Spring in Sydney is all about sun, surf, food and festivals. For me, it is the time of year when I wish I could be in more than one place on each day of the weekend. There are the local festivals, school fairs, art & about, and Good Food Month. And then the sunny days beg for trips to the beach, BBQs and picnics. If I wake up on a Spring morning and the sun is shining I jump out of bed with a spring in my step and am desperate to get the day started- trust me… this doesn’t happen in Autumn or Winter!
Today, that is exactly what I did – desperate to get out and make the most of my Sunday, despite my other half being a little worse for wear after the first Sydney FC game of the season!
With no time to lose, we packed a bag full of all the necessities for a beach BBQ and headed to Coogee for a beachside breakfast using one of the public BBQs to cook up a feast. It’s one of the many bonuses of ‘doorstep travel’- you have all the BBQ tools and essentials on-hand, if we were on holidays we would never be so prepared.
However, what I didn’t account for was a massive Nippers carnival and the anniversary of the Bali bombings that meant car-parks were as rare as hens teeth. After circling the back streets of Coogee for what felt like an eternity before we found a park, we secured a picnic spot on the grass next to the BBQ with views across the already busy beach.
A small sign on the public BBQ indicated it is only in operation from 8am-8pm, so after a quick check of the time (it was 8:30am) we were good to go… or so we thought! Unfortunately, Randwick City Council has not updated the BBQs timers since daylight saving so we would have to wait 1/2 hour to even begin cooking our breakfast. With the family already starving since I made them hold of on eating until we reached the beach, it was up to dad to hunt & gather. So off to the takeaway shop for bacon & egg rolls & coffees it was.
Right on queue, just as we polished off our takeaway breakfasts, the BBQ started smoking away heating up. Typical!
We spent the next few hours down on the beach building sandcastles, burying our legs to look like mermaid tails, swimming and jumping waves in the shallows. As lunch-time approached the beach was becoming incredibly busy so we packed up our gear and headed back to the car (parked half-way to Randwick!)
It was still only lunch-time and I was keen not to waste the rest of the day. However, after an already action-packed morning my gorgeous husband thought he was off the hook for the day and was home free. So, we compromised. I got dropped off in Newtown with my four year old to check out the Newtown Good Food Fair while Dad & our two year old headed home for a rest.
The Good Food Fair was packed, uncomfortably so, with loads of food stalls all crammed into the small area outside the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre. The food looked amazing and the people-watching was fantastic but the lines were very long. My four year old set her sights on the whole coconuts so after a long wait we bought a pulled pork roll and a chorizo roll and a whole coconut then found ourselves a seat in the shade.
Sometimes I forget how nice it is to spend one-on-one time with the girls and not do everything as a whole family. We really enjoyed each other’s company. After polishing off our lunch we decided to treat ourselves to some of the World’s Best Gelato at Cow & Moon, only a short walk away. We walked past street art, interesting shop windows and people from all walks of life and she was thoroughly entertained the whole way… and then we saw it… a queue snaking out the front door of Cow & Moon, down and around the corner. Apparently since winning the Best Gelato in the World accolade, Cow & Moon got busy!
My four year old was up for it, so I decided to indulge her and we waited together in the queue. She was beaming with excitement… “is it really the best ice-cream in the whole entire world mum?’ and we spent the waiting time deciding what flavours we would get. Once finally inside we chose: Lychee & Coconut, Blackberry & Blueberry, and Hazelnut Rocher and took a seat outside next to the growing line of people. With the queuing hordes watching on with their mouths watering, we set out on demolishing what indeed seemed to be the best gelato in the world… who could argue with the beaming face of a little girl proclaiming it so?
A short bus trip home, a swim in the pool at home and a BBQ dinner finished off what has to be a next to perfect Spring day in Sydney- who would want to live anywhere else?