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January 26, 2018     |     Personal

Where Time Stood Still

Dear Graham and Lucie,  
We lived in a Hippy Hut in Byron Bay for 2 weeks together, just the three of us. Your Dad had to go back to the United States to work. We were so sad to see him go after a full month of being together in French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Australia. He works so hard for us, we are so lucky. Graham and Lulu, I want you to know, to remember, that it was here in this place where time stood still. We settled into a perfect little routine: pancakes and eggs in the morning at our Hippy Hut, a quick stop for coffee on the way to swim lesson, body boarding in the waves, adventures in the afternoon and the playground walk in the evening.  
Graham, I was able to give you some independence here, to run around with the other kids at the caravan park. You rose to the occasion as your new role of "Daddy" while your Dad is working for us. You made eggs on your own, you followed the rules, you watched out for your little sister. You demanded apologizes and made sure everyone was getting along. You were so sweet and responsible and I really appreciate your help in taking care of our little family. I also loved watching you make new friends. Without hesitation, you are able to walk up to someone and ask "would you like to play with me?" and I know this trait will serve you well in your life. 
Lucie, you turned 4 here! You asked for pink cake, a tutu, and an adorable little swimsuit. You invited all of the caravan kids to the party, even a few we didn't know. Graham blew out your candles and you loved it so much. Then you both put your faces on the cake and laughed hysterically. You are so close and such good friends. I have loved watching you bond together on this trip and I can already see that you will both be loyal to each other and take care of each other. Lucie, we shared a bed, a bed that is now covered with sand as I sit and write this letter to you both; a reminder that we are living our days to the very fullest here. 
Each night after showers, milk, and books, you would both ask me for your "sages" and you loved these sweet massages, making sure I didn't miss a toe or a leg or an arm. I have loved these moments so much. I have loved making shadow puppets on the tent wall and telling you stories about when you were babies. I have loved being with you, we are having so much fun together! We are such a great team! I love seeing the world through your eyes! You are my greatest gift. I am so incredibly proud of you, my little world travelers! You are strong and happy and free. You are truly experiencing this journey to the fullest, even if you dont know that you are. I love you both so much.  
Graham and Lucie, I hope that when you are older, you won't feel the need to fly around the world to stop time. I hope you make sure to practice being totally engaged with the environment and the people around you. The riches of life exist in these moments, these moments when you are totally present. I hope you can balance the distractions and work and stress of life with ease. I know that when I return to our normal life, I will definitely make sure to be more present and more engaged and I will think back to our time here in Byron Bay. In fact, I will think about our time here in Byron often and with the fullest heart. This time here with you, totally engaged and in love, was one of the best experiences of my entire life. The memories we made in Hippy Hut #6 will live in my heart forever. Thank you for being my best travel mates!  
I hope to do another post with all of my recommendations for a perfect 2 weeks in Byron Bay but here are a few things I wanted to jot down for my own memory... 
Things I remember from our time in Byron Bay: 
- Tent windows down and the sound of the ocean 
- Nightly massages for the kids 
- Bedtime stories - Australian classics Magic Possum and Edwina the Emu were our fav 
- Graham and Lucie running free around the caravan park 
- Our walk/bike to swim lessons each day 
- Our drives through Hinterland  
- Our visit to Killen Falls when Graham found a giant log and the kids pretended it was a boat, Graham was the captain and the kids went under the waterfall without fear 
- Swimming in Tea Tree Lake with Lucie and watching Graham catch tadpoles 
- Facepainting with Ms. Sally in the park - one night Graham asked to be a clown with Hulk Smash Hands and vampire teeth 
- Lucies 4th birthday when Graham blew her candles out and she laughed hysterically and then they put their faces on the cake 
- Lucies sweet birthday portrait on the beach when she ran away from me laughing and playing 
- Brunswick Heads when the kids ran around like crazy in the shallow river 
- Graham learning the backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle in swim intensive! He also was given a swim cap that he wanted to wear to bed, he was so excited 
- The Solar Train which the kids both loved - they ran around and laughed and stuck their heads out of the window 
- The lighthouse walk down to Little Wategos Beach where we played aquarium for around an hour, Graham giving me a tour of each tidepool and all of the creatures inside 
- Watching Graham and Lucie climb to the top of the tree in the playground and make friends without hesitation 
- Bodyboarding in the waves 
- Watching the kids play with his surfer dude toys with his friends Bronx, Darius and Sandor 
- Swimming with Lucie in the pool while Graham had swim class 
- Sparklers on the beach with our new friends the Girrens  
- Silent Disco on the beach 

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