This time of year smells like school holidays. Long stretches of hot, sunny days spent jousting on Pool Ponies in the backyard swimming pool; nursing grass-burns from the muddy puddles that form at the bottom of the slip 'n slide; jumping up and down on the neighbour's trampoline while the hose creates an ankle-deep lake. Cartwheeling through the sprinkler. That was pretty much every summer of my childhood. We had never heard of water restrictions. Often we'd all pile into the car and take a week or two's holiday on the coast, visiting my Grandpa in Queensland. Every day we'd leap through ocean waves, collect seashells, beg for ice cream. Every night we'd fall asleep with salt crusted in our hair.
Family holidays today seem to be so much more sophisticated. Before she was officially a teenager, Emily Rose had already been to India, America, Europe, New Zealand, and had accumulated so many domestic travel miles that she was a Silver Frequent Flyer with Virgin while still an unaccompanied minor. Next year, she will be off to Italy for an excursion with her public school.
Part of me longs for the nostalgia of my own childhood. Of the pure joy we found in the simple things. But at the same time, I am positively itching to get back on a plane myself. And I can't tell you what it would mean to see New York and Paris again, this time through Madeleine's eyes.
So to somewhat ease my itchy feet, this is a rather long and roundabout way of letting you know that today's collection of five favourite things are all about the journey. Have a lovely weekend!
1. La Maisonnette du Coteau
I am devastated that I missed out on entering the competition to win a week's holiday in this stunningly renovated holiday home in the French countryside. After three years of work, Stephanie Brubaker of Stephmodo and her family finally finished renovating "La Maisonnette," and very generously offered a week long vacation for a lucky reader! Can you imagine a more beautiful place for a getaway? Here is the full story of the renovation.
2. The travelling notebooks
This is a project after my own heart. Three travelling notebooks are winding their way around the world. One is being filled with recipes, another with photographs, and a third with favourite things. You sign up for one of the notebooks. When it arrives you find a couple of free pages and add your own entry, then send it off to the next person on the list. I first saw this on Rosalilium and you can see her entry in the recipe book here.
3. The globetrotter gift guide
Plenty of ideas in this lovely gift guide from Honestly WTF for what to get for the globetrotter in your life. Or for the wishes-she-was-a-globetrotter. I'm just sayin'.
4. Babes on a plane!
I have bookmarked this post called Traveling Abroad with Littles from Rockstar Diaries, as well as this one on flying, for the day when I actually am brave enough to take to the skies with Miss Madeleine. I am so excited to show her the world. And so afraid of taking her on a plane, with no escape, and all those other people who also have no escape!
5. An unexpected journey
The long-expected release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is scheduled for Boxing Day in Australia. I'm really looking forward to this movie. I liked the Lord of the Rings trilogy but didn't love it. Kind of how I felt about the books, too. But as a child, I LOVED The Hobbit. I still remember my father giving me the book to read, when I was quite young. His version had a picture of the dragon on the front and, for the first few pages, I was quite confused because I thought a hobbit was a dragon. What do you think? Will you be going to see this?