Every year since I can remember my family has taken a beach holiday during the end of year school holidays. For the past 26 years, my family has been holidaying at North Stradbroke Island. Even though my three sisters and I have grown up, moved out (except for lil sis Ju Ju), been to university, got married (except for lil sis Ju Ju), gotten well paying jobs, have our own lives to run - we all get together in January to go to the island with Mum and Dad. Husbands/boyfriends are left at home - who needs to worry about whether the boys are entertained, hungry, bored ... they understand the family ritual. Dad and Mum and their little girls pack up and go to the island for a holiday.
But, there was something different this year. The first grandbaby arrived in 2008. It was little Miss Annie's first time to experience the Stradbroke tradition.
The 180* view from our villa high on the hill overlooking the ocean.
The crystal clear waters on a calm day at the beach.
Annie's first venture to the beach - ok, her Dad had to come to the island to witness this first for little Annie. Rob was soon voted off the island. Alas, Annie is not my little Maisie, she belongs to my sister Miss Nadia.
A sunset drive to the southern tip of the island.
Some friends put on a show for us.
Freshwater lake - the Keyholes.
A windy afternoon on Flinders Beach.
As you can imagine, five ladies, one 7 month old baby girl and poor old Dad all in the one villa can be trying at times. I had no sewing with me. I escaped to the balcony to take in the view and sip a refreshing ale or two. I only managed two chapters of a book this time. However, I read lots of trashy magazines. I savoured my favourite non trashy magazines of Tatler and Vanity Fair.
This island makes me happy. Why?
The ice cream
The tennis court
The abundance of fresh seafood
And the company
Thank you Mum and Dad.