them. Thank the heavens. The spiders were behind glass. Each in their own little plastic unit. I felt safe. Yet the hairs on the back of my neck told a different story. My skin crawled, counting all the freshly caught specimens. I mentally stored these feelings of fear for my writing journal. You never know when you need to recall how something made you feel.
The Park produces the anti-venom from the donations of Funnel-Webs people bring in from their own back yards. Yep we have them too.
The park also has many other creepy crawlies (Giant bird eating spiders from South America) and my kids enjoyed watching me suffer in there. Although it was interesting to see how they milked the venom from a funnel-web. Don’t try this at home. Wave something near the spider to make it aggressive. It does not take long before they give up that venom. A small squeeze of suction draws the venom into a long tube.
After watching it my son said “That was heaps cool.”
Who would have thought time spent in the spider laboratory would be fun? If you ever get the chance to go, it is worth it, as they also have many Australian native animals, snakes and birds. Also the famous platypus and the feisty Tasmanian devil. Australia has claim to many of the deadliest snakes and spiders on earth and I prefer to appreciate each one from a distance when possible. Some of the snakes on show I have met in our back yard.
Having a break from the daily routine was FUN. I did not expect to enjoy it that much. My idea of a holiday was lazing about on a deck overlooking the ocean. A book in one hand and a bevy of choice in the other. Putt-putt golf, beach days, a day getting lost in a giant maze (no one else got lost except me) we hardly had a break in-between.
Now we all have colds and I need another holiday. What is your ideal holiday I’m still dreaming about mine.