Yes I am addicted now. Yes I could be doing a lot of other things instead that I’m not. Oh well, it’s Friday.
Munchkins at Callala Beach a few weeks ago.
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.
Big blowhole. Thar she blows!
“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!
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.
Buffy’s first time on sand.
Kahlua has a bad hair day.
Freedom! First time off leash in public.
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.
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?!
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.