When I think about the season of my life at the moment, those three things – ‘horses, wine & hot springs’ – are not usually connected to me at all. Until, that is, today. My wonderful husband knows of my love of horses, and horse riding. And so for Valentine’s Day Paul purchased vouchers which included riding horses to some wineries, wine tasting, and then a pass to bathe in some very relaxing hot springs. What an amazing combination! And today was the big day!
We have had the day booked in for a few months now, and our main preparations had to do with Heidi and Pippa. It was relatively simple to confirm that Paul’s parents would look after the girls for the day. The difficult part was working out the how part of that. Initially we had thought, because of breastfeeding Pippa, that we would all head down together, I would feed Pippa, off the Grandparents and girls would go, then we would meet again to breastfeed and so on. A good idea, but one that was not looking particularly relaxing. Then I heard about little Prima-style formula milk you can give babies, and we tried one out a week ago. Pippa was happy enough to drink that from a little bottle, and so we gave Ron and Mary the option of what they would like to do. They chose to stay home, and try feed Pippa the formula. And so we now had a plan!
We left at about 8am this morning and headed down to the Mornington Peninsula, on this absolutely beautiful day! 25 degrees, no wind, sun shining in Melbourne at the start of May is perfection. We arrived just when we had planned, and at 10am we were all saddled up and ready to get going! I was riding a spunky little gelding called ‘Cashmere’, while Paul was on the gentle ‘Belle’. We were in a group of about 10 (I think) and most of the ride was a fairly relaxing walk amongst some stunning farms, vineyards and quiet paths.
We stopped at two different wineries, and experienced wine tasting for the first time. Neither Paul nor I are particularly interested in wine, and so we were feeling a little out of our depth to begin with, but soon realised that there were others there who were also more interested in the horse riding side of things, and we relaxed. The places were beautiful! We had enough time to sit and enjoy the scenery and each other at both wineries, before heading home again on our trustworthy steeds.
After dismounting and heading to the car, I managed to do some impressive breast pumping in the car – there is a first and a last for everything – and we arrived at the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs in time for a late lunch. Nachos, Toasties and hot drinks were on the menu to fill up our grumbling bellies. We didn’t even get changed before we ate – we were both very hungry! After our lunch that hit the spot, we got changed and headed out to the relaxing baths. Oh my goodness. What a feeling – our tired, weary, sore limbs were restored to health in those amazing baths. I could have stayed all day!
(Although, as a side note, it was very strange to go to a hot spring and mix with men and women, wearing bathers. My only other experience like it had been in Japan, where the sexes are divided, and nudity is the norm. So it was slightly odd for me today. But it still great!)
The Best Bits
Spending the whole day with Paul – talking, relaxing, doing something fun together, and just being together. We haven’t really done a big day out together since Heidi was born, and I have never been without Pippa since she was born, so it was a big deal today. But to connect, and make special memories together with my husband is a really important (and fun!) thing to do.
Enjoying some beautiful weather and creation was amazing. There is something so refreshing to the soul to be out in nature, enjoying many things that God has made.
Heidi and Pippa had a brilliant time with their Grandparents!
I think it can be a really hard time, especially with a young family, for married couples to be able to spend time together. And yet it is so important. Otherwise life can be simply busy-ness, talking about the kids (although we did do that a little today), and daily comings and goings. To take some time out together, slowly, quietly enjoying conversation and each other – it’s a real shift from kids and family life. It’s so very valuable – and fun!
To my amazing husband for a great gift!
To Ron and Mary for looking after our girls.
To God for being so gracious and giving us just what we need (and more), when we need it.