In a belated 20th(!) wedding anniversary gift to ourselves, we booked a few days stay at the Painted Boat resort on the Sunshine coast. It was for the family, for a villa, which, as far so can tell, means entirely too much space for eye watering prices.
Funnily enough I learned rather late, that of course, that I still have to do the cooking, just in a more luxurious kitchen. I'm never a fan of cooking anywhere except my kitchen. Big enough to have all the tools I need, small enough that I can more or less pivot to get to anywhere I need. Like a sea galley. Or a .. space station? I dunno, something very efficient, barring the hilariously "broken but not broken enough to buy a new one" stove.
Where was I? Cooking, yes, in a luxurious villa. Most of the time trying not to swear as I try and find the cutting board, checking the same cupboard three times before finding it in the hidden lazy Susan in the corner. The stove worked great, but I've long conditioner myself to only use two elements so it's 5+ elements were wasted on me.
There was a pool, the sort of adult pool with constant depth, faux rocks, and riddled with parents that look too old to have kids that young. Fancy.
It was a salt water pool, and I was riddled with questions about them from the kids. Is it clean? Is there chlorine? A thousand questions that I bluffed my way through but only served to increase my discomfort, I mean, was it clean? At these per night prices of seems impossible that it wasn't?
We did all sorts of activities including the usual 'just have screen time kids while we watch the Olympics because we're too tired'.
Hiking. Mrs Owl loves hiking. Living where we do it'd be a shame if one of us didn't appreciate the great outdoors. She usually goes on these epic hikes with neighbors or old girlfriends and leaves the rest of us peaceably at home, ideally still sleeping.
On vacation it's a different matter.
Our hike took us to the ocean, through coves and the like where sailboats that looked too sleek to be affordable lurked. Invariably with young people who I suspect have jr in their name and perhaps watch Olympics Equestrian events with interest.
The pandemic pounds I've put on makes all the hikes more huffing and puffing than I'd really admit. The kids enjoyed it, or at least complained very quietly, and Mrs Owl loved it (a general trend in our hikes).
At one point we walked onto the barnacle infested rocks and waded through the swarms of insects that participate in the subtidal circle of vaguely disgusting life. My brain was obsessed with walking as carefully as possible, visualising the horrible knee gashes the barnacles would give me should I slip. (I am not blessed with the spirit of an adventurer. If I was born in Ireland during the potato blight and all my countrymen were going to the New World I'd probably think "more blight infested tubers for me!")
We also got some kayaking in. We've kayaked a few times, just enough to think we know what we are doing and get ourselves in trouble.
The first guy who helped us set up our kayaks was young, helpful, but one got the general feeling he would exchange canoe for kayak for paddle board without really noticing. As we were getting in the water an older fellow came to help us out. He had the grizzled features and "never had an office job" look of someone who's still trying to become a professional kayaker. Or that forages for his dinner. His warnings seemed more sincere, more hard won, but somehow more casual. Referring to orcas as 'big lummoxes' instead of 'apex predator that could crush your kayak and have your entire family for lunch' was particularly memorable.
The kayaking was good, partially because the clouds showed up, but mainly because we didn't get eaten by orcas or run through from sleek sailboats whose Captain was too busy catching up on Olympic Equestrian results.