Saturday, April 4, 2015

An autumn daytrip

We spent the day today at beautiful Daylesford, in Victoria's north-west.

Leaving home at 9am and returning just after 6pm, we fitted in a 2-hour play and soak at the Hepburn Spa Bathhouse mineral springs, a pub lunch, and candy shopping.

We also went bookshopping at The Best Bookshop in the Entire Country and Maybe the World: Paradise (both in name and nature!)

I haven't been to Paradise since before the kids were born (wait ... that sounds a bit wrong ...) but it was pure delight to see them all love it as much as we do, and to find it so unchanged by the decade or more that has passed since I last breathed its musty air.

I even found myself a secondhand treasure by an author I love but whose works are hard to get hold of now.

We also visited the Wombat Hills Botanic Gardens, where the kids and partner climbed the 99-step tower, everyone played in leaves and walked the paths, and we had a delicious and decadent afternoon tea at the Gardens cafe.

Staying away from home in the major holiday periods is very expensive, so much so that we pretty much never do it. We always hang at home at Christmas - New Year, on Australia Day weekend, at Easter, on Cup weekend.

We don't even usually take our family holidays in school holiday time, although we have done so in the last 12 months (Port Douglas last year was the entire winter break, and Phillip Island was the least expensive week in the January part of the summer break).

What's really nice to be able to do, though, is enjoy some day adventures at these times as a family. Because we wasn't forking over a wad of cash for accommodation, I wasn't phased about spending a reasonable amount on the Bathhouse, a basic pub lunch, a book apiece at Paradise, and a fancy afternoon tea. We still spent less on all these things combined than a single night of family accommodation, other than a caravan site, would've cost me in Daylesford over Easter.

It definitely wasn't the cheapest day we'll have this holidays, but that is OK, we can still afford to have treat days at the moment and I'll cross the austerity bridge when I come to it. (As circumstances are trending, this may be soon, but sufficient unto the day etc). It was a lovely day, and one that we all really enjoyed as family time together. And now we get to sleep in our own beds and wake for Easter egg hunting in the morning, assuming the bunny has his act together!

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