After a long-ish flight I arrived in Osaka. Alec was waiting for me at the gate. I had been worried I wouldn’t be able to find him, but all worked out well, and after a month apart we met again on Osaka.
Alec and I had a relaxing weekend in Newcastle with Jan.
Pretty beach at sunset.
We booked into our hotel – the Grand Hotel managed by Sofitel on Spencer/Flinders Sts. It’s perfectly located, near the Google office and right near the shops, water and trams. It’s a really lovely old school hotel, beautifully refurbished with modern amenities. We had a problem with our hot water, but they were extremely helpful so no complaints here!
Alec takes a look from the balcony.
Our awesome room.
Out and about. The giant purse is awesome.
The heritage-listed Shot Tower in the middle of the shopping centre.
Alec takes a break in Fitzroy Gardens.
The museum complex.
Hot Rod show at the museum complex.
Cars with amazing paint jobs.
On a tram!
At the Melbourne Aquarium.
I couldn’t get this guy in focus, but he was super cute.
View of Melbourne from the aquarium.
Alec checks out a strange exhibit.
I don’t remember what this was …
Jellyfish … ewwww.
Japanese spider crab. Freaky!
Giant happy ray.
The fish viewing room. Cool!
We met Alice and Jamie for dinner at the 100 Mile Cafe. It serves only food that has been sourced within 100 miles.
This bread was yuuuum.
Alec’s entree. No idea what is under that green stuff.
Alice’s seafood spring rolls.
My entree – I don’t remember what it was called, but it was full of vege stuff and had an amazing dressing.
My vege plate.
Jamie’s vege dish.
“I’m not a tree hugger!”
Walking back to the hotel we saw all kinds of cool sculptures lit up around the city.
A cruisy day in Ferntree Gully.
The adorable house in the bush where we stayed.
The Davies’ old dog, Chicka – a half-cattle dog, half-dalmation mix.
We did the 1000 step walk in the Dandenongs, which was a beautiful walk down hill (ow my thighs!) through the bush – we saw a wallaby! – followed by about 760 steps back up. Not 1000 steps. Go figure.
The track going up the stairs is also called the Kokoda trail in memory. Along the track are several memorial markers with info about Kokoda. Really interesting stuff and a great idea.
It certainly felt like a long way!
Alec and I flew down on Friday night for a long weekend in old Melbourne-town.
We stayed with some friends of his and their kids in Ferntree Gully, in the Dandenong Ranges.
Alec gets attacked by munchkins.
Lookout – that’s Melbourne waaaay in the distance.
Pretty sculpture in the park.
We stopped at Pie In The Sky for lunch.
Spinach, feta and wild rice pie.
Alec’s beef pastie.
Sassafrass lolly shop.
On Phillip Island.
Watching sunset and waiting for the penguins to show up at Port Phillip Bay.
Penguins! We couldn’t take photos so this is from the wonderful internet. The penguins were awesome – so cute and making the funniest sounds. It was amazing to see them in the wild.
A mini vid I took at Fingal Bay, Port Stephens.
And a panorama pic I took from the tea rooms.
After a leisurely breakfast, Alec and I checked out of the hotel. We went to lunch at the Inner Light Tea Rooms with Lisa and Alan before heading back to Sydney.
The tea house is on the site of the old light house and has amazing views of the bays.
Lisa and Alan and their root beer spiders.
Magpie on the lookout.
This little fellow caught a worm right at my feet. Having people around didn’t bother him in the slightest.
We both slept badly, so had a big sleep in, then drove down to Fingal Bay to spend a cruisy day lying on the beach.
By a total co-incidence, Alec’s dad and his wife were staying at the same hotel as us, so we met up with them for dinner that night. After dinner we went down to the marina at Solder’s Point to watch the sun set.
After several weeks of being sick, spending a few days relaxing at Port Stephens with Alec was just what I needed.
We stayed at Salamander Shores on Soldier’s Point. Since we booked last minute, we didn’t have much of a choice of places. We had a “garden view” room, which overlooked a rainforest type of fernery. It was really pretty, like being in a rainforest canopy, along with the kookaburras that woke me up the following morning.
View from the balcony.
Our room – it came complete with a headless Alec.
The storm started rolling in in the late afternoon. This pic is taken from Soldier’s Point – you can see the storm in the distance.
Alec on the wharf. He loves having his picture taken.
Self-portrait. I am addicted.
Wandering around the garden at the hotel.
Hugest rainbow I have ever seen.
Amazing sunset over Nelson Bay.
We found a delicious noodle place at Nelson Bay – fast, delicious veges and noodles… mmmmmm.
I had to fly down to spend a day in Melbourne for work. Apart from the unexpected chill factor, it was a very groovy city that I popped into.
You can’t get hot chocolates like this in Sydney!
Tired and hungry at a funky cafe.
Cool sign in the cafe.
My breakfast. Heavy on the eggs.
Olah’s half-a-pig brekkie. Holy crap!