We opened the door to the sound of Coltrane finishing one of his classic jazz tunes, quickly followed by an upbeat number by Abba.
"Wow," Darren gasped staring out the windows at the sweeping views. Snelling Beach lay below us — the river winding its way toward it on one side, waves lapping at white sand on the other. When we stepped out on the patio we could just make out the sounds of the ocean.
"Yeah, this is amazing," I agreed, relieved that my splurge had paid off.
I giggled as Starland Vocal Band drowned out the ocean with their well timed rendition of, "Afternoon Delight". Darren put his arm around me and joined in my laughter.
"This has got to be the most romantic place on Kangaroo Island," I whispered.
"Likely on earth, at least with you here," Darren responded.
And with that my heart exploded and melted and all of my plans for our time on Kangaroo Island flew out the window. I was going to take us to see Admiral’s Arch and the Remarkable Rocks. We were going to check out Vivionne Bay, join a walking tour with Australian Sea Lions and take a private guided, nocturnal tour at the wildlife park.
Instead we cooked together in our Tuscan kitchen, dined al fresco on our patio looking out over the sea, watched the seabirds soar above Stokes Bay, sat motionless as a troop of kangaroos came down out of the trees to surround our cliffside house as the sun went down and shared breakfast in bed watching the same kangaroos bound back up the cliff to hide from the hot Australian sun under the Eucalyptus trees just outside our bedroom window.
As night fell we skipped the nocturnal walk and just stared at the milky way. Sky House was very aptly named.
I walked out onto the patio, a glass of Pinot Noir from a small vineyard we’d visited a few days earlier in my hand. Handing the glass to Darren, I realized his eyes were filled with tears (shhh, don’t tell him I told you) as he watched two younger kangaroos punching each other playfully.
"You should be a travel agent, you know," he wiped his eyes, embarrassed, and grinned at me.
"Only for you," I laughed, "you’re the only person I know who’d agree to cross the planet just to do absolutely nothing with me all day."
I bumped into Southern Ocean Lodge in a Conde Naste magazine and it looked amazing and completely unaffordable — and perhaps just a little too fancy for someone like me. But it introduced me to Kangaroo Island and the idea of visiting the island really stuck with me.
Kangaroo Island used to be part of the mainland, but the ocean cut it off — stranding lots of the plants and animals native to Australia on an island with no humans. Although the Europeans eventually discovered the island, they didn’t really settle it so whereas on the mainland a lot of Australia’s native vegetation has been replaced by plant life more useful to humans, this little island is an oasis of "original" Australian flora and fauna — no rabbits or foxes in sight! Just kangaroos, tammar wallabies, possums and echidna.
After a little digging, I found Sky House. It’s still a splurge, but one we could afford for two nights. We like to cook together, so the fact that it’s self catering is great.
The photos online looked nice — though I thought they were likely a little too good to be true. *laugh* The photos were wrong in fact... but rather than "too good", they just don’t — can’t possibly, no matter how skilled the photographer — do the place justice. There are some things a photo can’t capture — the inky blackness of the cloudy night sky that transforms into a glimpse of galaxies when the clouds clear, the fresh ocean breeze and the hot Australian sun.
I was nervous driving up. We really are away from it all up here and had to drive on "unsealed" (unpaved) roads for about half an hour. First a wide, red gravel road that had our teeth jarring over the rumbly bits. Then a smooth, white limestone trail that was narrower but more pleasant to drive on.
We only passed one other car on our journey and they raised their hands in a friendly wave of welcome that reminded us of our childhoods in rural Saskatchewan.
My nerves gave way to gratitude when I realized what loving care the caretakers of this property put in to making strangers’ visits perfect. We didn’t see them even once, but we felt their presence everywhere — the music playing when we arrived, the well stocked kitchen and the immaculately clean home.
I’ve never been happier doing nothing!
Disclaimer: As always, my opinions are my own. I did not receive a free stay at Sky House or any special treatment because no one involved is ever even aware I’m doing it.
You might also enjoy visiting these sections on DLTK's Sites:
Wife, mom and the woman behind the scenes of the DLTK's Crafts for Kids websites. The websites are a terrific hobby -- run by (me) Leanne, a mom with two girls as my official craft testers and my husband as my technical support. DLTK are the first initials of each of the people in my family (I'm the L!). Whenever we send out little cards or whatnot, we sign 'love DLTK' ... when I started the website I used the initials. Had I known the website would get actual strangers visiting it, I would have picked a less mysterious name but we're all stuck with it now!
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