Last week we had lots of impromptu outings, the kind of days that I really like best. It was odd to have a few within the space of a couple of days, and it was lots of fun. This week we've been more back to our usual routine - and I definitely feel much less calm at the end of this week than I did last week...
Monday of last week was a public holiday here in Victoria - Tony was at work because it's Vintage (harvest) time and he's at work all the time basically at the moment - but there was no school, so some of our friends who would normally be at school were available to play with. We took up an invitation to go to the Redwood Forest near East Warburton - a place I didn't even know existed (the Redwood Forest that is, I did know about East Warburton) with a friend and a few of her friends for a picnic and a swim in the creek. We got there later than the others and wandered into the forest by ourselves - it was incredibly peaceful and quiet and amazing - tall redwoods planted in symmetrical rows, with the floor of the forest covered in leaf litter which quietened our footsteps - it was a really magical place. We walked through the forest then followed the path towards the creek and after a while found our friends in a lovely secluded little spot off the main path, just where Cement Creek joins the Yarra River. It was great to see S and her kids, especially since the eldest has started school this year and we haven't seen him since then. We had our picnic and the kids played in the creek and in the river - LiAM and Caitlin and J walked a long way up the creek and explored lots of new areas, I played in the shallow water near the junction with Millie. We all then moved a bit further down the river where it was deeper and a better place for swimming - and with a fallen tree right across the river which was big enough for the kids to run back and forwards across. I'd been a bit dizzy so found the tree bridge quite challenging, but did walk on it a bit with Millie and it was fun. I didn't get to have a swim but did manage to wade in to the water up to my waist which was quite refreshing.
On Tuesday last week we had nothing much planned. A friend called in for a cuppa then took Caitlin with her to music in Yarra Glen, then came back and had lunch. We hung out at home playing games in the afternoon, and I didn't really want to go anywhere, although I knew that I had DVDs due back at the library that day... Late in the afternoon I suggested we run into Healesville to drop the DVDs off, grab some takeaway dinner, and go and eat it by the creek near Donnelly's Weir (the road in to the weir closes at 7pm, however just before the gate, the creek crosses the road and there is room to park there and its a fantastic shallow pool to play in). So we dropped the DVDs in to the library, bought some fish and chips, and went to play in the creek. It had been a hot and humid day so playing near the water was lovely and refreshing. We ate our dinner then I read my book while the kids played an elaborate game in and around the water until it was almost too dark to see anymore. A very lovely end to a relaxing day - I hope we'll remember to go there more often.
Wednesday we went to Chirnside Park shops to get a skirt for Caitlin to wear to school (she's going to a local school one day a week at the moment) and for LiAM to find out when a game he wants is going to be released on PlayStation 3. We also stocked up on some clothes that were on special, then called in to play with some friends for a couple of hours before Caitlin went to Guides and the rest of us went to the library and the park.
Thursday we went to see my sister and her new baby, T. The kids hadn't met him yet so it was a very exciting day for everyone! We hung out there for a few hours, then I felt we needed to give F and T a break, but I didn't feel ready to head home yet. So we jumped on a tram and went down to the Melbourne Museum - we got there at 3.30 and there were hardly any people there. We explored the First Peoples exhibit and the Melbourne exhibit - not the places we usually go to when we are there - and they were both fascinating and interactive and extremely engaging. Afterwards we went and played in the fig trees near the Exhibition Centre, walked over to Lygon Street to buy some kebabs, then came back to eat them in the fig trees. We caught the tram back to F's, played with the baby a bit more and then headed home.
Friday Caitlin went to school and the rest of us went to a friend's place. After school the girls and I went and played at the water play park in Seville while LiAM stayed at his friend's place. It had been a hot day but the wind was a bit cold so I didn't go in the water much - but it was a very pleasant way to spend an hour or 2.