ANZAC Day, 25 April, is a national holiday in Australia and New Zealand (ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). The day marks the anniversary of the first Australian and New Zealand military action in World War I (more here). Of course, coming from America, all of this ANZAC Day business was news to me! I think the US history books just about skip over the ANZACs, I thoroughly enjoyed all my history classes… even took 3 of them at uni… and still was never even vaguely aware of Australia and New Zealand’s involvement as allied forces! Gotta love biased history books (as they are, no matter which country you come from).
Shops don’t open until about 1pm on ANZAC Day, and many places are just closed all day, like schools and government offices, etc. For some, ANZAC day means that you wake up before dawn (story of my life), and go to a memorial service, then maybe eat some breakfast, then do something with the family outdoors, maybe the beach, etc. or maybe an parade. For others, (like our lovely neighbors staying next door on a holiday), you get really drunk the night before and do stupid things like smash glass beer bottles on the stairs outside of your door, and accidentally fall asleep outside on the hard cement driveway… not too sure what the original ANZACs would think of that behaviour.. but anyway…
We missed the morning service this morning… We have been before, it just wasn’t happening though for some reason! We were awake though, that is for sure! A friend of mine, who has an awesome blog (here), had organized a babywearing get-together at a spot about an hour south from us, in Lennox Head. So, I did my morning yoga, meditation routine, whipped up some picnic-worthy food and we hopped in the car for a little road trip. I really like these baby wearing meets! Not only do you get to check out other people’s baby carriers, but you get to hang out with some awesome mammas too.
Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head
Lennox Head is a tiny, cute little town with a well known surf break. The freshwater lake, Lake Ainsworth, sits on the northern end of the town, and is literally across the street from the beach! It’s sort of bizarre actually, how one side of the road is the beach and the other side is a lake. There’s no development on that end of town, just the lake, a bunch of trees and the beach… very natural, but very close to civilization! There is also a holiday caravan park you can stay at, that appeared to be very well kept, quiet and friendly.
The lake itself has a reddish-brown color, which it gets from the tannins from the tea trees surrounding the lake. Art wasn’t too crazy about the fact that he couldn’t see his feet. And, anyway, we are such beach people… I do understand… lakes are a bit different and somehow more scary than the ocean?!? Margo didn’t seem to mind one bit and there was a little beach area for the kids to play on. I went for a dip, and I have to say, the tannin fresh water made my skin feel squeaky clean and well… fresh! There were lots of public toilets and showers, (as there are in Australia, yay!) and plenty of parking, even on a public holiday!
There were five families there with lots of kiddies. It was nice too, because there was a baby ‘lot’ and then a pre-school age ‘lot’, so everyone had something to do. I called Art the Pied Piper because he was in charge of the big kids playing in the water, while all the other mums were hanging around chatting with their babes under the shade of the trees. One of the girls there (who had twins), brought her most fabulous homemade mei tai wraps, that she could fit one or two of her babies in at a time. Another girl, who has an awesome baby wearing blog (ballinamamma), brought her ‘stash’ as we call it, of all her wraps. There were ring slings, and also lots of soft structure baby carriers (like the Ergo and Manduca). There were so many cute babies there too! Gah! Cluck cluck cluck!
I know it seems funny to have people come together just over babywearing (imagine what all the woman in Africa would think of us, they all wear their babies!), but any reason to get together in the sunshine is good enough for me. It was a really great day and it was fun to re-explore Lennox Head, as we hadn’t been there in a few years.