Otherwise known as, what two children do when they have no memory of cold weather or falling leaves.
Tom Kitten for one has never been in the cold (apart from a week last winter when he was two months old and I took him back to my parents) and Ginger unfortunately has no memory of our time in Toowoomba, where it certainly was cold and the leaves certainly fell.
Two weeks ago we spontaneously decided to use one of our RLLT entitlements (a military travel entitlement for remote postings) and head south to the Southern Autumn. Bliss is all I can say.
We spent most of the time in Canberra, and the surrounding areas of NSW.
Travelling with young children is quite a different experience. We did a lot of research on where to eat before we went, and that helped a lot. There is a list of some of our hits at the bottom of this post. We also had a serviced apartment in Canberra which meant we could make breakfast and dinner, and do the washing! And, we were realistic in what we wanted to do - and that involved hanging out in a lot of parks.
Clothing was another interesting issue. Ginger had some left from last winter's trip south, and I ran her up a couple of dresses on the sewing machine. This was complemented with some thrifted jumpers and a coat ($2, actually got in Toowoomba)! She is a skinny little thing and we not buy pants that fit her on the waist (size 0 or 6-12 months) and on the legs (size 2, or 18-24 months) so she just needed a couple of pairs of tights and she was right. Her shoes still fitted from last winter (despite there being 2 years between them, there is only one shoe size between my children!).
Tom Kitten I got lucky with. I had thrifted a couple of things over time as I have seen them in the op shops here, but I found someone moving south on Gumtree who was selling their baby boy clothes (all of which were winter clothing). Unfortunately, their baby was the same age as Tom Kitten so they were keeping the 12-18 month size for him, but because they were leaving in a caravan they were selling the size below (6-12 months) and above too (18-24 months). Now because we breed 'em lean here, Tom Kitten can still fit 6-9 month clothing so pretty much his entire wardrobe was sourced there. And, know what? It is much better brands than I could ever afford new - mostly UK brands like Zara and Gap. I also have a fair few clothes for next winter for him too. $70 for the lot and it took up a whole Coles Reusable bag (ie the plastic one!). His shoes I had left from a nearly new sale in Toowooma when Ginger was a little baby, we never ended up using them for her as a friend passed on her daughter's fairy leather shoes - they rather fit with the leaf theme though.
Best Eats of the Trip!
Sugar Loaf Patisserie - 37 President Ave, Kogarah NSW. We stopped here for breakfast when we got off the midnight horror and were about to drive to Canberra. Great churros and croissants. And, the owner was really friendly. Very good prices.
Flour and Stone - 53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo NSW. We had our last day in Sydney and went here for breakfast as we were staying in a hotel so couldn't make our own. Fantastic croissants (go the almond), and Mr Provincial had an apparently very yummy Bran muffin. The tea was proper loose leaf. Yummy.
South Beach Seafood - 20 Gerrale St Cronulla. Dinner here before we left on another night horror flight! Food was great. Unfortunately Tom Kitten was overtired and cried the whole time, so I didn't get to eat much.
We had a great pie out at the Fyshwick markets for lunch one day - but I can't recall the name of the bakery.
Wagamama was great for our one night in Sydney city. They do free kids meals - our kids had chicken, rice and cucumber - with the purchase of an adult's meal.
We also had a great meal for lunch on the way to Canberra, but I am struggling to remember the town. They had an outdoor seating area which, despite the cafe being packed inside, we had to ourselves. They had outdoor toys and the kids had a great time. If anyone is actually interested I will ask Mr Provincial - he has a much better memory for such details. I made the rest of this list off the jottings in the notebook we took with us.