09 November 2016
FIRST TASTE OF SUMMER - LORNEby MATT CHARLESWORTH
It’s been a long and wet winter down here in Melbourne. Underneath all the layers of coats and scarves and hats, one almost forgets that yes, the sun will eventually come out for longer than a day at a time. (Then we will all complain about how hot it is and start longing for the cooler weather again.)
But not me, I hate winter. it makes me feel low, like a record playing on a slow speed setting, you can still hear the music but it sounds somber. All the coldness makes me hide behind behind screens, hyper-connected online and ironically so very disconnected from the simple joys of everyday life.
It’s amazing how transformative a few days by the sea can be. A weekend in Lorne full of fresh air, stunning views, salt water and sunshine, provided us all with much needed manna for the soul and a taste of the summer to come.
We busted the kid out of school early on Friday and hit the road till we saw the ocean, the first glimpse of the turquoise blue water is always exciting. A road trip is always an adventure, but none more so than a journey on Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road. Once you drive under the historical marker at Eastern View the road starts to take on a life of it’s own, hugging the side of the cliffs with distractingly beautiful ocean views, switching back through fern filled gullies, and testing the resilience to motion of even the most well travelled back seat passenger.
The road into Lorne is memorable and it’s amazing to think it was built by hand with only picks, shovels and horse-drawn carts by thousands of returned soldiers almost 100 years ago.
We were lucky that weather gods were smiling over Lorne and blessed us with sunny days for our whole stay. We wasted no time, after settling in to our home for the weekend we headed off to explore and wander.
The roar of the waves crashing and the blue water drew us like a magnet. Our first adventure of the weekend – a walk along the beach to the pier.
Emma is always picking up sticks and other random finds on our walks. On this occasion she decided that a giant piece of kelp was coming home with us.
The next morning an even bigger adventure was awaiting us all. The whole family was booked into surfing lessons with Go Ride A Wave. I never thought I’d ever try surfing, but I’m not one to turn down an opportunity to experience something new and I’m so glad I gave it a go. Emma was so excited about getting out on a board, and with her wet suit on, she looked like a proper little grommet.
Our instructor David was super enthusiastic and his aim was to get us all standing by the end of our 2 hour lesson. Turns out I’m not a surfer, well not on this occasion anyway, the ocean truly kicked my butt, (David and I had a good laugh about it). Dumpy waves were not my friend but I had a red hot go and maybe next time, when the water is a bit calmer, I’ll give it another try. The stand out performer in our family was the Mr, who made it his mission to at least stand up once (which he did, but I wasn’t watching).
Next time you are in Lorne, take a surf lesson, it’s truly an immersive experience, both metaphorically – you’ll be connected to the rich surf culture of the area, and literally, because you are going to get dumped by waves over and over.
At home the weekends seem to just fly by, but in Lorne, it felt like time slowed down. Just two nights away felt like a whole summer holiday complete with games of twister, leisurely meals and a few tasty treats; lots of playground time and even a sneaky nap thrown in for good measure.
But all good things must come to an end and it was reluctantly time to head home, but not before one last hurrah. No weekend in Lorne is complete without jumping on the big blue trampolines on the foreshore, it’s a tradition. For only $5 for 10 minutes, who can deny the kid a bit of energy burning fun.
I really love this last shot with both Emma and a cockatoo flying high. She is so full of energy this one!
On the drive home Emma proclaimed this ‘the best holiday ever!‘ For a kid who has been to Disneyland twice, that’s a pretty big call. But children live in the moment, and all the moments of those past few days having fun with mum and dad felt pretty special to her. A happy childhood memory created right there – Our first taste of summer in Lorne.
Looking for somewhere to stay in Lorne? Read my review of Lorne Chalet Apt 38