This was a quick, long trip with lots of short stays apart from nearly a week in Grafton for Sharlee and Paul’s Wedding on November 3.
We left Woori Yallock in the early afternoon of October 23 and made it to a truck stop just north of the new Holbrook by-pass before full darkness. We had a good sleep and set out again about 4:30am before arriving at Yass for breakfast. Our destination today was Black Beach near Hallidays Point north of Forster. We met up with Darlene and Leo who had come to Africa with us back in August. Breakfast the following morning over looking the blue Pacific Ocean was a treat and a walk through the rain forest nearby, to the beach was great.
We left later in the morning than planned but made it to Valla Beach for lunch before making our way up to Grafton and Ballina, arriving Friday evening. The grandees are always great to have around and we had special times with them on Saturday and Sunday, even getting help from them to clean the motor home on the Sunday.
On the Monday, we drove on up to where the motor home was produced as we had a few things to have fixed. The main problem was that we had no connection to the diesel furnace and so were unable have heat on those cold Victorian nights when away. When you have the right equipment like a light on the end of a ‘snake’ with a hook on it, you can find the cable, and plug, in the cavity of the wall and so a connection was made. We had to wait until 4:00pm for things to be completed as the wrong part arrived for the leaking LPG tap that needed replacing. It was a rush to get down to Grafton that night to get final things done before the wedding.
Grafton was in full bloom as the Jacaranda Festival was on and the blue flowers were just gorgeous. The town was done up ‘just for us’ and we ended up liking the shopping and the ease you have getting around the town – once you know where not to turn down to get under the railway bridge or over the Clarence River Bridge. The bridge badly needs replacing over the River.
Each day prior to the wedding was rather relaxed, with just a few last minute things to do. Paul was away up in Ballina for work for the week, which he was not happy about, as he wanted to help with the wedding plans, of course. On the Friday morning, Sharlee found out the Council hadn’t mowed the grass ready for the event. Bob, Paul’s father, straight away loaded his ride-on and went out to mow the grass before I could get out there and help him, so I had both our lunches beside the river that Lyn had prepared. In the evening, we went to Paul’s parents place and had pizza cooked in the wood oven they have. Pat and Bob are great people and are very happy to have a daughter now.
When Sunday came, we were ready for a hot 36 degrees. The chairs and PA had to be set up and people also had to get dressed in wedding fashion. In many ways, it was great to have the service beside the river at 11:00am, less time for the bride and groom to have the jitters – and the parents. Lyn and I together, walked Sharlee, in what turned out to be an ‘eye-catcher’ wedding dress, towards where the service would take place. (Message to all those who drive wedding cars – do not put boot polish on tyres just prior to wedding – wedding dresses pick up the black real good. Nah, just a bit but annoying.) Sharlee’s four nieces and nephews; Caleb, Isaac, Elisha and Naomi, and Paul’s two children; Christopher and Tynikah, were the attendants. Under a big oak tree, Pastor Paul Richardson went through the ceremony and Sharlee and Paul became husband and wife while Lyn and I gained 2 more grandees and a son-in-law.
The sky was a beautiful blue and the Jacaranda was out. Photos under the oak tree were difficult because of the back light but when ‘touched up’ they have improved somewhat. The colour was great and the mother of the bride looked adorable. The father of the bride even wore a tie – in 36 degree heat. (Better write that one down.) Following the service, and all the photos had been taken, we travelled to Paul’s parents hobbie farm where the Grafton Church ladies had prepared an afternoon tea of delicious finger food and sumptuous dessert. While setting up the tables, one pole was in the wrong place so Bob the builder, went to and moved the pole to what has turned out to be a better location where it will stay. (Mind you, it was held in place with a few G-clamps for the day.)
And so we are proud to have a son-in-law. Paul is known to have said, “Sharlee and I should have met 15 years ago.” They look so happy to be with each other and they are growing already. After a couple of days on the Gold Coast, they are spending 8 nights in Cairns.
Wedding over, we met with all the Mitchell gang, at Grafton MacDonalds in the air-conditioning to catch up and ‘dissect’ the wedding. All good and more pictures taken. From here, we went out to Yamba for the night and while visiting the next morning where the relatives were staying, were given a surprise with Paul and Sharlee turning up for an hour or so. Good Times!
For the next week, Lyn and I ventured down the NSW coast, stopping at Coffs Harbour Jetty free camping for one night and then South West Rocks with Jay, Cassie and their 4 children for a night. From there, we moved to Pacific Palms were we enjoyed 3 fabulous days just relaxing and sun baking on a great little beach. There were some great walks through the palms of the area, which we enjoyed in the mornings.
Leaving was hard as a few busy weeks at the travel agency are ahead of us. We were able to meet up with Lyndell and Bob in Cooranbong for a few hours before the final leg to Woori Yallock arriving at 5:30pm Sunday November 10.