Friday, June 25, 2010

Weekend away..

Over a month ago I was lucky enough to be whisked away for a lovely long weekend 
at magical Shoal Bay, located in Port Stephens some three hours North of Sydney. 

Relaxing days on and by the beach, including the gorgeous 'One Mile Beach'.

This trip took place back in early May and I had all intention to post some of the pics
and stories from this fab trip a long time ago.. Am very sorry for the delay friends.  xx

Oscar perfecting his hand stands on the beach, friendly pelicans watching us have snacks and the famous yellow/red flag of Australian beaches.

Amongst enormous Sea Eagles, hawks, yellow crested cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets, corellas and many others were these hungry dudes that
kept on swerving in from all around us as we were having a snack on the beach! I love bird and was needless to say in heaven here!

We had four days in this paradise and went there with the focus on spending as much
time as possible in the fresh air and stunning outdoors. One morning we went out on 
a dolphin cruise and were richly rewarded by many beautiful finned friends swimming
next to our boat. I absolutely love dolphins and think there is something so great about 
these amazing creatures. I always feel so infused with positive energy having been close
to them and this time was no different. I could have spent all day watching them really.

 Marshall and Oscar chatting at the stern of the boat, the view from the marine sanctuary near Little Beach, dolphin friends, and our cheesy cruise boat.

Port Stephens (the bay/area) is brimming with the most amazing marine life making it
the perfect place for snorkeling and diving (if you are not afraid of sharks!). As the kids
are too young to take into deeper waters, we spent the afternoon snorkeling at the natural
marine sanctuary near Little Beach and saw so many fantastic animals, including large
turtles, tropical fish and more dolphins swimming past just meters away from us. As you
can imagine we were in heaven and this blissful time flew by very quickly. So amazing!

Oscar checking the territory before heading out, Isabella and I splashing around, Marshall & Oscar getting ready. Seagulls watching nearby.

On my birthday I was celebrated thoroughly by my beloved little trio and was given a 
gorgeous & lovingly prepared warm breakfast, songs in both Swedish and English as
well as some much too expensive presents and some truly sweet handwritten cards. xx
I felt so loved, spoiled and grateful for all the effort, attention and wonderful kindness!

Nothing better than a big kiss from the kids! We held off on the cake until we returned to Sydney. Total bliss.
Oscar is an aspiring gymnast and kept on practicing his hand stands.. He got it in the end!

The fab three that made sure this weekend was perfect. I love them to bits and I can't breathe without them!

After breakfast we spent the rest of the morning just strolling around in the sweet little 
marina of Nelson Bay. For lunch we stopped at a great little place on the water and had
fresh fish that had been caught that morning and was served straight off the barge! Yum!

Nelson Bay marina with all the fishing boats and private yachts. Even the tie poles on the pier are cute (heart shaped). Isabella wading.

Yep, another one. This time watching us have fish for lunch.. He kept on pulling his beak down over his neck.. very odd, but impressive!

In the afternoon we headed over to an amazing place called 'Stockton Beach' which is the
largest moving sand-mass in the Southern hemisphere. The actual beach is 32 km long (!)
and is attached to what seems like a desert with sand dunes as high as 30 meters. Suffice to
say this place is incredible and my photomaniac husband was let loose with his camera and
tripod for a couple of hours whilst the kids and I relaxed and played on the beach. If you
haven't already, please do check out his amazing Flickr stream. He is very very talented!!

The kiddies loved this part of Port Stephens - so much to climb on, run around in and generally just explore and investigate!

The view from the beach as you enter the dunes. So surreal!

The beach is so hard and compact that the council allows 4 wheel drives to cruise along the shoreline. Though the boys did have a swim
here Isabella and I stayed on shore and in hindsight I am happy we did as Marshall showed me THIS real life film when we got back home...

 Isabella deciding the beach and desert needed a tree..

Come Mother's Day we were all so tuned into the relaxed lifestyle and rhythm of Shoal Bay
that we contemplated staying for ever.. but life back in Sydney awaited and it was time to go.

Those are Isabella's little foot prints.. is there anything cuter than little feet...!?!

We'll definitely be back here at our favourite spot before we head off to Europe next year,
and for any of you planning a visit to Australia, this is one of your must-see-places!!
I just know you will love it as much as our little family does!

xx Charlotta

Images: 1 Catherine Ledner, 3 Chris Everard, 23 Churchill Daily Photo, 24 Jean-Mark Palisse, 
44 Thayer Allyson Gowdy , 47 The Bridal Cafe and 48 Troy House via Paper Moon. 
All other images are private and must not be used by anyone without prior written consent.


Stacey said...

These family moments were captured beautifully! Such treasures!

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

oh Charlotta such a beautiful post! amazing place and photos! you can surely tell you enjoyed so happy family moments. thanks for sharing! xo

p.s. thanks for the mention on the previous post, 'Smizing' supermodel ;)

A Casa da Vá said...

there is one great way to spend your birthday... and no, there is nothing cuter than little feet!

A Casa da Vá said...

dear charlotta how can you be soooo sweet? i am really touched by your words and i can feel your support all the way from australia - you are one special lady! and i am your new follower - thank you so much!

Splendid Willow said...

Finally a picture of YOU! A proud Mother in a loving moment with her precious daughter!

The trip sounds amazing! Will read more later. I am off to the beach!

Love, Mon

A Perfect Gray said...

charlotta,those were stunning. glimpses of a place that I could only see via your Space. Thanks so much for sharing that beautiful time with us. your words hit the mark and make us know how deeply you love your family.


love to you, Donna

Terri said...

Oooh Charlotta, what beautiful pictures! It looks like you had a amazing trip with your family... thank you for sharing!


A Room For Everyone said...

Although I lived in Sydney for a few years, I never ventured very far north in NSW. I love your looks like a beautiful place. And it sounds like it was a wonderful holiday. The kids look so happy..Rachaelxx

s a n s k u :) said...

now this is a real vacation! wish i could have been there. :)

Mona Thompson said...

What a wonderful spot! What a wonderful trip! What a wonderful birthday! What a wonderful family! You are truly blessed. Thanks for sharing.

anna k. said...

Underbara bilder, hoppas jag få se en sån här vy en dag! Ha nu en fin Midsommar Charlotta - jag gissar på att det smyger in sig lite traditioner även om det är vinter för dig!!

Stor kram från ett soligt Stockholm!

Carole said...

Looks amazing Charlotta. You have a beautiful family. Have a great weekend. Carole x

Style Attic said...

Your long weekend in this post just summed up a life long dream trip for me :) As if I needed more evidence and proof that I would love to experience all of that. My goal is to travel the world and I've got a good dent in that list, but I've so far to go and look forward to. You and yours are beautiful and it was nice of you to share. The photos are fantastic!!!

Nuit said...

OH my gosh!! so NICE! sooooo NICE! I love those beach shots, the pelicans and your little girl!! So lovely Charlotta!!! xoxoxooxoxoox

Fer said...

Thank you for sharing this magical moments, they look out of a movie.

Simple things in life are the most memorable ones.



Leigha said...

Thanks for letting us share your fun!

The Zhush said...

Looks and sounds like just THE best time, and your photos are absolutely gorgeous!!!

Kellie Collis said...

Gorgeous pics... Makes me wish for summer time! Have a lovely weekend! x

Urban Style Vibes said...

Incredible capture of lovely moments! I would loooooooooove to come to Oz one day. So much inspiration!


Lise M.

shari @ little blue deer said...

Oh, Charlotta! What a wonderful time! You are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place with such a lovely family, thank you for sharing it with us! I so enjoyed your comment on my blog, too, you are so kind! XO!

Kerry said...

What wonderful photos and beautiful family memories. I grew up in Newcastle so have very fond memories of Port Stephens.

Charlotta Ward said...

Hello my friends and thank you for all your comments. It's so nice to hear from you and to be able to share family treasures with you.

Stacey - thank you. x

Caroline - Hope you are well. Yes this is a fantastic place and we had such a precious time! x

Vanessa - yes my birthday and mother's day were more than I can wish for. Teary by your sweet response to my comments. x Of course I'll be there dear friend. Thanks for becoming a follower. x

Mon - hello my dear sis. Yes pictures of me are rare, and you know why.. However yes, I am busting with love and pride for my amazing children. The trip was heaven. xx

Donna - Thanks hon, and yes I love them more than I can say. Such a privilege to share my life with them!xx

Terri - Thanks my friend. Yes it was a fantastic trip. x

Rachael - Oh you MUST go! It is only a couple of hours drive North of Sydney, near Newcastle. Any time of the year is fantastic! Go go go!

Mona - Yes I am truly and totally blessed. I know and I am grateful for that! x

Anna - Tack min van. Hoppas att du hade en skon midsommar ocksa. Stor kram och njut av sommaren! xx

Carole - Yes, aren't they just gorgeous! This little trio is the core of my heart and soul! x

Style Attic - Aaaw thank you! That is so nice and I hope that you will get to retrace this trip one day. You will have memories for life! xx

Nuit - Yes aren't those pelicans amazing! I love them, and they have so much personality. The kids have grown up with them and aren't at all scared. Incredible creatures (both kids and birds.. :) xx

Fer - Yes memories for a lifetime. And let me tell you, this trip was so perfect it could have been scripted. We simply had a beyond amazing time! xx

Leigha - Thanks hon for reading. xx

Sue - Thanks, we are a photoholic family and with my husband being a photographer there is always an abundance. xx

Lise - You MUST come to OZ. Soon! Because we move to Sweden next year!... Then you can come there in stead.. xx

Shari - Yes Australia is stunning and it is a privilege to have paradise on our doorstep like this. I love your blog girl - I'm with you all the way! xx

Kerry - I can imagine you have been here many times. Newcastle is just a stone's throw away.. Would love to hear your memories! xx

Love, thanks and hugs to all!


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