So off we went on a 5 hour drive (which ended up being 8 ) due West from Sydney, over the Blue Mountains, past Orange to the country farmland around Lake Burrendong with our 6 week old baby. The small country towns we passed along the way were ablaze with oranges, reds, and yellows from the Autumn leaves and I’d like to think when she gazed out the window at the light, she was seeing some of the beauty.
The farmhouse is occasionally used by members of my friend’s family which means it was a delightful hodgepodge of furniture, dishes, and sporting equipment scattered inside a wood clad building with an immense wrap around patio and wood furnace. We were completely off the grid as the rainwater tank, solar panels, and windmills would attest. Also, we had our fair share of creepy crawlies and cautiously consulted the laminated spider identification poster on the fridge before brushing away some of the cobwebs in our bedroom. Australia sure seems to have a greater than average percentage of vicious insects.
During the day we drove over to Mudgee where my husband enjoyed the brewery and wine tasting while I dove into all those lovely soft cheeses I couldn’t have while I was pregnant. Baby was a good sport despite all the stops in and out of the car seat.
That night we were the first family rostered to cook dinner, so we bundled up the baby and let her kick around in her safe spot on the floor of the kitchen – in The nest we had brought with us. To keep out any crawling visitors, I didn’t hesitate to zip up the mesh screen top to it either. By the time dinner was ready, she was fast asleep and we just carried the nest over to the dining room for a while, and then onto the back deck to stargaze before bed and watch the older kids drew their names in the night with burning sticks from the campfire. I slept much better knowing she was safely cocooned all night even though we were in a new place and the mattress did a pretty good job of keeping her warm, up off the chilly wooden floor.
Throughout the weekend we carried the baby along with us everywhere of course, but as she sleeps so much at this point, it’s good to have a portable safe spot to put here down where I don’t have to worry about her. At the end we packed up the sheets for the bed, 3 sets of towels, two wraps, and all the baby clothes in the storage compartment of the nest bag. I was surprised at how much it held – helped to contain the mess in the back of the car on the way home.
I think everyone should take a break from their “regular life” and just gaze at all those stars…even if your geeky friend sitting next to you on the folding camping chair insists on using an iPhone app to tell you where the constellations are.