On the weekend my family went to stay in an old house in Nowra, called Illowra.
It has been a tradition to go away together for a few nights every two years. In the past we've stayed at Leura, Katoomba, the Royal National Park, and Avoca Beach.
With nine adults and seven children (some of them almost adults!) in the family, it's hard to find accommodation that fits us. But Mum and Dad found yet another great property, this one with about 9 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms plus three living areas.
As well as some period features inside, there was a beautiful garden outside
(a shame the weather was too cold for swimming!)
We spent hours a lot of time in the conservatory, reading, crocheting, playing various instruments, and using phones and ipads, each to his own. I never quite made it onto the tennis court, but played a game of table tennis and went for quite a few walks.
Laura enjoyed her reading, and using her book to simultaneously avoid the camera and create this weird effect.
Dad and I spent some time comparing this 1906 photo to the house now, to see what alterations have been done over the years. We thought the original upstairs must have been very dark with just those small windows on the south side of the house, and one window on the north side. The upstairs rooms now have skylight windows in the roof. A lot of the verandahs have been enclosed to create more space indoors. I wonder how many people lived in the home in its original state?
The house was close to Shoalhaven River, so we adults took a few lovely walks across the bridge and along the shore, while the kids lounged around watching TV. Silly them.
It was so peaceful, and the weather was perfect.
It was a relaxing weekend, and nice to hang out together, and we are grateful to Mum and Dad for hosting us all.