Holidaying Without The Firstborn

Dunsbourough 2018

Aah, for every long weekend that comes along, it feels like the whole of Perth drives down to enjoy the chilled out vibes of Dunsbourough!

Even though it gets a bit crowded and busy down there, I really do love it and I wish we could buy a place near the beach :)

We joined 5 others families, stayed with friends and “camped” on their property for a few days.

This trip was slightly different for us.

My 15 year old remained back in Perth and stayed with my parents, because he had to go to work! He just works in a cafe, but has to give 2 weeks notice of leave.

Part of me felt a bit sad and filled with regret, that my first born son wasn’t joining us. He IS still a kid. He should be doing stuff with his family. He should be going on family holidays. He has his whole life to work. He’ll never get his childhood back.

Buuut part of me knows that we have had many, MANY great family holidays together and we did just come back from a 4 week overseas family trip. Also he is a teenager… and although he wanted to stay home alone for 3 days (to which we said NO) staying with his grandparents gave him a nice taste of “freedom”. Kinda.

He survived. We survived. There were no parties. And our house didn’t burn down.

An excellent outcome!

Moore River 2018

Moore River 2018

6 months ago we returned from a 4 week camping trip to Central Australia… and after that, I swore I’d never go camping again!

Haha not really… we just made a conscious decision to NOT go away for a while.

I mean, staying at home is SO underrated these days.

Anyway, last weekend, we finally decided to break our no-camping drought to join a bunch of our friends to camp at Moore River (Guilderton Caravan Park).

Honestly, it wasn’t REAL camping, because the caravan park had lush green grass, lovely shade from trees, and super-amazing, shared facilities  – hello microwave, electric kettles and clean, hot showers!

We did lots of swimming, paddling, hanging on the beach, sand boarding, running, sunset bush walks, playing cricket, walking to the shops to buy ice cream, talking, chilling, reading the newspaper… it was the perfect.

We only stayed 2 nights, but it was truly relaxing – even with so many young kids running around.  There were 6 families in total (including 4 sets of twins!), all our good friends and I felt totally blessed to know such lovely people!

#blessedyo

A Helicopter Ride and Lunch in Dunsborough

Last weekend, 5 of my girlfriends and I went on a girls only weekend in Yallingup (beautiful coastal town in the South West).

We stayed in a lovely house, which belonged to one of my friend’s mum, with spectacular views overlooking the ocean.

Most importantly, we did a whole lot of NON-MUM things like:

– ZERO cooking.
– Ate cheese for dinner.
– Slept in.
– Winery lunch.

We also had a last minute helicopter ride before lunch!!?

Helicopter Ride, Dunsborough

My other friend’s brother-in-law is a helicopter pilot and owns a helicopter (as you do). He was in the area that weekend and wondered if we wanted a joy ride?!

It could only fit 3 passengers, so we split into 2 groups. My friend Lucy and I had to play “Scissors Paper Rock” to see who would sit in the front seat haha!

I won. But somehow her photos turned out so much better than mine, as I had a lot of reflection from all the glass.

Helicopter Ride, Dunsborough

We took off from Dunsborough and flew south, towards Gracetown on the coast. We went past Canal Rocks, Sugarloaf Rock, The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and over Dunsborough town.

Yup, it was pretty amazing!!!

Helicopter Ride, Dunsborough

I have been in a hot air ballon before (read my blog post here) and I’ve also had hands-on flying experience in a small airplane (blog post here – omg such a fun read, if I do say so myself).

This helicopter ride was much different. It was faster, noisier, we covered more area, I felt much more agile in the air, and I was able to see so much more. Because there was so much glass, I felt like my body was flying through the air. I felt closer to the ground and like I could reach out and touch stuff.

It was a once in a lifetime experience!

Helicopter Ride, Dunsborough

Amazing arial view of Canal Rocks!

This photo taken by my friend, on her iPhone.

The helicopter ride took about 30 minutes. I think it was long enough for me, as I was getting a bit motion sick at the end.

Cullens Winery 2017

After that, we drove over to Cullen Winery to enjoy a late lunch, dessert and coffee.

Then we went back to the house, where I sat back on the couch to read until sunset, while a few of my girlfriends went for a walk, and much later, we ate cheese for dinner haha.

It was such an awesome day! It was definitely one of those pinch me moments, where I was so thankful and grateful to all the lovely, generous and soul-healing people in my life! xxx

Cullen Winery 2017

Caving at Stockyard Gully National Park

Stockyard Gully Caves

Last month, we went camping near Jurien Bay (about 2.5 hour drive from Perth) with some friends and their kids.

We spent the day visiting some caves in the Stockyard Gully National Park… and did a little walk along a The Stockyard Gully Trail.

stockyaStockyard Gully Cavesrd-cave02

The first cave we saw was very cool. It was about 300m long, with a completely sand covered floor.

It was very easy for the kids/toddlers to walk through.

We all had head-light torches, which made it extra exciting. However at the start of the cave we didn’t let the kids turn on their torches, just to show them how human eyes can adjust to fading light and darkness.

It didn’t last long though, because the younger kids freaked out.

Stockyard Gully Caves

This is my teenager at the end of the first cave, with his “will you stop taking photos already” pose.

We had a 10 minutes walk to the second cave, which was also very cool.

(As shown in my top photo)

That was a lot toughed for little kids, as we needed to scramble over really big, and often sharp, rocks and narrow ledges.

The cave path didn’t go all the way through. We walked some way in until the ground got too wet and slippery, then we turned around and headed back.

It was a fun day out!

You’ll need a 4WD to access the caves. There is a proper car park, picnic benches, information boards, nice eco toilets, but no water.

More info about the Stockyard Gully Caves here.

Sunset at Sandy Cape Beach

Sandy Cape Beach, Jurien Bay

This was us, at our recent camping trip at Sandy Cape Beach, near Jurien Bay!

We had set up our tents, tables, gas stove, boiled some water, made a cup of tea, put out our camp chairs, cracked open the cheese and biscuits and sat back to relax. The kids had other ideas. They ran off to the beach and promised me they wouldn’t get wet.

I let them go, watching them climb up the sand dune, each flapping their arms in a tangled boyish run. They are all old enough to be left alone. They all can swim. There were other adults watching over them.

I knew that despite them saying that they wouldn’t get wet… they would. So I pulled out the towels from the car and draped it over their camp chairs. I’m such a good mum to my boys.

I pulled out my pots and pans, getting ready to make dinner in my camp kitchen. Chopping board, onions, sweet potato, steaks.

The sun set, the light all around me turned an exquisite golden peach. The sand dunes around me glowed orange. The sky began to turn on a spectacular gradient, from reds to pinks to purples to blues with a hint of green, if that’s even possible.

Ahhh, it was so beautiful!

What was I doing? It was standing next to a beach with the sun setting behind it, and I was chopping onions omg.

I grabbed my camera, climbed over the sand hill and found my kids.

Of course, they were in their shorts, in the middle of winter, swimming in the surf. Of course.