What can I say?……………COVID put the chocks under our plane wheels and we had turned to regional car trips or uncovered hidden treasures while walking in our own local back streets for many months. These were enjoyable, but there was always the feeling that our wings had been clipped. That is until today! Yes, four friends joined in an adventure – flying again.
How do you keep the strain of clenched teeth and crunched knuckles from bubbling over each time there was a news report of another outbreak and local lockdowns were back in place? With great patience!
So, 4 friends hooked on books and the love of all things about writing and writers finally donned their masks, peeled those luggage tags and boarded the domestic flight to Melbourne. What a joy! Front row seats, extra leg room, pre-ordered snacks and a hassle-free flight from Brisbane heralded a long weekend which had been almost 2 years in the planning, replanning and ‘holding our breath’ phases. To step out of Terminal 4 to cloudless Melbournian skies was even more joyful!
Hire car routine was friendly and less worrisome than anticipated, and we were soon off up the M8 to Ballarat relatively smoothly. My trepidation at being the driver of an 8 seater was slightly eased through the handy navigation from Shirl the Pearl. Ballarat beckoned and our arrival at the heritage Lascelles terrace house put the icing on the cake of that first day.
A beautifully equipped two-storey bnb presented us with the delicious dilemma of which of the beaut bedrooms to choose….some dilemma😁 Quirky art works, light fittings and accessories certainly add a sense of whimsy to the place. Our initial impressions were WOW!
We had decided on a quick luggage drop, then off to discover a bite to eat. Lake Wendouree Boatshed was a great choice! With the sun glistening on the water, black swans gliding past and our meal choices hitting the spot, we all relaxed in to our holiday away. The absolute joy at being in our Golden Olding ex-teacher years was realised when we saw a group of students nearby obviously on an excursion, and not one of us was tempted to join them.
But we had tickets booked for a visit to the well-respected Ballarat Art Gallery, so we hotfooted it down Sturt Street admiring the historical architecture and opulence of this once thriving gold town and spent a pleasant hour or so admiring the exhibitions. Having a key art teacher’s eye in the group with G was a boon.
What is a weekend away without drinks and nibbles? Lacking! So it was a supply run on the way back to our digs, a fabulous platter, some fortifying wines and mellow lighting as we sunk in to the comfy couches in front of a fireplace in the lounge. The fireplace remained unlit, though the evening chill in the air meant Queenslanders – well myself – eagerly switched on the electric blanket. An early night beckoned after the very early start.
And so endeth Day 1 of our flying again adventure………