The Occasional Tales of Ailsa B du Bois

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Packing for Tassie…

Posted by Ailsa B du Bois on January 2, 2011

For my hubbie Laurie’s big 50th birthday milestone, I asked him what he wanted to do in celebration.  To my considerable surprise he chose a holiday, specifically a relaxing get-away with a handful of long-term friends to Wineglass Bay on the stunning natural coast-line of Eastern Tasmania.  (I expected him to want a big party, but clearly age has brought him to his senses at last – I’m really not sure if I should be pleased by this pragmatic approach or slightly saddened).  Anyway, as we’re DIWOOKs (Double Income With Only One Kid)… And yes, I just made this acronym up because I’m a bit of a cad…, we figured most of our single friends wouldn’t want to come on this sort of trip with us, and we don’t know any couples with kids that would either, so we decided it made most sense to invite Laurie’s two oldest pals that are in long term relationships and who we suspected might be likely to find the tranquil pleasures of the Island State appealing and furthermore might be interested in spending precious holiday money doing it: Cam (who was Laurie’s share house mate in a Redfern terrace when we first met, and Laurie’s best man at our wedding) and Ali (who actually introduced us to each other at a Darlinghurst bar in Sydney about 15 years ago).  Another consideration was how many people we could possibly fit in a hire car, and most importantly in a nicely appointed rental holiday house.  7 seemed to be the magic number.  So, as it turns out there’ll be 7 of us at Wineglass Bay: One DIWOOK couple, two DINK couples (hetro & gay respectively), our adorably chatty 7 year old daughter and a new game of Cleudo.

I guess this is what middle age is all about.  And yes, I do think it’s just possible (however ambitious) that Laurie could to live to be 100 (His father is currently 79 and globe-trotting about constantly, on all manner of indulgent cruises through Alaska, Central America, Asia and the Mediterranean, and annually spending time in LA hanging out with the family of Flea from the Red Hot Chile Peppers.  When at home, he’s still off travelling all over the state, when he’s not in Queensland of course, or shopping at organic farmers markets or playing gulf or renovating houses – In a word he is ‘fit’).  I DO hope Laurie has his genes.

So,we’ve booked 3 nights accom in Hobart at Somerset on the Pier (a posh wharf apartment style number on the waterfront), then 3 nights at Freycinet Haven (a 4 bedroom holiday home elevated above Coles Bay, in the Wineglass Bay region), then finally 2 nights accom at Somerset at salamanca (perfect for tumbling out of the front door directly into the hum of the Saturday morning Salamanca markets).  All the accom pics look gorgeous, and I eyed off Salamanca on the Pier with close range interest last time I was in Hobart on business (for a deadly dull psychology conference), and told myself this was where we should stay if we visit on a family holiday.  The Henry Jones Art Hotel looks great too, and I’ve had dinner there, but as it’s all ambient lighting & sophistication, I figured the idea of an apartment on the pier is a much brighter option for a kid.  There’s only so much art Jemima can stomach – We drag her to enough gallery launches as she can stand, so Somerset on the Pier it is.

We land in Hobart a day before one couple and two days before the others, so we’re doing our own thing in the beginning – Taking a day trip to the Huon Valley south of Hobart.  I visited Cygnet and surrounds about 13 years ago, with a Uni friend, and thought it was stunning, so at last I’m able to show it to my loved ones.  I like the fact that it’s making a profile for itself on the Australian gourmet food circuit.  My recollections of the Huon from last time are very positive, though shrouded in cool misty fog.  It seemed wet a lot of the time.  I saw fresh oysters clinging to the rocks in the estuaries there, and the old apple barns made an impression on me as well.  It should be a very nice day drive in our hire car meandering from berry farm to apple orchard to quaint country bakery – that’s the spirit of the ‘sneak peak at the Huon Valley’ plan anyway.

And now to packing…  Well that starts tomorrow, but for now I have a list scratched on the back of a torn old energy bill (paid of course), and that’s a good start. Item 1, tick… Item 2, tick…

More from me later… 🙂

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