This weekend was our "babymoon". Time and funds are a bit tight so we booked a short stay somewhere close to home in order to maximise time away and to allow us a little luxury.
We chose a rather swish two bedroom apartment with direct poolside access at the 4.5 star Sand DunesResort on the Sunshine Coast. The resort is renowned for its huge, fabulous pool and the one minute walk to beautiful, unspoilt Marcoola beach.
We had visions of lolling around in the pool for hours on end, picnics on the sand and Agatha's first experience of the ocean. Buckets and spades were set aside, a beach tent borrowed and new swimming cossies purchased. We were all so excited.
And then came the rain. And the severe weather warnings. This was followed fairly swiftly by that sinking feeling that comes with the knowledge that your best laid plans (and also your plans B, C and D) are scuppered.
But then we decided "ah, stuff it (stuff it real good)!" This is OUR special weekend and we're going to make it wonderful.
On the afternoon of our arrival we swam in the pool as the rain fell and loved it. We set up the beach tent in the dining room and played house. We picnicked in style on the living room floor. We watched “The Muppets Take Manhattan". It seemed like we were going to make lemonade from lemons.
And then came day two. On our second day in "paradise" we were greeted by 125km/h winds and an official exhortation from the police urging people to stay off the roads unless in an emergency. We saw a Dad and his young son get into the outdoor spa at our resort while the storm raged around them. Moments later the boy was hit in the head by a metal chair carried across the pool by the extreme wind (he wasn't too badly hurt thankfully).
That evening we decided upon homemade burgers on the grill since a BBQ was out of the question and a DVD so that we didn't have to venture out. Cue a total loss of power halfway through our dinner preparations. A loss of power that was still in place when we checked out on Monday morning.
We tried really, really hard to make the best of it, to turn negatives into positives and to focus on fun family times. But sometimes, when things go completely awry they isn't room for serendipity, just disappointment. I felt especially sad for Agatha who pressed her face to the window several times and said "outside!" in the hopes she could run and play and swim. We wanted so much to relax and instead spent the days on high alert and the nights listening to the howling wind and lashing rain. We couldn't wait to leave.
And yet we have it so much better than so many others in Queensland who have lost their homes or worse in these floods. We go to bed tonight knowing that each of us is sleeping peacefully in our beds, safe and sound and that puts us among the most fortunate people on earth.
We never did get to walk on the beach or introduce Agatha to the ocean. But that's okay, it will all be there waiting for us, next time.