I know the blog posts have been a little slow this week.
But I have a REALLY good excuse.
This is the view from my bed. There needs to be a really good reason to get out of bed.
Here it is. The view from the kitchen. I know, it's awful isn't it? Before you send me hate mail - 15 days and I'll be back in the desert.
On the other side of this amazing view, at our front door, are several restaurants, a supermarket and a bottle shop. Yes, a bottle shop.
On the floor below us are two very patient grandparents and one magical Aunty Susie.
The little travelers have steered boats, built sandcastles, walked for miles, swam in the pool, chased crabs, built puzzles and asked Grandma for the ninety ninth time "did you really ride a horse to school?" Every. Time. We. Get. Together.
My total contribution? I've made a few beds, "Oh, have you been doing that Mum? I thought someone was coming in every day." I've done a bit of washing and made a couple of salads. I have relaxed. I have looked out to sea and thought of nothing. I have found myself completely alone. I sat in a chair while it massaged my back, and had my toes painted, and I stayed in that chair until my toes were completely dry. Doing nothing. I just sat there. Staring at my painted toes.
I haven't made any decisions. I haven't built a sandcastle, and I haven't thought about what we'll have for dinner once. And I don't feel the slightest bit guilty because life has just happened. Slowly.
Today I watched the fourth little traveler snuggle up to his Grandmother on the back of a boat while she snuck him the last biscuit. I marveled over the colour of their perfectly matched eyes, and how love can just happen automatically, how it just picks up where it left off.
I watched four little faces peer into their Grandfathers hand to get a closer view of a soldier crab. I smiled while Grandad drove under the bridge, again, and again so that everyone could have a turn driving under the bridge. No rush.
This is the bit you miss out on when you travel, or when you live away from your family. There are no "Wednesday's I drop the kids at Grandmas". Aunties don't take an afternoon away from the office to attend the school play and birthday parties involve more friends than family.
There is a consolation though. As my mother will tell you, although she doesn't get the weekend visit or the two hour drop off, she gets the intensity of the three month stay. When we come to stay - we REALLY come to stay. Three meals a day, portacots in the dining room, five extra loads of washing and oopsy daisy, did I mention we've got headlice? "Grandma, you may need to wash your hair with this".
I sat on the balcony this evening and thought about all of the different stages and states we've arrived at G's parents beachside apartment. The games that Grandma has invented to entertain, the building blocks, the boat trips, the sliced ham and the pilgrimage to worship at the door of the much loved fish and chip shop. I've arrived pregnant one year and with a baby the next. Our visits may never be a spare of the moment drop in, they are thought about, planned and waited for. And they will stay with the little travelers forever.