Tiny footprints in the sand
Nature journaling my finds
Cuddles at Iluka lookout
A trip across the harbour
The colours of Autumn in Canberra
'Earth and sky, woods and fields, the mountains and the sea are excellent schoolmasters, and teach us more than we can ever learn from books.' - John Lubbock
My homebody tendencies are balanced out by my husband's adventurousness. Honestly, his plans seem rather overwhelming to me at times. A seven-hour drive from Yamba to Sydney you say? Then drive to Canberra the next day? With three children 3, 6 and 9 years old? While I'm still struggling to wrap my mind around the logistics of this, he is planning a stopover in Dubbo and another little country town on our way home. But, after fifteen years of marriage, I know not to doubt his abilities in planning such things, and he knows that I will enjoy every minute of the journey once I am out of the house.
And so it was that we spent a week in Yamba, as we have done for the past five years, and soaked up the bliss of sea and sand in our home away from home. May is the perfect time for such adventures. School is in, the crowds have dwindled, the days are warm and the nights are cool. A perfect combination for our homeschooling family. We explored beaches and tide pools, spotted osprey and hawks, built sand castles and dug moats. We trod ancient rainforests, navigated the steep hill into town, strolled around the lighthouse and beach paths. Filled our bags with second-hand books, shells and sketches, before setting off to Sydney.
We swapped our beach view for an inner city loft and walked the bustling streets as the wind attempted to blow us off our course. We marvelled at the Sydney Bridge and the Opera House as they receded behind the ferry to Manly. We visited the ships docked at the Maritime Museum to quell Cohen's curiosity and managed to squeeze more books into our suitcases while shopping in the City.
From Sydney we spent a week in Canberra with my twin sister's family, celebrating her son's first birthday, and making the most of the time we could spend together while crossing as many things off our to-do list as possible - museums, galleries, the Royal Mint, wetlands, Questacon, Cottington Green, Ainslie Point lookout, the Arboretum and Canberra Zoo.
With happy yet heavy hearts we departed Canberra for Dubbo and spent the night in a Savannah Cabin with a view of the giraffes. The next day we cycled around the zoo in one of those picturesque childhood memory moments that I hope we shall all remember. We drove away from the Zoo with no accommodation booked for the night and eventually decided to travel as far as Moree before turning in for the night in a tidy little Motel. From there we left early and watched the sunrise before us. noting what looked like frost on the side of the road, but which turned out to be cotton blown from the cotton fields once there was a little more daylight to see by.
It's been more than a week since we arrived home, but it has taken me that long to settle in again, get the laundry back up to date and find our rhythm again. This little homebody has been happy to have some time to potter. But, we are already planning our next adventure. Perhaps hiring an RV to explore Tasmania, or flying to New Zealand and renting out a home for a time? Though I miss home while I am away, nothing could replace the connection, joy, experience and learning that comes with taking these trips as a family and creating these memories together.