Sydney – Surrey Hills, Cremorne, Pyrmont

Packed this am and left Wyndham Vacation Resort and headed south towards Redfern and Surrey Hills.  The hotel I have moved to for tonight is the Central Railway Hotel in Chalmers Street. The Hotel was reasonably cheap and not hard to find.  There was parking underneath and we were given a garage door opener to take with us because we were coming back after 9pm. The room was clean, if not a little tired.  The globe in my bedside lamp crackled a little too much for my liking and the mini Ikea ironing board had a dicky leg so would not stand up properly.image

The sound the light/fan makes when you turn it on is startling, and seems really loud when there are no sounds outside. The room was about one metre from the footpath and then the road.  It was not terribly loud with the 3 layers of window dressings designed to cope and to keep out the morning light.

Drove to Cremorne next to collect my mate G from her unit.  We walked from there to the local shopping centre to a lovely Thai Restaurant called Sam’s Thai in Neutral Bay for tea. Back to the car and then we drove to town to park in Murray Street, just down the road from the Lyric Theatre, in Pyrmont, ready for Matilda! the musical – Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin. Clever and fun.

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I saw it in New York too and the production here was easier to get. The Librarian was not the same in both productions as I suspectedbut they were both terrific.  As was the lead girl playing Matilda.  Great kid. Miss Trunchbull was also wonderful.

We booked our tickets online and when we arrived there was a package for us – special deal with these tickets it appeared. A program full of photos and a booklet of the cast. Plus we were given vouchers for two choc tops and two drinks of which we availed ourselves at interval.  And some choclates – Most pleasing! 🙂

Tascott, Woy Woy and Umina

Went to Tascott to see my Cousins A & I and then I went to visit my Aunt who is 91 and very recently lost her husband of 70 years. Very sad.

The drive to Tascott involved a long slow crawl along Pacific Highway before launching onto the M1 and blasting my way to Tascott, a small hamlet on Brisbane Waters about and hour and a half from Sydney. The next day I went to Woy Woy on my way to Umina Beach which is where my Aunt’s village is. A grey old day with a few showers, but a really lovely part of the world, rain or shine.

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Sydney – Balmoral, Freshwater & Cammeray.

Started the day lazily because I had nothing get up for this morning, so decided to take my time. Had breakfast downstairs and went to a presentation on the holiday company I belong to to find out about the changes that have been implemented. Amazing and very hard to explain, other than saying that it is going to be much easier to get our money’s worth out of the company.   Did some washing, drying, folding, packing and then snacked on some of my popcorn.

At about 1:15 I headed out to meet up with one of my Mum’s cousins and her daughter. J & S were waiting for me at The Dining Room Restaurant down the ?southern end of Balmoral Beach.

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This is the shark net enclosed pool for swimming at Balmoral Beach.  We looked out over it from the airconditioned restaurant – even though the air-conditioning struggled due to the high temperatures at lunchtime.

After lunch I followed J & S back to J’s home, where her other daughter D works. We discussed going for a swim at lunch and I had cleverly included my swimming stuff in my car.  I had a dinner invitation on the same side of the harbour at 6pm so I had planned after lunch to go for a swim anyway so I was encouraged to go to Freshwater Beach with my 2nd cousins. It was compulsory! I didn’t really mind at all. 🙂

http://www.workoutaustralia.com.au

The beach is flat for a long way out and so the excrutiating pain of the cold water on a warm body continues for some time.  It was agony – the water slapping around my ankles was so cold I could not imagine how it would feel as it proceeded to enclose my body centimetres at a time as I slowly, gingerly waded out away from the warmth of the beach.  The clouds threatened rain and the wind was a cool southerly.  The waves came further and further up my legs and then the worst area, the stomach.  At this point I had had enough.  I had to go under to end my misery. I dived through  the next beautifully clear green wave.  It was so cold and as I stood up expecting to feel better, I realized that I was now just wet further up. But I dived in again and swam a little to acclimatise.  Eventually I found the temperature to be tolerable, then pleasant.  It was cool, crisp and so salty.  Seagulls flew over our heads and we bobbed around looking up at the cliffs where houses sat precariously. The girls looked up at them and selected the one they would prefer to live in out of the choices available.  It was a really great time there with S & D.  I dont know my second cousins very well but we just talked and talked and swam, and body surfed and then went home.  It really was so refreshing and a lovely relaxing activity.  So good.  The drive home took 5 mins and then showers and I collected another book from Noel, this time short stories, and a book of poems written by June. Excellent family time. Very special and cherished.

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These are the three lovely people I had dinner with in Cammeray, last night. I worked with the tall one and his wife and daughter were the company I shared last night.  The food, the humour, the time,  all magnificent.  We laughed and talked over each other and discussed a range of topics, like the differences between discussions conducted between women and between men. Had such a good time and then was home in bed by 10:30pm.  Great day.

Brisbane and surrounds. Last days in Queensland.

70s food for a 70s party
70s food for a 70s party

Spent a few days in Briso and went to a 70’s party.  There was fondue, both cheese – two and chocolate. Yum. We had apricot chicken too! So great.  Haven’t had Apricot chicken in years.  Must whip up a batch when I get back home.  I looked period apt, in my polyester jumpsuit. My buddies also excelled in a lovely little colour blocked mini, and wait for it a Safari Suit. No pictures available. Classified.

There were lovely animals on the farmlet too. One Great Dane(Milly)

Milly
Milly

and a Great DaneXMastiff(Zack)

Zack
Zack

Once I sadly left the farmlet, and headed over the hill to my wonderful cousin’s home.

Rainbow Lorikeets abound. Saw a Sulphur-crested cockatoo too.image

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Brisbane – Dayboro – Mt Cootha

Beautiful trees
Beautiful trees
Trees
Trees
Bush patterns
Bush patterns

Made some fettuccini with my mate, Nancye.  Pizza Flour and duck eggs.

Our pasta - fettuccini
Our pasta – fettuccini

This beautiful pasta was accompanied by sage and pumpkin sauce.  Quite a meal.  Beautiful, yummy, filling.  So nice.

The next day I drove to Dayboro, looking at the countryside on the way. Saw some pineapple farms proudly declaring their loyalty to Golden Circle.  Also with signs to keep out.

Golden Circle Pineapples
Golden Circle Pineapples

Dayboro is where my mates live – they moved out of town to a beautiful place on a hill overlooking kilometres of rural properties and natural bushland.

Visitors waiting for a feed
Visitors waiting for a feed

Saw the city from Mount Cootha and a bush turkey too.

Brisbane
Brisbane
Bush turkey
Bush turkey
Kingfisher
Butcherbird

The drive through the hills was lovely. There were  beautiful trees and interesting little towns.

Local houses in Dayboro
Local houses in Dayboro

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Brisbane – 28° and humid

The air is heavy but cool in the mornings. I slept well last night and was not even aware of the time until I woke at around 9:30am – 7:30am Perth time.

Went shopping in Browns Plains – Grand Plaza. Then to the movies to see Secret in Their Eyes with Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman. Very interesting movie. Worth a look.

Now more garden pics.  It is so nice being in such a tropical paradise. The people here aren’t  bad either 🙂

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Perth to Brisbane 35 degrees, cloudy and hot. East Coast fly through to see people and places I love. 21 days

Flew east today at 7:35 am after having been up around 4:30, I was pretty hungry by the time they served breakfast on the plane, which wasnt bad. The food was hot and the tea was not too strong so it was great.  I got to see two movies this trip. Paper Towns was quite good and the other one was quite clever too – but I have no idea what it was called.

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Arrived and could feel the humidity in the air as we crossed the ‘air-bridge’.   The carousel was empty as I came down the escalator. So I went straight to the well groomed woman at the Europcar counter. With a fairly painless exhange of information, a car was issued and I was off to the rental car area, having collected my case from the carousel.

The airport is well organised in Brisbane, with a walkway over the roads in and out of the airport. The car I was issued is a white Yaris and its lovely to drive.image

The drive to my digs in Greenbank -the classy, yet peaceful, Girls of Greenbank Garden Apartments was easy with my satnav. I have stayed here before and found it to be restful and uplifting.  The hosts are genuine, helpful, knowledgeable of the local area and shopping centres.

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The weather is humid during the days but cool at night. The garden here is also home to ducks and geese, hens and waterhens.

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Adelaide – for the weekend.

We arrived Friday and have had a great time looking around Adelaide again.  We have not been here often but each time we come we like it more.  We are staying at the Lakes Resort Hotel, at Westlakes.

Our room at the hotel. Noice view, eh?
Our room at the hotel. Noice view, eh?

Conveniently positioned about 20 mins from the airport, right on the rowing section of the lakes and across the road from a very favourable Westfield Shopping Centre.  Favourable because it has shops that we want to go into and food too. Everything one would need within walking distance of our digs.

We arrived at about 11pm and checked in.  It was great to be back, we like this hotel and love the quiet and the view.  Its lovely in the mornings when you wake to hear the sounds of oars in the water.  The synchronised slapping, and pause and dig and glide and dig and pause and so on – very rhythmic and pleasant. The light this morning was beautiful.

Morning Rowers
Morning Rowers
Early morning Westlakes
Early morning Westlakes

On Saturday we went to the Adelaide Central Markets and were blown away by its size and the variety of the stalls.  There were a few vege stalls which then creates a little competition which is good for the consumer.  Bought some beautiful, cheese, home made beef jerky, and some fruit. Took a few too many photos but it was worth it.  I  loved the place and wish we had something of this ilk in Perth.  I’m sure a central place with parking on top would be a great addition to our city.  Especially now that there are a plethora of apartments in the city now – and everyone has to eat!!.

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The main reason we came to Adelaide was for a wedding of our dear friends Kala and Jackie, who had a fantastic ceremony and a lovely day with their friends and family.

We also went to Hahndorf just out of town and then on to Spring Lakes to view my Nephew Saxon and fiance Trish’s plot for their house at Springlake.

Where we had afternoon tea
Where we had afternoon tea
Springlake
Springlake
Here we are in Hahndorf
Here we are in Hahndorf

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At the end of the weekend we returned our cute little Suzuki to the airport and bumped into the newly weds.  We then whisked them away into the Qantas lounge where we had a chance to chat for a while.  It was lovely.