Last weekend Andy and I had the rare chance to go away together, alone, as my mom is still here with us. She generously offered to watch Ella for two nights on her own while we escaped from the city to the seaside town of Inverloch. Inverloch is located in Gippsland, about 160km southeast of Melbourne. We headed there straight after work on Friday, arriving at our boutique hotel, Eugenie’s, just in time for dinner.
Eugenie’s offers four rooms and is located in the centre of Inverloch, right across from the beach. Once we got settled in our room we headed off in search for some dinner, and ended up a short walk away from our hotel at The Black Sheep. We shared a selection of tapas, and finished off with the Chocolate Obsession for dessert. Full and tired, we headed back to the hotel for some shut eye.
Saturday morning we both slept in until about 7:30am, which is unheard of these days. Ella doesn’t actually wake up until that time or later on the weekends, but our body clocks are used to our 6am weekday alarm, so we usually end up getting out of bed just after that time on weekends. It gives us some quiet time to have a coffee together before the madness of a toddler takes over for the day.
We lazed around in the fluffy king size bed (a luxury compared to our teeny tiny double bed at home), drinking coffee and watching the news before venturing out for some breakfast. We headed to the Beach Box Café, which was about 100m down the street from Eugenie’s. I took the opportunity to get the paper, as I almost never have time to read a weekend newspaper anymore. That is probably one of the “pre-child” luxuries I miss the most. We had a relaxing, uninterrupted brunch (good food, average coffee) and then headed off to a nearby farmer’s market.
The market was held at Koonwarra, about a 15 minute drive from Inverloch. It was smallish, featuring organic produces, herbs and flowers, and local businesses selling things like honey, candles, bread and fudge. We bought my mom some loose leaf tea from Finch & Wren. The tea was especially for a “mature woman” to help with hot flashes, so we thought it was the perfect gift! (Although my mom will joke that in our freezing cold house, her hot flashes are almost welcome.) Koonwarra is located on the Great Southern Rail Trail, which is a 72 km trail connecting local towns in Gippsland. You can walk or cycle the trail, stopping in each local town on the way. We didn’t do any of it, but it gave me great ideas for our next trip to Gippsland, with Ella being pulled along in a little bike trailer!
After the market we headed around Anderson Inlet to Venus Bay and did a short walk along the Point Smythe Nature Trail. The trail is an easy 6km loop. We took a little detour on to the beach on the Bass Strait side, which the sea that separates Australia from Tasmania. The sun was out and the weather pretty warm so we took some time to enjoy the fresh sea air.
While looping back to the car, we passed a family walking together who were all wearing wellies, for reasons that became apparent shortly after. Nearly at the end of our walk, we came across a large part of the path that was flooded, surrounded by thick forest on either side. Our choice was to either get very wet, or climb our way through the fallen trees and bushes in the forest. We chose the latter, ducking and weaving our way through until at last we’d gotten past the flooded path.
Once our walk was completed we headed back to Inverloch for some much deserved lunch at Vaughan’s Café and Deli, and then we headed back to the hotel for a bit. Andy wanted to do some school work and finished off reading weekend papers. We then went for a walk along the Inverloch foreshore beach just as the sun was setting.
Our hotel had a hot tub and sauna area, so we got some champagne and drank it while enjoying the hot tub. Fancy! I did have a picture of this but it's pretty grainy, and also I'm not sure how many people would really be interested of a picture of my husband in a hot tub.
Before heading out for dinner, we FaceTimed Ella. She was super excited to see us. She pretended to cuddle my mom’s iPad that she was using to talk to us, and gave the screen lots of kisses.
In the end we were so tired that we got some red wine and takeaway pizza from The Bayside Lady (I had the prosciutto with dates and blue cheese… yum. Obviously Andy was not interested in that pizza at all). We ate while watching a movie on our laptop in the hotel bed. Nice.
Sunday morning we woke up early and decided to go for a walk on the beach to catch the sunrise. It was so peaceful and calm outside, not many people were out except for the odd jogger and dog walker. After our walk we headed back to Vaughan’s Café for breakfast.
When we got back to the hotel and turned on the morning news, we were faced with the horrible news of another terrorist attack in London. Thankfully we heard from our friends who still live there and everyone was safe, but it’s so difficult to understand the world we are living in right now, and how often we are hearing of these kinds of attacks. It really sucks.
We decided to head home after that, driving along the Bunurong Coast on the way back. The drive is 14km, linking Inverloch and Cape Paterson. There are gorgeous views of the Bass Strait and beautiful isolated beaches. We went when the tide was out so there were a lot of flat rocks to climb over and even some caves to explore. Interesting fact: Australia’s first dinosaur fossil was found along this coast in 1903, and it is currently an active dig site. Hundreds of millions of years ago, you could walk from this point to Antarctica without getting wet. Crazy!
We really appreciated the time to go away together, but by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around we were both really missing Ella. She seemed to have a fabulous time with her Nannie, but I think she was pretty happy to see us when we got home too!