May 2, 2015

Our visit to Western Australia

It has been ages since I've blogged. Life has been too busy and I've had to let go of some things that were of least importance, and as much as I like blogging, there just has not been time for it. March was a crazy month, and then April and the school holidays came and went. I've had heaps of sewing to do and am finally almost on top of it all. Anyway, this is a non sewing post today. In the school holidays this year we took a quick trip over to Western Australia to see family. All of my husband's family are in Western Australia, as well as some of mine - Kate and her hubby and the kids, and my brother Andrew and his fiancee Kristina. They are all sort of a bit spread out around the outskirts of Perth and it was a hectic holiday with loads of family to see.

We have not taken Zoe to Western Australia before and she had never met her grandfather, her Aunty Michelle, and five of her cousins. Our first stop off was Mandurah, which is a beautiful little seaside city about 1 hour south of Perth. All of Scott's family are in Mandurah. We caught up with Michelle and her kids - Jayden who is now 16 and so big I can't believe it, Kyle who will be 15 this week, Levi who is 12, Shania who is 10, and Mia who is 8. It has been over four years since I've seen the kids and they have grown so much. It was really nice to see them and my kids loved spending time with their Kim cousins.

Zoe finally met her Grandad, she loved him to pieces and it was really nice that they were able to spend some time together. Scotts Father is getting quite old now, and I am really thankful him and Zoe got to meet each other.

We also spent loads of time catching up with the kids Nana - Scott's mother. We don't see her very often and the kids enjoyed seeing her again.

We were in Mandurah over the easter long weekend and it was busy. The rain that Sydney was having followed us over, and after just one sunny warm day, the weather turned nasty, cold and rainy, which I might point out is why Zoe is so poorly dressed in some of the photos - I wasn't really prepared for cold weather in Mandurah and only packed her a few things for the cool. We did loads of fun things with the family there including camel riding, Zoe's first pony ride, playing with the Kim cousins, and saw Mia get baptised.

Mia and Shania were very considerate and were always wearing things I sewed for them for their birthdays and were very obliging models.

If only they lived closer!!!
We had an easter egg hunt at Nanas house which was a bit of fun too.

My brother and soon to be sister in law had coincidentally booked a weekend at Mandurah for the weekend that they were there. It was nice to see squid (my name for Andrew - I am 8 years older than him) and to spend some time getting to know Kristina, whom I had only briefly met before. They get married in December and it will be lovely to have her as part of the family.

It was sad to leave Mandurah knowing how much it and everyone in it will change before we get back over there again. We had a brief four days in Mandurah and then headed on down south a couple of hours drive to Busselton for a few nights. Busselton is located in South West WA. I've only ever been there once before many years ago and I was excited to go again. Busselton is located right on a spectacular part of the coast and it is most famous for its jetty, which stretches for 1.9km and is just amazing to walk along on a sunny day. We of course went there when it was pouring rain, but managed to get an afternoon where despite being cloudy, the rain stopped long enough for us to take the kids on the jetty.

On a sunny day here the water is the most amazing colour - greens and blues and all sorts of in between. I made sure Zoe was wearing her Studio Busso Pinny - Studio Busso is my favourite of all favourites for handmade clothes (Busso stands for Busselton, the home of Studio Busso). Her style is so unique and stock moves very quickly when she has it available. If you've never seen any of her work, stop by and check out her Facebook page here. I have heard a rumour or two about some existing plans she has for the next year, so it is a page worth keeping an eye on if you are a sewer.

The pier has train tracks running down the middle because yes - there is a little train that you can catch up and down the pier if it is too far or too long to walk.
Here is the train platform, and how my children respond when I ask them to stand together and smile

Busselton is the perfect place to stay to explore the southwest region of Western Austraila. It is truly one of the most spectacular parts of Australia I've ever seen and we had one day to explore. Heavy rain was forecast, so we were up bright and early to try to get stuff done and seen before the rain (quite easy  to do really when no one has adjusted to the time difference between Sydney and Perth). I really wanted to take the kids inland a little to Pemberton, but with the wet weather, we decided to just hit the coastline. So we headed off on down to Augusta via Margaret River, a region knows for it's wine and fine produce, as well as amazing surf beaches. We drove through the local town of Cowanarup which literally has fake cows randomly all through it.

Can you see the gold cow hoisted up on a pole in the background? I am sure there is an interesting story behind it. Then we headed on down to Margaret River. We stopped in at a big hedged maze, which is something I've always wanted to do. It was awesome and way harder than I expected. The kids loved it.

With the rain threatening and the sky getting darker and darker we jumped back in the car and headed to Augusta - the Southern most part of Western Australia. Augusta is a place I've wanted to visit for a long time. I have seen so many photos and it looks breathtaking. Sadly though, you really need the sun shining to bring out all the colours in the water. I could see them a little even with the grey clouds, and could tell it would be just amazing on a sunny day, and tried not to feel ripped off and grateful for that fact that the rain held on long enough for us to get out and explore the lighthouse and surrounds.

Being somewhere where two oceans met was pretty cool too.
Next we headed back up the coast via a different road, and drove through the Karrie forest which I loved. The trees were huge and straight and just beautiful
at the other end of the Karrie forest are some fabulous caves in this region, full of interesting mineral and deposit formations. We explored Mammoth Cave, and the kids, especially Connor thought it was awesome. Connor loves rocks and minerals and has been a collector or all sorts of interesting rocks since he was toddler. They enjoyed the audio self guided tour and we were the only ones in there, which was just amazing seeing as you are never on your own at a tourist site in Sydney.

The rain started pouring down the minute we got out of the cave and back on the road, so we headed back to the hotel for the indoor swimming pool for the rest of the afternoon, grateful that we were able to see so much in such a short space of time.

The next day, we headed back up to Perth, stopping in at Mandurah to say a quick goodbye to the family and in a big highlight of my trip - some of my handmade friends gathered and met at a local play centre. I met Courtney from Samuel and Rose, Alana from Rosie Petal, Steph from Owl and I, and Bex from Bexie Boo, who likes in Far North Queensland and happened to be in town visit family at the same time as me. I talk to these girls almost every day on Facebook and it was so nice to meet them. I also got to meet a few new handmade faces - Stacie and Lil. It was a rare treat to meet so many in one spot. Of course ours were the best dressed kids there.

We then drove up to Perth, quickly checked into our hotel and headed on out to The Vines to see the Anderson family. Most of you who follow our blog know Kate better as deedle. Kate and I have always been close, growing up, unless we were fighting (which was rare but nasty), we were inseparable. I really really miss Kate and may never forgive her husband for whisking her off to Perth to live. Just kidding, it was a really good move for them and they are really happy there, but I miss her terribly. It was so good to see her (and the growing bump) and Samuel had saved his 9th birthday party for a time when we could be there. The kids loved being reunited with their four cousins here and had a great time at the party.

Zoe and Georgie (Georgina) were reunited! Zoe and Georgie were born less that 24 hours apart. Kate and I were surprised to find out we were expecting at the same time, our due dates for the girls were one day apart. I was induced a week early with Zoe because I was so unwell, and on the day I was induced Kate had an appointment with the midwife who did a quick internal and told her that there was no way her baby was coming within the next week. Georgie had other ideas. Zoe was finally born late on a Friday evening, and in the early hours of Saturday evening, Kate's waters broke and a few hours later, Georgie arrived. We are pretty convinced that these girls wanted to come here together and they were pretty happy to see each other.

We did a few more things with the Anderson's over the weekend - including a trip to Scitech, lunch in Queens Park and a family dinner on Sunday night, where Andrew and Kristina joined us again. The highlight of the evening was when the Anderson's Aunty Felicia stopped by with her ambulance, as they were in the area and waiting on a call out. How many kids can you pack into an ambulance?

It was awesome to touch base with the Anderson's again. The boys had grown heaps, and so had the girls and I loved seeing Emily who is 6 and gets more excited than anyone else when I make her a dress. I wish Perth wasn't so far away and so expensive to get to.

We also spent some time in Hilary's Boat Harbour where we stayed whilst we were in Perth. It's one of my favourite spots in Perth.

And so now we are back home, missing family, but glad to have made so many fresh memories with those that we love and care about. I realise there have been loads of photos in here, but its' the best way to share them all with our family. Thanks for reading along. 

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