With the weather warming up, the days getting longer, and the long public holiday-free months of winter finally behind us, we are finally facing a long weekend.
For us in Hawke's Bay it's a real treat, because instead of the one extra day off that usually sends us racing for tiny beach roads to sit behind a caravan towed by an '89 Commodore for hours, we get FOUR days!
A chance to beat the traffic madness that fleeing Aucklanders bestow on the country.
A chance to pop through the Four Square and grab the marge and sausies before the line stretches down the snack isle all the way to the eggs.
And a glorious three whole days of worry-free relaxation if you can escape on Thursday night!
But if you're anything like our household this creates a whole new dilemma, the relaxation preparation situation.
"Let's go camping!" said the kids when asked what they wanted to do with this long weekend they had earned with four days of hard work back at term 4.
"Oooh what a great idea," said their mother enthusiastically. "Oh no," said their father. "We are going to have a relaxation preparation situation."
See, every holiday comes with a few spanners in the works.
You can be the most well-prepared family in existence, mum like Mary Poppins with a bag full of everything possibly needed, yet still you'll be one battery short of a headlamp when it gets dark.
Our preparation started from the big stuff down.
1. "We need a tent, with poles, some guy ropes, pegs, a hammer, matting for the floor, a torch ... wait a minute, I thought we were focusing on big stuff?
No? Now little stuff, okay cutlery, torches, blankets, airbeds, kitchen sink. Could we just potentially hire one of those home-removal companies and truck the house in for the weekend because now we've pretty much packed it all anyway?"
Then the RPS, as we shall now call it, moves on to the jigsaw puzzle of car placement.
Like a carefully crafted game of Tetris, bag after bag, bike after bike, child after child, the car will be stacked high, only to have the BBQ left sitting outside it, waiting to ride on someone's lap.
It's all worth it once you're there, unpacked and ready to relax.
At least until Monday when the UFS comes along.
What's that, you ask? The unpacking frustration situation.
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