Life is a beach

If only! It’s been great to decompress down at Ocean Grove on the back of 2020 and all that seems to have befallen me these past couple of months. As I’ve said, I’m looking forward to starting my new year all over again next month. While we had a strange 24 hours in Melbourne attending my step-mum’s funeral, we decided to return to the beach given we’d paid for a full fortnight and a holiday in a green zone seems to be one of the greatest luxuries at the moment.

After playing ‘Spot the Porsche’ in Blairgowrie last summer, we moved on to ‘Spot the Ford Ranger’ in Ocean Grove. It’s one of the top suburbs for first home buyers and a different demographic given it’s more affordable. While perhaps a bit more rough and ready than the polished Mornington Peninsula, I really like the Surf Coast – it has a different feel.

My kids had their first ever surf lesson at Go Ride a Wave managing to get up on their beginner G boards. Friends who are surfers recommend doing 3 lessons in a row, similar to skiing, to really get the hang of it. If you’re a competent swimmer, then I think surfing is a bit of a no brainer in Australia – we’re an island continent surrounded by water and it’s been incredibly therapeutic to be by the sea.

I was lucky in that two sets of friends were holidaying nearby and we caught up with the first group at the Ocean Grove Bowling Club, which serves consistently good food although the air con was turned up high and we were one of the last tables to leave as we were in the 7pm (not 5pm) booking session. I think they’re used an older crowd who have dinner early, and leave early!

Brewicolo Food Truck – Ocean Grove

With our second group of friends, we dined for the first time at The Dunes which has ocean views set amongst the sand dunes of Ocean Grove near where my kids did their surf lessons at the beach (and where you can grab coffees from their kiosk window). It gives this more stylish establishment a great atmosphere and the service and food were excellent.

The Hive Gallery – Ocean Grove

Our last night in Ocean Grove was spent at Japanese restaurant Cha Cha on the main drag and while the interior is fairly sparse, the food is very good although I’m not sure the sliver of Japanese cheesecake was worth $16! Maybe pass on the dessert if you go.

It was cool the last few days we spent there so we did end up returning to the Grubb Road industrial estate to visit the Salvos store which was OK, the Vinnies store which was much better and Mr Rosanna had a quick drink at local brewer Brewicolo although we were too early for the food truck which doesn’t open until 5pm. We also popped our heads in to the Hive Gallery which is worth a visit if you’re in the area and located in the same building as Zero Point Yoga.

Barwon Heads food truck

We packed up yesterday after walking to Kyosk (related to but separate from Japanese furniture retailer Kyo) to grab takeaway coffees (which you can pre-order using the Skipp app) before jumping into our very packed car and driving home here to Rosanna. Mr Rosanna and I had an interesting week at the beach, which I’ll explain next time, suffice to say that a new year always rings in changes and this year is no different.


Live like you’re dancing

Welcome to 2019. It’s my take out (above) from the book The courage to be disliked which I finished reading before Christmas. We’re so often busy thinking about the final point that we miss all the living in between, which is where our focus really should be and this is something I’m going to try to keep in mind this year. After my not so thrilling word for the year last year being ‘consolidation’, this year’s much sexier option is ‘adventure’!

Yes, I’ve decided freedom, courage and self-acceptance will be my mantra for this year – a year to try new things with new people and keep an open heart and mind. It’s a big year of change for my family with all of us on new and different paths so I hope we transition well into this next stage of life.

We had another short but sweet stay at Ocean Grove on the Bellarine Coast this time booking a house called ‘Endless Sunset‘ on AirBnb (pictures above and below), which was a lot of fun. Em – the owner has a great eye and the house had all sorts of vintage quirks and pieces mixed with new. The dog-friendly back yard, with a fantastic deck and established vegetable garden, was a real highlight as well as the big TV screen and surround sound inside which was great for enjoying New Year’s Eve movies. The equally dog-friendly street leading to the dog-friendly cafe 150m away was also very handy and you guessed it, we spent a lot of time at the dog beach while we were there, which was the whole reason we chose the Bellarine Coast instead of the Mornington Peninsula.

We managed to catch up with friends one night for dinner at the Ocean Grove Bowling Club but the nearby Ocean Grove Golf Club was also recommended by Em. It was a pretty low-fi break with our diet consisting of pies, burgers, pizza and fish and chips – standard beach fare! As always, I’ve been envious of those with family beach houses as I think it’s a great opportunity to involve your kids in Nippers, beach swimming and running events, sailing and surf lessons and a whole different lifestyle if you are lucky enough to have access to these options. Mr Rosanna also enjoyed going out for a long bike ride meeting up with a friend one sunny morning in nearby Point Lonsdale.

I sadly had to come back early from our trip to attend a funeral, but it was still great to get away for a period of time. Mr R and I have also spent time looking at furniture and furnishings including checking out mid-century furniture at Grandfather’s Axe in Northcote (with a gelati pitstop at Il Melograno) as well as the Vintage Bazaar in Alphington, which is closing down. The current space will be a warehouse until April but after that the business will be going online. After a decade of living in our house, Mr R and I lashed out on a 1930s Art Deco sideboard to replace my mum’s teak cabinet that I’ve been storing for her all this time. We are looking forward to receiving our new (old) piece once it’s delivered and finally completing our formal living room although now investigating the possibility of installing a skylight given how dark the room is.

Point Lonsdale beach

Our former toy room for the kids is also slowly changing to become a proper second living space and so it’s been nice to look at new furniture options for that room as well. It’s been one of the best things about children growing up and moving away from all things plastic to technology (despite some of the pitfalls that also brings with it) and I’m not missing stepping on pieces of Lego.

Il Melograno – Northcote

I’ve got a couple of weeks before I start my new job so madly scrambling around trying to get myself organised for the year and put some systems in place on top of general de-cluttering and keeping the children amused, given Mr R is already back at work.

Kite surfer – Ocean Grove

There are some great things happening locally on the cultural front, which I’ll be posting about soon. I hope you had a restful and relaxing festive period – lucky you if you’re still on holidays but even for those at work, January is still pretty sleepy so enjoy the slower pace!