Today is National Virtual Vacation Day and having just come back from a little getaway in my part of the world, I’d love to share it with you.
The Murray River is an icon that divides two states, Victoria and New South Wales, and then flows along into a third, South Australia. It’s our largest river, running 2508km, and is popular for family camping, fishing, houseboat, and water-skiing holidays.
After many trips to Albury (NSW)/Wodonga (Vic) and a 2019 houseboat trip around Renmark (SA), we decided to have a getaway in Echuca (Vic)/Moama (NSW).
Having reserved a cabin right on the river, six months prior, we didn’t expect this part of the river would flood due to severe rainstorms in October 2022. It reached 94.79 metres above sea level, the highest levels for the past 30 years. The riverside holiday park where we stayed, had 15 cabins flooded and were still being repaired, so we had to alter dates but were still able to have our getaway. You can see the lines on the trees where the water level reached.
This paddle steamer goes for hour long cruises a few times a day and still has its original steam engine.
I love that the area has the tranquillity of country town life while still offering the convenience of shops and other necessities. And yes, it has a library. I also love being on the border of two states. You feel like you’ve travelled far away but still get the local news. There’s a golf course and wineries, plus lots of places to eat and a museum in the Port of Echuca.
After a few leisurely days in Moama, we then travelled 90 minutes to another border town, Mulwala (NSW). You will see I added it to my map because it is situated on Lake Mulwala but flows onto the Murray River.
Our accommodation overlooked the lake and just across from it was the Mulwala RSL (Returned & Services League) with a small museum. My grandparents and my hubby’s grandparents served in WWII so seeing all the memorabilia was fascinating and a little nostalgic. My Gran was 98 when she passed in 2018 so I was blessed to have a grandparent into my early forties and heard a lot about the war.
As soon as I saw this Rotunda next to Lake Mulwala, I was compelled to take a pic because my hubby and I were married in one similar (yet larger).
You are greeted with this tank on the drive in and a Royal Air Force plane is situated at the entrance to the RSL.
We had a great trip and of course there are many more photos, all of which are on my TikTok, Instagram and Facebook pages for your perusal.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip without leaving the comfort of your chair… or bed… or bath.
Until next time, Deb x
About Deb Robinson…
She’s just a humble little writer who loves what she does. She lives with her lovely husband in their little haven in Melbourne, Australia. She loves all things romance and believes it takes many forms. Her current catalogue consists of hot, contemporary romance under two series: 5 Shades of Brothers Browne and A Sexy Tradie Novella.
She recently joined TikTok and you can follow her @debrobinsonbooks. Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter @DRobinsonbooks Follow on Instagram @debrobinsonbooks
My dd and I flew down to New Orleans for a couple of days. Why? Because we needed our NOLA fix! It’s a 7-hour drive, but we did it in two days anyway. It’s all the window of time we had. We took the 15-year-old and the 5-year-old with us. Both are great travelers, and we had a blast!
We stayed in the Bourbon Orleans Hotel—in Room 644—which is haunted! The 15-year-old had an “experience”, but that’s her story to tell. She’s always been surrounded by weirdness like that. Usually, she never notices, but we see it around her—this time… Well, she was a little freaked out…
This is a pic inside our room. My hair!!!! My dd set the rules. No makeup. No hair products. This is what a few hours of intense humidity does to my hair! Had to “dress it up” with Snap Chat!
Scary, right?! 🙂
Most of the trip was about doing our favorite things—eating, shopping, hitting the voodoo stores—get readings in Jackson Square. Here’s the 15-year-old getting her very first.
She also got to roam Bourbon with her mom at night! She loved it! Says she wants to live there someday. She’s soooo my grandaughter!
And did I mention shopping? That was the 5-year-old’s greatest joy. She loved her “mud-bug” beaded necklace, and we had to get her a mask!
Had to say no to the hat, but boy did she look cute!
Now, back to our haunted room…
If you Google Room 644, you’ll find plenty of mentions. James Franco stayed there. Paranormal investigators, too. The hotel was a orphanage run by nuns in its past, and one of the nuns jumped out of this dormer window…
I woke up middle of the night and took some shots with my “ghost camera”. I usually get tons of human shadows and ghostly orbs, and I got some orbs in this room, but he strangest thing was this red pinpoint of glowing light that kept moving across my viewfinder. I can see it when I blow it up on my screen, but trying to show it to you on my grainy blog is another thing. Maybe you can make it out midway down the window here, on the left side panel between the 6th and 7th slats…
It looks like just a tiny spot here, but I stood in the same place and took photos of the window, not moving the camera, and that glowing spot moved left to right. Best I could do, folks. 🙁 The pics aren’t as cool as the ones I’ve taken in the Crescent in Eureka Springs. If you want to check out my ghost photos from there, click on these links: Road Trip — Haunting at the Crescent Inn Hotel, Ghostly Orbs in the Crescent.
I thought I’d better get these pictures up. I’ve been back over a week. These are just a few of the pics I took while in New Orleans. My cousin, who lives in Seattle, decided to come south to visit, but to add a little fun, he asked if I’d join him in New Orleans, then drive up to Arkansas. I’ll jump on any excuse to go there, so I loaded up my mom and aunt and drove eight hours due south.
Eight hours is a long drive, but we took smaller highways rather than the interstate. The scenery was much more interesting. I couldn’t resist stopping to take a picture of the crimson clover blooming in the median.
That night, we didn’t have time for more than a quick stroll on Bourbon street (don’t ask me why I didn’t take any pictures there! I guess I was just tired!). However, the next morning while we waited for my aunt to get ready (she’s the slow poke), I took pics from our hotel balcony. We stayed in the St. Marie on Toulouse street. See the big white van? Well the street corner beyond that is Bourbon—so we weren’t far from all the action.
Another shot of the street below. I liked the colors. 🙂
Last weekend when friends and I attended the Ozark Writers’ Conference in Eureka Springs, we blew off the conference accomodations in favor of something more on the wild side.
We headed a few miles out of town for the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. It’s a big cat refuge where exotic animals that have been abused or have become too much for their owners to handle can live out the rest of their lives. These animals aren’t suited for return to the wild and most have some health issue that prevents them from going to zoos. The refuge strives to put every animal they acquire in its own habitat, but while animals heal or are awaiting the opening of a new habitat area, they are caged.
We toured the habitat area and watched the keepers feed the animals. We were impressed with their work, the facility and the need.
First, take a look at our digs. These cabins are made to look like tents set up for safari, but are much more comfortable. At night, we could hear the cats “singing” and snarling. Very cool!
This is the inside of the one I shared with Myla Jackson and Shayla Kersten. The cabins ringed a deck that had a firepit and a jacuzzi. Yeah, we were roughing it. 🙂
These are a few pics I took of the animals in the habitats. They looked comfie, healthy, and the fences were sturdy—thank God—because you don’t realize how big those creatures are until you stand near them!
Before I get to the ghosts, I wanted to share a screen shot I swiped off of Amazon last night. This was the sales ranking for A Four-Gone Conclusion. Thanks so much for making this happen!
Onto the ghosts…
By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you know I’m a bit of a whack-job. I admit it. I own it! One of my sincerely held beliefs is that ghosts exist, and I have a fascination with finding proof.
One place that has cemented my belief is the Crescent in Eureka Springs. This past weekend, I made a second trip there. This time with friends, and although I didn’t have quite the scary experience I had back during the summer (you can read about it here: Haunting at the Crescent Inn Hotel), there was still plenty of creep factor to enjoy!
A ghost hunter’s first and foremost piece of equipment (beside an open mind), is a camera. And as always, it wasn’t until I got home and blew up the photos I had that I saw just how much “proof” I had. In particular, I had tons of ghostly orbs. Some skeptics say it’s dust, but I can promise you, I don’t get these little glowing circles anywhere but inside creepy, haunted places. Take a look!
You saw one round, glowy circle, right? And what’s up with the wide-angle view of the picture? I promise, I did not change a single setting on my camera, but that’s how all the pictures came out. See this next orb? Keep watching. Read the rest of this entry »
I know Iowa was in June, but I wanted to wrap up the trip highlights. I have three more trips planned for August. THREE! What was I thinking?
Anyway, one of the highlights of my trip to Iowa was a chance to get some new ink with my daughter. We made appointments months ago. The artist at the Iron Heart cleared his schedule for us. My brother entertained the 6-year-old while we spent the afternoon getting stuck with needles. Fun, fun! Here’s the tattoo parlor in Des Moines that we went to.
My daughter has a thing for garden gnomes and decided to have both of her daughters made into gnomes. The lighting is bad, so is the swelling. The colors today are beautiful. I’ll have to have new pics done so you can see them better.