#567 Father’s Day Wine-ing time

I did good today.

Hubbie was rapt with his Father’s Day pressie.

It came on the back of him telling me a while back that he was seriously over the accumulation of things. I had to agree. We still have unopened boxes from our move, and I just want to go through them and cull what I can… and even then I will still have stuff that I have no proper home for.

Following on from a Facebook question from a member in a group I’m in, about kid-friendly wineries on the Peninsula, my ears immediately perked up and I formed a plan. I have been hanging to go to a winery in these parts since our move, and now with Spring upon us, and then the addition of ‘what to do for Father’s Day,’ I went through the list to see where we could go as an experience, rather than just get Hubbie a present for the day.

It was meant to be Hickinbotham. It was the first number I called from the list of kid-friendly wineries listed, and they were able to book us in for a set lunch.

Well, the weather was not Spring-like, not one bit. It was very windy, there was sudden rain at times, and it was cold.

But the winery, was wine-like. Authentic and vintage, relaxed and unpretentious. It was perfect.

And Hubbie LOVED it. Absolutely loved it.

And we kind of decided that experiences are the way to go. Yeah, sometimes you don’t mind a gift, and sometimes you even really want something really bad…

and then other times, you just want to splurge. And we did.

Hubbie is one fussy man, so to get points off him…

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was present enough.

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#564 Spa ‘me’ day

I have had the most splurgiest of splurgee splurge sessions today.

I went to the Peninsula Hot Springs.

For anyone that doesn’t know what the Peninsula Hot Springs are, they are a collection of thermal mineral waters that flow into pools and private baths in the Fingal location on the Peninsula, that make it the prime real estate of bathing, and other luxurious treatments such as massages.

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I not only bathed today. But I massaged. AND I ate.

It all started with the voucher I received from Hubbie for my birthday… last year. Yep, I am continuing my wait-’til-the-last-possible-second tradition of fulfilling a gift voucher by waiting until the last day possible to use it. And today I used it before its expiry date of tomorrow, so at least I’m being consistent.

Not due to lack of want, NO. I love the Peninsula Hot Springs. I’ve been there once before many many years ago, and now that we are locals and an approximate 30 minute drive away, I’d love to make this as common a luxurious tradition as humanly (and monetarily) possible.

For me it’s always been about the TIME. Finding time to do something for myself, and making sure baby girl is occupied or there is someone to look after her, and simultaneously trying to find ‘me’ time outside of ‘family’ time, because DON’T GET ME STARTED on Mum guilt…

So today I put Hubbie’s voucher to good use. I followed a lovely lady into a hut within the trees occupying this forest oasis, and had an hour-long Peninsula vine massage…

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Followed by a lunch in the Bath House café, where I sat unapologetically in my white robe, with only a pair of disposable knickers underneath, true story.

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Because nothing says relaxation like not removing your terry white robe to eat a very distinguished lunch menu. Tee hee hee.

And then I had about an hour to spare before kinder pick-up, so I went through the Bath House pools, intimate bathing spaces for those only 16+, and tried out some steaming hot baths, one of which was a mere 40-42 degrees Celsius.

Thin branching leaves and trees enveloped the entire Bath House area, so that it felt like a little private piece of watery heaven.

I had been all on my own, and it had been a day for me. I left feeling clear, fresh, rejuvenated, and seriously, those minerals had really changed me. They had done something to me internally, and I felt lighter for it.

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I felt all brand-new. And that is certainly something to be grateful for.

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#523 Meeting like minds

It’s been 9 months and 1 week since we moved here. A lot has changed in that time but also, very little.

On our first night we slept on solely the mattress on our bedroom floor, and I felt what was the first gust of cold seaside wind as it wafted on by from under our ensuite door.

Tonight we are freezing our arses off, because our heater has broken.

Like I said, same same. (You can be sure I’ll be damn grateful when that ancient monstrosity of a heating system is repaired).

But then, other things are beginning to change. Have changed. Hubbie found his groove, and a group of locals from the area, once he found work here. Likewise, baby girl started her first year of kinder by the beachside, and has also found little playmates here and there. They’ve both solidly positioned themselves in our new ‘hood, and meanwhile, here I am.

Here I am.

I work on the city fringe which took any meet-the-locals opportunities away from me immediately. And though I know Hubbie’s workmates, and I sometimes chat to the kinder Mums, I really wanted to find something for myself, here on my own, FOR ME.

A while back, I very accidentally stumbled across a local bloggers group on Facebook. I’d joined many local FB groups, for that whole intention: to learn, be in the know, and perhaps learn something novel, or even make new friends along the way.

I didn’t even think a group for local bloggers existed: but, so it was.

Cue today. Today I met up with some of these bloggers and their kiddies, in a post that will appear over at SmikG very soon. The kids ran amuck, while we as bloggers, positioned our cameras (who am I kidding, my phone) into every nook and cranny of the establishment we were in, taking shots here, there and everywhere. 

It was out in the open, nothing at all like any of my previous posts based on life experiences or food, or anything ever that I have written ever was.

I was OPENLY OUT as a blogger. It was fantastic. And made even more so, by meeting people, who like me, had turned online to promote a medium, for whatever art they deemed interesting to themselves: whether it was life, children, providing a service, or promoting a business, I came in, with nothing to lose, no one who knew me, and I felt as light as a feather.

Not nervous. Curious.

Not scared. Excited.

Not shy. Questioning.

Not only a blogger… but a Writer.

I loved the day, and the meeting of all of these people. I don’t know what will come of it, and how this group, or these people, will play a role in my life, or if they will play one AT ALL… but I’m excited at this new beginning our Sea change has brought us, and am hopeful that after today, many more experiences of being OUT as a Writer/Blogger, will abound.

Actually, I’m pretty damn sure this is only the beginning.

I am exceptionally grateful, indeed. 🙂

 

#497 Mt Eliza (Freezing) Farmers Market

The Mt Eliza Farmers Market occurs on the 4th Sunday of every month, and it only took 8 months after moving to the Peninsula, and diving into the depths of freezing-arse weather, to get on down there during our hibernation cold-spell.

We rugged ourselves up and headed over this morning. A $2 per adult ‘voluntary’ donation applies per entry, however there is no sign telling you you can make a choice either to, or not to. It goes to a local rotary club, so it lessens the impact of robbing you of your free will, I guess.

It was a brief and biting visit. The wintery winds steered us around quickly, but really, it isn’t much of an hour long walk unless you are of course, talking to all of the stallholders, trying all of their produce, or stopping at a nearby café, or the food and drink stalls within the market, to satiate your appetite.

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The stallholders we spoke to were lovely and friendly, providing plenty of info, and we walked away from it with a couple of little goodies:

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From top clockwise: a bag of pink lady apples from an orchard in Red Hill; organic free range eggs from Willow Zen (I have an obsession with ‘proper’ free range eggs from free range hens, and hearing that these hens have a couple of doggies guarding them from fox and coyotes, sounded about as farm-like and free as you can get); salted caramel coated popcorn from Crack[le] Corn; and finally, Manuka Honey 30+ from Pure Peninsula Honey.

I’m really curious to see how the apples taste straight from a farm, rather than a supermarket shelf. I love the idea of having produce from within the state’s region accessible for all to enjoy, and am proud and grateful to live in a part of the world where markets like this encourage and support the fact.

Wandering the market grounds in the Mt Eliza township on a Sunday? Yep, grateful. Yep, tick.

#342 Blissful views opposite Kirks

Last time, it was cold, windy and daylight savings was not on our side.

This evening, there was a mild warmth. It was still. And daylight savings in summer, is still around.

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After dinner at Kirks, with the extended sunlight on show, we headed on down the sandy steps below, to find a secluded piece of outstretched beach. It is called Royal Beach.

I was royally unprepared. I had wedges on, and simply watched, clenching baby girl’s hand as we walked down the steep decline to the beach, while Hubbie pranced about deliberately on the sand far below us, waving to us and making us both totally jelly.

He came back and asked baby girl if she wanted him to carry her (“why of course Dad, that is no question!” – she hates stuff getting in her sandals!) and then I stood on a patch of grass at the bottom of the decline and took some pretty snaps of them in the distance.

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Apparently it’s a dog beach. It is beautiful. I’d love come back with them one day soon and walk along the beach when I have more appropriate footwear.

The Peninsula. Discovering beautiful beaches, one blissful day at a time.

The Peninsula. Discovering that you need a pair of thongs in your car boot AT ALL TIMES.

#336 Moorooduc to Mornington steam train

With the school holidays still around for a few days more, the silly season has meant the addition of some extra events and festivities to keep the littlies amused… and one of them is the January Moorooduc to Mornington steam train.

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I’m led to believe that the steam train runs the first 3 Sundays of each month, however with the school holiday season upon us, a few sessions were introduced each Wednesday in January, with the final day being today.

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When I heard about the idea I knew it would be absolutely perfect for baby girl. She is a girly girl in some respects: she carries a bag around, likes to wear dresses, and will let me put bows in her hair; but on the other hand, she will throw and catch a mean ball, run you up and down until you are exhausted, and will play the hell out of her lego blocks and trains.

She LOVES trains.

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We headed over to Moorooduc station for the departure at 11:45am today, with the approximately 15 minute train ride taking us to Mornington station, and then back again to Moorooduc, once the engine had come around and joined onto the other end of the train carriages.

We had as much fun as baby girl. Where she gained an immense amount of happiness and pure joy from the tooting of the train, the steam sound being released, and the side to side, back and forth rocking motion in the carriages, we gained a deep appreciation of the vehicle that had been used to transport people in the carriages, so, so many years ago. To think that people generations ago had been in the carriage we had sat in, and travelled to various places, had been doing various things, and had been living a totally different life to what we live now, is almost mind-boggling. We were in a train that was built in 1941! That in itself is incredible. It is humbling. At one point I turned to Hubbie and said “I feel like I’m in Back to the Future… part 3.”

:):):)

My favourite moment of the trip came when I had my head out the window here:

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It gave me such a sense of relaxation, freedom, and a whimsical remembrance of childhood and all the frivolity and fun it embodied, that I was brought to tears, in thinking of how lucky we were to be living and experiencing a beautiful part of our state, and appreciating life in a whole new way now.

The drive home afterwards was slightly unnerving, and as much as I love my car, being in a vehicle lacking all character, doing 100 on a highway, felt alien. I had felt alive on the steam train, connected with life and nature and being, and I wanted to go back to that moment. I thought of all the things I wanted to do on the Peninsula, and which I had already done but wanted to revisit  – Arthur’s Seat chairlift; wineries; coastal walks; beach days – and realised this was something my soul was yearning. I had to connect to the world, to nature, to life, to a general sense of honesty, and my trip in the steam train this morning had certainly woken me up to that.

We had a truly terrific day today, even following our steam train ride, and although much of the later part was spent doing groceries and house jobs, I felt so happy and invigorated, that really, I believe our steam train ride put us in the right frame of mind this morning.

It set us on track. Pun intended.

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#308 Orange sunset

I’m just gonna post a couple of pics.

Do I need to say anymore? I caught these beauties right from the comfort of my home, before I jumped in the shower earlier this evening. I notice it has been a spectacular night, since many people have posted on social media just how extraordinarily beautiful the Melbourne sunset was tonight after such a muggy and hot day.

After a late start to Summer, our fair city is starting to show off. If you’ve got it, flaunt it I say.