Our first grand adventure in our new life was capped by spending the night at a dear friend’s who has known us since before Calista was born. Kerrie and her sons welcomed us into their beautiful home in the northern outskirts of Brisbane, and my dad got to experience what it feels like to sleep in a real bed again.

Bus outside a friend's at Caboolture, July 2012
Our first sleep-over is great. We find a level parking spot within the yard and not too close to the house.

Our night in the bus was good. We’ve been sleeping together in the bus, even while it’s parked in our shed, and so the girls and I are comfortable together in tight sleeping quarters. In the morning, I packed all the bedding away, and not a moment too soon — the boys wanted to play in the bus, and I gave it over to the children and their imagination.

Victor Bissett and Calista Mae, July 2012
Pa spends the night in the comfort of a guest bed in the house, and in the morning, Calista comes in to lie next to him quietly because the bus has gotten too noisy.

Seeing how the children played in the bus reminded me that whatever modifications I make to it will have to be very robust and child-proof. When we visit other families, often our girls play in the house with the toys while the resident children like to play in our rig.

Playing in the bus, July 2012
The kids spend a lot of the morning playing in the bus. It's good to see that our girls' special friendships with these boys have endured our absences.

Kids running in the backyard, July 2012
Together, the kids share the same imaginative game and make full use of the large back yard.

Kerrie is a keen homeschooler and has a good number of wonderful resources on hand. Brioni enjoyed doing some craft, Aisha played with a model of the solar system, and Calista liked building a train track. Delaney is learning from her sisters and still finding the things she likes to do.

Delaney with a magnifying glass, July 2012
Our girls love exploring all the different toys on display, and Delaney is fascinated with the visual effects of an extra-large magnifying glass.

Brioni's collage, July 2012
Brioni made this collage of a good witch making nice magic over her fire. She is situated beside a sandy pond.

I’m glad that our first night away in the bus went so smoothly. The success of the sleep-over was mostly due to our lovely hosts and their relaxed approach to life. Thanks, Kerrie, for inviting us to stay, and also for inviting us back in the future!