In all the crazyiness of moving there are a few things that I am truly grateful for. Right near the top of the list is that even though I have left many precious people behind in Adelaide one of my closest friends was sent, with her husband, to the same state as me. While she is a 6 hour drive (or a $70AUD plane ticket) away in Sydney we are still in the same district. And being in the same district means that our husbands go to conferences and things together throughout the year. Which logically means that if they can catch up every few months - so can we.
So we did.
Way back in about October or November we discovered that within a few weeks of us both moving to NSW we would have a chance to tag along behind our menfolk for a few girly days. After a few phone calls, a little bit of confusion and a 3 hour drive at 6am saw us just outside of Canberra (the real National Capital - not Sydney like many people think) at Warrumbui. Our very short list of things to do included:
Catch up - this we do well, talking over the top of each other for the first hour or so then settling in to sharing all of our stories from the past few months. We like to talk.
A trip into Canberra - mostly just to look around (first time for Anna) -
- First and foremost I must say this: Gelatissimo - you will never want another ice-cream in your life. We went from thinking we'd have one scoop each - to three. Each. 70% dark chocolate gelato people. A.Maz.Ing. *sigh* The nearest one to me is an hour away - probably good. And probably very good that I never discovered the one on Rundle street - Mara, Nell - get there now!!
- Secondly the Canberra Centre was fantastic. That's right. It's a shopping centre. We went all the way to our nations capital and skipped the war memorial, the parliament house tour (although we did a very slow, close up, suspicious looking lap in the car!), the national mint and even the national art gallery but we DID go to the very huge and new and lovely shopping centre! Like I said - we were there for girly time, not patriotic time. No disrespect of course. Shops we loved: Sumo Salad - for the ultimate in salad (I've been trying to replicate them at home with some success); Pepe's Paperie - because it's paper and stationary and we love it; and Seed - for the most adorable babies/children's clothes in the most gorgeously displayed store (mostly I loved the shelving...!) - I think I could move into it.
- Finally - if you want to go to the Canberra Centre go to the tourist information centre first (just around the corner) and pick up a brochure about it because we got one that gave us free all day parking and a free coffee. Worth it.
A visit to the National Portrait Gallery - This was recommended by my mum who had visited only 2 weeks before and was definitely worth the time. The parking and entry were free so were feeling quite good about the whole thing from the beginning. The building is brand new, only opened on the 3rd of December 2008 and is really stunning in a modern way. They have used mostly concrete, wood and glass with interesting ways of dividing and creating spaces making the building as much worth a visit as the art inside it. Art summary - loved the photography, appreciated some of the paintings, disregarded the sculptures and enjoyed the videography.
A maternity portrait session - Anna is now 28 weeks pregnant and looking completely gorgeous with her baby bump. I'd asked her soon after she'd told me she was pregnant if I could take some pictures of her further along. She accepted my offer and the timing of our trip was near perfect. We traipsed, as much as we could be bothered, around the country side and set her up in the gorgeous morning light on a spare bed in one of our rooms at the conference centre. What a lovely experience!
Make some cards - Of course we had to buy some paper from Pepe's for that. Who could resist?
In a word? Bliss. I had such an amazing time soaking up my friend time and her baby growing presence. I am blessed. And excited for the next one.
Four of my favourite pictures - so far: