Freelance Book Designer


Belly moon?

A few weeks ago SNH and I took a long weekend away and had our babymoon. If you’ve never heard the term it’s becoming popular for young, professional couples expecting their first child to take a holiday to relish the (possible) last chance they will have to relax, alone together on holidays. This little sojourn is commonly referred to as a babymoon.

The original plan for our babymoon (even before I was pregnant) was to go to the Cook Islands. It’s an affordable, amazing destination that we’ve been to before and liked the idea of going back. I especially liked to the idea of prancing around in a bikini and large bump. However since my move to full time freelance, money is not something we can be overly frivolous about so an international holiday (no matter how local the south pacific may be) was probably not the best idea.

The next location was Tasmania. However that too proved out of our budget (4 days in Hobart + travel was more expensive than flights + 7 days in the Cook Islands). Also I am so restricted with what I can eat during pregnancy, going to a foodie location like Tasmania/Hobart would have been a waste.

Running out of options and time, we thought of just going to Melbourne for a week and having a ball. But those plans were again dashed as SNH headed up an incredibly large and important (and ultimately very successful) project at work, which meant that the only time he could get off was one or two days in August. Which put me in the ‘no flying without a medical certificate’ category as I was past 34 weeks.

Frustrated, heavily pregnant and weepy with hormones it felt like the end of the world. It was not of course, and a lot of people have it a lot worse than I do. But you couldn’t have convinced me of that fact in July. So, I made the sacrifice and started looking somewhere local (Shock! Horror!) and in the end we settled on the Wild Edge Retreat, Wollombi (at the southern end of the Hunter Valley).

We drove up on Friday and left Sunday, feeling calm, happy and well rested. Which is probably the best outcome for a babymoon! The retreat was amazing and I am so happy we went. It is a group of 4 separate luxury cabins perched on the top of a mountain over looking the Brokeback ranges. Our cabin had a plunge pool (that we didn’t use because it was far too cold!), HUGE spa bath that overlooked the valley (when you opened the by-fold windows) and a huge bed to look out at the view from. It was heaven.

The view from our bath. Photo courtesy of Wild Edge Retreat

Our cabin interior. Photo courtesy of Wild Edge Retreat

Before we left for the weekend I toddled off to the fish markets to visit the Blackwattle Deli to get a hamper of delicious foods to spoil ourselves. Thankfully Meni at the Deli gave me quite a few options of cheeses I can eat, so I stocked up on stinky cheeses, chocolate, dips, olives and other bits and bobs. Stopping at Dan Murphy’s I picked up a cute piccolo of Verve champaign to top off the treat. While SNH bought a selection of cakes, tarts and macarons from the new chocolatier across from his office.

Our stay included a selection of local produce for breakfast, all we needed was someone to cook it all up. A task that SNH was happy to take up.

SNH cooking breakfast on the deck...

... While I relaxed in bed

We drove around Pokolbin on Saturday looking for Antiques places – we found one. There really isn’t much to do in the Hunter Valley if you’re not interested in wine tasting at cellar doors (which neither of us were). But luckily we found a huge country shed full of industrial Antiques and odd things… like a taxidermy Polar Bear.

That Polar Bear was big!

SNH demonstrates the best way to catch a Polar Bear*

* The best way to catch a Polar Bear (a Dad Joke)

Cut a hole in the ice and sprinkle frozen peas around the edge. When the polar bear comes down for a pea, kick it in the ice hole.


On our return to Sydney we drove the long way and stopped at Century Antiques Centre in Newcastle, where I found two chairs I have been looking for for over 7 years: Snelling armchairs. I am constantly on the look out for Snelling and Featherston chairs – on council chuck-out piles, thift stores, markets, collectables shops, where ever! I refuse to pay the stupid prices they are going for now so I have had my fingers crossed that some old couple would throw theirs out.

But when I found these in the centre I was so amazed I sat down in one and had a look of complete shock on my face, when SNH turned the corner and spotted me freaking out. He then started to freak out, thinking my water had broken!  Poor SNH, I got a good telling off for being overly dramatic (Moi? Certainly not!). Then I got a case of the guilts for spending money when we really shouldn’t, but they were priced so low I would have kicked myself for years to come if we hadn’t gotten them. Plus they are now in my loungeroom and every time I see them I love them even more.

One of our new Snelling chairs

SNH playing Snelling Tetris trying to fit both the chairs and our luggage in the back of my car.

I am sure that the price was low because the previous owner did a little ‘make-do and mending’ so they aren’t completely original, but I couldn’t care less.

And that was our babymoon. A lovely weekend with a top score at the end.
Now as I sit at home bored out of my skull waiting for impending labour I am planning our first holiday with bub, Japan sounds good to me!