Australia Day 2013 was shaping up to be the best ever! My sister had organised a long weekend at North Stradbroke Island with the whole family - Mum, sisters, brothers-in-law and kiddies.
With beaches, inland lakes and a beachhouse at Point Lookout, what could possibly go wrong?
I planned to spend quality time with my two kiddies and family, soaking up the surroundings that just happens to be the setting of my first novel.
In my mind, there would be morning walks along Cylinder or Main Beach fossicking for shells, a day trip to the tea-tree stained Brown Lake and a swim in the pristine Keyholes.
Straddie has always had a special place in my heart. I remember camping there as a kid (though admittedly it rained the entire time - stay tuned...). There were also weekend beach escapes with friends as a teenager and in recent years, camping at Flinders Beach with my sisters at Easter.
I love the relaxed pace of Straddie. The fact that when the wind whips across one beach, you can find shelter on another or else head to the inland lakes.
Understandably, I was excited to be going to Straddie for a long weekend.
By about Thursday, my hopes of a sunshine weekend were beginning to dampen - literally - as Cyclone Oswald made it's way down the coast of Queensland.
Not about to let a little cyclone (and predicted flood) ruin my weekend, I put on an optimistic face for the 6am barge to Dunwich.
Moreton Bay was gloomy. There was drizzle on the windscreen.
But inside the car we were geared up for a fun weekend - rain, storm or cyclone!
We stopped off at Amity Point and this wasn't quite the image of my daughter I thought I'd capture at Straddie...
The rain didn't abate that day or the next, but this didn't stop our determination to have a good time. So we piled into the 4WDs and headed to Brown Lake for a swim, and a BBQ under a giant tarp!
Sheltered Semi-sheltered in a spot by the lake it drizzled, rained, then poured.
We swam, cooked a BBQ and I scouted around the edge of the lake, looking for the beauty in all this wild weather.
Later, the weather worsened as the storm travelled down the coast. We watched the news coverage from the shelter of the beachhouse as the lights overhead flickered.
Barges stopped running, campers were evacuated to the community hall and Straddie was engulfed by the storm.
At this point I must say that were we not staying in a beachhouse, I wouldn't have braved the weekend at Straddie knowing the forecast. But thankfully we could still enjoy the comforts of hot water, electricity and shelter.
Rain, storm or cyclone...I still love Straddie and her gentle reminder that life doesn't always turn out the way you hoped. But you can make the most of the way it turns out.