The Royal Treatment

Buying and selling houses is a bit stressful. So to give ourselves a break we moved in with the inlaws last week to minimise “show home” stress whilst an army of potential buyers marched through our home in the lead up to the auction. Reg’s family live in an enviable spot right on the edge of the Royal National Park, with a bush track that leads to beautiful lookouts with views across Port Hacking to Cronulla and the sea beyond.

Grays Point Spring Morning

It turned out to be a great decision in more ways than one as not only did I avoid the ridiculousness of creating home beautiful 4 times in seven days with two children under three and a half, but I benefited from being within a few seconds reach of this beautiful piece of Sydney each and every day. An extra pair of hands enabled a daily dog walk, skirting (Ok it was a quick skip through) the park, crossing the oval and down to the beach with Rhubarb for a swim and a roll in the sand.

Doggie Spa

We went on several bushwalks with the kids, woke each morning to a chorus of rawcous cockatoos and fell asleep each night to the calming hoot of the powerful owl. The week ended on a very high note when at 7am down at the point I witnessed a sea eagle swoop past me on the beach, grab a fish and fly off across the water up into the gum trees. My heart almost skipped a beat and it turned out to be a good omen as we sold the house the very same day. I love this little pocket of the world. Where did you escape to this weekend?

 

Swapping Trash for Treasure

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of fantastic blogs by other ladies (and gents) who are in a similar phase of parenthood to me. They write very honestly about their various trials and tribulations, warts and all, which got me feeling just a little bit fraudulent. I’ve always tried to keep my blog fairly easy on the eye by including nice photos and encouraging tales from the outdoors. In this post I’m going to write the warts and all version of today’s expedition to a slightly less accessible beach with a three year old and one year old on the hip. Hopefully it will still be an encouraging tale. So here it is.

This morning I contemplated for a millisecond the thought of cleaning up this…..

But opted instead to head for this…..

It felt like a bit of a mission to be heading into the depths of the Royal National Park, not quite being able to remember whether it was pramable down to the sand or not. I was glad in the end that I packed the kiddie carrier as it was a bit steep and rough even for the mountain buggy. Just as I’d lugged myself, a 12 kilo one year old and all our paraphernalia almost to the end of the beach track, with Miss Three trailing behind with her bucket and spade, beach ball and her “work things”, we bumped into an old couple who told me there was no way I’d get across the lagoon to the beach. It was high tide and the sea had broken through to the lagoon which was apparently “flowing fast”. Not wanting to look like an irresponsible mother I heeded their advice and turned around and walked all the way back, thinking there must be a shallower section further back that we could wade across. We ended up finding a small patch of sand on this side of the lagoon, not quite as nice but actually the perfect size to contain the little people and in full view of the stunning Wattamolla falls.

Just as we had disembowelled our beach bags onto the sand (buckets and spades, water, flasks of tea, morning tea, lunch, towels, picnic rug, changes of clothes etc etc.) I saw a couple with a small child walking along the sand on the other side which meant it can’t have been that hard to get through there (grrrr). Where we were now plonked was definitely too deep to attempt carrying/swimming them both across at the same time. Anyway, nevermind, there’s always next time when I will come better prepared (i.e. minus the kitchen sink). Miss One was totally mesmerised by the waterfall and Miss Three was running around naked squealing with delight at the feel of the warm winter sun on her  back and the chilly lagoon water on her skin.

I did have to spend the first ten minutes harvesting brown broken glass from the sand, which some thoughtless party people had left behind which was very disappointing and in complete contradiction to the stunning beachscape laid out before us. The next hour passed happily, digging in the sand, rolling around at the shallow edge of the lagoon all with the complete absence of mobile phone reception. We had a lovely picnic and a cup of tea from the thermos and a mince pie (leftover from Christmas in July). In hindsight I should also have brought the bottle of sherry. By the time Miss One had hit the “I have sand up my bum and I should be in bed” button our belongings were spread far and wide. Once I had her cleaned up and put her in the pack I realised I had not got shoes on yet, so I completed that tricky manouver only to find Miss Three having a fit that her Diego ball was floating off across the lagoon. So after retrieving that item with shoes on I finished packing up, to discover she’d now stepped on an ants nest and had them all over her legs biting her. At this point she dropped the Diego ball again and it bounced off the rocks into the lagoon. She then alternated between ant panic and ball panic while the couple on the sand across the lagoon just stood and watched, presumably falling about laughing after we finally trudged back up the hill, zzzz;s coming from the back pack.

At times like these I wonder why I go to such lengths to get out of the house but I only think this for a split second. It was worth every minute of the not so easy bits just to see your one year old transfixed by a waterfall and rolling happily in the sand like a little crumbed prawn and being able to point out from the lookout above the falls, the water spouts of migrating whales as they passed us some distance off the entrance to the lagoon (yep). I wouldn’t swap that for quids.

So there it is, the photos look lovely but sometimes they don’t always tell a thousand words. Getting outdoors past the suburban swing park can be really hard work. But I think its always worth the effort. Miss Three is already asking to go back. What’s your worst and best at the same time story in the outdoors?

Here’s the rest of the pics in a gallery :)

 

 

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