Thursday, June 14, 2012

look back on with joy

Last Sunday, my little family went off  to the Blue Mountains, for a boy's birthday treat.

It was SO SO cold there! Amazing that we didn't see Emperor Penguins wandering about, sing-calling for mates, laying eggs in a huddle. We dashed into a shop at some point and bought scarves and gloves. Another moment, I thought my feet might have actually frozen off, and were being used somewhere for an ice sculpture.

It was beautiful, too. Not in the typical Blue Mountains beautiful way, which looks like this:

(There was much too much fog, and cloud, and mist, and rain for that). But beautiful in the way of,

"We're together. Here under the dripping sky, wandering through the swirling mist, off on a sweet adventure that belongs just to we four. We who love each other and never like to be apart. We who are our own four-penguin huddle, singing songs only we truly understand."

There was a gorgeous circus shop to juggle balls and clubs and toss diabolos in (and where we spent much birthday money! The shop was the reason for the trip, and the stuff in it was my boy's main birthday present),

and a cosy hostel to bunk down in (it was so warm and lovely in there. With a fire and soft couches, a big old kitchen, free wi-fi, and incredibly affordable rates. We loved it),

The Blurry Jugglers…
all practicing in the hostel hallway. Gorgeous.

and a fantastic restaurant to eat a yummy dinner in (with wonderful service, and a lot of silly jokes and love happening inside),

and a hattery to hatter about in (so much fun!),

and a book store we always go to whenever we're in the mountains (it's just yummy in there, and you can sit for hours, perusing),

and—in a fantabulous moment of Serendipity
(we just popped into a little shopping arcade to get out of the rain, and there it was)—

a wonderful vegan cafe to spend hours in (literally, we spent hours. Came for lunch, then went to the book store and came back for vegan, gluten-free desert!).


I think this was the only time the whole weekend
my husband wasn't cracking jokes, keeping us laughing,
making us smile the way he does. He was focused on
his Mad Future Vegan Cooking Skilz, I think.

Rubyfruit is so delightful. A totally vegan cafe, with a big gluten-free menu—Bliss. We met the women who created it last year, when we went to the Cruelty-Free Festival in Sydney. That's when we discovered their cupcakes. They are heaven. Then we found their cheesecakes at a pizzeria in Newtown (Basil Pizza—where you can get vegan-gluten-free pizza—pure gold) and did little happy dances then too.

Now, all we have to do is get into the car and drive for oh, two hours, to yum their food up, any time we want. The food is truly delicious. The energy of the place is so warm, and filled with smiling kindness. You feel good just sitting there, and then you get to eat food that makes you Shut-your-eyes-Happy. Could anything be better than that?

Knowing this wonderful cafe is there, is another reason I love the Blue Mountains. I've always loved it up there. I've grown up going there, and remember bushwalking with my parents, falling in love with the pure silken darkness of Jenolan Caves, going up with uni friends, growing up going and going, and now…coming almost every year with my little Penguin Clan.

All my husband and I wanted this year, with everything that has been happening, was for our boy to have a good birthday. To have a day/days he could look back on and remember with real joy.

As my husband was paying for our second meal at Rubyfruit, the kids and I leant against a balcony railing in the little shopping arcade, peering down at the people below. My son turned to me, with his big clear eyes, and kind heart, and said, "Mum. Thank you. Thank you for this weekend. I think this is the best birthday I've ever had."



Joy. Found.



  1. Happy Birthday! Looks like y'all had funtimes in my old home town. I wish there was a vegan cafe there when I was growing up in the rain and mist....that is something I don't miss! Trudging to school with sodden trousers and sneakers... :D

  2. Wow. What a beautiful post....I'm a mountains girl too. I always love it when I go back to visit - especially in the winter. But I'm yet to find this Vegan cafe! Our face eating is usuallyCommon Ground.

    1. Thanks, Amber! We love Common Ground too—it's like going into a tree house—magic. Rubyfruit has only been open for two weeks, that's why you haven't found it yet! It's waiting there for you (in Leura, in case you're wondering which sweet Blue Mountains village it's nestled in). :)

  3. What a lovely way to celebrate! It looks so beautiful there, not at all like my silly American mind thinks of "Australia". A circus shop, a hattery and a book store...what more could you ask for?

  4. This: "All my husband and I wanted this year, with everything that has been happening, was for our boy to have a good birthday. To have a day/days he could look back on and remember with real joy."

    My heart clenched with understanding (and I got teary-eyed - don't tell).


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.