Easter fun!

Wishing you all a Happy and safe Easter !

Easter fun

Easter fun

We are on a ‘stay-cation’ as it is school holidays and we are saving all our leave for an amazing upcoming trip…

And so, how do you entertain a 9-year-old that can currently only use his left hand (he broke his arm about 2 weeks ago) – well not much…especially since we’ve had a bit too much rain lately and are stuck in doors a fair bit.

So with the help of Pinterest and our dear friend ‘google’ we hit the shops to create our own cool Easter egg decorations and to stock up on Easter chocolate as well. -See here  for some inspiration.

Ingredients

  • Food colouring
  • White vinegar
  • Fresh eggs (brown ones are better)
  • Rubber bands

Instructions:

  • Hard boil the eggs and allow to cool and dry completely
  • Wrap the rubber bands around your egg to create a pattern of your choice
  • Alternatively you can use a waxy crayon and draw a pattern
  • Set up bowls with very warm water about 1 cup, add 1/2 cup white vinegar and food colouring
  • Gently place egg into the bowl and allow it to absorb the colour for about 5 minutes
  • Remove, allow to dry and gently remove rubber bands and voila you have cute Easter eggs

There are other variations of the same project – in Greek speciality shops you can buy special dye for this project too.

It was a fun little project to do and kept us busy in the lead up to the Easter long weekend. Hope you give it a try…

 

 

Where are you spending your Easter holidays ?

 

 

Point Lonsdale - cliffs

Getaway – Point Lonsdale – Victoria

 

Point Lonsdale - Lighthouse

Point Lonsdale – Lighthouse

One of the best things about living in a small state such as Victoria, Australia is the fact that you can get away for a short weekend without it being too much of a chore (if you can find the time) A 1- 2 hour drive out of Melbourne and presto you are by the beach.. Life has been incredibly busy and stressful this past few weeks (hence my lack of posts!) I do sometimes wonder how parents seem to be able to do it all without breaking a sweat (am clearly not one of ‘those’) So back to the beach… I am craving being by the beach big time at the moment – sitting on a beach summer or winter has a certain therapeutic feel to it – it is calming and rejuvenating, who wouldn’t want to do that…. however it hasn’t happened for a while – so instead I bring you a post of a gorgeous little weekend away by the beach that we did some time ago.

The little town of Point Lonsdale which is dominated by a gorgeous lighthouse is located about an hour and half from Melbourne on the Bellarine Peninsula –  Point Lonsdale is the perfect location to take the kids to. The town, on the tip of the entrance to Port Phillip Bay,  is where the bay and the ocean meet up creating  ‘the rip’.  The first beach is a quiet beach (the bay) which is perfect for  the little kids and for the more adventurous on the other side of town is the ‘rough’ beach i.e. boarding, surfing.

The weather was cool when we visited, so not ideal for swimming, but we had walks around the beaches, explored the base of the lighthouse and we were lucky enough to spot a seal hanging about at the pier.

Activities in the area: 

  • Seals at the Pier (if you are lucky)
  • Explore the lighthouse base and rocky headlands
  • Bike riding along the foreshore
  • Market (2nd Sunday of the month)
  • Fishing on the pier
  • Visit nearby Queenscliff or Barwon Heads
  • Walks
  • Beach swimming

There are several cafes, restaurants and a supermarket to feed the hungry families that visit. You could also drive to Queenscliff for a meal as there are probably more choices and some options of fine dining too. We stuck to fish and chips on the foreshore which was easy with the kids.

Nitty Gritty:

You can visit Point Lonsdale as a day trip from Melbourne or nearby – however if you have the time to linger a little longer it is worth it.

There are several cafes, restaurants and a supermarket to feed the hungry families that visit. You could also drive to Queenscliff for a meal as there are probably more choices and some options of fine dining too. We stuck to fish and chips on the foreshore which was easy with the kids.

In Queenscliff try Athelstane House for a dining experience.

Accommodation:

Point Lonsdale Guesthouse - The historical guest house offers several types of accommodation and is easy walking distance to the main strip of shops and restaurants. We had a family suite which had two rooms and an interconnecting bathroom – perfect for our family.

The guesthouse has also a swimming pool, a BBQ kitchen area and more importantly tennis courts which my kids made full use of.

The guest house is perfect for a short weekend break and offered great friendly service.

 

 

 

 

Advice for Kuala Lumpur and Penang needed..

Malaysia is in the news this month for all the wrong reasons with the sad on going search of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft which went missing nearly two weeks ago…it is such a sad situation the not knowing for the families.   I am despite this, super excited to be visiting Malaysia in May for work – will be travelling with colleagues and other travel agents on my annual ‘famil’ trip.  Love them as they give me a break from the crazy life of two kids, two jobs and being taxi-mum for all the sporting activities that my kids partake in.  It is me time, to only think of myself for a week – selfish I know but hey one week a year is not too much to ask for.  Anyways I digress, the point of this post is..

Malaysia is in the news this month for all the wrong reasons with the sad on going search of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft which went missing nearly two weeks ago…it is such a sad situation the not knowing for the families.   I am despite this, super excited to be visiting Malaysia in May for work – will be travelling with colleagues and other travel agents on my annual ‘famil’ trip.  Love them as they give me a break from the crazy life of two kids, two jobs and being taxi-mum for all the sporting activities that my kids partake in.  It is me time, to only think of myself for a week – selfish I know but hey one week a year is not too much to ask for.  Anyways I digress, the point of this post is..

I will be in Kuala Lumpur and Penang for an extra day prior/post my work trip, and would love to get some ideas of must see/ do from my followers and anyone out there that has been to Malaysia..As I have such a short time I want to plan my ‘must visit/experience list’ I hear Malaysia is great for shopping and their food! I am sure I can do a list using the web and the Lonely Planet, but love getting it first hand…

  • Where to shop for kids stuff and trinkets (not high end stuff)
  • Best cuisine to try – what is your favourite Malay dish
  • Cool spots to visit – any secret little gems that you know of.
  • Favourite experience?

Look forward to compiling my list wight he help of YOU my followers and readers….

From the Vault – Sarnath Monk!

Sarnath - monk

Monk at Sarnath

I love this image of a monk in deep meditation on a hot day in May.. It is a calming image.. .The monk is deep in his prayers whilst the tourists are visiting the site and camera lenses pointed.

The photo was taken in Sarnath which is about 10-15 km out of Varanasi – it is claimed that Sarnath is where Buddha gave his first sermon and and taught his first five disciples.  Buddha arrived in Sarnath once he reached enlightmenent in Bodhgaya. The Dhamek Stupa marks the spot of the first sermon and was built during the reign of King Ashoka.

I don’t recall much of my visit all those years ago but remember capturing this lovely moment and I do recall that it was very hot. I wondered how could this monk sit still and handle the heat and remain so calm.. .But I guess he is Buddhist monk after all..

France favourites with kids…

Here is a list of the Frenchies’ favourite places and activities that we did whilst travelling in France with kids… Europe has so many Museums and Castles that some times the kids get can get bored of them quickly.. I avoid Museums with my kids as they literally just round around them and barely pay any attention..so why go and get all stressed out..Here are a list of more fun child friendly activities to do while on holidays in France – Some will of course be age dependent…(these are listed in no particular order) – We also travelled with an Australian Rules football which was handy to kick around in a Park (we did get a few strange frowns but tant pis- too bad! )

1.Colonnes de Buren – Paris

Colonnes de Buren

Colonnes de Buren

These black and white stripped columns installed in the Jardin du Palais Royal. These have drawn criticism, but love them or loathe them they offer a great playground for the kids (and dare I say it adults too) We went there several times and the kids just ran amuck.  The gardens are beautiful too as well as the little arcades with gorgeous shops (not for kids though)

2.Cite des Sciences – Paris

The Cite des Sciences – which is part of the Park de la Villette, is often overlooked by the visitor. The Science and discovery centre is however well worth a visit. The centre offers two areas for children to explore (2-7 years ) and the 5 – 12 years. Especially handy if the weather is wet or wintry.

3.Jardin des Tuileries – Paris

Once the private gardens of royalty, this beautiful garden/park was turned into the first public park in Paris. This gorgeous oasis in Paris stretches from Place de la Concorde to the Louvre. The gardens also houses the Musee de L’orangerie – an important Impressionists museum including works by Monet.

The Tuileries gardens also have a open playground area with in-ground trampolines a must for any active child. As it is close to the Louvre most travellers to the area will probably visit the Park. It is not the most beautiful though in Paris.

Tuileries Gardens - Trampolines

Tuileries Gardens – Trampolines

4. Jardin du Luxembourg – Paris

Jardin du Luxembourg - Bassin

Jardin du Luxembourg – Bassin

This 50+ acre park is gorgeous, pick a spot and people watch – one of our favourite activities (great for young kids) was to hire a little sail boat at the ‘Grand Bassin’ and with a wooden pole the child can ‘sail’ it around the pond.  There are various playgrounds within the park as well to be enjoyed.

5.Tour Eiffel – Paris

The Eiffel tower, well the iconic landmark is a must for all visitors to Paris (providing you are not afraid of heights) –  There are three levels which are open to the public and provide great views of Paris.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

6. Mont Dore – Acro-branches – Auvergne

Tree Adventure - Mont Dore

Tree Adventure

We accidentally stumbled upon the tree climbing course ‘acro-branches’ whilst exploring the Mont Dore region. Mr Techno and Mstr J had a great time challenging themselves to the obstacle course.  Ideal for kids 8 years and older – Mstr S and I did the lower levels and my son was rather displeased that he could not go on the same circuit has his brother.

7. Beaches – Brittany 

Brittany has amazing coast lines – from the rugged to the cute little beaches…We spent over a month in the area and spent hours at the beach-  pack lots of food (a recurring theme with kids I think ) – We bought boogie boards and wet suits (the water was cold by Aussie standards) – The beaches also felt relatively safe as well which made it all the more enjoyable. In summer so many people head south to warmer weather which meant that some beaches were almost deserted.  A big plus for us!

Brittany Beach

Brittany Beach

8. Miroire d’eau - Bordeaux

Bordeaux is an easy smaller town to wander around, and the gorgeous fountain ‘Mirroire d’eau’ is a great distraction for the littles ones and a way to keep cool on a hot summer day. The ‘fountain’ is located on the banks of the river opposite ‘la bourse’ –  Water rises onto slate like pavers and creates a mirror effect and at regular intervals a fog like mist rises to the surface much to the delight of any child.

9. Dune du Pyla – Arcachon Bay

Dune du Pyla - the view

Dune du Pyla – the view

Dune du Pyla, near Bordeaux in the Arcachon Bassin – great way to spend excess energy, get fresh air and have fun.  Pack a picnic, a boogie board if you have one and have fun. It is something so different to do in France – For more details see my earlier post ‘Dune du Pyla – France. 

10. Festival des Momes – near Annecy    

Au Bonheur des Momes-sleeping dragon

Au Bonheur des Momes-sleeping dragonT

The Festival des Momes is held every August in the Alps near Annecy – it is a great event where kids can do rides, acrobatics, old fashion games, Merry-go-round. If you are in the area it is well worth a visit. This was really a great festival and the kids had lots of fun – not gimmicky which is what I really loved about it – For more information see my earlier post Kids Festival.

What are your favourites in France to do? Please feel free to add to my list for future travels in France.