The one request from Hannah these holidays. Not the movies or the ice-skating rink or the Zoo or Dreamworld…none of the elaborate assumptions I had in the weeks leading up to this time, just:
“Let’s go somewhere with lots of peace and quiet.”
We’ve had an awful couple of months, to say the least. Hannah has had to put up with more than the majority of 6 year olds and my time has been largely taken up with Heidi’s appointments, exercises and just the general stress of everyday life. So when the holidays come around, I like to set aside time to do something just for Hannah and have a little ‘one on one time’. Also, one of ‘the Jays’ has come to live with us and I think he needed it too…
So we packed a few things and made our way up to Mount Buninyong, an extinct volcano that lives barely 20 minutes away from our house.
I have fond memories of this place, trekking with my family, picnicking in the sun, climbing the lookout tower and looking over the town and the bush below… It really is a lovely place to let go of all your worries and breathe in the freshness around you.
Just to see the look on her face when she realised where we were, was priceless. Her look of awe and excitement and novel interest was exactly what I’d hoped for.
She ran straight for the lookout tower, fearless, encouraging us along the way to “keep up” and “don’t look down”. My vertigo has no place in Hannah’s world.
If you want to face your fears, have kids and then you won’t have a choice.
It was all the worth it. The view was spectacular and even more breath-taking than it was in my memories.
Then we decided to do ‘The Crater Walk’, which is a steep hike down to where the lava would’ve been all those years ago. Something so simple as walking down a track throughout the bushland that now covers this mountain, was just beautiful. The wind was light, the sun was warm, and the birds sang happily in the trees.
We spotted a sign which said there was a possibility of seeing Wallabies, Koalas, Echidnas and all kinds of wildlife that lived in the area, so we walked and searched the treetops and the scrub… Unfortunately, none of the furry types, but the birds were everywhere. Wrens, Rosellas and Lorikeets were impossible to miss. Again, the look on Hannah’s face…makes me smile just thinking about it…
The walk back was just as lovely and steep, but this time uphill…which was a huge reminder of my lack of fitness and how we should REALLY do this more often. I was worried that it might be too much for Hannah, that maybe her little legs couldn’t walk so far…ha…it was me complaining about my sore legs and needing to rest along the way…
You don’t need alot of money to have fun, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant day full of rides and souvenirs… Sometimes, it can just be a walk through the bush, or up a mountain, or around a lake. Those are the best memories I have as a kid, enjoying the great outdoors, going on adventures and using my imagination.
The best things in life are free.