Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday 25 October – Noodle markets, part two!

Current location: Sydney
11.11pm, Cycling home. Tonight was the last night of the noodle markets, so a group of us went after work to soak up the atmosphere, eat some dumplings, drink some cider and enjoy the balmy weather. It had such a nice buzz, especially as it was a Friday evening so everyone was in a good mood, and ee ended up staying until the very end, with the security asking us to leave as everything was being taken down. Love these markets, wish they were here all the time! We saw a possum on the way home (you can just about see his eyes in the picture above!).

Thursday 24 October – Bree's birthday month begins!

Current location: Surry Hills
11.11pm, Leaving Le Pelican restaurant. In a couple of weeks, Bree turns 30, so Nick organised a surprise dinner in a lovely French restaurant tonight. Unfortunately, as Thursdays are press days at New Idea, I had to work a bit late, but managed to catch up with the surprise birthday crew a couple of hours later, and shared a lovely glass of wine with them while I cooed at their meals (having eaten pizza at work myself). Happy birthday Breezer, let's keep celebrating!

Wednesday 23 October – Thinking of you

Current location: Eveleigh, Sydney
11.11am, Reading about the bushfires in NSW. There have been loads of fires a couple of kilometres away and it's really sad reading about all the people who have lost their homes. So strange to think that not far away there are smoky skies and crazy things happening, when it's blue and sunny here.

Tuesday 22 October – Back to Sydney life

Current location: Somewhere near Lara, Victoria
11.11am, Having a coffee in a gorgeous little cafe in Barwon Heads, before heading back to Lara and having lunch with Louise, one of Andy's cousins, and her son Billy. Last bit of soaking up the love before we fly home to Sydney!

When we got back at 5pm, Rochy picked up us from the airport, then we had a mad dash home to grab our sports stuff, hop on our bikes and pedal as fast as we could down to the netball courts in Centennial Park in time for our 6.30pm game. We made it, played three-quarters of a game, got thrashed and then the game got called off as one of our players, who shall remain nameless, was deemed to be playing dangerously! Go Hoops!

Monday 21 October – Great Ocean Road

Current location: Somewhere on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria
11.11am, Driving on the Great Ocean Road! It was a bit drizzly today, and the family had gone back to work, so Andy and I decided to have a bit of an explore and drive along the Great Ocean Road a bit. I was in charge of snacks so lots of chocolate and chips/crisps later, we were on our way, and stopped at Split Point, where there was a really cool lighthouse. Upon further inspection, we realised it was the lighthouse from Round the Twist!! Such a good TV programme. With 'Have you ever, ever felt like this/When strange things happen…' going rund and round in our heads, we carried on the drive and explored piers, towns, beaches and lots of windy roads. At one point we saw an echidna on the road, so we stopped and helped it off the road before continuing on our way. 

We ended up at Ocean Grove, a beautiful part of the world, where Andy's cousin has an apartment. When they came and joined us for the evening, Tracy and I went for a run on the beach, which was beautiful, and then came home to have dinner with her and Foles, and have a fab evening of good times with good people. This trip has been so good for the soul!

Sunday 20 October – Aussie family

Current location: St Kilda
11.11am, Eating brunch, of course! Today we were a bit hungover after last night's birthday celebrations, so we stocked up on yummy food, and then headed out to Lara. All of Andy's amazing family were coming out for the day for a giant bbq, and we got back to Marie's (Andy's cousin) house to find the prep in full swing. Salads, burgers, sausages, dips, snacks and so many Eskys full of beer, wine, sparkling, cider and soft drinks – these guys sure know how to throw a bbq! As well as all the food and drink, a volleyball court was set up, and backyard cricket stuff was out ready to be played with. 

As everyone (about 20 people) started arriving, each clutching more food and drink, we settled down on the giant verandah and starting eating, and drinking… The next few hours comprised chatting, listening, eating, volleyball, cricket, alpacas, dogs, football, drinking, and just so much love and laughter and family times. I love these guys very much; they have all just accepted me as part of their family (which is lovely seeing as mine live on the other side of the world!) and are so warm and open and gorgeous!  Hours and hours later, when almost everyone had gone, me, Andy, Marie and Darren settled down to watch a movie and finish off the booze. I love this holiday – the perfect mix of family, friends, sights and loveliness. 

Saturday 19 October – Sunny Melbourne

Current location: St Kilda
11.11am, Arriving at Robyn's house. Robyn is my friend from London; we met doing our Master's at City University six years ago. In the past couple of years of living in London, we've got closer and closer, and I missed her when she moved to Melbourne in January. But now we're in the same country again, we get to hang out, woop!

Andy and I said bye to Sus this morning over an early brekkie, and then by the time we arrived at Robyn and Josh's house, it was time for a late brunch! We are eating so well here! We went to a gorgeous brunch place called Hannah's, where I ate more pancakes (I think it might be bordering on an addiction) and drank good coffee. Then, as the sun was super shining, we went on an explore of the beautiful parts of the city, starting at the Botanical Gardens. It's so gorgeous there! We saw some beautiful plants, some spiky cactus, a lady walking her pet lizard, some swans, eels and lots of people who were very happy because the sun was shining!

Next up we wandered down to the beach, where millions of people were having beers in the sunshine. The sea was a bit too cold for a swim (maybe I'm becoming a wuss?) but we had a walk and went to Luna Park and soaked up the loveliness of it all. Next up, Andy went to meet some friends while Robs, Josh and I drank wine and ate cheese on their balcony, before getting all dressed up and heading out for an amaaaaazing dinner with 10 of Robs' friends, in honour of her birthday tomorrow. Such an incredible day from start to finish! 

Friday 18 October - Day of wonder

Current location: Brunswick, Melbourne
11.11am, Having brunch. It seems only right that we are in Melbourne having brunch, as the city seems to have the meal nailed. There are so many places offering brunch, so many dishes to choose from, and sooooo many happy taste buds when brunch has been eaten! Seriously, Melbourne does good brunch. We had gone to a little place called Milkwood (do the taste buds a favour and go there!), eating pancakes and drinking coffee with Sus and our friend Liffy. Amazing times with amazing people, as seems to be our way with holidays!

After a long, leisurely brunch, Sus, Andy and I headed into the city for a bit of an explore. I know we came here when I was 11, but I don't remember it, so it all felt new and exciting. We had a sit in Federation Square, where there was a unicycling juggler, then had a wander and a beer on the river. It was beautifully hot and sunny today so for the rest of the afternoon, we went between ducking into shops and down the lane ways to sitting on rooftops and drinking Pimm's. We had a fun evening planned, but managed to squeeze in a cheeky nap to recharge our batteries first.
Not long later, we were dressed up and ready to head back into the city to meet our friends Fran, Em and Rick, at a bar called Happy Palace. It was pretty cool, with jellyfish in the tables and bikes to sit on (pretty 'Melbourne' I'm told!) and then we moved onto a dark and stormy bar called Boney. Everyone was on such good form, and it was nice to be reunited with such lovely people, and I barely stopped laughing all night. One more bar (which may or may not have been called Table Top Gold) and many more laughs, and we got the tram back to Brunswick for bed.