Waking up to the sounds of the birds and nothing else is just divine. Despite being a very short distance from the road, we couldn't hear it at all. The Crystal Brook Sites facilities were very good, clean and tidy and as I may have previously mentioned, anywhere that has an icecream freezer in the reception is all good with me. Brilliant sunshine started our day and by 0900hrs it was already 27 degrees. Packing up and out of the park by 1000, we called into the nursery opposite for Si to have a bite to eat. It opened early so we were able to get fed anytime from 0700hrs. I love this. The car park was really busy which we took to be a good sign for the establishement, but when we entered it was clear the vehicles had been left whilst their owners took a walk along one of the multiple trails available. I was most amused to see a horsebox with three ponies unloaded and tied to the side and them grazing on the long grass at the edge of the car park. I've no idea if they were going to go out for a ride at any point or just rocked up there because there was a free grass to be had, just begging to be eaten. Either way, can't fault them for using their noodle. Simon ordered an outstanding looking omlette that would have fed 87 hungry warriors, filled with mushtrooms, spinach and cheese. Not long after we'd ordered Gaylene messaged to say she was home from the hairdresser, and that we could come when we were ready.
As soon as we'd finished our breakfast, we got the bill, and made our way through to the main shop and had a look for some gifts, because I really didn't want to turn up empty handed to see them. They are another family who were so good to me the last time I saw them and I wanted to get them something really nice. Unfortunately, despite there being loads of lovely things on offer, there was nothing suitable. I settled on some honey in the end. It was the name on the jar that decided it for me... "bloody good honey". what other jar was I going to buy when there was that one?
With the jar of Bloody Good honey tucked into my hot little mitts, we loaded into the van and hung a left out of the car park towards North Croydon, where Richard and Gaylene now live. Well, they've lived there getting on for 26 years, but the last time I saw them they were living on a farm in Winchelsea, near Geelong and Gaylene was very heavily pregnant with their first daughter. Their house was about 20 minutes from where stayed last night and on a road that has pretty little hamlets dotted along the roadside with crystal shops and wellness centres next door to each other. Their street is a tree lined leafy avenue, shaded buildings, eatablished gardens and very very quiet. Locating them was a breeze once we got past the fact that the house next to number one wasn't number two! Random, even by my standards! Pulling upside a shady home, beautiful plants and bushes lining the path to the front door, we opened the gate and knocked the door. It was like thirty years hadn't passed, there was Gaylene, not looking any different at all. Well apart from the fact she was no longer sporting a baby bump. After introducing Si and Gaylene to each other, Gaylene led downstairs into the kitchen lounge that opened out on to a huge raise decked area shaded by trees. Richard was in his man shed and Gaylene called him to say we'd arrived. Nope, he'd not changed in the slightest either. We spent a while catching up, finding out about the kids, and discovering that Izabel, who Gaylene was pregnant with when I was with them now has a little girl called Bailey, the same age as our Evelyn, and they live close by. Their middle daughter, Ebony and her partner have a house close by too and Yana, their youngest lives at home.
We had some lunch with them, sat outside on the deck and continued chatting, then we all got into Gaylene's car and went to Yarra Creek. Such a gorgeous peaceful place. The river bubbling away on it's way past us, the leaves on the trees, swooshing in the gentle breeze, we all just sat and werte quiet. truly beautiful spot. D`espite living there for years, Richard had never been, and loved it.. Whats not to love? Lthough quite free flowing the river is never clear any time of the year. I have no idea why that is, obviously, because i havent asked Jeeves! The temperature had risen massively since we arrived, and we were all genting a bit toasted so headed back to the house to cool down. ON the way, they asked us if we wanted to srtay the night. I only contacted them because I hadn't seen them in such a long time. and not for a place to stay. However, we decided we would indeed stay, and once they'd had a quick drink, the boys went off down to the man shed. I'm pretty certain that Si thoroughly enjoyed the few hours, doing man stuff and having man conversation with Richards, after spending a LOT of time with just me! Gaylene and I caught up on the girls, work, grand kids, and family in general. The boys came back in after a while, and it turns out they'd taken things to the tip, and visited Ebony to pick up some stuff from her place. As we said we'd stay, thankyou very much, it was beer oclock and the boys sat outside on the deck while, Gaylene and I chopped up stuff for tea in the cool of the aircon. We joined them when it was all ready and had a drink with them. A neighbour popped in for some lemons from their tree, and stayed a while and chatted . He recommended we go North of Melbourne in to the hills instead of taking the coastal road, as it is a much prettier route. Also, for us makes a change from the Ocean, although you can never have too much Ocean in my opinion! Richard and Gaylene's hilarious company, combined with a delicious steak salads and more alcohol made for yet another perfect evening. It's definately true when they say time flys when you're having fun. The mosquitos were out in full force and damn well ate me alive, I looked like a dot to dot, and I don't think they have had such a feast off me before. Man was I itching. Looking forward to a great nights sleep we turned in around 2300hrs, an extremely late night for us, as we've got used to going to bed as soons as it's dark!