Adventure, baby!

NSW

Off To Newcastle!

Jan’s birthday called us back north to “Poo-castle”, as Alec likes to call it, so we went on a road trip that was adventure plus, but relaxation zero!

On the way up we discovered this amazing French patisserie at Lindfield, directly across from the station on the Pacific Highway. We were were driving north when we passed it, and decided to turn around to go back for cake, we didn’t think about how difficult it is to do such a basic maneuver on the Pacific Highway. It took us about 20 minutes to get back to the store – so note to anyone going here and overshooting the store, just park the car and walk back, no matter how far it is!

Window filled with goodies.

Cakes! I want them all …

Front counter filled with tasty things.


Close-up of the tarts we ate for breakfast.



This rabbit cookie was so tasty! Buttery without being overly buttery like shortbread. It was perfect to go with a milky tea or hot chocolate.


It was storming in Newcastle, so we stayed in most of the day, and head out to the centre of town for dinner. We didn’t book a table anywhere – BIG MISTAKE! Every single restaurant was packed, and the one we wanted to go to was booked out for the night.

Strolling back down the street we passed this little Thai place. It also looked busy, but being in the mood for Thai (or at least, I was!), we gave it a go. Even though this place too was completely packed out, they squeezed us in.

Benjamas Thai Restaurant

Alec and the birthday girl.

A whole page of vegetarian options – yay!

Cute table setting.

Busy, busy, busy!

Vege spring rolls. Light and delicious!

My vege pad see ew – amazing! The best Thai I have had in a long time.

Beef pad see ew for the carnivores.

Thai fried rice.

Satisfied and ready for cake!


We bought a mango cake from the patisserie as well – thick slices of mango layered over cream and sponge cake. OMG so delicious.


Layer of cream and mango in the middle too!


Christophe’s Patisserie Francaise
364 Pacific Hwy
Lindfield, NSW
(02) 9416 3883

Benjamas Thai
100 Darby St
Cooks Hill, NSW
(02) 4926 1229

Father’s Day in Newcastle

The sun came out and we made the long drive to Newcastle to see Alec’s dad on Father’s Day.

We stopped at a little cafe on Darby Street called Anacapri – it was completely packed, always a good sign.


Open windows, nice airy feel.


Caaakkkeeesss!


Alec ponders his meal choices.


Roasted vegetable salad with rocket, balsamic, fried fetta and pine nuts. The fried fetta was a brilliant addition.


I had a vegetarian breakfast – scrambled free-range eggs with fetta and spinich, corn fritter, grilled tomatoes and thick toast. Delicious and filling.


The outside area leading to the courtyard, where we sat.


Alec’s fish and wedges.


Exit time!


After eating we head on down to Nobby’s for a walk in the lovely weather. I loved this area that was a dog beach – so many happy little dogs all in one area, it really made my day.


We also saw a pod of dolphins in the harbour. An odd choice of venue for dolphins, but it was amazing to see them there.



Stelth shot of an Afgan Hound – with a close hair cut. I’ve never seen one of these as a pet before.


Breach!



Crazy wind makes my hair go nuts.


Alec and his dad – Happy Father’s Day!

Perisher Snow Trip

The annual Google Ski Trip is a wondrous event. This year the engineers were bussed down to the resort on Lake Crakenback on Monday for some days of skiing and, umm, making coffee? The rest of us departed later in the week. While the official ski trip departed Wednesday afternoon and arrived Wednesday evening, giving us only one day of snow, my team of crazy hyper athletes decided to drive down on Tuesday night so we could get some extra snow time.

We spend Tuesday night in Cooma, at the pub / hotel. It cost us $25 a night per person for a room with four beds – and yes, we really did get what we paid for!

I was so happy to drive on the next morning into Lake Crackenback and grab my boots and board from the resort. Alec left a spare Perisher pass for me at the resort so I let my uber crazy team head on off to Thredbo to throw themselves down black runs, while I joined Alec and some of his team for some easy green runs at Perisher.

I’m not an awesome boarder by any means. I have boarded exactly four times now over 10 years. Each time I go to the snow it takes me the entire time I’m there for my body to remember how to board – just in time for me to leave again!

I had two good days of snow on this trip so I spent day one literally falling down the slopes and day two began to regain any skills that I had once had on previous trips.

There was a lot of snow up on the mountains for the end of the season, and we were blessed with sunny, warm days. Unfortunately, this also meant the snow wasn’t nice and fluffy – instead if was pretty icy and hard in a lot of places – I seemed to find quite a lot of these icy patches with my butt.

Ready for take-off!


Cheesy!










“I’m the king of the world!”


Just before my board slipped out from under me.





Tired!





Sunset at the resort.



This kangaroo and I eyed each other off … note the joey in the pouch!






The actual trip was fabulous .. only bad side came at the end of the second day when I was struck down with a nasty virus. I was the sickest I have ever been, and was eternally grateful that I had Alec there to take care of me. I was told that the virus was going around the area – it was pretty concerning how many of us got sick! At least I didn’t waste any precious snow time being sick however – now that would have really been terrible!

Birthday Escape: Glen Davis and Katoomba {Day 3}

It’s cold out here. Bone-chillingly cold. The sky is blue today though so it’s a great day for the drive to Glen Davis, a tiny little town where my dad grew up. It was a mining town where my uncle, grand-dad and great grand-dad all worked in the mines, but became a ghost town at some stage, and has now come full circle with people moving back into the town to retire. It’s quite eerie as it is a town in name only – there’s nothing there except for the houses that have moved back, and they sit amongst the ruins of foundations from the previous houses, school and shop buildings.

There is nothing left here of my dad’s house except the front steps and some foundation blocks, but it was really amazing to visit it and see where my dad was a little boy running around. The countryside is amazingly beautiful, so it would have been a very pretty place to live even though it was so isolated it would have been really hard to get anywhere to get supplies.














After visiting Glen Davis we slowly drove back to Sydney, stopping at Lithgow for food and Katoomba for hot chocolate and waffles. I love this little art deco cafe called Paragon on the main street of Katoomba. It has fabulous chocolate for sale, hand-made on the premisis I believe.






Since we were so close we drove down to the Three Sisters Lookout. We came up here on one of our first dates, two years ago, so it was really sweet to come back and look around again and reminisce.








Birthday Escape To The Blue Mountains {Day 1}

For my last 20-something birthday Alec took me away for the weekend to stay in a river-side cabin at Turon Gates, about 4-5 hours hrs drive from Sydney.

After a long and somewhat dramatic drive there, we awoke the next morning surrounded by bushlands.

Our solar-powered cabin, right in the middle of a nature reserve.

Alec takes a look around.

This photo is begging for a funny caption. Pity I can’t think of one!

Scenic bushlands and nature were all around.

It was awesome waking up every morning to look ut of the window at this river. The river was a major site during the gold rush and the remains from the gold prospectors can still be seen here. The river is crystal clear (and bloody cold!). In summer I can imagine it would be a great place to swim and canoe.

Ghost gums – everywhere!

Pretty! I loved how much wattle was everywhere – the bright yellow against olive green and red and brown dirt. So Australian!

Playing with my 50mm lens.

Very obliging boy.

So rugged and manly!

Who da man?

Cheesy! A happy photo on a happy day.

Doggie Weekend

A few pics from playing with the girls this morning before heading off to Newcastle.

Buffers always aims to slobber my chin.



Kahlua looks grumpy – she knows I’m leaving.


On Stockton Beach – Amy poses for the camera.


Newcastle in the distance.


Amy makes a friend.


Enjoying the sun.







Oh Hai!




Mmmm chips and Coke on the beach.


Zoom zoom zoom!