You might remember we visited Kangaroo Valley last year and thanks to the kind owner we were back there again. The week leading up to the weekend was something out of ‘Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day’ ….we had a nasty gastro bug go through most of us and I missed out on a big choir performance for my big girl, tonsilitis and antibiotics for one, last minute dog dramas on the morning we were supposed to leave (and someone’s birthday), I smashed my phone twice in the one day, dropped an iPad out the car door, behaviour went out the window, moods were tense, someone arrived with no shoes, someone else tipped a whole box of jatz and a bag of chips all over the back seat, I broke 2 glasses…it was just like what could go wrong went wrong. I lay awake on Friday thinking why is everything just going out the window this week?
But by Sunday night I was happy and relaxed and we had enjoyed a beautiful weekend. I won’t say relaxing because there is nothing relaxing about taking children away. I always find it amusing to look at other families away from home and see that we are all dealing with the same things. Fighting siblings, someone who didn’t want to leave the house, someone who is hungry/thirsty/needs a toilet/bored/wants the iPad charged and so on.
This time around we decided to explore Berrima ….well after we’d been to Target for a quick trip to pick up a pair of shoes for the boy who came away with none (he had to wear his sister’s trainers into the shop). We did a walk of the area, the Berrima District Museum was fascinating and I enjoyed getting a book which finally put some answers to where our family started life in Australia and where they actually lived. The kids loved the exhibits and it’s only $5 entry for adults and free entry for children. The kids get a fun sheet to fill in which makes them really look at the exhibits and read about them. The war exhibition has iPads and you can search through and find records if you have an ancestor who was in the area and went to war. We were able to find one of ours and his photo and original war records. And afterwards we even managed to drive past the house where most of the family who lived in the area were born and lived. That was so great for me. I go through stages where I fill in more of my family tree on ancestry and am grateful to the certain members of my family who have researched and worked so hard to complete the family trees before me. Even just in the last year or so I’ve discovered trove and have added some newspaper clippings and interesting facts.
We enjoyed a delicious pub lunch at the Surveyor Inn. My big girl ended up sitting just under a picture of Ben Hall the bushranger she had just submitted an assignment on the day before. The food was great and it was so warm and cosy when it was cold and raining outside. No time for the Berrima Patchwork store with 6 little ones in tow but I did manage to find time for the Brown Shutter store which is a treasure trove. I came home with a few little goodies and must visit again. My time was limited with a few ‘helpers’ in the store and waiting outside. So many things in the shop, so little time (and money!).
Saturday night we headed to Bistro 146 for a family night out. Everyone had their best behaviour, the kids meals were a hit, I realised I’m such a stickler for tradition and ordered the barramundi for my main and creme brulee for dessert. It’s what I always seem to order if we eat out at a restaurant. The service was so warm and friendly and the open fire and food was a big hit. It was fully booked the night we went so make sure you book.
Sunday morning we cleaned, well I cleaned and the kids sat in the one spot trying not to make a mess, move a cushion or rug.
We had to visit the fudge shop for some gifts and a lolly for the ride home. Last minute lunch stop (McDonalds at Mittagong with plenty of other travellers) and an easy drive home.
I just love the peace and quiet of kangaroo valley. The air just smells so fresh, the history is wonderful and the people so friendly. Sure it gets busy with people on the weekend but when you are staying you can really just slow down and enjoy the slower pace. I read some books, did some crochet, kept little people clean and fed and got back home with a refreshed attitude (very important) and we were the first ones at school Monday morning (a great improvement from being late at my 2nd drop off lately).
If you haven’t been make sure you get down there. Hampden House is a very special house and every little bit of it is full of history. I love all the little knick knacks and finishing touches. Karen made the most beautiful Victoria sponge and we enjoyed it with a beautiful bottle of champagne (who doesn’t love champagne and cake). And she leaves you with a box of chocolates. There is also a great DVD and VCR collection. Oh yes my kids loved watching Mary Poppins and the ‘old’ ads before the movie on the VCR. Kids these days.
The garden kept them busy (under watchful eyes) and the flowers including the magnolias are so beautiful you just want to whip your camera out
All in all a beautiful weekend despite the dramas beforehand and a very big thank you to Karen the owner for having us back. Lots of happy memories made.