I’ve always preferred to travel with one parent rather than do the whole family vacation. Honestly, what family really can travel well together without wanting to kill each other? I’m sure there are some, but since the fateful ski trip of ’99, the Lansings have traversed the globe in pairs rather than as a quartet. And seeing as my dad has “Done” Tasmania and Sydney (he’s the one who made me aware this little island even existed), it was just as well that my mom came by herself for a weeklong visit.
She arrived Saturday morning straight from Los Angeles and besides a couple of stressors en route, she was in one piece and not as sleep deprived as we both feared she might be. We hit the ground running as soon as she dropped her bags off. Saturdays in Hobart are host to the Salamanca Market and I didn’t want her to miss one of Tassie’s more charming tourist draws. I fed her a light salad because I had a surprise in store to kick off her culinary tour of Australia: a jam Berliner from the market. I swear to god, unless you come here too, you will never know the true delight of the best donut in the world. It is THAT good. We ate it just as Carlos taught me: right in front of the vendor, getting sugar all over our faces and moaning for the crowd to hear. A food memory neither of us are likely to forget.
The rest of mom’s time in Tassie was busy with food and exercise. Since those passions pretty much define Carlos and my existence in Hobart, we were confident we were showing her “our” Tasmania. We hiked up Knocklofty terrace, walked all over town, ran the Cascade Brewery trail and then drove to Freycinet National Park for a half-day hike up to Wine Glass Bay. On our last full day we jogged along the beach while Carlos fished on the rocks and caught dinner at Coles Bay.
Our caloric intake was nothing but spectacular. Carlos and I cooked most meals at home to properly show off Tasmanian produce. We made Tasal Salmon, wallaby burgers, lamb shanks and drank our way through several bottles of Australian wine. And it wouldn’t be a true visit from my mom if we didn’t savor a dish of Valhalla Ice Cream. Tasting our way through Tasmania was just one melting moment after another– and we shared one of those too.
When I walk the streets of Battery Point where Carlos and I live, I see homes and gardens that I know my mom would find just as elegant and charming as I do. When I drive out of town into the bush and admire the dramatic light framing Mount Wellington I know my mom would say, “look at that light!” and want to pull over for a photo. When I run to the top of Gouldburn street I can imagine my mom pushing me to run a little faster. And when I go for my second scoop of vanilla ice cream I know my mom would be licking her bowl too. Her visit has made this Tasmanian life real for me because I was able to share all my special spots with her and we’ll share those memories for years to come.
On Thursday we left Carlos behind for some (much needed) solo time and flew to Sydney for a different sort of Australian experience….