In our February Update, I talked about my plans for the blog, the start to a new school year in Australia, a couple of camping trips and how life was pretty busy. March was no less busy as we welcomed visitors, continued exploring Melbourne and managed to tread water with school and after school activities.
At the end of February, we had another camping weekend to Wilson’s Promontory National Park and this might be our favorite spot in Victoria so far. You can read about our weekend and see the beautiful photos in the full post here.
We Love Melbourne in Autumn
March apparently heralds the beginning of autumn in Australia, although with days regularly above 30 degrees, the weather has been better and more consistent then summer here. So while we complained about the weather when we first arrived in October, we are loving this “autumn” weather.
March has whizzed by in a whir of grandparents coming and going. We have been fortunate to have Paul’s Mom and Eric visiting us throughout the month as they explored amazing Australian places we hope to visit soon. In a month, they managed to visit Tasmania, Adelaide, Uluru, Cairns and Port Douglas – aren’t they lucky! They have gotten to know the Melbourne airport quite well and while they have been visiting us we have done lots of fun things together.
In between visits from Barb & Eric, my parents have been visiting before they head off on their trans-Pacific cruise. Poor Ella has been relegated out of her room for most of the month, but she is quite happy to have all the extra attention and family around.
We have taken advantage of having babysitters available and Paul and I have gotten out for a few date nights. We had a few dinners out and went to see the musical, Book of Mormon.
Gavin Went To Scout Camp
Gavin just signed up for Cubs and within the first month, they were off on a 2 night “under canvas” camp. The purpose of the camp was to prepare for Cuboree in October, held every 3 years. Gavin is lucky that it is this year so he will get to partake. Gav is so independent, but even he was a little worried to go to camp since he really didn’t know any other kids or the leaders that well. He did so well and we are so proud of his “give it a go” attitude. He is loving Cubs and we continue to be strong believers in the Scouting organization and the great values and skills it embodies.
Marvellous Moomba Festival
Believe it or not, but March brings Labour Day over here and we are happy for any excuse to have a long weekend. Melbourne holds a really quirky and fun festival on the long weekend with water skiing on the river, a competition to build a flying contraption, a carnival and so much more. Read our full post about this cool festival. We loved it so much, we went back for a second day.
I Survived my Triathlon
You might remember that I signed up to another triathlon and I have been busy in March training for it. I was quite nervous for this one since I was doing it all by myself. I also wasn’t looking forward to the open water swim in the ocean. I did all my swim training in pools and the one time I practiced in the ocean, I kept imagining dark shadows (SHARKS!) and was totally freaked out. The goal for the triathlon was simply to finish it and maybe enjoy it. I am happy to report that both of those were accomplished. It is always intimidating being around the hard core triathletes with my cheap bike and non-lycra clothes, but we all have to start somewhere. The event was held at St Kilda beach so it was a pretty beautiful spot to swim, bike and run around. I am trying to convince Paul to do it with me next season.
Our Little Politician
Ella really wanted to be a part of the new Student Representative Committee at school as her class rep. She worked really hard on her application letter and I was really glad that I got to be at the assembly when they announced the placements and she had been selected. She was so happy and we are so proud of her passion and interest in getting involved at school. She does have some ideas that might need to be tempered though. She wants to change the uniform policy, make the canteen open every day and a few other “ambitious” plans.
Shifting to Vegetarianism
We have continued to make the shift to a more vegetarian diet. I am not eating any meat, but Paul and the kids still eat meat a few times a week. I am trying lots of new recipes and of course some are hits with the kids more then others. I can’t seem to get anyone in the family to really eat tofu and I have to admit that even for me, it isn’t so great. If you have any good veg recipes, send them my way! Someone asked me the other day if I noticed any difference in how I felt since cutting out meat and I honestly haven’t. I really don’t miss meat all all, and feel good about the environmental and health benefits of a plant based diet.
I continue to be impressed with how strong the school community is here. There are parent class reps for each class and they organize social get togethers and disseminate information. Just this morning I was at coffee with at least 15 parents from Miles’ class. So nice to get together and meet people that you see occasionally at drop offs. Paul has been to another Kew Primary’s Father’s Organization event where they went lawn bowling. I have the upcoming Mother’s Day lunch at a restaurant near the school, which should be fun. Fridays after school continue to be a time to gather with other families from the school at the local park for a play and drink, champagne of course!
Melbourne food is absolutely divine! We don’t eat out much as a family, but between a few dates nights and our date lunches, we have been sampling some of Melbourne’s best food. It doesn’t matter if it is food truck fare, cafes, ethnic foods or fine dining, we find the food here superb. I have mentioned numerous times how great the breakfasts are here and poached eggs and avo are my fav. I just find the food here so fresh and well plated with delicious pairings. It is making me hungry just thinking about it!
I have been spending tons of time this month on the blog and also questioning if I really want to be spending so much of my time on it. Travel blogging is such a crowded space and requires a ton of work to get a site performing well. You might read about travel bloggers and imagine their life as one continual holiday, but in fact running a successful blog is like running a successful business.
In addition to posting on our site, I have been contributing to lots of other sites this month. Check out what I have been writing here:
- In Africa and beyond – Meet Dawn
- Tripsget – Studying Abroad – shared my experience studying in France in university
- The Savvy Globetrotter – Home Stays in Kerala
- Why Wait to See the World – Positive Experience in Muslim Countries – shared our experience in Egypt befriended by a stranger
- Make Time To See the World – Granada, Nicaragua
- Sonderland Secrets – Bali
- Fun Food Travel – Where to Eat in Bangkok – shared a great all you can eat Japanese buffet, where we ate for Ella’s 9th birthday
- Four On A World Trip – Interview
- Mindful Travel by Sara – Amsterdam
- World’s Best Family Roadtrips – our contribution was Tasmania
Wow – seeing that list makes me realize that I have actually accomplished quite a lot this month. So often I feel like I am slaving away, wasting so much time on the blog for nothing. It is nice to see in writing what I have finished. This of course is on top of the writing I do for 5 Lost Together, the endless tech/web design issues I am always working on and trying to grow my social media accounts.
Please LIKE us on Facebook and follow along on our Instagram account where I post photos almost every day. We also have a Pinterest account with lots of family travel boards and pins. One of these days I might even get around to trying to understand Twitter!
Getting to Know Melbourne
We continue to maximize our time here and really get to know Melbourne. Here are some snaps from the past month. We can’t get enough of Melbourne’s street art!
Coming Up in April
First and foremost and what I look forward to the most are our future travel plans. The kids have a two week school break in April and we are headed to Sydney for a few days. Paul and I first visited the city in 2005 and Miles and I visited our good friends in 2011. We are looking forward to showing the kids all the major sites and enjoying some of Sydney’s sunny beach weather.
We have also finalized our bookings for our trip home to Canada this summer. I am really excited to be stopping in Banff to visit my brother’s family and that amazing part of Canada. We will be trying to squeeze lots of visits in while we are in Ontario and really excited to catch up with every one. The kids will head to summer camp for a few weeks, we will spend some time at cottages and enjoy a classic Canadian summer. We have purposely planned this trip to coincide with Melbourne’s dreary winter and miss some of that.
On the way back to Melbourne, we have tacked on a trip to Japan that we are really excited about. We have always wanted to visit Japan but have always be scared off by the prices. Well we decided to just go for it and are looking forward to exploring Tokyo and Kyoto. I have been in full research mode and think we are all going to really enjoy Japan.
So that’s what we have been up to this month. It has been a really busy month and we are excited to enjoy some April holidays and time off.