Racecourse Beach

We made a last minute decision last night to go down to the South Coast for the weekend – Elinor congratulated me on being “spontaneous”! Lucy stayed in Canberra – she’s house-sitting for Libby.

I drove the first part to Braidwood (where Jo stopped to visit the fabric shop) then Elinor drove down Clyde Mountain in the fog – had fish and chips for lunch at Bateman’s Bay…

then over to Racecourse Beach. We used to stay here when the kids were little, but haven’t been back for ten years or more.

Ben and I had an explore while the ladies had a rest, then we all had a swim in the pool, after which Ben made some friends in the playground – here he is organising a bunch of little kids on the bouncy castle…

I went for a lovely walk on the beach – enjoying the cool cloudy weather (we’ve had a record-breaking heat wave in Canberra this week, with four days over 40c).

Ben is off playing with a new friend. Elinor and Jo are lying on the bed – Elinor is reading “Rowan of Rin” to Jo while she crochets. And I’m editing photos and writing the blog…

(Several hours later),

Ben is still rampaging around the campsite with a bunch of new friends. I cooked a BBQ dinner, then went for a short twilight walk with Jo and Elinor.

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Melbourne Laneways

Another late start (after the late night last night) – then Jo and Elinor went shopping on hipster Brunswick Street, while I took Ben to ACMI (Australian centre for the moving image), which was full of interesting exhibits and activities –

here he is destroying Melbourne in virtual reality…

We all met up for a tour of interesting Melbourne laneways, starting with a lovely Vietnamese street-food lunch at Hardware Lane…

via funky Centre place…

and ending up with the street arts of Hosier Lane…

and AC/DC lane…

We’re now having tea at the ACMI cafe – Elinor is looking up “highest paid jobs”…

(Several hours later)

Had an adventurous dinner – a Japanese bbq, cooked on the table. Yummy!

We were all too full for ice-cream afterwards, so took the tram back to our flat (Elinor jogged instead and got back only seconds after the rest of us).

Played cards, then Jo, Ben and I went back to Lygon Street. The ice-cream shop had an immense queue, so we went to a different and deserted one across the road, which was just as good. Walked back.

Home tomorrow! Lucy won’t have the house to herself any more…

Arty Melbourne

Everyone (except me) slept in ’till very late!

We took the tram to Melbourne Uni, and had a wander through to show Elinor, who is considering going there in a couple of years.

Then took the tram down to the Queen Victoria markets…

Bought some excellent cheese, salami and some lively baguettes, hot from the oven, and took them down to the banks of the Yarra to eat…

Then we saw the spectacular Escher exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria…

Back to our flat for a rest, then over to the Botanic Gardens, where we are waiting for a twilight performance of Macbeth….

To Melbourne

An early start, swinging past Adam’s house, and off on the 8 hour drive to Melbourne. All very easy – lunch at a “very very nice” bakery in Horsham (the sign told us it was very very nice, so it must be true), and in to our apartment in North Carlton.

Ben and I walked into Lygon Street to get public transport cards, then we all caught the tram there for Italian dinner…

… Some excellent gelati (Jo recognise every bit as good as we had in Paris), and a spur-of-the-moment decision to see “Mary Poppins 2”, which was lovely!

Last days in Adelaide

Lucy flew back to Canberra on Wednesday – we had brunch at the art gallery, the women went shopping while the rest of us went to the museum, then Ben and I took Lucy to the airport while the rest did the art gallery in town.

Thursday was a scorcher – 42 degrees. We had a morning swim on the beach then headed over to Grandpa and Gail’s (air-conditioned) flat for lunch – and the kids had a swim in their indoor pool.

We went to Adam’s house for (take-away) dinner, and watched “Coco” on TV, then back to grannies house, where there was an amazing sunset…

…and a sweltering hot night.

Friday morning things started to cool down, thankfully. After a morning swim, Adam took us to a golf driving range…

Ben went back to Adam’s place while the rest of us started packing and getting the car ready for the return trip. Jo worked with Alison at decluttering some of her things.

Then into the town parklands where Elinor and Ben did the “tree climbing” – a new activity amongst the gum trees.

We drove over to Semaphore Beach for the markets, had goat curry for dinner, a windy walk along the jetty, then home.

Hahndorf and Hallet Cove

We drove up to the German-styled villiage of Hahndorf (Ben went to Adam’s house instead) where Jo caught up with her friend Helen,

while I wandered down the touristy main Street with Elinor, who was not impressed with how German it all was.

Then down to Hallett Cove for a picnic…

Ben, Alison and I went for a walk along the clifftops – everyone else drove around to pick us up.

Then back to Granny’s house where Elinor had a sunset swim.

New year’s eve

What an evening!

Adam took Ben and Elinor (and Kern and Sien) to the “Big Bash” cricket in town – but things went wrong when Kern got ill and vomited, so Jo and Rod had to go and pick him up and take him home.

Lucy, granny and I walked to Glenelg…

We saw a seal playing in the waves, and then saw the green flash as the sun set. Lovely twilight

then the 9.30pm fireworks from the pier…

Back home we caught up with Jo and Rod, played cards until Adam arrived back from the cricket, then we all went back to Glenelg for the midnight fireworks.