Sunday, April 25, 2010

A tale of a freeway

On the 12th April, it was almost two weeks ago now, we had a very eventful day.

We'd gone down to Victoria to visit the family. Let Ryan meet his rellies on Jamie's side and spend a bit more time with grandparents and cousins. The four of us drove all the way to the farm after Jamie finished work on the Thursday before Good Friday. We left Newcastle at 1.30pm, and arrived in Nathalia at approx 1am. It is a very long boring drive. The worst part is the roadworks on the "other side" of Sydney. Ryan did really well on the trip, he had a hissy fit around 7-8pm and Mark didn't cope too well with his screaming, but then he settled down and went to sleep again. We were pretty tired, but thankfully at midnight there is "The Challenge" on ABC radio, so we did a family competition on who would get the most questions right. Hahaha I won! We arrived at Jamie's parents house just at the end of the quiz. We had a lovely couple of days at their home. Connie, Paul and Toby were there as well and we always have a great time with them. Ryan didn't cope too well with the change of scenery, he became very clingy to me, crying if anyone else wanted a cuddle - unless they were taking him outside to see the chooks, then he was happy. Easter was nice, Mark got HEAPS of chocolate, as he is the only grandkid who eats chocolate yet. Gran and Grandpa came over for a visit, as did Aunty Mary and her daughter/grandsons. It was amazing to see those boys again, the twins were about 2 years old the last time I saw them, which I think was at Leigh's 21st. Obviously they are now 10!!!!

Drove down to Melbourne on Easter Sunday, we stayed at my parents home. Its always lovely to be there, everything is in the "right place".

We had a nice BBQ on Easter Monday, we caught up with Drew, Kelly and Taylor, Warren and finally met Kellie's family, Jeremy, Madelyn and Alyssa. Had to protect my littlest man from the crazy older woman (Alyssa who doesn't know her own strength yet, she is only a year old).

Jamie had to leave on Monday night as he had to go back to work. The boys and I stayed on for another week. We met up with Kirsty on Tuesday, looked after Roy on Wednesday, Jo and Sheena, Connie and Toby came over of Thursday. Mum and Dad returned on Friday. We went to Seymour on Saturday to meet up with Gran, Grandpa, Margie and Frank. Jo and Roy came over on Sunday after church, Mark and Dad went to the football. PHEW no wonder I was tired, it is tiring just writing that.

Monday morning we left EARLY about 6:30am to head off home. My dad was soooo nice to agree to drive up to Newcastle with us. We thought it was worth it just to drive through, stopping to feed Ryan (and ourselves) along the way. We made fantastic time. Not sure where we stopped for morning tea, but it was quite chilly. We had lunch at the famous "Dog on the Tuckerbox". Got out the picnic rug and let Ryan have some tummytime, got the cutest photo. I'll add it in tomorrow. Back in the car. Stopped at the rest stop next to the Belangalo State Forest, creepy, its where the Backpacker Murderer did his killings. Ryan seriously slept for the whole time.. he was so good.

Around 4pm we hit the outskirts of Sydney and finally I'd run out of stuff to talk about. So on the M7 freeway we decided to find a radio station to listen to. Trust me this is easier said than done as our car radio is no longer backlit so you have to guess what station you are on. I did quite easily find ABC Sydney, the first thing we heard was the traffic report - there was an accident on the F3 and it would be best to avoid it. Hmm the F3 is the only way I know between Sydney and Newcastle. Around 4:30pm I rang Jamie to ask if he knew of another way as I was having a spot of bother working out how to figure it out on the GPS, he suggested the Old Pacific Hwy and gave some directions. The traffic reporters went on to say that two trucks had collided at 12:30pm, one of the trucks was wedged under the other which was a full petrol tanker(!). They needed to decant the petrol before they were willing to attempt pulling them apart. Why had this not happened yet? It was now 4 hours after the accident. Supposedly what happened was a decanting truck was sent, but it was the wrong style, so they had to call for another one, but it had to come from Sydney which was the direction of what was becoming a terrible/horrendous traffic jam. We were rerouted around some old twisty roads until we got to the Old Pacific Hwy. There was traffic everywhere and it was getting dark. Ryan needed his next feed, so we pulled into a side street and I fed him. He didn't resettle too well, so Mark went into the front seat with my dad and I sat in the back with Ryan, he screamed for quite a long time - my dad says half an hour, I say an hour and a half. It took us 2 and a half hours to travel 10km. We kept listening to the ABC, got ourselves involved in another quiz, sort of felt like we were involved in a history making event. We saw cars where the driver was reading, car dancing, all the callers to the quiz were stuck in the jam. Mark got VERY stressed especially as the estimated arrival time kept pushing closer to midnight (please keep in mind we started this drive at 6.30am). The radio kept on saying "when are they going to open the con". All of a sudden I remembered that I have Twitter on my phone, it was going crazy @kkenealy tweets saying "OPEN THE CONTRAFLOW" surprisingly enough it was opened at 8:30pm and traffic started flowing, we got onto the F3 actually I don't' know which time. We finally started driving at a reasonable speed. We urgently needed to stop of the twin servos just before Newcastle as we needed to pee and we were starving - now it was 10:30 and my dad is the type of man who eats between 5:30 and 6:30 and we hadn't eaten!! Maccas had a line up of at least 40 people. So we decided to just keep driving, and finally got home at about 11pm.

It superseeded almost everything else of the previous week.

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