The family holiday

Billy being a koalaWhen we told Billy we were going on another holiday and this one would include a visit to Melbourne he was concerned. “ Are you taking me back to the horrible airport shop because I’ve been naughty?”’ he asked.

Grot boy explained to Billy that we were going on a long, long car trip to Apollo Bay (near Melbourne) where we would visit the koala bears. He reassured Billy, “We’re going to stay in Melbourne on the way home so grot girl can visit her friends and relatives. Don’t worry, we won’t be going anywhere near the airport.”

By the time the car was packed with suitcases, esky, bike gear, spares in case either the car or bikes broke down, food for the trip, some books, a spare pillow and anything else we might possibly need, Billy was worried. “This must be a long and dangerous trip” he said. “There’s no room for me, where can I sit?” he wanted to know.

Grot boy quickly thought of a solution and popped Billy on top of the esky saying “Look, this is a special seat just for you so you can see out the window.” Billy was pleased. He thought it would be fun to watch all the cars and people whizzing past.

Unfortunately, his interest in the passing traffic didn’t last. We were barely on the outskirts of Sydney before he asked for the first time “Are we there yet?” While I explained to him once again that we would be driving ALL day, grot boy reminded me that teddy bears don’t have a sense of time since they never get any older or younger. Despite all the stuff we’d packed, we hadn’t brought anything that would keep Billy distracted for 12 hours.

To entertain myself, I started counting in Italian how many times Billy asked “Are we there yet?” But when I got to 100 I snapped. “Perhaps we should take Billy back to the shop,” I muttered to grot boy. “I’m not sure I could cope with being asked ‘Are we there yet?’ another 100 times today. Besides, we’ll have to face it all again on the trip back home.” Billy must have overheard me because he remained silent for about 10 minutes.

Apollo Bay at last! We were all exhausted from the trip, even Billy, and went to bed early so we could go on our first bike ride early the next morning to find the koalas. That night Billy was unusually contemplative. “Koalas must be very special bears,” he said “we’ve travelled such a very long way to visit them.”

©, 2013


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