This is my second post on the issue of my favourite places. Rainbow Bay is indeed one of those places.
For those who don’t know where Rainbow Bay is it is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales on the northern side of Point Danger between Coolangatta Beach and Duranbah Beach. To say I have spent a lot of time in this place would be an understatement. As a family, the Humphreys’ have spent all but five of our Christmases (if my memory serves me correctly) down at this paradise on the coast.
Initial holidays were spent in the caravan park with my grandparents Allan (who I have already written about in this blog) and Elaine. To say I loved the times spent in the caravan park on holiday would be an understatement. I vividly remember hitting the beach from 7am until lunch time and then playing in the park next door to the caravan until sun down. Friendships were formed over games of cricket or kicks of the soccer ball which ended at the end of the holiday only to recommence the next time one hit the caravan park.
Even in these early years of my life down at Rainbow Bay life was about routine: breakfast, beach, chip sandwiches, play in the park, wait for granddad to return from the pub, dinner at the Club and then games of Uno around the dinner table. Christmas days were spent in the annex of the caravan. Our holiday routine was shattered by events out of our control when I was 11: the caravan park was shut and then my grandparents moved to the north coast.
That did not stop the family Humphreys trekking to Rainbow Bay for school holidays and most importantly Christmas however. The only difference between our caravan holidays and those spent in holiday units was the lack of mucking around in the park. Before I could drink the routine remanded the same: beach, walk, beach, walk, cricket on TV, dinner at the club. One of the great things about holidays at Rainbow is (well was then) that at Christmas time the place becomes “Little Ipswich” and being that Ipswich is where I am from there were always friends from school or just the next street to knock around with.
As time has moved on all that has really changed, having reached the heady age of 18, is that the routine has now become walk, breakfast, beach, cricket on the TV, chip sandwiches on fresh bread, Twin Towns RSL for a few XXXX Golds and then dinner at the Club. This routine is repeated save for on golf days.
I have spoken a lot about routine in this post and that is one of the things I love about my yearly sojourns to Rainbow Bay: not only does the place not really change all that much but the routine does not change all that much either. On holiday, that is often all I want: to descend back into the sameness of routine as a way to relax.
It is the sameness that keeps me coming back (now that it is a personal choice rather than by parental decree): the fact that chicken parmagiana at the Rainbow Bay Surf Life Saving Club is always of the highest quality, the beer in the Sportsman’s Bar of Twin Towns is always at genuine 1970s prices, the chips at Dee and Paul’s Cafe are always crisp and go perfectly on fresh white bread and one can walk to anywhere one wants to go.
I hope some of the traditions that have started up down at Rainbow Bay every Christmas such as the Ipswich Old Boys bowls day which was started by my grandfathers and their mates some 30 odd years ago and now attended by my dad and I in their honour and the Boxing Day punters club at the RSL never change and I know I will be there again this year to keep the traditions going.
Now that we have all gotten a bit older, Rainbow Bay has become a place that my nephews now love and look forward to going to every year. They are experiencing the caravan holiday with their grandparents (my parents) just like I did and I envy them that they have years ahead of them to discover the delights of this haven.
Rainbow Bay has played such a big part in my life, it will always be one of my favourite places.