Now that Nick is no longer working shift work, weekends and public holidays are available to us as free-time. We're still getting used to that novelty!
As the Melbourne Cup public holiday was on Tuesday, (4 November) we cleared all our commitments for the preceding Monday - and so had four nights available for our first-ever caravanning holiday! Our original plan was to depart on Friday afternoon, soon after Nick returned from work and Vaughan finished school. Lucky we had a Plan B!
Nick had been laid-low with a lurgi earlier in the week, so hadn't achieved as much packing as he intended. I was caught up with Halloween costume-making and also warding off a cold, which equally impacted on preparations.
Added to those hindrances was the new-ness of caravanning and not being entirely sure what we should pack!
Erin's birthday was definitely overshadowed but on the bright side, she got a celebratory holiday! She and I shopped on Friday. I expected we would be without power for the trip so had a rough meal plan of options that could be cooked using our Cobb Cookers, thermal cookers or dual-fuel stove.
There was still much to do when Nick got home and departure seemed a long way off when we collected Vaughan from school. We worked away steadily though and finally left home around 7:30pm - before dark, at least!
We adopted Bandit from the RSPCA about a week after buying our caravan. He was particularly chosen for his size because one of our dog-selection criteria was that he/she would need to fit on the back seat between Erin and Vaughan, so as to come away camping with us!
Our new family member was not at all keen on car travel when he first arrived and was quite scared of our caravan also. It seemed to us that he hadn't been taken out much as he wasn't big on his harness or lead either. Obviously there were a few challenges to be overcome in the lead-up (hah!) to his first camping experience. As you can see though, he was definitely eager to be on the road!