Summer to winter in one day

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The summer annual sandpit fun was happening at the park on a very hot 32-degree day for the summer holidays. We have finally arrived in Melbourne after a very long flight across the ocean to winter in Australia.

We landed in Sydney nice and early and transferred to a flight to Melbourne early morning. We arrived in Melbourne and kept awake for the day by going for a 30-minute walk to the shops to get our food for dinner and on the way, the kids found this Moreton Bay Fig and it even had a ladder.

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Today we wandered around our new neighbourhood for the next couple of weeks and went to Albert Park lake to check out the views of the city, and it did not disappoint. The birds were in action on the lake, and the kids loved the black swans. My fave the Magpies were in action as well as the rainbow lorikeets. This green guy way up in the tree is a Musk Lorikeet, still loud as ever enjoying a breakfast feast. The kids always enjoy Melbourne with parks to wander through and always an interesting playground to play in. This is the beginning of a very relaxing and fun break.

A piece a Week – A summer sojourn by the beach

With the summer vacation coming to a close we had a last sojourn by the sand dunes in Monterey Bay. I found this lovely Air BnB right on the beach by the sand dunes of Pajaro Dunes Resort for our neighbors family and ours. It was just one night but being right near the beach bought an incredible sense of relaxation to all of us with healthy and delicious meals, reading and chatting. The kids enjoyed the walk along the beach this morning with following the dolphins and sea lions jumping happily in the waves eating their breakfast of fresh anchovies. 
This week I celebrated a much needed clean and dust free house with a vegan strawberry ice cream using a favorite recipe from Food 52. I used brown sugar and lemon to macerate the strawberries to add to the ice cream maker – delish.
Strawberries macerating

Coconut cream in a ceramic bowl I made

Ready to eat and a job well done!

I am in the middle of making a cardigan at the moment which has taken me ages to knit – I think it take me up to half an hour to knit one row as there are so many stitches. This is the Noro yarn I have left for the rest of the cardi and the sleeves – hopefully there will be enough!! This has been an excellent summer project whilst watching the kids flicks at the local cinema each week and our marathon of Harry Potter films!

Goodness Gracious – Great balls of yarn!

And now for our last sojurn of the summer in the sand dunes of Monterey Bay. When we stayed at Sunset State Beach I always wondered how to find accommodation at the condos right on the beach nearby and there we were living it up and relaxing to the sound of the ocean right at your doorstep. We had fig tart for elevenses after our walk along the beach watching the dolphins play and jump up in the water showing their underbelly – it made us all so happy! And yes we have been watching The Lord of the Rings films too over the summer.

Fig tart Рperfect with a cup of tea for elevenses 

The sunset by the dunes at our back patio

We found the shells of the sand dollars and I have seen them at the California Academy of Sciences but to see them move is pretty cool I found this video of sand dollars in action.

The kids check out a live sand dollar 

Let’s chase the birds said one kiddo and off they went – just like a Hitchcock film!

Our walk this morning and the sun coming out

Enjoying the freezing cold sea water between my toes

Find the busy bumblebee in the gardens of Pajaro Dunes Resort

A piece a Week – We all scream for ice cream!

With some lovely heat this week for the summer holidays I was inspired to make vegan fresh mango ice cream. Somehow to make a project anything larger than food is difficult being in mamma mode with the kids – all day, every day with hardly any downtime. This delicious recipe is a favorite vanilla base from Food52 with fresh mango and nectarine fruit pulp added to the mix in the ice cream maker. I enjoyed this ice cream in a bowl I made in pottery class with fresh turkey figs – summer is here!!
Vegan Mango Ice cream with fresh turkey figs