Exploring waterfalls and rivers in gumboots...wandering the peak of Mount Wellington in mustard tights & mittens...home baked cookies...Kevin & Winnie Cooper...a dog-in-a-band...a fiercely fun game of mini golf + desserts = birthday celebrations...all part of this visit to Hobart...
Wandering mountain trails with my camera in hand...content to stray a bit further behind the others...keeping my eye out for small details like a lichen shaped heart on the forest floor.
Catching tiny glimpses of the city of Hobart far below...blanketed by clouds and an early chill. From our perch we drank in the stillness, the width and the breadth of it...our faces toward the morning sun...cupping steaming mugs in our hands...our toes cosy & slippered.
Absorbing the details of where my sister now lives. The chalkboard from their wedding on the wall of the kitchen...the beginnings of a knitted beanie present for a little one on the dining table...a cup of tea always in progress. It's easier to feel connected across an ocean when I can now picture her in these rooms. I can see it in her eyes...contentment...a new level of happiness...she's found her home with him.
Watching her thumb through recipes in cook books that immediately fall to the pages of favourites...the paper smudged with cocoa and flour. I'm methodically chopping dark chocolate, she's measuring & folding cranberries. One baking tray holds vegan cookies, the other salted caramel chocolate ones. The smell of baking is the backdrop to conversations had over dishes stacked...over warming up by the heater...over the individual nests we make on the couch with cushions and throws.
I'm starting to lose count of our visits here, but we were yet to venture to the summit of Mount Wellington...this time we take advantage of clear skies & drive to the top. The twists and turns of the road slowly leave the deep green bracken of the forest and damp moss behind...replaced by pockets of crisp white snow...the remnants of rock falls...hardy tufts of mustard, muddy green & rust-meets-aubergine. Plants designed to survive the heights, the cold. the wind. The views down to the city, the river and the sprawling nature of Tasmania below are spectacular...but I find it hard to take my eyes off the colours immediately around me. The snow is deliciously blinding...the rocks stoic and sure. I carefully pick my path amongst them...not yet wanting to leave.
We are here to celebrate the thirtieth birthday of my little sister. Beyond the many cookies, there is going out for breakfasts and dinner, home cooked quesadillas ...cheesecake and lavender infused creme brûlée..a competitive game of mini golf (where three sisters scored three holes in one)...presents unwrapped...laughter and hugs...selfies & Wonder Years re-runs...the fairy lights of Salamanca at night. Many coffees, much goodness.
I love nothing more than wandering without knowing what's around the next corner...collecting new photos...places to share. But through it all, the feeling that this city, their house, the mountain...it's like we've found another place to belong. On our drives to brunch, I am starting to recognise streets...cafes we've revisited, and will again...stores whose pretty things I still treasure from last time. Familiarity is seeping in, and I'm letting it settle with me. It's easier to breathe & let go when it feels like a little piece of home somehow.
I've saved a new brunch place (with another epic French Toast) and a couple of lovely stores to share with you in another post :)
If you've been to Hobart & surrounds and know of somewhere sweet to explore, let me know...I've started a notebook on where I might wander next!