Daddy Diary (Townsville) – November, 2015

BREAKING NEWS from the Clifton household. We’re married. WooHoo. Finally after the best three years of my life, a new house and car, and of course a beautiful baby daughter, Michelle and I tied the knot. It was a low key affair with just a few of our best mates and our respective parents.

And it was perfect. Probably the best day of mine, Michelle and Matilda’s lives.

And what better way to celebrate such a wonderful occasion than to take my little family away on our first ever, full, family holiday. And I do mean “full” in that my parents even came along for the ride.

Our break of choice was a 10 night P&O cruise around Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Just spectacular. And having my old’s (Granny and Poppy Pete) onboard was a godsend. Matilda stayed in their cabin for the entire 10 nights.

It was nice to experience the myth of the sleep in again. It was a fantastic first family getaway. We loved almost every second of it. And I do say “almost” because, if I’m totally honest, there was one horrific “Clark Griswold” style holiday moment.

It began on Day Four of the cruise and a visit to a tiny place called Mystery Island. We spent the whole day on this island that has a population of zero. It’s tiny and only takes about 45 minutes to walk the entire circumference of the place. Unfortunately having a one year old in tow we didn’t get to experience that. Prams don’t really work all that well in sand. They tend to sink. However we did have a great day swimming, snorkelling and sampling some of the local seafood.

It was an amazing day until “the incident” occurred.

The trouble started that night at dinner on-board the magnificent P&O Pacific Jewel. We were eating at the ship’s restaurant. It’s included in the price of the cruise but it’s a real restaurant style setup and a little bit fancy.

An example of this is the menu. My dad ordered the steak every night only because he didn’t really know what anything else was on the menu.

Not the kind of place you want your 15 month old daughter to be sick. She was sick. All over me. All over my wife. And all over table 246. Apologies again to the Abbott family from Ballarat. You were very understanding. As was Darby, our lovely waiter from the Philippines. He took a real shining to my daughter Matilda. I can’t help but think that faded a little as he rushed to our table with an arm full of dinner towels.

But, you know what. If that’s the worst thing that happened on a 10 night international holiday with a one year old we’re actually doing alright. And on the bright side, the Abbott family have a really funny story to tell there mate’s back in Victoria.

I love you Michelle. Thanks for marrying me.