Exploring the beach

I recently spent the weekend in a little cabin up at Diamond Beach. Waking up near the water with salt air swishing through the old curtains was such a treat. We spent three days clacking around on the linoleum in our thongs so our feet didn’t get black on the bottom. We read books, went for little walks, played Scrabble and grazed on delicious lovingly-made food with my mum’s incredible slices as the cherry on top.

Little H got to do plenty of swimming which she absolutely loved and I got to take some moments to myself while the bub spent time with family. 

In the mornings sunshine would gently light up our verandah with warm pools of yellow-white. Flowers and foliage adorned most of the little cabins and houses around about and the light-play was lovely at the beginning and end of the day.

At dusk we walked along the beautiful beach and I took photos as the sun shot its last rays across the sand. The light made the sand glitter. It cast long shadows behind anything tall enough to stand in its path. And while it lingered I ran along in stops and starts discovering little details with my camera. I miss the beach. We used to live a lot closer when I was young. So for me, the textures, sounds and sights of the coast are full of nostalgia. For the little one, they’re exciting and new. I love that. Nature has this constant presence that defies aging, renewing itself every second. Always old, always new.

Tales of a mini break – Part 5

This post is approximately three whole months late. I am aware of this and yet I feel compelled to finish what I had started with my mini break series. This is after all the very last part.

Today was the last day of our minibreak – sad face 😦 It was a crazy weather day but we made the most of it, doing all the last-minute things we wanted to before our time was up. In the morning we visited the Chinese Gardens in Darling Harbour. This was something Mr wanted to do and I happily tagged along. Little did I know that it would be one of my favourite things we did while we were away. It was so peaceful! I loved that there was so much to look at – so many details – but when you wanted to, you could perch somewhere on a smooth rock or stone table and just soak up the calm atmosphere. I liked it so much I’m going to do a post just on the Gardens and fill it with pictures I took while we were there, yay! So that will come soon.

While we were at the gardens the weather was drizzly and humid. We were in shorts and shirts and happily snapping away in the dappled light while the rain held back. As soon as we left though, things started to get a little more hectic.

Rain was imminent and the weather man was predicting a big storm. Unfortunately, I’d taken time the night before to book a visit to the Sydney Observatory. That would be awkward if we could only see storm clouds. Nevertheless, we decided to brave it and make the most of the day we still had.

Feeling like it was the right weather for a cuppa and a scone, we headed off to a little place my mum had once taken me, called The Tea Cosy. This place is so sweet and I recommend it to everyone. They freshly bake the most gorgeous fluffy scones. You can choose from a daily selection of scones, jams and teas. We sat upstairs on the little balcony for a while until the rain convinced us to shift inside where it was warm and dry.

tea cosy 4

tea cosy1

tea cosy3

It was so rainy my hair went kind of crazy and you can see here that my curls were fighting to spring out of my smoothed back ponytail. Crazy curls! It was a lovely little while sitting out there in the fresh rain-scented air though.

tea cosy 2

After wandering through The Rocks for the rest of the afternoon, we decided on a whim to get a fancy dinner on the harbour. This turned out to be a bit of a debacle as we booked through the Italian Village and showed up in the downpour only to be told we needed to be at a restaurant down the other end of the strip (Wolfies). Very confusing but we worked it out before we were completely soaked through. Dinner was nice. It was an expensive outing but it was fun I’ll admit. We felt pretty special perched right there on the water.

PicMonkey Collage

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After dinner, the rain had eased so we went walking around the quay a little until we needed to leave for the Observatory. Here are some touristy shots I took of our stunning quay. Man, I love living in Sydney!

boat in quay

bridge

opera house

The rain was gone, night had fallen and we needed to find our way up into the back of The Rocks for our Observatory tour. Even though we saw no stars, it was actually really fun and the staff were great. We spent some time learning about the universe, astronomy and Australia’s role in space exploration. Then we took a look at their recently updated planetarium – it was so cool! We also got to climb our way up into the old observatory domes and check out the two big telescopes they use. Here are a couple of shots from inside the domes. The old metal work above us was beautiful.

observ1

observ2

After a long and crazy day, we walked back to our apartment, watched some fireworks shimmer off the Westpac building next door and then snuggled into bed.

That was our minibreak in all its parts. It was only 5 days but we made the most of it and I’d love to do it again for sure. If you’re ever stuck on where to go for a break, never forget what’s on your own doorstep. Changing your perspective for just one week could be the un-holiday you really need. We loved looking at our city from another angle. It was enlightening and some of the best fun we’d had all year. Yay for minibreaks in the city! And yay for finishing a whole series on my blog!

H x

Tales of a minibreak – Part 1

The Mr and I are on a mini-break. It feels kind of sneaky because we’re on a holiday but we haven’t left the city. It’s kind of a staycation

We arrived here yesterday as weary workers in much need of a break from things. After we’d opened every cupboard and door, checked out the nooks and crannies of the place and got a bit of a happy mess going with our bags open and spilling out, we left the apartment to trundle about the city in search of Christmas decorations and other interesting things.

We lazily trekked through this side of the city, curling our way through bookstores, rain-soaked streets, a Dr Seuss exhibition and the good old ABC shop. I showed Mr the Strand Arcade and it was adorned with Christmas lights! They looked so beautiful and it was so nice to not only walk through pretty places like that but to take the time and look around, down and – most importantly – up… When you walk through the city, you do a lot of looking down and around but up? Up is where it’s at! The moody sky was framing building tops old and new. I saw strange sculptures, amazing modern architecture details and spots where old sandstone met steel and glass. It’s a whole other world up there.

After a relaxed dinner at Miss Chu’s we came back ‘home’ and, while it was still drizzling, headed down to float about in the spa for a little while. I loved the feeling of the cool air whisking up the steam around us. After we jumped out, we took a few minutes to try the sauna. No matter how old you get, it’s always fun to splash the cold water over sizzling hot rocks and watch the steam hiss up into the room. As we escaped back out into the cool, I breathed in deeply. Our mini-break had started and I was beginning to relax a little.