The due date of our first child is now hurtling towards us. We only have a few more weeks before our family of two becomes a family of three and our lives change forever. Surely we have time to shoehorn in one final trip before the big day.
Unfortunately we are surprisingly busy trying to get our lives in order so we are pretty much limited to a long weekend. We are also now well into the no-fly period which means that we find ourselves somewhat limited in our options for a cheeky pre-baby getaway.
Luckily, we happen to find ourselves in the spectacularly beautiful city of Perth in sunny Western Australia. Perhaps its time for a holiday in our home town. What would a Tanya and Andrew style weekend getaway in Perth look like?
We typically get our work done in the morning so Friday morning would be all about chores and tying up lose ends. There's no play without some work first. By midday we have swapped a full inbox for a full outbox and our time off can begin!
First stop is a nice hotel in the city center. Our choice in accommodation is often pretty cheap and cheerful but, for a short stay, it is nice to splash out.
We only have a few weekend getaway accommodation requirements.
First is a spa, a spa with a view of the TV. Romantic I know. I am certainly happy to spend quality time with Tanya and we won't say no to a lovely view of the nearby Swan river but, at some point, we are going to want to some other entertainment and we don't want to have to get out of the spa to get it.
The importance of a decent sized spa has only increased as the pregnancy has progressed. While most people think of other things when they imagine the uses of a spa in a hotel room, there is nothing quite like a long soak in a hot bath for those aching joints and back. We are just so glamorous.
We considered a number of options including the luxury hotel-spas at the Crown casino, but they do not meet our other requirement which is a car not being needed, and unfortunately the Crown casino complex is just a little too far from the city center.
Whether we have transport or not, we really prefer to walk whenever possible. We greatly prefer anywhere that has food and entertainment within comfortable strolling distance.
That's that out of the way. On to the weekend!
Once we have checked into our hotel we tend to take our time in the room. Its important to relax into these things. Have a shower, read a bit, maybe a nap. Something to make a clear break from our previous life of emails and deadlines. You need to consciously shut off that part of your brain, just for a few days.
In the evening, we get dressed up to the best of our abilities and go out for dinner. When we traded in our old lives for a life of long term travel we consigned virtually all of our fancier clothing to either storage or the local charity store but we do what we can.
Tanya can't have a cocktail before dinner of course but she is partial to a non-alcoholic beverage in a fancy glass decorated with umbrellas and pieces of fruit. We keep count of how many strangers stop to tell her “that better not have any alcohol in it.”
Saturday morning begins with a big breakfast. We don't usually cook breakfast but will seize the opportunity to have bacon and eggs when it is presented. Once we have filled our bellies with tea and coffee, bacon and eggs, pancakes and syrup, fruit and anything else not nailed down it is time to start the day.
Perth train station is centrally located and easy to walk to from anywhere around the city center. From there Fremantle is only a short train ride away.
Fremantle, Freo to us Perthites, is Perth's habour and contains many of the historical remnants of European colonization. It has a number of excellent attractions for first time visitors interested in the area's history.
Fremantle prison – Constructed by convicts in the 1850s to house themselves then converted to a prison that wasn't closed until 1991. Now they offer excellent tours.
The Batavia Exhibit – The sinking of the Batavia and the events that unfolded after the sinking represent a uniquely grizzly chapter of Western Australia's history.
Depending on how we are feeling we might return to one of these. Alternatively there are plenty of free self guided walking tours of Fremantle. These provide some structure instead of us just roaming the streets at random.
One thing we definitely will do in Fremantle is go and get some Japanese noodle soup at the Fremantle markets. The noodle stall, found on the South Terrace side of the markets, produces the best noodle soup we have found anywhere outside of Japan. We have been all over Asia and this place's noodles are awesome. Expect a wait because this place is very very popular.
Saturday afternoon or early evening and we stroll along to Clancy's Fish Pub to rest our weary legs and to get an early dinner. This is a favourite place of ours with reasonable prices, great food, live music and a huge park out the back for the kids.
All that is left is catching the train back to the city, a long hot bath and a good nights sleep.
Another day, probably another bath for Tanya, then breakfast. Room service may be in order this time just to change things up.
Once we are fed it will be time to go out for a wander. Previously we have downloaded a self guided Perth walking tour map and taken ourselves out for an educational walk. We may do the same again.
In case you can't tell, we really like walking tours and walking in general. Its the perfect way to explore, whether you are in your home town or visiting somewhere for the first time.
Completing a walking tour may or may not happen due to the pregnancy. If it does, we will have to schedule frequent breaks for a sit down, a cup of tea and a snack. Wandering around the city we will make time to pick up a favourite beverage of ours, bubble tea.
Bubble Tea is common throughout parts of Asia, Taiwan in particular, and bubble tea shops have recently begun appearing all over town. Our order of choice is bubble milk tea, quarter sugar, less ice.
As we sip our bubble teas we can head to the supermarket and pick up some picnic supplies. The Perth city center is overlooked by the beautiful King's Park, the perfect site for a picnic.
Its a little bit of a climb to get up to King's Park but, once there, there is plenty of room to sit on the grass, relax, eat, drink and admire the view and the city lights as the sun sets. While we are up there I shall have to take some decent photos. Something I have somehow never done before despite my many years in Perth.
Then its a comfortable evening stroll back to the hotel.
All good things must come to an end, but not before another glorious waistline expanding breakfast and a last minute luxurious hot bath soaking for Tanya. I fully expect Tanya to be in that spa until moments before check out. Then, back to reality.
You know what, that all sounds pretty good actually. I think I just figured out what we are doing this weekend.
Coming to Perth? Check out our guide to things to do in Perth with kids