Escape

Alice Springs sees a mass exodus over the Christmas/New Year period with all most everyone heading to a beach. Being smack bang in the centre of Australia, Alice happens to be the closest town to EVERY beach in Australia!  It has been a number of years since we left Alice at Christmas time, so this year we packed everything up and headed south to spend Christmas at Apollo Bay and enjoy some quality beach time.

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The water at Apollo Bay is always freezing and Zelda did not take to it at all. In fact, one day she gave her self a sponge bath from a bucket of water on the sand rather than step into the water! Apollo Bay has the added bonus of having what feels like the coldest weather in Australia. So a 20 degree day, if cloudy, can feel freezing but if sunny can feel so so warm. It was rather nice to be there while Alice Springs sweltered through a week of 40+. How did you spend the Christmas break? Hope it was wonderful & am wishing you a very happy new year xx

Melbourne and Apollo Bay Family Holiday

It has felt like we haven't been on holidays in a long time, which isn't true as we were in the States in January, we had an overnight get away to Glen Helen in May  and we went to Uluru for the August long weekend, but when you live in Alice Springs you just need to get to the coast every now and then. We took the opportunity at the end of October to go to Melbourne, see Elmo's stage show and then spend a few days on the coast.

Melbourne

Stay

 We stayed in Tyrian Apartments on Johnston Street in Fitzroy. This was central to our family and a short tram ride to the city. On the way home we stayed at the Larwill Studio in Parkville. The Larwill is on the edge of the city, on way to the airport, but also close to trams, North Melbourne and has a huge playground next door. I loved both places and would certainly stay again.

Travel  

Trams are so easy to use, but if you have a pram, make sure that you are able to lift it and the baby up steps as not all Trams have disabled/pram access. You can't buy Myki (payment) cards on the tram so Nick's sister picked up some for us before we arrived, you can purchase them from any 7 Eleven.

See NGV John Olsen Exhibition in the Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square - it's on until February 12 & includes a room where you can sketch your own inspired works - Lulu loved this.

Play

There is a huge playground at Art Play behind Federation Square. If you are there Wed-Sun there are art activities for children at Art Play . I had never heard of Art Play until we stumbled across the playground. I'll be checking their website and booking Lulu into their activities for our next visit to Melbourne.

Eat

We loved Po Boy Quarter on Smith Street in Fitzroy

Apollo Bay

Stay

In these beautiful townhouses in Marengo

Travel

We hired a car from the airport - the best way to get there

See

The Beach! Marengo is good for waves, Apollo Bay is flat for the little kids. As you can see, Zelda wasn't really into the beach time as much as we were.

Play

At the Apollo Bay town park on the foreshore. Hug the big koala at the Bakery

Eat

So many yummy places to eat. We recommend La Bimba - best oysters, Scorched Grill - yummy burgers, La Casalinga - best homemade pasta, the tasting room at the pub - the only place you can get food between 2pm & 6pm, but also great cheese platter.

Happy Holidaying

Christmas Beach Holiday 2014

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Manyana Beach, NSW

After

Christmas at my Aunt's

we headed further south to Bendalong. I had booked us a cabin at the

Bendalong Point Tourist Park

way back in May and my parents had booked an unpowered site for their solar powered caravan.

We had never been there before but we wanted to spend a little more time with my parents & my mum loves the beach, as do I, so a caravan park holiday was perfect. The park had a splash park and large jumpy pillow, and there was a playground on the beach, so Lulu was unsure exactly what activity she should do first!

We spent our mornings driving to Milton for lovely coffee and breakfast and our afternoons at the beach. It was so restful and relaxing. It all feels a little like a dream now that we're back here at work. Till next time.... Links to our favourite spots below.

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Beach ready with her running shoes

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Photo by Lulu

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Kangaroos came right up to the cabin - I couldn't help but think how lucky they were to live here

Stay

-

Bendalong Point Tourist Park

Beach

- Bendalong Point & Manyana

Eat

-

Pilgrims Cafe

, Milton, Fish & Chips on the beach, Bendalong, the best chilli chorizo sausages you will ever taste from Ted's Quality Meat at Milton, the best sourdough baguettes from

Flour Water Salt

, Milton

Shop

- Milton had so many cute stores to look in, we were impressed with Milton, to say the least, can you tell?

Apollo Bay Holiday 2014

Our holiday - walks/run into town, playing at the park, brunch, naps, reading, beach, swim, bath, dinner, Twin Peaks, bed, repeat.
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Other noteworthy holiday records:
- Nick completed a 100km mountain bike race
- I started & finished a novel called Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Do not believe the things Hemmingway said about her & read the novel, you won't regret it.
-Lulu is an avid climber and she climbed to the top of that climbing frame by herself! Amazing.

Our Apollo Bay cafe favourites are:
The Bay Leaf - yummy breakie
Wickens - great coffee
La Bimba - the paella - amazing!

Beach Wedding

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Last Thursday we flew to Adelaide, spent the evening with my parents and then the next day we left Lulu there & drove to Port Lincoln BY OURSELVES! No Lulu singing in the back, no Lulu crying in the back, no Lulu spewing in the back, just us. It was wonderful. Roadtrips used to be our thing back before Lulu came along so it was wonderful to rekindle that. Chatting, podcasts, music and the open road. Port Lincoln is about 7.5 hours from Adelaide and the drive went by so quickly.

I was sick for a few days before we left and I wasn't much better on the weekend. I missed out on catching up with one of my closest friends as I was in bed all Saturday, right up until about an hour before the ceremony. I also have to admit that we didn't see the bride walk down the isle! We got a little lost on the way to the ceremony & arrived at 4:00pm, the time the wedding was supposed to start & we all know that brides are late, right? Well not this bride, she was on time and at the 'alter' when we arrived! A little embarrassing for us, especially since we hadn't met the bride yet. The groom is an old school friend of Nick's. I doubt the bride noticed, but I'm sure others did. Have you ever been late to a wedding? I'll be ensuring we arrive super early at any future weddings!

Above are a few snaps from the wedding:

1. the ceremony

2. I just love that the bride & groom are kissing off to the side in this photo of the boys!

3. Nick & I - my dress is Maurie & Eve

4. more of the ceremony location - just perfect

5. Nick and Nick giving the 'best man' speech - Nick is wearing a gingerbread heart around his neck. The bride is from Germany & her bridesmaids from back home smuggled the gingerbread into Australia. Apparently there is a German tradition of 'selling' the gingerbreads at the wedding to raise money for the honeymoon! Not only that, there is also a German tradition that at the hen's party, the bride has to sell tiny bottles of schnapps and tiny gingerbreads to raise money for the hens do. The bridesmaids also managed to get through customs the tiny bottles of schnapps (spirits), labelled with the name of the bride & groom and the wedding date for the bride to 'sell'. The bride raised $120!!

6. the first dance

You may be wondering how Lulu fared while we were gone? She had a wonderful time with her grandparents, making play doh, going to the park, swimming at the beach. Success!

Running the Great Ocean Walk

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On one of my morning runs I found this section of the Great Ocean Walk. The track follows the top of the cliffs, dipping onto sections of beach in different stages, then rising up again along the cliffs. The track goes for a whopping 94km. I only took in about 4km of it. It was such a treat running along the track while being able to enjoy such beautiful scenery. The days I took this track were overcast and one day it was even a little drizzly. Such a lovely change from Alice Springs heat. 

Speaking of Alice Springs heat. We arrived home yesterday and it was overcast and raining, but not only that, we woke up this morning and it is still raining! Extremely unusual. Looks like we brought the cooler weather back with us.
 

Baby's first beach day!

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The beach was a big part of my life growing up. My mum loved the beach & took my brother & I any chance she had. I love the feet of the sand in my toes and bobbing up and down in the waves. The ocean has that way of making you feel really small. It immediately commands your respect and attention and you have to work with it to make sure you stay safe. I'd been  looking forward to introducing Lulu to the beach. I want her to have the same love and respect for the ocean that mum & I do. 

As expected she was a little hesitant at first, but over the past weekend two other little girls (both 2 years old) were staying with us and seeing them play and enjoy the water made Lulu realise that it wasn't scary and that she did really want to be wading her feet & running in & out of the shallow water like they were. The running she can't do but wading her feet, we can certainly help her with that! 

Clouds, sand and sea

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With temperatures over 40C since New Years, it's a refreshing change to be in Apollo Bay. Yesterday was cloudy and cool, today is warmer but still 20C cooler than Alice Springs. Delightful. Our days have been filled with coffee, tea, sand, sea, playgrounds, the paper (there's time for the paper!!) and exercise. All the things holidays should be about. I'll be blogging every few days or so over our holiday, so be sure to check back in.