Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Two Very Different Holidays

Months ago we pre-booked a nice, calm holiday in a cabin, by the river for a week at the end of January. Then we also decided, a bit spontaneously, on doing an 11 hour drive to Melbourne when we found out our friend Mark needed a dog sitter in December. We left on Christmas day which added extra stress as we also had to squeeze in gifts and a Christmas lunch with my in-laws before taking off. Clearly we make excellent choices when it comes to travelling with babies, I mean a 24 hour trip across the world with an 8 week old, and an 11 hour trip in a car with a toddler? What could be better?
But really people, don't we make travelling that long, with a toddler, so glamorous?
Ha. Ha. Ha.

We stopped for "adult lunch" which meant Charlie was 45 minutes late for his afternoon nap, and this kid gets so hyper when he misses a sleep that he just dropped his head and woke crying repeatedly for an hour. It was that terrible that my husband pulled over on the highway and went and sat in the back seat just to calm him down. So what happens when he only gets a 15 minute nap as opposed to the two hours he normally gets? He starts writing a book entitled
"How to Make You Parent's Night a Living Hell."
(Which he did quite well that same night in Canberra)

Thankfully we had a wonderful time in Melbourne so it was worth all of that. The apartment we were staying in had great views of the City and Yarra River, and Senhor Grumpy (the bulldog) was actually very cheerful most of the time we were there.
We were inspired by Cherry and Me's blog post on the National Gallery of Australia - 'Romance Was Born' and were excited to see it first hand.

We spent most of our time chasing Charlie around. We did strap him into the pram so we could look at the "adult" art work. He just loved the way his voice echoed around the silent gallery. I'm not sure what the other people thought? But why are people always whispering when they look at art anyways.
"Shhh, don't wake up the paintings!"

 I kicked myself when I realised that I had forgotten that my old Vancouver friend Natalie lives in Melbourne. I was so happy to hear her parents were visiting her from Vancouver too. I hadn't seen them since I was a teenager. Some of you might remember my Interview with Ashleigh Ball from the Band Hey Ocean and the TV show My Little Pony. Well Natalie is her little sister. See the resemblance? This whole family is made of pure sweetness, I swear to you! Loveliest people you will ever meet! It  also helps that they are easy to look at, I mean check out baby Kyan, he's de-lish!
 Charlie and Nat are making the best faces!

One of our afternoons was spent at St Kilda. We found an international beer shop and grabbed some great Canadian beer, and then went for a windy walk along the beach. 

Below are a few shots from the area we stayed in - South Warf, Melbourne.

 We had New Year's eve in because of Charlie but look at the view on the balcony for fireworks that 

Going to the Ian Potter's Children's Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens was a highlight for us. We ended up going twice. There's a man-made stream, pond, a walk-through bamboo jungle, fountains, sand pit, and a vegetable garden. It felt like we were in a fairy tale. There was a beautiful grassy area to  sit and watch your kiddies play in the stream, and a cafe close by where we bought a loaf of Brioche and coffees.
We loved our city holiday to Melbourne so much that we discussed moving there one day. 
Back to reality though and to Newcastle ...  that was until the end of January rolled around and we found ourselves floating down the river 2.5 hours away in The Barrington Tops.

This next holiday could not be more different. We were in the country, with a big stretch of river and a secluded cabin.

Our friend's from Queensland drove down to us and met up with us at the cabin. We haven't seen them since their wedding, and have never met their little boy until this past week. The first thing they did when they met each other was kiss. It was pretty special for their parents as we have been close friends for around 13 years now.

When Dave and I were driving home we were talking about how you kinda have to be picky with who you choose to holiday house with. The Fergusons were such an easy choice because they are so easy to be around, they were never awkward about cooking or cleaning or hanging out, or their kid and his preferences, or our kid's preferences. An added bonus was that they love board games as much as us!
 Plus, this bitch knows how to make coffee. Which one? Well, both! It's so good to have a morning coffee out on the deck, listening to the bird song (I think I just turned seventy-five with that last comment). 

 This is not a very exciting photo but it's a nest. Which proves there were birds and bird song, and a seventy five year old me loving every tweet.

 Like father

 Like son

This is the view from the river up to the cabin. Serenity now, brown cow. 

So which holiday would you prefer, city or country?
I got a little bored once my friend's left the cabin so I think I'm still a city girl at heart, but I did love that tube ride down the river with my Canadian beer in hand.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT


  1. Leanne Shea LangdownJanuary 27, 2015 at 6:48 AM

    Both look like fun to me!
    Great photos
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  2. Oh me? A city girl! City is my life! Love your images and hope you loved Melbourne!

  3. Ahh tough choice. I am definitely a city chick, but I think these days I'd prefer a country getaway to give me some much needed quiet. Looks and sounds as though you had a wonderful time. I just love those watermelon pics. Too cute!

  4. Oh I'm glad that you enjoyed Melbourne. I actually haven't been to the gardens since my little boy was 12 weeks old, so no children's garden. I must get back there. We lived in St Kilda (well, Elwood, a 10 minute walk away) before we moved here to Geelong, and I have lived there on and off for most of my adult life. Feels like home to me.
    That lazy river holiday looks so delightful. Floating down a cool brown river, what a treat.
    Dani @ sand has no home

  5. Wow you've had a great summer holiday! I love both! I adore Melbourne and it looks like you stayed in a fab spot. Such a lucky thing to have a friend needing a dog sitter! St Kilda is one of my favourite spots in Melbourne!! I also love getting out into nature so your next stop also looks great! Great photo's too! :-) x

  6. It was really great at both places. I liked that the 2nd one saved us a lot of money because we had nowhere to spend it. HA!
    Have you ever thought about house swapping. I'm considering it with my friend's in Melbourne for next time. They have all the kid stuff we need so it would be an easy swap I think.

  7. @Dani Netherclift I thought the river would be super cold as well, and it was a perfect temperature. You gotta get back to the children's garden. It's one of those things hey - when you live somewhere great it's easy to forget the fun tourist stuff to do. I like when people visit Newcastle because then I get to show them my favourite places and re-discover them at the same time.

  8. @Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me What's a warm summer day with out watermelon. My son had his fair share. He would not stop eating it and it was not our food contribution. Whoops.

  9. @Jody at Six Little Hearts It's hard to remember to bring all the food with you for a secluded cabin holiday. I could not believe all the details that go into meal planning and shopping for that kind of trip. WOW! But it is relaxing when you're there. Wish we had a dishwasher though.

  10. @Leanne Shea Langdown Thanks! I thought I had gone a little overboard with the photos but they tell the story

  11. I love that you did both extremes for your holidays. I couldn't choose because I love both, can I do both like you did?

  12. @Malinda I would do both of them again. I do want to write the cabin owner and let them know that a new oven and TV would not go astray there. ha! After all it's not camping if you're in a cabin so why not have the perks of a working oven?

  13. Little bit city / little bit country = perfect holiday! x

  14. Two very different but great in their own way holidays. I would love either at the moment!! Even though holidays are now over! Looks like a blast! x Aroha (for #teamIBOT)

  15. Oh both of those holidays sound great. I can't believe how clear the water in the creek is too!

  16. What gorgeous photos! Your kidlets are adorable!

  17. Looks like you had the best views in town for New Years Eve! Amazing. I love both the city and getting away to the wilderness. The contrasts compliment different sides of us.

  18. Yes you do have to be picky with who you holiday with and are friends with. What a lovely selection of photos!

  19. I have to say my favourite holidays are city holidays because I live in the country. Mind you, those pics at the Barrington Tops looked lovely. I used to holiday there a lot as a child as my dad's family are all from Scone. That apartment in Melbourne looks tops. I could easily live in Melbourne. I remember the days of stopping the car for one of us to get in the back to deal with screaming/crying child. I miss and don't miss those days. x