It's just a life, but its all mine and I love it!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A Day Out in Melbourne

When my company announced that we were closing for an extra week at Christmas this year I was privately a little miffed. That was back in August. Here and now in January I am over the moon to be still off and enjoying time with my kids in the sunshine.
Hubby has had to go in part of the time which means I was plus energetic kids and minus car. I wanted to do something different with them and largely unplanned our day ended up looking like this.
Walk up hill to bus stop, bus to local station, train to city, chocolate crepes, buy late Christmas prezzie for hubby, tram down to South Bank, steam boat on the Yarra, pizza, ice cream, National Art Gallery, tram back to Flinders, train back to local station, bus back to top of hill, walk back down hill.
It was fab. The kids love using public transport (because they don't often have to) and it extends the trip making it into a real adventure for them. All for the price of a day ticket for Melbourne public transport.

The crepes weren't planned but Melbourne is great like that, we saw a little shop in an alley way and ducked in on impulse. We took them to Queen Victoria Village where the centre is unexpectedly an open air square of grass with oversize tables around it, and a Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree in Queen Victoria Village
Next was Miniman Js first every trip on a tram! We went down to Flinders Street. I love being in this area, always so bustling and busy. Makes you feel full of energy. The kids will sit and watch the view from the bridge for as long as I let them.

The plan was to go up the Eureka Tower, the kids had been given the choice of that or a ride on the steam boat. We had to go past the steam boat to get there. A few minutes later I'd spent $20 on tickets for the three of us to go on the steam boat. The lure was just too much for the kids.

We had a couple of minutes to wait so we sat on the dockside watching the river. I also had a few little toy cars handy in my bag which I find an incredibly handy stand by in many situations. In fact they're probably the reason I'm still mostly sane.

Playing With Cars on the Dockside
The Grower is a lovingly restored steam boat that we take half hour trips on quite often. Its $10 for me and $5 for the kids which I think it pretty reasonable. The commentary is easy to listen to and usually quite funny. Its a fun and relaxing way to see Melbourne, not to mention a good way to take a sneaky break for half an hour! They also drop you back off at your starting point if that's your preference. There are some other boats but this one has always charmed me.

The Grower - Restored Steam Boat on the Yarra
We grabbed pizza at a local food hall for lunch. There are lots of good restaurants here (Southbank) but they'd be wasted on my mini men, and on my wallet so $12 bought as much pizza as we could eat and we sat on a public bench to eat it. The kids enjoyed watching the bike riders and skateboarders whizz by.

Finally I decided to push my luck and head for the National Art Gallery which is only a stone's throw away. To my great surprise and pleasure we spent a happy hour in there before I heard 'my legs are bored'. I was very proud of my two mini men. They actually liked some of it!

After that we only needed to reverse our journey and chatter about what we had seen and done.

It was a very simple day out. We could have cut the cost simply by taking a packed lunch so next time I will, but even so we made a lot of memories by making a special day out of some everyday events. :-)

Enjoying the Train Journey Home

Happy New Year! - Blue Skies and Silver Linings

Does the sky seem blue this morning?

The birds more tuneful?

Usually I'm a bit of a humbug about the whole new year thing but I woke up on the 1st of January 2013 with a extra feeling of lightness.

This could definitely be due to the gorgeous sunny morning here in Melbourne. It is almost certainly something to do with the lie in till 9 am!!! afforded to me by my two minimen (courtesy of taking them to watch the family fireworks here in Melbourne). It's also helped along by the good feelings left over from the casual and happy BBQ we enjoyed at a friend's house beforehand. Oh and don't forget the whole week my work is closed for this year. Lots to be happy about and all that has helped. But honestly, I really feel this is going to be a good year!

Still, I can't bring myself to destroy a New Year's Resolution I made when I was 8. I was hunting for one I could keep and decided 'never to make a New Year's Resolution' would be an easy life long one. Not the most useful maybe but habits are hard to break and I'm kinda superstitious about it now.

So instead I have chosen a couple of words that I would like 2013 to reflect.

Frugal and Light.

Frugal as in not throwing away money, no extremes, just a healthier way to live and more awareness of making, remaking and simple fun.

Light as in light-hearted. Greet problems with a smile and an open mind. Find that silver lining!

So whatever your words are, wishing everyone a happy 2013!