We are big fans of quick getaways. We're big fans of long holidays too but they can't happen as often. Having a baby made us wonder if we'd be able to do a weekend away and, if we did, would it be fun and relaxed or a melting pot of mini meltdowns.
It turned out that with some organising and pre planning we had a blast. It helps that Eleanora is a pretty chilled out baby and was happy most of the time (a little over tired bed time scream fest on the second night and and the same thing in the cafe the next morning because I had to wake her up to check out).
My pre planning involved packing snaplock bags with full outfits for Eleanora for each day and a full spare outfit for each day too. This certainly cut down on packing excess and made grabbing an outfit in the morning and one for the change bag a breeze. I also packed for her 3 days before (I'm usually an hour before packer) then payed close attention to what I was using so I could add things I'd forgotten and take out things I wasn't using so much. I tried to find double purposes for things if I could and counted on the hotel having towels. I was presently surprised at how little I actually needed to take for her. The one thing I over compensated on was nappies because we took disposables and I usually do cloth. Can't hurt to have a few extra nappies though!
Joel and I are already both efficient and light packers so we managed to only make one trip from the car park a block away to our hotel: one bag for each person, a nappy change bag/my camera bag, dinner for the first night, snacks, an umbrella, baby and the pram as well as the ultimate port-a-cot.
Clearly I'm pleased with my packing success.
We were meeting up with some good friends who have a fabulous 5 year old daughter, a 2.5 year old little dude and Annika who is 2 months younger than Eleanora. The city is not usually a place I think of taking kids but we decided in advance to go to the Aquarium and check out the penguins, sharks, fishes and other critters. Amazing! I haven't been to an aquarium in years and I think I loved it at least as much as the kids. Even Nora was fascinated by the moving shapes and lights. (bummer about it being so dark in there though... not to worry, I'll have a new camera soon enough!)
My little family had a scrumptious breakfast at The Quarter on Monday before a spot of shopping (thanks for the perfume darling!) and meeting with our friends at the Aquarium. Lunch was delicious pizzas at Bertha Brown on Flinders Street. In the afternoon we wandered around to look at shops (including making a new friend at the camera shop) and check out the most fabulous parents room you've ever seen in Melbourne Central. After a sneaky move by me the guys took the two oldest kids so the mums could get our chocolate on at Max Brenner with no pressure. It's not a trip to Melbourne with a stop at a chocolate cafe of some sort.
Dinner was back in our hotel so the littles could get some sleep and the bigs could rest our weary feet. I was planning on an early night but discovered some exciting news that kept up until past midnight. Breakfast with everyone at cafe Andiamo and a bit more shopping before heading home.
A fabulous pastors weekend of catching up, fun activities, walking, eating and shopping. Love Melbourne. And I'm so thrilled that our first overnight trip with our girl was a success.