#1437 Melbourne Monopoly

I was so excited to come home with the tattered and old board game.

It came from the depths of my parents’ garage, and the game in question was Monopoly.

I had played it oh so many times in my childhood, and I planned to again… with my family, introducing it to a newbie in baby girl.

But then today while clearing out a cupboard, I came across MORE board games, and realised…

I had a newer version – Melbourne Monopoly.

Years ago for Christmas I had gotten it from Hubbie when the special city edition was released. I was so excited then…

But never played it! Never even tried to look at it…

‘Til tonight!

20200121_204913

Monopoly was on the cards alright. We didn’t play until someone was bankrupt (baby steps for baby girl) pulling the pin early because hey, the game takes sooo long anyway… but we already had our first little hissy fit.

Baby girl didn’t want to pack the cards away, wanting to keep the pink strip of cards… Because PINK.

The strip in question? It includes iconic spots like the Chapel Street precinct and the Emporium in Melbourne.

Of course. It had to be shopping related.

#1432 The fun play centre

A fun play centre… that’s a bit of a tautology isn’t it? Using two words of the same meaning in one sentence… that’s also like saying ‘a happy sunny day’ (of course a sunny day should be happy!) or ‘the long Monday.’

DUH.

But you can temporarily excuse my repetitiveness, because the play centre in question that we went to today actually has the word ‘Fun’ in its title… the brand new Funtopia in Carrum Downs.

Baby girl and I met her cousins and their Mum down at this brand spanking new place 25 minutes from home for a school holiday catch up… us and every other person in Melbourne it seemed. It was so busy we had to wait 20 minutes for entry at the corner café, and then it really did seem like everyone was there, when baby girl and I spotted a former school classmate of hers there as well.

This play centre is the latest player on the block, hence why it was peaking and packing. Despite the busy-ness it is a very well-organised machine, as the staff were all onto it, as well as being extremely friendly, so triple points there.

The interesting point of difference for this new venue are the Aussie landmarks on display. There is a surf patrol play area, one dedicated to the Australian outback, Flinders Street station, the MCG, as well as…

The Australian Grand Prix track.

20200116_131733

Yep. For real that is a Monash Freeway sign you see there. I may have escaped from it since the end of work, but it’s now even following my daughter as she steps on the pedal.

It was a great day, and a terrific way to keep the kids super busy and satisfied on yet another school holiday day.

 

#1429 Sharing the beach love

Okay, so it’s not MY beach. But when your friends visit you from across town and ask for a beach-playdate-destination-recommendation, you kinda feel like a part of you is being exposed, on show for all to see.

I was pleased, because it was a pretty perfect beach day.

Still, sunny, but with some cloud cover at times. The water was mild. The kids had shallow waters.

Us Mums were (mostly) happy. Kids make that sentence ‘mostly.’ 🤣

20200113_145728

But it wasn’t just the fun and frivolity of being on sand, or wading on water that made today fun and totally chillax-worthy.

I felt there was a lot of meaning attached to the day. Sure we were on the beach and all, but I couldn’t help thinking of how we had come to the beach that day.

I was thinking of friends, and friendship, A LOT. It was two of my oldest friends that I was with today. They with their brood, me with mine. And it had nothing to do with watching the kids play, fight, argue over who had the body board next or lie in the water and float, things we used to imagine way back when in high school when we’d say to one another that our kids would be friends just as we were.

It was more about the ‘time.’ That all-too-important commodity that everyone argues they have little to none of. I was thinking of how we were all there on the beach, dedicated to the task of spending time together, our kids having fun together, while there were so many other things in our life distracting us, so many other things we could do, and so many other places we could be.

But we chose to be there.

20200113_142114

It was humbling. It was heart-warming. When someone chooses you to be the place they spend their time with, it is something special. In a world where the word ‘busy’ flies out of our mouths all too often, it was a day where we chose each other, and in doing so made one of the best sacrifices of time and best decisions possible:

20200113_145457

Because we made memories for not only us, but THEM. ❤🏖

#1427 Saturday Night In no. 8

A Saturday night in, but a loud, passionate and fun one with the best company.

It can get a little crazy.

It can get a little noisy.

And it can get a little rowdy, but that’s how things are when we combine, us with sis and bro-in-law, and best man and fam.

The kids will be running around the house at full speed, (and I don’t know how they don’t collect themselves on corners more often) flying past us adults gathered around the kitchen island, clicking glasses and listening to the latest tune selected that is blasting out of the portable speaker.

It’s love.

No really, it is. We were singing “That’s Amore” with booming voices, swaying to and fro and laughing at ourselves.

“When the world seems to shine

Like you’ve had too much wine

That’s amore.”

It sure is. ❤🍷🥂🍻🎶

#1426 The city trip

We easily could have had a crap day.

We had a few difficult starts that could have turned us sour.

Like the train station parking.

There wasn’t any.

As it was we couldn’t take our regular line into the city because there were replacement buses at certain stops…

And if you have ever had to take a replacement bus in, you will understand why we never ever want to take a replacement bus EVER AGAIN.

So we tried to jump on another train line.

But every car park was full.

We were on holiday time… but the rest of the world was not.

It was a Friday you see. Business hours applied.

We went to one station, couldn’t find parking, before driving up to the next one trying to get lucky.

We did this at three stations before I said “let’s just drive in.”

I remembered the car park I’d gone to with baby girl when we had our Andy show for the last school holidays.

And we just happened to take the scenic route there.

Boy did it bring back memories.

We were driving along Beach Rd in St Kilda, and I was looking at the palm trees, at the houses facing the water…

AND IT HIT ME.

I remembered going there with Hubbie way before baby girl was around, and how we’d look up at the houses and admire them saying “imagine living here by the beach? Imagine that?”

Well we didn’t live by that beach, but now we lived close to a beach.

20200110_120928

All of a sudden our unplanned drive in was becoming a whole lot more.

We arrived at our car parking destination about 2 hours from when we set off. All the pausing and going from one station to the next and then looking for parking had taken ages.

We could have been cranky. We could have been pissed. Instead we stepped out of the old building, so known to us, and went ‘ahhh’ as the humidity of the day hit us and we spied THAT familiar street.

Lygon street. Our old stomping ground.

Oh wow. We were walking and telling baby girl everything. “Mummy and Daddy used to come here all the time… we used to go there… then we would go there… we’ve been there… look that’s changed!”

It was amazing as all the feelings came flooding back. It was a place that at one time in our life we frequented like twice a week… then it changed to once. LOL. We went there so much the trip there was permanently engrained in our minds. The twists and turns of the street, the best parking spots, and who did the best pasta and steak.

(Not necessarily from the pricey side, and if you know Lygon street you know which side of the street that is 😉 )

We stopped to eat lunch at a place we had before, and looking up and down at the greenery on either side of us, I grew misty-eyed.

20200110_125943

I had a revelation.

I even said it aloud: “I could see myself living here.”

Hubbe was shocked. It was a big thing for me to say that. Me, SmikG, so rapt with the beachside that I couldn’t imagine anywhere else.

I clarified… “I love where we live… but one day, maybe in 20 years, I could imagine living here.”

The memories. Oh the MEMORIES! Even sitting at that table, I was reminded that we had sat at that very café and at that very table and had a coffee, right before going on a little trip together pre-baby girl… I reminded Hubbie and he said “Yes, I remember!”

“Where were we going again?”

After throwing out some names which weren’t right, he said it was at a spot on the Peninsula.

FACE PALM. Where we live NOW.

The symmetry was freaking me out.

Lygon Street made me feel right at home. From the bear-shaped pizza for baby girl and the handmade gnocchi for me that melted in my mouth, I was in heaven. I’ve always said I was Italian in another life. I am more than confident of it after today.

We shared a coffee after our tram trek into the city-centre, where I had the most delicious and iconic Melbourne themed chocolate…

20200110_142212

Before we went to where we had planned to all along.

A children’s theatre show.

It was Room on the Broom, a production based off the iconic Australian children’s book. It was a present to baby girl for Christmas after we saw how enthralled in the book she was last year… and so that was the point of our whole trek in.

We did so much before that to get there, and it had been an adventure.

The show in itself was another great adventure.

20200110_150037

But then like so many times before, shit hit the fan.

Baby girl wanted merchandise. A tiny $40 stuffed toy witch, or a $25 stuffed toy cat.

I shouldn’t even mention the money. The money doesn’t matter. It was the principle.

She has LOADS of stuffed toys. Do you think she plays with them?

Noooooooooooooooooooooo.

She started the hysterics. The tantrum built. Cries and shrieks. “No I want it!” Stamping of the foot. It is almost hilarious if it ISN’T happening to you.

We’d done so much to get there. Spent so much. Travelled so far.

And now THIS.

I looked outside the open doors as she cried behind us. People crowded through the foyer, some looking over and others dealing with their own demanding brood.

I could see it – gone was the humidity that had enveloped me during my delicious Pomodoro gnocchi as I sweated it out at 1pm…

Because now at 4pm, it was windy and raining and people were getting drenched outside.

I put my foot down figuratively, told her “NO!” and stomped outside.

And instead of –

“But how the witch wailed

And how the cat spat

When the wind blew so widely

It blew off the hat.” – 

It was –

“How baby girl wailed 

And how her Mum spat

As the wind blew so widely

and her Mum yelled ‘that’s that!'”

LOL.

She cried as we pulled her along through the rain, pelting down on us as we ran towards our tram stop.

“You don’t need another stuffed toy!”

“Yes I do!”

“No you don’t!”

“Yes I do!”

“No you don’t!”

And as we ran, our feet sploshing through puddles and water sinking through our sandals, our arguing turned into banter, and the water on her face was suddenly from the rain, not her tears, as baby girl started to laugh.

“Yes I do!”

We got some much appreciated shelter from a woman holding an umbrella as we waited to cross the road, and within moments, all was well again.

The wild weather could have thrown us off.

The tantrum, the crying and yelling could have put us in a real sour mood.

But it didn’t.

And all of a sudden, we were full circle in our feelings again. 🙂

It was one of those weird days where it was a little bit of everything, but mostly a lot of fun and crazy.

We didn’t let anything unexpected throw us off our main task of having fun, whether it was a long drive, no parking, wild weather or a demanding 6 year old…

Our task was to make memories, with the added bonus of reminiscing past memories.

It was a happy day. ♥

 

 

 

 

#1425 Mills Beach Love no. 3

We timed our beach visit for the warmest part of the day.

It was all about the body board today.

20200109_153853

We clearly need a bigger one for baby girl. Nonetheless, she held on tight, shrieked with joy, and had 75 litres of water thrown at her face as Hubbie and I took turns pulling her through the water.

A hell of a workout, but lots of fun.

And Mills Beach Love. 😍❤🏖🌅

#1419 The Pool

Gratitude of the day?

THIS.

20200103_194300

Sis and bro-in-law have a pool.

Oh, it’s not just the splashing and jumping and swimming with loved ones that is AWESOME.

(True, that is awesome enough all on its own).

But tonight most of us got over-excited and made paper planes to sail over the length of the pool against the night sky, to see whose would travel furthest.

I love our random nights together. In a year it won’t matter if we dont remember whose plane made it furthest.*

All that will matter is the memories. ❤

*Baby girl, care of Hubbie 😉