Let me see, James was born in November, so I suppose this happened in the October before he arrived.
I can’t remember whether I was being a renaissance man or if Kylee had dropped so many hints that I finally twigged to the idea, but in any event I booked a quiet weekend away for us to enjoy each other’s company before our couple status would change forever.
I had seen O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat featured on those good weekend programs and thought that it would be a perfect destination. I even booked a picnic lunch hamper from their vineyard on the valley floor to enjoy on the riverbank along the way. (I know ladies, 1, 2, 3 … altogether now …. ‘awwww, how romantic’)
We hadn’t coined the phrase ‘Babymoon’ (a derivative of the honeymoon concept) at this stage. That happened when we received a text message from friends enquiring as to our whereabouts. When we told them what we were up to, they enlightened us to this new concept. And since we liked the term, we’ve been running with it ever since.
So, here we were, enjoying a lovely spring day in the Gold Coast hinterland. The sun was out, the birds were singing, we had just enjoyed a delicious lunch of gourmet deli delights and we were about 30k’s from our idyllic mountain destination.
Did I say mountain destination? Ah yes, that’s right, 30 kilometres up a winding, single lane strip of tar, almost no room for on-coming traffic, side of the mountain, goat track. I’ve recently seen an episode of Top Gear where they drive through the Andes and the roadside is prone to giving way here and there and slipping into the canyon hundreds of metres below. Well this was not dissimilar.
And have I told you about Kylee’s neuroses before. I seem to recall describing Kylee’s impersonation of Marge Simpson to my Homer-like bluster. Well this was another of those situations where Kylee was uneasy with the circumstances and thus approached the experience as would Chicken Little.
On we went, higher and higher, windier and windier. We would speed up to 50km/h on the straight sections and then another corner would halve our speed. And as we travelled we encountered more and more on-coming traffic that was heading down the mountain. Thus we deduced there were a lot of day trippers who go for lunch. Well, that would be ok, if like us they were travelling in sensible little 4 cylinder sedans, but they were even more sensible, they had travelled in bus groups so they could enjoy a wine or a beer. At least keeping to the left side meant we would only fall off the mountain second in the event of a mischief.
The fact that I am recounting this tale clearly indicates that we made it to our destination but not without much sucking in of air through clenched teeth.
As I had calculated our arrival time by distance to be travelled and not by windiness of the road, we were now cutting phase 2 of the Babymoon, an afternoon of pampering for Kylee in the day spa, very fine indeed. (Cue more sucking of air through clenched teeth, but not by me.)
You know, it’s funny when you think about it. The types of conversations we get ourselves involved in. Even though I was acting under instructions I still found myself learning far too much about day spa treatment than I would ever have anticipated I would need to know.
“Did you book me a massage?”
‘I don’t know? A back massage.’
“Did you tell them I’m pregnant?”
“Well, how are they going to give me a back massage?”
‘I, don’t know, maybe they have a table with the tummy cut out so your belly can hang through.’
“Oh don’t be so ridiculous.”
‘Look, I’m sure when you waddle through the door they’ll be able to adapt a procedure for you.’
And even though I received that whack, they did adapt a procedure and Kylee duly came out some hours later feeling quite pampered and relaxed, but not altogether happy with me. (Note to self, waddle is not a suitable adjective to describe a pregnant woman’s walk.)
We were enjoying the serenity now. No traffic noise. No hustle and bustle. Just the relaxation that nature and a good view will bring. We were enjoying the vista across the valley from our balcony as the sun began to set.
“What’s that cement with ‘H’ painted on it down there?”
“Down there, in front.”
‘Oh, that’d be a helipad for emergencies.’
And that’s all it took to set the little rattle off.
“Oh my, what if I go into labour?”
“People go into labour early you know.”
‘I know that, but you’ll be alright.’
'But we know, your mother was late with all her pregnancies and daughter’s closely follow their mothers.’ (I was making this bit up, I don’t know if that’s true, but said with confidence it seemed to placate.)
“Hmmm, I don’t know if that sounds right.”
‘Anyway, the helipad is a good thing, at least we know we can get you down the mountain if you do go into labour. I should imagine there would be an extra cost if we need to ring reception asking for some hot water and extra towels.’ (Ben laughs at his own joke.)
(Why do I do that to myself?)
And so it came to pass that we had a lovely time away. We tossed around baby names, I had a bottle of wine (less half a glass) with dinner, Kylee did not go into unexpected early labour and I learned that should we go on another Babymoon then I won’t be booking a place that requires the use of a sure footed donkey as our transportation.