#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!

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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.

#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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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. ♥

 

 

 

 

#1321 Amazing cuz, Amazing Andy

It’s been a real quiet first week of school holidays .

Some cafe stops. Playground visits. Lots of groceries and stay-at-home days.

That all changed today.

We went out. BIG TIME.

We went to the city, to watch…

The ‘Andy’s Amazing Adventures’ Show!

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Not only was it great to be able to watch the show, and see this man come to life on stage that baby girl (and I!) have watched on TV soooo many times before… but it was gifted to us by my cousin, who *ahem*, works in a field that seems to have a lot of perks!

But no, it didn’t stop there. As we arrived to the show, we were led through a side door and waited in this narrow grey corridor with pipes overhead and ladders on the side, until, guess who walked around the corner?

ANDY, HIMSELF!!!! Super star moment! 😲🤗🤩

I swear, baby girl is sooo lucky. She has met so many of her fave stars, she is gonna grow up thinking that this is normal. Oh man, darling, it is not. We posed for photos with him before going outside to our seats, which were also smashing thank you very much.

Baby girl was looking up and around and saying she wanted to sit on the upper levels, and she spied the antique balconies of the Athenaeum theatre… cuz and I were like “trust us, these seats are better!” *stalls*

Ahh, kids.

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The show was brilliant. There were plenty of things to make the parents laugh, and being Andy it was super educational while still a ball of fun.

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Baby girl walked away grinning from ear to ear, and funny as it may be, though we don’t get to see my cuz as often as we like… she ain’t ever forgetting him after this event! 😄😜🤣

Ahh cuz. Love you. ❤❤❤

 

 

 

#1151 Conversations with our girl

At the end of the night Hubbie and I swapped cute exchanges we’d had with baby girl today.

I had called Hubbie whilst driving home from the city.

RING RING.

“Hello Mama.”

“Hi honey! How are you?”

“Good.”

“That’s good. What did you do today?”

“I’ve been colouring in sooo much.”

“Oh honey, my sweetheart, that’s good.”

“Tato’s in the shower.”

“Oh ok. Well can you tell Tato, Mama will be home after 7. Ok?”

“TATO! MAMA WILL BE HOME AFTER 7!”

😆😆😆

(A just audible ‘ok.’)

“Thanks honey. I’m gonna hang up now, ok?”

“Ok.”

“See you soon. Love you honey.”

“Love you. Bye.”

A phone call with her when Hubbie didn’t have to step in? Now that was a first 🙂 💗

Hubbie then told me later that he had been admiring her, and said to her “Mama and I are so proud of you, we love you so much.”

And the curious cat that she is, asked “why are you so proud of me?”

Hubbie was prepared for this. These are the moments when you shine. You rehearse them so that you don’t get caught out, you have the right answer… and not because there is any lie in the response. Hell no. More so, because girls get told all the time that they are pretty. Boys are applauded for being strong and fast… girls for being cute and darling.

We don’t like that.

He began.

“Well, we are proud of you because you are caring, kind-hearted, fun, clever, you have a beautiful nature…” he went on a bit more, without making any mention of her appearance.

When he stopped she paused and said “Thank you Tato! I will remember that!”

Awwww.

I sure hope you do our sweet girl. You are all that and so much more. 😍😍😍

#1105 Stepping into a different space

It’s good to take yourself out of the box.

To move out of your comfort zone. You might be fearful, feel anxious, stressed or even overwhelmed by it.

Hell, you might even encounter road closures and swarms of people as you go out to seek ‘it.’

The point of difference. Something beautiful to look at. Somewhere beautiful to be in.

Mine wasn’t so severe today… the dramas. But I still had to beat traffic, event-based road closures and never-ending crowds to get there.

I was sure glad when I got there.

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It was so light. So pretty. Spending the afternoon with bestie made it all the more magical and nostalgic.

Great conversation. Like minds. Different lives. Unified time.

Bound by sweet treats and scrumptious tea. 🙂

It was great to get out of the daily grind, and into a different space.

There is so much to explore out there, and I think this year will be the year for it.

♥♥♥

#977 A royally indulgent afternoon

If I hadn’t been under the weather today, I wouldn’t have spent so much time in front of the TV.

I mean, it is the only time that I do. Even when I’m sick and I’m lying on the couch, I have to repeatedly remind myself that I can’t be productive in the face of illness, so that guilt doesn’t take a permanently comfortable spot too close to me.

I had to content with those feelings today as I watched the royal couple, Harry and Meghan, arrive in Melbourne and begin their journey around our fair and highly liveable city.

Oh, it was glorious viewing. Had I been healthy, I actually would not have seen much at all. And if I had, I would have felt terrible about it. But alas… the timing of my body going into shut-down mode was perfect.

I actually, really truly LOVE this Royal couple. They are the BOMB.

And yes… I am actually glad for my aches and pains today. Funny that.

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Photo by Church of the King on Unsplash

#920 The Real-life Zoo

Today was our first proper touristy day in Tasmania, travelling around and discovering the scenic sights, and tranquil sounds of this heart-shaped island.

We drove to Richmond, far removed in place and style from the town of the same name we know back in ol’ Melbourne town – this was a historic village in the most picturesque of settings, with buildings and houses dating to as far back as the 1800s.

It was a beautiful place to wander around in.

And although splendidly serene, the excitement didn’t kick in until we drove another 8 minutes through fields and pastures, to a Zoo.

ZooDoo.

Now THIS, was a zoo. Or you know what, maybe it wasn’t, as it was such a naturally occurring environment, that it was probably as far removed from those so-called touristic places where animals are hard to find, hidden in their sleeping corners and bored by tourist antics to get them doing something, anything.

This was the real deal. What a zoo, is expected to be, but never isn’t.

It was unreal, because as we jumped on the tour bus, we thought “ok, this should be ok…”

OK? OK? It was amazing!

We got to feed emus, and pat zebras and camels whose heads were literally coming into the open bus to get more food from the keepers!

It was as interactive as you could get.

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The appreciation for the simple things, the getting back to nature, to animals, to wildlife and to childlike happiness, has set the bar high for day 1! It was a gorgeous day, and at the apparently Wintery temperature of 13 degrees, well the sun was out and saying screw you to the forecast, from the sunshine-y views opposite the animal park:

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Just magical ♥