Traditionally we have never been the long vacation type - we've just never had the money to go on extended travel or to fly far away. We have spent a week here or there but never very far from home, and usually road-trips. Last year we got our first tent and set ourselves up with camping gear. We did our first expedition in the tent last Easter when I was 36 weeks pregnant! We all loved it. Matt was in his element fetching firewood and water, chatting with the guys we went with, and playing bush cricket with stick for stumps. I loved doing the basics (washing up, cooking, sweeping out the tent) then sitting back around the fire and relaxing. Emily loved being able to run and play as much as she liked. Don't get me wrong, camping can be a total disaster if the weather turns sour or you encounter a group of louts, but there is something rather satisfying about being self-sufficient (no power, no running water, etc).
This year we went camping at a beautiful bush location called Blanket Bay. It is set in a National Park, and there are no facilities or power - self-sufficient, just how we like it. It was like a dream when we woke up and found koalas sitting in the gum trees over our tent.
The beach was a lovely sheltered inlet that was safe (but too cold) to swim in. We had fun building sand castles and playing in the shallows.
There are so many gorgeous spots to explore in the great outdoors, and by avoiding caravan parks we get to experience it all for next to no cost. Priceless!