I'm baccccck! I got back from Canberra last night my first trip away since Cohen was born. It was the first time I have been without him for anymore then a odd few hours here and there. Goodbyes at the airport when I left were made a little harder when DH had to take Cohen off me so Caroline and I could board the plane. He started crying which only started pulling at my heartstrings. I turned around to see DH and Cohen taking off in the other direction to distract him from my departure. Lucky for me, I had my dear Caroline with a reassuring arm around me while I had a few tears.
Once in Canberra we really didn't waste much time getting a cab from the airport to our hotel to drop off our bags, as we couldn't check in until later. So we collected our gallery tickets from the hotel and took the same cab to the National Gallery. We had a lovely taxi driver who stopped the meter for us whilst we were taking care of our baggage and tickets for the gallery. Once at the gallery we didn't rush to line up for the exhibition and instead we took some time to have a walk around the surrounding grounds and by Lake Burley Griffin.
The Masterpieces from Paris exhibition opens at 10am each day and we were in line with many, many other people at 9.40am. Eventually the doors opened and we headed in to wander through 5 rooms, 112 masterpieces from the greats Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Monet and many, many more. I enjoyed every room we went into and each masterpiece had something new for you to consider. However when we walked into the third room, above a sea of peoples heads across the room I could see what I had been waiting all this time to see......Van Gogh's works. I know all the artist being shown are all greats, but all I can tell you is that when I saw those pieces staring at me from across the room they stood out like nothing else. To see these pieces in real life is remarkable to say the least. To see Starry Night was really awe inspiring, just so beautiful the attention to detail the reflections, the shine, the currant in the water, the brilliance of which the stars shine. I certainly enjoyed many other pieces throughout the exhibition from other artist ie. The man at the tiller by Théo VAN RYSSELBERGHE, Madame Hector France by Henri-Edmond CROSS, Woman with a black boa by Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC and Hair by Henri-Edmond CROSS. That is really just to name a few, but really the biggest highlight was to see Van Gogh works. I do hope that there will be other opportunities in my life where I will get to see his other works as I would particularly like to see some of his dark pieces which were so sadly misunderstood until long after his passing. In general Van Gogh was a very sadly misunderstood artist and the words and music of Starry Starry Night really show how hauntingly so it was. Check out this youtube link to see for yourself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkvLq0TYiwI (sorry you will have to cut and paste this link to check it out on youtube because I couldn't get it to work as a live link from my blog page.....but please do yourself a favour and check it out).
After the exhibition Caroline and I enjoyed a lunch at a cafe outside by Lake Burley Griffin and enjoyed a stroll afterwards to find an appropriate location to call a cab to return to our hotel. Once back at the hotel we were both exhausted from being up since 3am that morning due to our early flight, so we had lovely afternoon nap. It was a nice indulgence to be able to lay down and have a nap and not be woken and worried that I had to do something......so yeah it was a nice selfish treat. For dinner we walked from Ainslie to Dickson to find an appropriate location for a nights dinning and we scored well. We had a lovely Indian meal Caroline selected a meal that she is now said to be rating in her most memorable meals lists of all time and I enjoyed a very scrummy goat curry. After tea and due to the joys of daylight savings we were still able to walk back to our hotel in relative daylight. We enjoyed a lovely evening before retiring sitting on the balcony chatting, laughing and poking fun at one another.
Thankfully we both enjoyed a very good nights sleep and Saturday morning we loaded up on our continental breakfast.....well at least I made it well and truly worth my while. After checking out of the hotel we went over to the airport and had our luggage checked in hours and hours and hours early and we headed off to the Brand Depot for some shopping. I successfully managed to only spend $20 on myself and bought myself two new maxi dresses, so I am pleased. We came across an awesome store there called Little Monsters and they sell all handmade baby and children's clothing, really cute stuff which has now left me all inspired for more sewing projects. Once we had done a complete circuit of the depot we decided we were tired and sore and that we would head back to the airport.
Back at the airport I had assured Caroline from past experience that we could pay a small fee and we would be able to relax in comfort of the Virgin Blue Lounge. We were informed by the young guy on the counter that the fee was now $35 or if we liked we could buy a yearly membership for something over $500. Ahhh thanks but no thanks! So we decided that setting up camp down from the Virgin Blue Lounge with magazines and puzzle books and bits and pieces was our only alternative for the several hours we were now going to have to wait. But as luck would have it some angel (or maybe angels I think) took care of things for us another employee from the Virgin Blue Lounge walked past and made comment about our set up. To which I replied "yeah but I am sure it would be nicer in there". When he walked back past 10mins later he said come on through to the lounge and we questioned him several times to his seriousness. Caroline and I collected our bits and pieces and were graciously welcomed into the Virgin Blue Lounge by the original guy with a "you should of told me you knew this guy". We were very grateful for our saviour who shall remain nameless and we thanked him several times and were also welcomed to indulge in all the Virgin Blue Lounge had to offer. So we waited out our time until boarding enjoying some antipasto type foods and a glass of wine for me.
We arrived back to Brisbane 20mins early and I was greeted by the cutest of smiles from my darling Cohen. Once home we had difficultly settling him down for the evening. But the best thing from all of it is, that I was able to have snuggles with him in our bed and like a champ he latched back on to the boob until he went back to sleep. So there you go all my worries about me going away and it having a negative effect on our re lactation efforts, were for nothing. Furthermore this afternoon he has backed it up with several longish sessions at the boob again. So in the morning we are off to the hospital to pick up the breast pump and see if we can really get this show on the road.
So all in all I have had the most fabulous weekend with my darling Caroline. It has been so nice to have some head space and time for me to let my guard down for the first time in a long time and let some of the crazy Trudie out. Caroline my dear I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend and all our laughs and digs at one another and just being in your company. You are such a wonderful and amazing friend and you have really done more for me then you know by always being there for me, especially in recent years through some of my darkest days of my life. I love you my darling.....where are we heading to for our next holiday??????