Monday, April 30, 2012


Well after all my careful planning for a camping trip or a few days in Sydney, I was sabotaged again by football.  As Husband is currently on sabbatical and not teaching, I (foolishly, apparently) thought that this would be a great opportunity to do some exploring further afield.  I did not take into account football training for 2 boys, figuring that it wouldn't hurt if they missed a week but more importantly did not take into account HIS football training and matches which he ABSOLUTELY could not miss.  To be fair, without football he can be pretty vile but football instead of a holiday?  See what I have to put up with?

Well, I suppose it could be argued that I'm on a 3 year (so far) holiday and shouldn't really complain.  There is plenty to do within a short drive and actually the kids are more than happy to be left to lie-in, play with stuff they don't get the time to during term and generally chill out.  However, as all you parents will know, this only lasts for about an hour then everyone is bickering and telling tales, so we have to GET OUT.

You'll know by now how much I love the beaches.  Not as a bikini-clad sun-bather, more a swim/walk/read a book/have a coffee type appreciation.  I have decided that I need to be able to see the sea at very least once a week.  It restores me in a way I hadn't understood before.  So when it is nice, we pack a picnic and head to the beaches up at Port Stephens, about 45 mins from here, the beaches are a bit more sheltered which is good for the wee ones.  Previously Shoal Bay has been our beach of choice for a day out, but we have been introduced to One Mile which is a bit closer and has enough wave action to keep the big boys happy.  John can also stop at Murray's Brewery on the way and is developing a love of local beers!

If we just have an afternoon, then it's usually Bar Beach for a swim or a walk from here to Merewether where we can now buy (non Nestle) ice creams and coffees at the new Surfhouse and then spend an hour or two chucking balls and digging holes.

Another walk we love is the along the breakwall at Nobbys.  We can watch the big ships coming and going, the boys like to spot the flags and guess where they're off to.  If we have Dog then we usually end up splitting up and some walk back along the beach, it was my turn this time.  We took ages and got into trouble - oops!

We also have Lake Macquarie 10 minutes in the other direction where we spent a day kayaking with our surrogate Grandpa!

Other than beaches there was time spent with friends, grown-ups talking until too late at night while kids run wild, kids having pals over, creating with Hama Beads, playing on the ds's and wii, lots of Lego building and catching tiny lizards.

One of the last activities of the holidays was a crafty way to exercise the kids, dodge the rain and educate them all at once with a walk from Nobbys to the Newcastle Museum.  They met up with school friends and played for ages in the Supernova, learnt about the production of steel and then spent most time mucking about at the fantastic photowalls.

Now that everyone is back at school I can get back to my walks with Dog, a bit of writing in some great cafes and maybe even some beach hooky...

Edited to add:  If you want to know more about Newcastle, it is being featured here all week.  Enjoy!


  1. You made me a bit homesick. All those divine photos of Australia. Lovely to meet you, the tribe and your blog.
    Michelle (from 4kids1dogblog)

  2. Such gorgeous photos Sandra, love the beachy shots and the ones with the painted murals are amazing!
    Shame you aren't able to get down to Sydney, though as you have proven here, there are plenty of gorgeous alternatives right on your door step. Keep the Sydney plans on hold for another time I guess.

  3. Looks like an amazing place and you are right to want to visit the beach regularly. We live about 1.5 hours from the coast and due to petrol price increases, it's not a spur of the moment thing to do anymore which is a real shame. I would love to sit on the beach with a coffee and some crochet with you! xx

  4. Great photos! Definitely a few new haunts for us to check out next time we're over on the coast.
    Looks like you had a great Staycation!

  5. Looks like you live pretty close to me! Your photos are gorgeous - they exude happiness. As for five children....oh, I admire you. My partner and I 'plan' on four but really, who knows?! x

  6. This looks blissful! So much to do and see and gorgeous weather to do it all in!! Cx

  7. Wow, such amazing photo's...! I really need to use the beach near our house more, it's just a five minute walk but these last few weeks have been appalling weather-wise... it's just wet, cold or cloudy all the time. I hope our summer is better than our Spring has been!!

    Hope you are enjoying your Sunday and thank you so much for the kind comments on my granny cushion, I'm glad I'm not the only one who never finishes a blanket! ha ha!

    Louise xxx


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