Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Winter staycation

Last week was the first week of the winter school holidays here in Melbourne, and it was the occasion of a long-anticipated week off work for both G (my husband) and I. Having been away in February (to Warrnambool) and in the Easter holidays (to Sovereign Hill), we decided not to go away to stay, but rather had a planned home staycation. It turned out to be really fun.

The big plan for the week was to finally achieve an outcome we've been promising the kids for a while now - clearing out the garage and creating an outdoor play / family room. This was always going to be a big job but it was one we really wanted to undertake, for our sake as well as theirs. So I got a skip delivered on the Friday night of the week before, and with the kids' help, we spent Saturday merrily chucking out junk and doing several runs to local op shops to donate still-useable goods.

We had a busy Sunday out and about, and then the real transformation bit began, after my Mum collected the three kids on the Monday afternoon to take to her house for a 2-night sleepover. G and I immediately tore off to Beacon Lighting, to buy the one new item we needed for the new room (a standard lamp) and to JB Hi Fi because we NEVER get to browse at the shops and we wanted to :-) We did a bit more moving stuff around on Monday, but mostly enjoyed some downtime. I made a favourite spicy beef salad for dinner and we watched a movie (Thor, which was OK, although not brilliant).

On the Tuesday we worked our butts off, cleaning, clearing, moving furniture, setting up shelves, going through more boxes of junk that had remained unopened since we moved into this house 9.5 years ago. I reckon we lifted and hefted stuff around for about 8 hours all up - well, G did, I took a 2-hour break at lunchtime to send some emails and do dishes & laundry - so by the time we collapsed with our pizza at 7pm, we were exhausted and muscle sore.

It was all worth it, though, to see the looks on the kids' faces when we brought them home Wednesday afternoon and showed them their new room. To say they were (and are) excited would be a massive understatement. They *love* it and it's already getting heaps of use. We've set an old TV up out there that can play DVDs and the XBox, but gets no reception, so the kids can watch an occasional movie or (as is more their wont) play Harry Potter Lego or Toy Story on the XBox from time to time. There are books, puzzles, games, scooters and hobby horses; dress ups, play doh, painting supplies and a craft table. It feels like a friendly place and woo hoo! it even gets wifi. All very good.

On the Thursday we spent the morning in the family room then went to the movies and saw Epic, using tickets I'd got with my Fly Buys, and did a little shopping. Then on the Friday, we went on the train into the Melbourne Aquarium, again using passes I'd got from Fly Buys. This has really been the Holiday of The Fly Buys - I saved over $150 on entries / tickets thanks to them, and I reckon it's a terrific use of points. After the Aquarium, which we all enjoyed, we strolled over to Southbank for ice cream at Trampoline, then home again on the train and straight back to the family room for the kids - they are still very enamoured :-)

Saturday we went to swimming as usual but planned extra playtime afterwards, spending the entire morning at the pool having fun. A little light gardening, some crafts, reading, game play and walk with the dog rounded off the rest of the weekend, before G's return to work yesterday.

It was a lovely week - an almost perfectly balanced staycation, with out and about activities, productive tasks that have made our home more useable and less cluttered, hanging out time, whole-family time and couple time, grandparent time for the kids. I think I cherished all the more knowing that, once I start fulltime work on 30 July, such opportunities are going to be very rare for a few years. This will be a good week too - I have lots of fun stuff lined up with the kids - but last week was pretty awesome for all of us.


  1. staycations are often the best! i think we'll be having one of them this Christmas and I can't wait. Well done on getting the play room set up, that is a fantastic idea! -Aroha

  2. Sounds like a fantastic week, with a good balance of everything!We took our little miss in to the city last Thursday to see Giggle & Hoot at the Opera House and to just generally spend the day with her, having fun. With number two due in the next couple of weeks it was one of our last chances to spoil her and have a day all about her and I'm so glad we got to do it.

    #teamIBOT was here!

  3. Awesome week! Nothing better than geting jobs done that you really want done. Such a huge sense of accomplishment