The best plans in life are always the unplanned ones. Those with the minimal expectations and preparations. Where you just jump in the car pretty late in the day and flip a coin to choose a destination. When you forget to bring some of the most vital elements for being outdoors, i.e. a stroller and kids jackets (oops). Those are the days that make for the best memories down the lane. I live for such days with my family.
Last weekend, we embarked on one such adventure on an afternoon and found ourselves driving among the thick, lush, magnificent jungles of the Dandenong Ranges. Its a shame that we haven’t been there as much as we should have in the past considering that its only a 30 minutes drive from where we live. But its a comforting prospect that we can go back again anytime we want, cause I just want to move in there.
I never want to ‘get used’ to the beauty of my surroundings. I always want to gasp in awe and appreciate it as much as i can, cause I believe thats its a blessing, a splash of magic.
And so I was in a similar state of amazement while we were driving through winding country roads shaded by a canopy of trees filtering golden light rays, smiling from ear to ear. It was my happy place, that moment. Pure joy.
This is what I love the most about travel. It wakes up every cell in your body and makes you extremely conscious of your surroundings. So much so that years pass by, yet you still remember those times with acute clarity and can always take yourselves back to that exact moment, and feel it, even smell it.
So we were driving among the Dandenong Ranges, taking in the scenery around us, stopping a couple of times to admire the views. I really wanted to drop by some cute little villages scattered about the ranges. These little towns were full of vintage charm. It made me so very happy to see that they weren’t influenced by the modern touch and their old character was preserved. Be it the cafes, eateries, local pubs, or the antiques shops, the treasured boutiques, the vintage stores. I could spend hours browsing through those. But thats a task for another day. I feel its never a good idea to take my kids in such stores for a longer period so I mostly just looked from the outside.
Me and the husband were fasting and we actually had a tough time finding a cafe that would still be open when we break our fast, as most of these were closing by 4 or 5. But eventually we did manage to squeak in a beautiful cafe with inside brick walls and a huge fireplace with vintage posters on the walls. It had the most amazing cakes and slices, we ordered a few with our coffees.
I hardly took any photo of the forest surroundings but i did capture a little bit of the villages. Looking back, these are my favorite set of photos in many months. I can’t wait to go back next month and scour the vintage shops in Olinda and lounge in the tearooms in Sassafras.
More travel posts here .