And once you leave, you won’t quite believe what an average time you’ve had.

{mosimage}This weekend saw the last two orienteering events for this season. So we drove all the way to Meningie and back to participate.

We were ready to go two hours before we originally intended, so we packed up the car & headed off. Stopped for petrol. Drove through the city, out along the Southeastern Freeway to Stirling, through several towns in the hills, and stopped at Strathalbyn for lunch. (Later that night we found out that, if we’d left at the originally planned time, we would’ve run into some major road delays due to a motorcycle accident. Good thing we left early.) Unfortunately, most of the way Caleb was decidedly unimpressed with being in his car seat, and so we had to keep finding different ways to entertain him. Anything we tried would only last five minutes, then he’d get annoyed again & scream. Anyway. We ate lunch at a playground, so he had a good run around, and we hoped he’d worn himself out enough that he’d go to sleep for most of the rest of the way. Guess what though – he didn’t. We had the same situation all the way to Meningie.

We found our motel with little trouble, checked in, and I decided to walk with Caleb back to our room instead of trying to force him into the car again. We unpacked, Caleb had a little run around the parking lot (don’t worry, we kept him away from any moving cars), sat down for a bit to rest, then went across the road to the playground. Darrin tried to use the wireless internet from the Meningie council office, but it was slower than we’d hoped, and the laptop battery only lasts for so long. And the wireless internet provided by the motel would have cost us $4 for ONE HOUR. Yeah, just a little bit ridiculous. The $30 for a week or 1000 megabytes wasn’t quite as bad, but still not what we were prepared to pay. So we went without the ‘net while we were there.

Went back to the motel. Started getting hungry, so we went out to see what our options were for food. We didn’t feel like a sit-down meal, especially not in the motel’s restaurant which looked way too fancy for our taste. Actually we felt like having pizza, but the motel’s information about dining establishments only told us that the local pub had it after 9 pm. And we didn’t exactly want to wait THAT long, since we were already hungry and Caleb hadn’t had a nap, so he was almost ready to crash anyway. So we went out for a look at what everyone else had. There was the motel’s restaurant, a bakery which was closed, the takeaway shop, the pub, and a Caltex with some takeaway options. We decided after walking out to the pub to go back to the first takeaway shop. And on our way back we saw something on the sign that we hadn’t seen from the other direction – PIZZA! So we went in, and the pizza options were all…complicated. As in, you could get four options, and none of them were exactly what we would’ve chosen. We decided on the supreme and asked them to leave off the olives & onions. Took 35 minutes for it to be ready, but it was worth it. Walked back to the motel room with our pizza, turned on the TV, and watched…what movie was it? I can’t remember now, I’m sure Darrin will remind me when he reads this later. Oh yeah. The Bourne Supremacy. And in this whole episode, I learned something. I learned that I can indeed tolerate mushrooms on pizza provided there aren’t too many of them. (Someone go check on my mom, I’m sure that last statement must’ve given her a heart attack…)

Caleb crashed after tea. We finished watching the movie, I did some puzzles in my math puzzles magazine, Darrin read his book. We turned the light off sometime around 11:30 pm.

Woke up Saturday morning around 7 because the room was starting to get light. Darrin stayed up & read his book, Caleb & I stayed asleep till around 9. After we were up, Darrin decided he’d go out with the car & map Meningie. So I decided to take Caleb out in the pram & check out the local op shop. Unfortunately it was closed, but we looked at a few of the other shops, got a newspaper, went to the playground, came back to the motel. Darrin got back, and about an hour or so later, we went to the bakery to get lunch. I had a very very nice steak, bacon & cheese pie; Darrin had a couple sausage rolls. Caleb had a bit of my pie. Oh, and once again, he was less than thrilled with the car. Took us an hour to get to the orienteering, and we actually got there early, but fortunately they were allowing early starts, so Darrin went out first. I wandered around the cars & campsites with Caleb, and it was about this time I realised my mistake for the day. It was probably 30 degrees and I was wearing a dark green t-shirt. Yeah, sometimes brilliance and I are as far removed from each other as can possibly be.

Darrin got back, pretty happy with his course. I went out, and because I’d never orienteered in the Coorong before, did the shortest easiest course, which was 1.5 km (just under a mile). I had 15 markers, and the few markers I couldn’t see from the previous one had tapes leading me to them, so I got back in 20 minutes 49 seconds. I was pretty happy with that.

Back to the hotel. The GPS wasn’t syncing, so Darrin was calling it every name in the book. And Caleb was sick of the car, so he was calling us every name in the book. We thought he might be a little sunburned, so when we got back, I took him straight into the cold shower, but he just screamed & struggled, so we took him out again. A few minutes of Darrin holding him while he cried was apparently all he needed to settle him down. And then a cuddle with mum, and then he was back to his happy self.

By this time I was feeling pretty dehydrated & tired, so I sent Darrin & Caleb out to get tea without me. They came back with a chicken & chips & a bottle of Coke. We sat on the floor & ate our tea, then our movie night started: first Evolution, then Aeon Flux. Caleb went to sleep about halfway through Evolution. By the time both movies were over, I was past ready to crash, with a headache.

Went to sleep, and woke up a couple hours later with a pounding headache and a need for the toilet. I knew if I got up, I’d probably feel like throwing up, but it was that or lie there awake with a full bladder. So I got up, and made it to the bathroom, and threw up. Went back to bed, tried to get back to sleep, and then Caleb woke up with a wet nappy. I sat up, changed him, then felt another wave of nausea, so I woke up Darrin, gave Caleb to him, and made it to the toilet just in time to throw up again. And back to bed feeling much better.

Woke up Sunday morning at 7am, because that’s when I’d set the alarm for. Caleb kept sleeping, so Darrin & I got dressed, got packed up, and started putting stuff in the car. Only when everything was packed did I wake Caleb up & get him dressed for the day. We went to the servo & filled up with petrol. Since our 10 litre water cask was nearly empty, we were going to get another, but the servo didn’t have them. So off to the local Foodland, which was open. I asked Darrin to get us something for breakfast if he could, because I was starving. He got a couple packets of sliced lunch meat, and we ate that on the way to the event.

We got there a little early again, so I pretty much went straight out. This was in my normal category, so not as easy as the one on Saturday. I found the first marker after going off in the wrong direction & correcting myself. Same with the second marker. The third marker was fine; I was going for one I’d seen from a distance but that wasn’t mine, so when I got closer I realised that this OTHER marker I could see was the one I wanted. Four was okay, five was okay (although through a lot of scratchy scrub). Started heading off toward six, and wasn’t sure I was going in the right direction, but I really wasn’t having fun anymore, so I decided to just head back (given that Darrin still wanted to go out, and he’d said on Saturday “if you’ve been out for an hour, come back”). And I decided if I saw any of my markers along the way, I’d punch them, but I wasn’t going out of my way to find them anymore. And I did end up finding one of my markers – the first one. But at least then I knew where I was, and how to find the finish.

Then Darrin went out, and I stayed with Caleb. We wandered around the camp again, looked at sticks, went chasing after ‘ma-mas’, and once an hour and 15 minutes had passed, started looking for Darrin, because he could be back anytime. But he wasn’t back for another 45 minutes. Okay, so I was starting to get a little bit worried, because although he prides himself on his navigation, there were a lot of wombat holes out there to catch a leg in, and we’d seen a few lizards around, so there could’ve been snakes too. But all was good, and he drained the last of the first water cask, and I suggested I drive back to Meningie so he could look after Caleb, because I was starting to feel sick turning around in my seat all the time, and he was tired from being out in the sun for two hours. Caleb liked it when Darrin reclined his seat back so he could kick him in the head.

Okay, so we’re back in Meningie for lunch, from the same bakery we had on Saturday. We ate at the playground, and Caleb started running off toward the beach. So Darrin went off to keep an eye on him, and I cleaned up our mess. And wouldn’t you know – the one time I forgot to put one of the flushable nappy liners in the nappy, that’s when he decided to do a poo. So we cleaned him up, and I went off to wash my hands, then we packed up in the car & drove off. Darrin decided he’d just go up the main road instead of trying to map lesser roads, since Caleb wasn’t coping. So we went through Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge, and up the freeway through Mount Barker. Decided to stop at a playground in Bridgewater because Caleb needed a new nappy (again! but only wet this time), and we were hoping once again that he’d wear himself out on the playground and go to sleep. Fortunately he did this time. So Darrin got to take a detour and have a look at the new bridge they’re building at the junction of Anzac Highway & South Road.

And then we drove through Hungry Jack’s on the way home, where they charged us for everything we ordered, but left off one of Darrin’s burgers. Caleb woke up momentarily while Darrin was ordering, but went straight back to sleep. Then we got home, came straight inside to eat, before we even thought about unpacking the car.

And by 1pm today, I’d dealt with four poos already, so I’m guessing that might’ve been the problem for our boy all weekend….

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