Taking the Plunge: Lakes Entrance

I love road trips. At least in theory. Always moving forward, places for everyone, new sights and towns, memories to be made and fun to be had. 
Most of the time, this buoyancy pans out and we actually do have an amazing time, though there are always those moments when everyone is overtired and screaming and the petrol gauge is hovering just above Empty and there is no version of civilization anywhere remotely in sight. 
We decided to play it safe for our first leg, making our first stop at Lakes Entrance. We made our way into the charmingly retro Bellbird Gully and settled in. The boys exclaimed with delight upon discovering the bunk beds and Dave and I were excited when we realised we had the whole top floor and balcony to ourselves. The grounds surrounding the property were perfectly manicured and evocative of a Mediterranean country garden. I remarked to Dave how satisfying it was to perform the same routine with the family against a completely new backdrop and how this seemed to inject life into all of us.
One of the things I love about getting away, and particularly selecting accommodation with character, is that the walls are teeming with stories and inspiration that lures you out of your default mindsets, igniting your imagination and passion once again. I explored a vintage African cookery book, learning how to make Cow’s Blood with Sour Milk (in case that gem ever comes in handy) and poured through a vividly photographed Italian cooking book whilst watching the documentary episode of Chef’s Table on Massimo Bottura. Dave and I were both moved by his dedication to his craft, and passion that continued despite significant early setbacks in his hometown of Modena.
The next day was filled with exploring trips into the town, mini golf tournaments and lunch at the Funky Monkey Cafe. We managed to make it out of the latter intact, despite being ‘that family’ with the overtired, screaming preschoolers at various points throughout the meal. We are also now the proud owners of the board game, Trouble. 
Dave took the boys on beach and bike adventures and I introduced Eli to the art of op shopping! We lingered outside and played ball games in the dwindling sunlight. 
When it was time to head onwards, we did so with hearts full and a handful of happy memories… once we had packed and repacked the car, that is. Why is it that activity always seems to take longer than anticipated and spark heated disagreements? Next stop, Bemboka. 

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