Sunday, November 28, 2010


So I did it. I kissed my children goodbye, picked up my suitcase and left for Melbourne. It was hard to say goodbye to them. Really hard. I have never left any of them unless I was in hospital having one of their sister's or brother.

In all honesty I needed this break more than I even realized. Originally I was taking Ocea because I felt she was too little to leave behind but in the weeks leading up to my flight Ocea started teething terribly and we thought it best to keep her at home where she is most comfortable. My lovely dad came with me as the plan was he would help me with Ocea while we were out and about. So in the end he didn't have to look after anyone but himself which was nice. It was cool to go on a trip with him, if you have met my Dad you would know he is a legend.

We got on the plane and I was able to do some work on the computer. I had over 100 photographs to name and get ready to post on the beach site.

The night before I got to photograph the most incredible sunset and I shared the experience with one of my favourite photographers and friend Andy Evan's along with his gorgeous family. It was one of the most beautiful evenings I have ever spent at the beach. we stayed until the stars came out.

Before we knew it we were landing in Melbourne.

Holy Freezingness. Okay maybe not freezingness but cold. Apparently I complained as soon as I got off the plane about the temperature difference. I had come from 40 degrees to 14 degrees! Some strange tall man to me to "Suck it up Princess" Hah! I was like "Dude. I came from 40 degrees" He came back with "Yeah... so did I!" Okay fair call.

Anyway it was time to get this party started so we met up with my bro and headed back to our hotel, which was really lovely! Chilled out there for a bit and then hit the town.

Wow. Melbourne you have got some culture going on. The food was awesome and my favourite part about the evening was watching this group of buskers play cover songs down at South Bank. They were so good I struggled to understand why they weren't play their own tunes.

How much does my bro look like something out of a Calvin Klein poster?!

We ate dinner, hung out in town and then in the wee hours of the morning we headed back to the hotel where I crashed. It was the first unbroken sleep I had almost 5 years. 5 YEARS! It was lovely.

The next day we headed out to the Royal Botanical Gardens. We met up with some friends of mine there and I got insanely burnt. Not cool. It was a gorgeous day though.

In the early evening I met up with a friend of ours who's band were opening for Metallica. My brother and I were lucky enough to hang out with Mark backstage before they went on. We got to stand at the side of the stage and watch the gig. Seriously that was cool. As you may or may not know Sam and I LOVE music. I don't think there has been a time when a waking hour has past and we have not played any music. Sam plays the drums and a little guitar. I play nothing. I once picked up a guitar and decided I should put it down and keep holding my camera instead.

Anyway after Metallica played I was lucky enough to go backstage and meet them. Holy pinch yourself moment. They were chilled out easygoing guys and of not at all what I expected. And before you ask... no I didn't take any photos. It just didn't feel right to do so. After a while we caught a taxi in to town and I said goodbye to our friend who we probably won't see again till he is back on tour down here in 2012. Unless we get to America before then... I wish! It was a cool night and one of the highlights of my trip.

I woke the next morning to a text message. It was Sal saying she was on her way to pick me up! Yeah, I jumped out of bed and into the shower! I have been waiting to meet Sally for just over 2 years now. And that moment finally came. There were only a few tears :) I jumped into her car and we headed to the cemetery where Hope, her daughter was buried. The cemetery was closed. We sneaked in. What were they going to do? Say no to two grieving mothers. I don't think so.

We found Hope's grave. As soon as I saw her memorial plaque all my tears started. I know this little girl only in her death. But I know her. I have known her for just over 2 years. She is beautiful. Being that close to her remains was amazing to me. I pulled away some of the earth just beneath her memorial plaque and poured a small portion of Christian's ashes into ground. This was the first place I have ever scattered them. It felt so right. I covered them back over so that they would remain there forever with her. I sprinkled some sand from the beach and then cover the grains of sand with more Earth. I don't think I could leave Hope and Christian without giving them some sand from the beach that brought their mamas together. I tied two sparkly butterflies to the pink roses that Sally brought down to the grave and took a tiny part of the earth with me to keep in Christian's memory box. We said goodbye to the babies and headed back to Sally's house.

I met her family who were running around getting ready for Angus' big first birthday. What a long awaited event this was! We headed down to the park where Sally's friends and family started arriving.

My heart skipped a beat when I spotted Suz. I wrapped my arms around her and yeah surprise surprise I cried. It was amazing to meet her in person. We chatted for the shortest time when Sophie arrived. More tears and hugs. This day has been in the making for 2 years. Throughout the day we all just kept hugging each other!

I got to meet Photographer Gavin Blue. Coolest guy ever. His family are just as cool too. He photographed Sally and Sophie's girls for them in the most devastating time of their lives. Gavin does amazing work with The Australian Community of Child Photographers and has suffered the loss of his own beautiful baby girl. It was an honour to meet him. It was an honour to meet everyone.

It was the most beautiful day ever and I so did not want it to end. But of course it did. I said goodbye to Sophie and Suz. I felt really down about that. I knew it would be another long wait before we could all be together in person again. Sally, Angus and Simon drove me into town and what seemed like the blink of an eye I was hugging Sally goodbye.

The rest of my time in Melbourne I spent waiting for trams and exploring the city and St Kilda with my Dad.

We went up the Eureka Tower and the view was amazing.

The floor of the lift was not so cool.

When the time came to leave Melbourne I was ready. I missed my girls! We jumped on a plane and before I knew I was at home hugging my daughters as they slept.

I was exhausted from the most epic weekend ever!

To all my gorgeous friends who treated me to the best holiday ever... Thank you. You are all awesome. To my Dad and Bro... look I am not going to apologize for walking slowly, did it ever occur to you both that you walk insanely fast?


Hope's Mama said...

We loved having you in Melbourne, but more importantly we loved having you at Angus' epic party, and that you left some of your baby boy with my baby girl. I will look after him, I promise.

Sophie said...

Looking forward to the next visit and still visualising us at Christian's beach one day. It was so lovely to finally be able to give you that hug Carls. xx

Franchesca said...

Carly, your time in Melbourne looks divine!!! Glad you got to go, and thank you for sharing about your trip :)

That is so special that you left some of Christian's ashes on Hope's grave, so lovely.


Carly Marie said...

I love you girls :) xxxx

Cheri C. said...

Glad you had a great time!! Thanks for taking the picture of the "lift(elevator)". I was trying to figure out what it was and Holy Batman Robin! (you are too young to remember that BUT... you get the idea). I can't believe someone would create that. I would have been too scared to ride the thing!!

Gavin Blue said...

Your work is inspiring and global.
Lovely see the person behind the most beautiful idea.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Yes you brother does looks an ad for Calvin Kline!! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I am so happy that you got to meet Sally and visited with Hope. ((HUGS)) Just look at Angus, what a doll.
So happy you got to go.

Sue said...

Thank you for sharing you wanderful week end I loved it and had been waiting to hear all about it. the photos are amazing as well you are so talented
love you girl

Jill said...

Sounds like such a lovely trip!! How special to meet some beautiful friends and spend time with family.

Holly said...

What a lovely time! So glad you finally got to meet some very special people!