One More Thing Crossed Off The Bucket List!

I LOVE Tasmania. We’d choose to live there if we could, but……who knows what our ‘new normal’ will allow. In the meantime we once again availed ourselves of the wonderful hospitality of Pip and Alan and traveled there just short of 2 weeks ago.

I have to thank the hubby for many of the following photos – he’s much more likely to have a camera on hand than me.

We have always traveled to Tassie by air, but taking the ferry across from the mainland was on the bucket list and this seemed like a good time to cross one more thing off. So we booked ourselves and the car onto the Spirit of Tasmania and opted to sleep the night away in a private cabin rather than a reclining seat on one of the upper decks.

We arrived in Melbourne just as the late afternoon peak traffic was mounting, so it was a bit of a hair raising experience getting to the ferry on time. I quite enjoyed the trip although it was a bit choppy once we got out into Bass Straight. I still can’t work out how all the cars stay in place in the lower decks with the constant rolling of the ship against the waves, although I’m told that a truck did once tip over.

We took our time driving down to Hobart from Devonport the next morning – popping into whatever antique shop was open, each of us searching for our own personal holy grail (me, vintage linens; Hubby, metal ‘things’) and making sure that we timed our passing through Ross to coincide with morning tea so that we could sample the wonderful vanilla slices there.

And I just HAD to stop in at Wafu Works in Kingston Beach to add to my Kokeshi doll collection.

It’s always nice to see Pip and Alan – over the years we have discovered lots of shared experiences and interests. I remember the night we sat on their balcony in Huonville discussing how/where we met our partners. Would you believe both couples met each other in Woomera. It almost defies probability! So we arrived with a lots of wine and chocolate, knowing that we were in for some wonderfully fun and entertaining opportunities to share both.  Alan is a hugely gifted raconteur, with the most amazing ability to remember every joke he’s ever been told, and every weird and funny scene/character in just about every movie made.

The guys set off early the next morning to sail up the Channel from Kettering into Constitution Dock in Hobart. The main reason we chose this particular week to visit was because Hobart was hosting the biennial Wooden Boat Festival and Alan just happens to have one.

The Luenna is a beautifully maintained 23 foot boat built in 1960. Alan likes to add all of her party finery for these occasions, as do the majority of the 500 wooden boats that gather in Hobart for the festival.

On their way, the guys met up with some majestic old sailing ships, some of whom enjoyed some friendly ‘firing’ upon each other.

These old girls are breathtakingly beautiful.

The next few days were a whirl of driving back and forth between Woodbridge and Hobart, visiting all the displays and docks along the Hobart waterfront, sampling the foods that were on sale or just sitting on Alan’s boat soaking up the sun.

Walking around the waterfront was total eye candy.

Mother Nature provided the evening eye candy with this glorious sunset behind a ginormous cruise liner which had docked for 2 days, in stark contrast to the surrounding character-filled wooden boats.

Alan was actually moored to a very old ship which permanently lives in Constitution Dock as a museum ship – the May Queen – which welcomed visitors all weekend, allowing them to explore the hold, check out its character filled deck and to make rope the old fashioned way. Needless to say, I came home with a length of rope that I helped to make.

I took dozens of macro shots of ship related items along the deck, but I won’t bore you with them all. Just a few…..

The weather had been glorious for most of the weekend, but on Monday a cold front came through, bringing strong winds. Alan had asked if I’d wanted to join the guys for the trip home, but ultimately he chose to leave the Lueena in Hobart for an extra 24 hours while the weather front moved on. Most boats were able to leave and we watched their departures with mixed feelings.

We didn’t have an extra 24 hours so missed out on another wonderful Tassie experience. Next time. Maybe.

The next day we packed up the car and headed north for Devonport. We’d overindulged so much during our visit that we even skipped the vanilla slices in Ross!

A quiet walk around Devonport filled in some time then it was back on board the Spirit of Tasmania and home to the house sitter (who’d kept things going during a horrid heat wave back in South Australia) and the two white fluff balls.

So long Tassie, and a huge thank you to Pip and Alan for their wonderful hospitality.

Til next time……….

Back in Action!

I stopped blogging late last year – it had already been a full-on year and weariness was creeping in, but then a major family event totally threw me for a loop and totally sapped all energy for anything outside of the immediate family. Sometimes you just have to shut down some aspects of life in order to cope with the day to day stuff that really matters.

But life has evolved into a new ‘normal’ so it’s time to start reconnecting with the neglected aspects of my life.

In the last 6 weeks both of my gorgeous grand-daughters turned 2. Just before Christmas Charli and I travelled to Queensland to share Isla’s birthday celebrations and to catch up with the Canadian in-laws who were out here for Christmas.

Charli travelled really well – the plane had spare seats on the way up so she was able to have her own. We weren’t quite so fortunate for the trip back on Christmas Eve, which was to be expected.

We had soooo much fun while we were there. The girls were inseparable, holding hands wherever they went. The times that we can get the two girls together generate unforgettable memories and the photos show the wonderful progression of their growth and social development.

We spent a lot of time just being at home – playing in the back yard. The weather was so HOT it was simply the best and easiest option. I forgot the other news that relates to this….we are welcoming a new grandchild into the family next June, so Tanya was more than happy to chill and try to get on top of her ‘morning’ (that went all day) sickness and lethargy.

Isla’s Daddy was in the middle of building her a play complex and the girls were more than happy to give it a good work out in a never ending cycle of climbing up and sliding down.

On the quilting/sewing front I’ve started quilting the monster scrap quilt that I pieced last year. I’d like to have it completed ready to enter into our Festival of Quilts in July, but I’m trying to put less pressure on myself to complete tasks within deadlines so what will be, will be.

Charli started child care this year and her Mummy asked me if I’d make a nap mat like one that she’d seen there being used by another child. I don’t think that they are readily available for purchase here in Australia so I read through a few on-line tutorials that didn’t quite fit the bill then made up my own creation.

Once made I had to go back and take measurements and make some notes about how I did things because Isla has one on order too now! Have I mentioned how much I love being Grandma Chris?!

We’re on our way to Tasmania for their amazing Wooden Boat Festival next weekend, so,

Til next time……