Christmas in Loxton
Prue, Hazel and I spent Hazel's first Christmas with Jill and Jim at their home in Loxton South Australia. There are no direct flights to Mildura, the nearest airport to Loxton, so we flew via Melbourne.
The drought was immediately obvious on arriving in Mildura. Everything was bone dry.
Christmas also fell in the middle of our devastating bushfire season. The smoke covered the ground from Sydney to Melbourne and could be smelled from the plane. Jim's kids drove up from Adelaide and passed fires threatening the freeway near Gawler.
The day after we arrived, 23 of December, it was 48.7° celsius. We also had several other days over 45° during our visit. Hazel was sleeping poorly and waking at 4:30am. So I took advantage of the cooler mornings and walked Hazel around the streets of Loxton to allow Prue a chance to sleep.
To escape the heat we went out on the river with Jim and Jill's boat. With a full Esky and Hazel's portable cot we'd headed up to Whirlpool bend to cool off.
Hazel loved the boat. Particularly the loud engine and the wind. She also had fun helping Jim drive the boat.
Jill Water skied home.
Georgie arrived! It was pretty special having Hazel, Prue, Jill and Pam all together. Four Generations all under the one roof. Pam and Bet loved playing with Hazel. This was the first time that Pam got to meet Hazel.
Jill put on an amazing, and enormous Christmas feast.
On boxing day we went back to the river for some more relaxation and to cool off. It was fun playing in the water with Hazel. Jim had a rush of blood after dropping the boat into the water and decided to jump off the pontoon. When he surfaced his face was white. He'd cut his foot on a rock and had to be taken to the hospital to be stitched up.
Georgina and I both had a go at water skiing. Georgie was really good and stood up straight away. She was able to keep going for a minute or so. I was able to stand up briefly after a couple of tries. There is a bit of an art to towing a skier and I think with Jim behind the wheel I might have had more success. Jill seemed to forget that I weigh twice as much as Georgie.
All in all it was a fun trip. Despite the bushfires, harsh temperatures and accidents. I wish Loxton was closer to us, so that we could visit more easily and more often.