So, we had a holiday in Tasmania. It was brilliant. This is what we did:
I take ginger pills, and no one is sick. No one sleeps, either, but that's okay, it feels like an adventure.
Alice looks out at the night sky over Bass Strait at about 2am, totally covered in stars.
Stagger off the ferry at 6am. Drive to Launceston and stop at Cataract Gorge, a place of stunning beauty. Because we've arrived there so early, we have the place virtually to ourselves for two hours, and the girls splash like happy otters in the (unexpected) swimming pool.
Drive to Swansea, where we have lunch and visit their lovely little brand new museum. Drive on to Orford. Instantly go to the beach. Fabulous.
Two visits to the beach. Play Jenga and Connect 4. Read books. Relax.
the girls learn to body surf.
More beach. Evie and I sculpt a hippo out of sand. We're all sunburnt in different places, but we don't care. The weather is perfect, hot enough for swimming but not uncomfortable.
trying to boogie board in the shallow, but quite fierce, waves.
Say goodbye to Orford. Evie cries when we discover that yesterday's hippo has been washed away. We drive to Richmond, admire the cottages and the pretty bridge with ducks, and eat lunch there. Visit a nearby zoo where you can feed the animals from the back of a truck. Hands pecked by emus. Then on to Hobart. Our hotel has a swimming pool, and the girls have a long swim. Fish and chips with gravy
for dinner! Amazing sunset.
the cute marmosets at the zoo.
The girls spend the morning in the swimming pool (their swimming has improved out of sight). We explore Salamanca, and visit the Tasmanian Museum, and the Hobart Maritime Museum, which Mikey adores.
we find some art we like and buy it.
Port Arthur. The weather is perfect, the scenery stunning, the ruins impressive, the atmosphere melancholy. Last time I was here was two weeks before the shooting, which is hard to forget.
the roofless church. I wish all churches were like this, open to the heavens.
(Photo: Daniel Bowen, because we forgot to take any)
It's Saturday, so we dive into Salamanca Market. Best Market Ever. The girls happily spend their holiday money. Walk to Battery Point and stumble across the house that was on Who's Been Sleeping In My House?
In the afternoon, have a lovely catch-up with an old friend who I haven't seen for about fifteen years, and his partner, who now live just outside Hobart.
: seafood dinner extravaganza!
OMG, MONA. You have to go. You just have to. It is extraordinary. Mikey thought the girls might last an hour. Four hours later, we emerge, blinking and shellshocked, into the sunshine. Just - wow.
Drive to Devonport. The drive is lovely. But let us, in all charity, draw a veil over Devonport.
: a waterfall that makes words out of droplets of water
Day crossing. It rains. It's a bit rough. It's the first day the weather hasn't been perfect. Alice throws up before the boat leaves the harbour (though after this, admittedly, she is completely fine). I feel queasy for nine and a half hours. The girls play happily in the cabin, making cubbies, and constructing pirate ships out of biscuit boxes, totally shunning all the shipboard activities provided.
I fall asleep for a bit.