Earlier this month, we travelled to Melbourne to celebrate my Mother-in-law's sensational 60th birthday, and celebrate we did. There was beautiful food, wine, music, friends, family and everything else that goes along with a good party. It was the mother of all dinner parties to kick off her 'sensational cities of the world - once in a life time tour'. We were on the glorious Mornington Peninsula for nearly two weeks and everyday the kids played all day, we ate (all day), and it felt ever so good to be on holidays. Before Melbourne, we spent a few days at our River Nest and a few days in Cairns with my beautiful family. So much time away from routine did us all the world of good.
We returned home to Cape York only yesterday, a little more rushed than planed due to unexpected rain and rising rivers. Nearly a month since we left our home in the wilderness. It's always hard to return home from a holiday, especially when we live so far away from our loved ones - all in the name of 'work'.It feels odd to be back at the opposite end of the East Coast and away from 'civilisation'. The remoteness hits me as soon as I step out of the car. It's only day 2 at home and gee I miss our families. So today while I'm slightly home sick I will gently continue to unpack, and adjust to the silence while my heart sings to the memories we created on our recent trip away with my beautiful boys and all the wonderful family and friends we have in our life.
This year for our son's birthday, we were visiting family in Melbourne, so we gave Ba'il the choice of celebrating his 3rd birthday at either the Farm (Collingwood Children's Farm) or the Zoo. Without hesitation, he chose the zoo. It's only natural that a kid from the bush would want to visit animals at the city zoo. Maps in hand, and strollers loaded up with a picnic lunch, we set off for the day - keen explorers with big imaginations. Ba'il was surrounded by his cousins and family as he watched with eager eyes the movements of the elephants, tigers, lions and snakes (to name a few of his favourite). By the time we reached the exit, his eyes started to slowly close, and his head started to drop. He lasted until the very end, until he had finished marvelling in the magic of the animals big and small. As we packed the car and headed home for the afternoon, I couldn't quite believe that my baby was turning three the next day. Three years... where have you gone?
"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."
After nearly a week of cool days in Melbourne, the kids had a chance to remove the layers of clothes and enjoy the sunshine. The afternoon was spent splashing around their grandparents garden in the sunshine. Beautiful holiday moments.
We are on holidays! Hooray! I'm over indulging in sleeping in, cuddles with my boy, time with family and the ocean vistas that fill every window of the house. For the next five days, the lovely Palmers Hill Estate is our home. We will be celebrating my Mother-in-law's 60th birthday in this amazing colonial mansion. I've never been in a house so big (it sleeps 18 people). I love the squeaking floor boards, the window boxes, the sun room, the cool draft throughout the house, the big old fire places, the heated pool, and all the vintage styling details inspired by the ocean that is right at our doorstep. This is just such a treat, especially the lovely cool change in the weather and the fresh ocean breeze. I'm not sure how I'm going to face the Far North Queensland humidity when I return home, for now, I'll push it to the back of my mind. After the celebrations we will be going back to the family home, just up the road in Balnarring Beach to enjoy the last week of our time down here on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. We may even do a few trips to the city to enjoy some delicious food and check out a few antique centres! I'll be sure to keep the photos rolling over the next few weeks!
"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."
This week, a portrait of Ba'il with some of his cousins, his Daddy and his two Uncles. Uncle Beau (on the left) lives right next door to our River Nest, so we are fortunate to see him on our regular visits down from Cape York. Where as Uncle Clint (on the right) lives all the way down in Melbourne and hasn't had a chance to visit Far North Queensland since our wedding 5 years ago. A rare photo, sitting all together on the front deck of our River Nest. Bless.
Every time I visit our River Nest, I pinch myself, especially this visit. The wet season had transformed the landscape into it's full glory. The sound of the flowing river from the house was oh so soothing, the colours were so vibrant and every little stream, creek and dam was teaming with life and fresh water. This visit was a quick stop to see family before we jet off down to Melbourne for some family celebrations. This was the very first time we saw the magnificent effects of the wet season on our beautiful property. Lately I haven't had a moment to spare, between work and travel, I have spent my time catching up on cuddles, washing clothes and repacking my suitcase. A weekend at our River Nest was the perfect remedy to slow down and catch my breath before the next big adventure ahead. The cool mornings were prefect for sipping chai while I laid in the hammock, listening to the river run past our front door. As the sun came up I wondered around in my pyjamas taking photos of the every inch of the property. I dreamed the day away, imagining our paddock full of fruit trees, crops, animals, tree houses high up the river gums, cosy days with the pot belly burning, decorating our little cottage, holding artist retreats, having friends visit, and a busy kitchen of homemade goodness. One day... one day.... one day.... I kept telling myself. One day all this travel will come to an end, the demands of my job will slow, I will spend my days eating what we grow and living a simple life on our River Nest, with my family.