Adventure, baby!

Australia

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!



Kiama

We checked out of our house at Callala beach this morning and slowly drove home via Berry, Kiama and Stanwell Tops. The rain started bucketing down after we left Kiama so unfortunately it wasn’t nice enough to take any pics.

Kiama – the little blowhole.


Oh hai!


Wonky self-portrait.


Kiama lighthouse.


Big blowhole. Thar she blows!



Snuggles.


“I love my dad!”



I had such a great weekend. The girls were amazingly well-behaved! Such a pleasant surprise – both my wonderful Alec for taking me away and my loving dogs for not being painful!

Callala Beach Getaway

Alec surprised me with a beach weekend down south at Callala beach. He rented a dog-friendly house and spirited me away after work on Friday night for a lovely weekend.

Beach!



Buffy’s first time on sand.


Kahlua has a bad hair day.


Freedom! First time off leash in public.

















Hunter Valley Offsite

Occasionally I get sent to cool places like the Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel in the Hunter Valley for an offsite.

The hotel was stunning, set in beautiful rollings hills. The property had a few dams and I saw some kangaroos hopping in the distance.

This is the room I shared with Katia. Another thing about offsites – they’re kind of like having a sleepover in high school again. I always get great roommates so it’s a lot of fun.


Bird of paradise flowers.


Where are our rooms?


Pretty balcony view.



Close-up of roses.


Piece of wood I smashed into three pieces using the palm of my hand. Yeah!


Me and Katia with Olympic gold medal winner Lauren Burns, who gave us a bit of a martial arts lesson.


Sun setting.




All prettied up at the Casino Royal-themed dinner.



Even under duress, I won’t give up my lip gloss.


Retribution is swift.



View from my window the next morning.



Going for a walk around the property with Katia and Shaden.





I also stopped at a winery on the way home and stocked up on some red, white and dessert wine. Does an offsite get much better than this?!

Melbourne Long Weekend – Day 3

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!

All aboard!

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.


Blubbery!

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.

Alec’s beef.

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.


Melbourne Long Weekend – Day 2

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!