So windy it made my nipples hurt
Here’s how terrified we are of our waking our child: Rather than open the creaky door to our youth hostel room, Sarah and I both peed in a sink in the corner. It was dark and our aim was suspect, at best. But it got the job done. I can’t wait till Hannah is older and I can tell her that her mother stripped from the waist down, climbed on a chair, and let loose in a sink two feet away from where she (Hannah) was sleeping. Somehow, I can’t see my mom doing that.
Apart from the sleep thing, the kid’s an ideal travel mate so far. She’s always smiling. She hasn’t begun crawling so she’s not getting into trouble, pulling things off of shelves and whatnot. Her grooming habits are pretty low-maintenance; she currently has three teeth and not much hair. Perhaps most important, she’s not afraid of strangers yet; most toddlers get serious stranger anxiety at some point. “She treats the guy selling newspapers at the shop around the corner the exact same as she treats us,” Sarah said.
We left Hobart, and Sarah took the wheel of our little rental car. When I protested, she brought up my performance on the left side of the road during our honeymoon in Ireland four years prior. Damn that parked car in Belfast.
The three-hour drive through Tasmania, full of winding roads and mountains and sun and sand, was undeniably gorgeous. It looked a lot like this.
Even the names were evocative: Oyster Bay, Wineglass Bay, Hawkes Neck. At one point, Sarah slammed on the brakes while a porcupine or hedgehog ambled across the road. Or maybe it was a wallaby, I don’t know. All the while, I tried to find the Super Bowl on the radio.
“Most beautiful scenery in the world, and you’re playing with the radio,” Sarah said. “Who cares about the Super Bowl?”
“I haven’t missed one in 25 years,” I said.
“Well, you’re missing this one. Get over it.”
By the time we arrived in Coles Bay, a scenic spot on the east coast of Tasmania and right in the middle of Freycinet National Park, I was over it. Hannah heroically sat in a shitty diaper for the last 50 km, and the second we got to the campsite I changed her under a tree.
Much to my surprise, Sarah had rented a trailer in a camp park. Maybe you’re picturing Merle and empties of Pabst Blue Ribbon and rusted auto parts on the lawn, but this is Tasmania: The trailer park was adorable. And so was our trailer. With our own kitchen, bathroom, TV, and big carpeted living room, we were living in luxury after that Coffin Room in Hobart.
Later, we went down to the beach and the wind was howling, kicking up whitecaps in the water while a lone kayaker paddled into the tide. The sunset was amazing. It looked something like this.
As we were falling asleep that night in our little trailer, the three of us huddling in our bed, the wind shook our little home left and right, and I had two thoughts. One: Isn’t it trailer parks that always get annihilated in tornadoes? And two: I wonder who won the game.