52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Week 27 Vacations

8 July 2011

Gunderson young familyParticipating in the weekly blogging theme 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is always a trip down memory lane and this week’s topic of Vacations is no different.

When we were really little our parents used to take us to Maroochydore to holiday with friends who had a house there. This was the early 1960s before anyone used to go to the Sunshine Coast and there were no high rise buildings and very few people. We used to go fishing and crabbing and one of the highlights was chasing all the soldier crabs on the mud flats at low tide. There must have been thousands of them everywhere, every day. On recent visits we haven’t been able to see any, so all the development must have impacted on their natural environment. There was no TV in the house and at night we went to bed early, worn out with all the physical activity.

When we  were a little older we started to go to the Gold Coast instead as Mum had three sisters who all moved there in the mid to late 1960s. I remember spending several Christmas holidays with one of my aunts and her family in a tent at the Kirra camping grounds – it’s not there any more either. That area was heavily eroded following a cyclone and over the years the camping ground got smaller and smaller with further erosion from high tides and storms until it closed. That aunt bought a house at Miami, another aunt was at Palm Beach and the third aunt at Southport with her daughter’s family.

In 1969 we threw away the tent and bought a caravan which seemed very luxurious after the very small tent. We left it permanently at a caravan park in Miami to be near to Mum’s closest sister. However, in a hail storm the caravan was not a good place to be, neither was a tent, but the caravan was ever so much noisier. I remember my brother and I were home alone during one afternoon hail storm and we were both scared but trying not to show it – but it was one of those hail storms with lots of big stones and seemed to last forever. I never liked the strong winds which made the van rock and could be quite scary at night.

My little brother was a nipper (junior life saver) with Burleigh Heads Surf Life Saving Club so we travelled down every weekend during the summer months and of course we spent Easter and Christmas holidays in the caravan park too. We used to go fishing, swimming, and seemed to live on the beach most of the day. With my fair skin I was forever getting sun burnt, and while I haven’t had any skin cancers (yet) my brother has an annual burn off (as he puts it).

Over the years we saw the Gold Coast change into the high rise, multi density city it has become but I haven’t stayed there in years. I still like the beach, walking on the sand, swimming but all the cars, people, buildings have made it very different from the place we knew when we were kids.

We are currently trying to find a retirement place where we can go fishing and crabbing, walk along the beach, see the native birds and other wildlife without too much traffic, people and high rise buildings. It’s getting harder and harder to find what a lot of us enjoyed when we  were growing up. But then on the other hand, I suspect today’s generations with all their technology might find that kind of vacation a bit too quiet. Happily, I have a son and nephew who both enjoy fishing so our family traditions won’t be lost too quickly.

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