Canberra is not what I expected. It is far more than the grade six trip to Parliament House and the War Memorial [redacted] years ago. My in-laws have just made the move to the bustling Kingston Foreshore, so we embarked on our first interstate pilgrimage to the Capital with the expressed focus on dropping some rather unexpected news.
Three days of shopping, eating, sleeping…. not to mention subtly dropping into conversation on the first night, my pregnancy – Staging is everything, and a word to all about-to-be-mama’s, do it in a public restaurant. Nothing is as fulfilling as a baby hungry mother-in-law trying not to cry and ruin the careful mascara, but succumbing, and blubbering like the soon to be welcomed little bundle!!
Satisfaction? Oh yes!!!
Anyway, after a weekend of pampering, coddling, and generally giving me the shits with asking every 3.5 minutes if I was feeling OK, we check our one meagre bag in and sit to wait for our flight home.
Canberra is nice.
This thought came to me many times during the trip. I recapped on the lovely restaurants and cafes we had visited on our trip. And even though most food was tinged with that beautiful and unique pregnancy taste, I loved every aspect of the weekend. The early autumn weather framed with the beautiful tree-lined streets was an experience in itself.
Kingston Foreshore, we walked and enjoyed the whole vista. So many cafes that were reminiscent of our own usual hangouts in Melbourne. Not bad, were the thoughts that floated between us. Then a visit to the Kingston markets on Saturday morning just topped off the experience.
The outdoors. A brief 20 minutes in any direction and we had stunning nature walks, waterfalls, watering holes and hikes at our disposal. Time was brief, but the options were endless. In no other city can you get this kind of natural beauty so close to the city centre.
The shopping. Who comes to Canberra for the shopping scene? My initial reaction was a hearty scoff and immediate dismissal of the mere suggestion, however between the outlet centre and the easy-to-navigate Civic, I was pleasantly surprised (albeit my bank account startled by the time I’d finished).
The lights and displays of the Enlighten Festival proved to be a gorgeous highlight. Witnessing the opening weekend of the balloon spectacular from our vantage point at the Arboretum is one I will not soon forget. Simply put, breathtakingly beautiful with the little dots of vibrant colour in complete contrast with the crisp blue skies.
The galleries, museums and cultural events, well I lost myself for hours. But that is the point, right? Canberra is definitely no longer the rural backwater void of any culture that I, and my peers, am guilty of implying.
Now I am thinking that I am so happy that my in-laws made the move to Canberra instead of their dinky little place that was sweet, but remote.
Yep, I can see myself visiting here a lot more often. Of course to see the family.