Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday 13 March – Fab Finland

Current location: Eveleigh
11.11am, At work, looking at a feature I did on Finland for New Idea. I could have said so much about this remarkable country – go and visit if you ever get the chance!

Sunday 12 March – Exploring NSW

Current location: Orange
11.11am, Eating an amazing omelette brunch courtesy of Andy (for the second day in a row, thanks love!). We all woke up a little dusty thanks to our epic day today and while Bree and I went off to get coffees from The Agrestic Grocer (where there were giant zucchini, among lots of other lovely things), Andy cooked up a feast and the others got packed up to go. When we left and had picked up all our wines from yesterday from various wineries, we decided to head to Jenolan Caves. I'd never been there before, but Pippa my sister loved them when she came to visit. The Blue Lake was so epic, I loved it, and we had a little walk then made our way to Katoomba for pizza. We finally got back to Sydney at about 8pm, where I got into bed, watched netball, and promptly fell asleep.

Saturday 11 March – Orange by bike

Current location: Orange
11.11am, Cycling! This morning started early, with Andy and I waking up and going for a walk to Cook Park, which was gorgeous and had a cockatoo in it that could talk! It said: 'Hello cocky!' when you approached. Hilarious. We wandered back to our lovely Airbnb house on Green Lane, and had a yummy omelette brekkie that Andy made for everyone. Then it was time to get on our bikes! 

David and Val had electric bikes, and the four of us had normal bikes... not realising quite how hilly Orange is. We set off in the sunshine, oblivious to what was in store for us... which was a lot of hills, steep ones, quite early on. We made it to the first winery Hedberg Hill (clue's in the name) and rehydrated with a lot of wines overlooking beautiful scenery. The wine tour had begun!

Our next stop was Small Acres Cyder. By the time we managed to get there, we'd almost lost Val, had lost Dave (who zoomed past us unable to stop, thanks to a malfunctioning bike), and were all ready for some food and more drinks. The cider was good and refreshing and the cheeseboard was just what we needed. 

Next stop was Dindima wines, with a very chatty and lovely lady who produced an even more impressive cheeseboard out of nowhere. We stayed there for a while, sampling and enjoying all the wines, before changing our route slightly as the evening was fast approaching. Just up the road was a beaaaaautiful winery called Rowlee, which was family-owned and only opened a cellar door about 18 months ago. We were so happy there looking out at the vines and purchasing lots of their wines!

By the time we got home, there was still a bit of sun to be enjoyed and someone mentioned a 'Goon of Fortune'. Innolcently asking what it was, it led to Andy going out to buy a box of wine, then a game in the back garden that ended with most of us covered in Shiraz and quite piddled. 

We had time for a quick Champagne before we got a cab into town to eat at Mr Lim's, a pretty cute and delish Korean restaurant, to fill up our bellies after surviving/thriving on just cheese and wine today (diet of champions). There was time for one more cocktail at Union Bank, then we headed back home to veg out on the sofa and fall into bed. What a perfect day!

Friday 10 March – The future's bright...

Current location: Orange
11.11pm, Drinking a glass of wine in Orange. It's a town about four hours north-west of Sydney and Andy and I had come for the weekend with Dave and Val, and Nick and Bree, to have a cycling weekend around the wineries. Andy had flown up so once I'd arrived (on the train and then a lift from Dave and Val), I went to get him from the airport, we ate some dinner, then had a relatively early night... Big day of wine and cycling tomorrow!

Wednesday 8 March – Quizzical Manly

Current location: Alexandria
11.11pm, Getting home from Manly. Lou drove me home after a fun time at a trivia night with Jess and her family (including her lovely dad who's visiting), Nick and Bree, Lou and Percy and Lou's mum. I caught the ferry over after work – and thankfully the journey didn't look anything like the one above (also taken on the Manly ferry this week by crew member Haig Gilchrist!)

Sunday 5 March – Hangover hugs

Current location: NSW
11.11am, On a train back to Sydney. We had a sausage roll, got home, had a nap, had a walk, then met our friends Colin and Christabel, and their beautiful baby Eli. What a gorgeous boy.

Saturday 4 March – Maddie and Dan!

Current location: Bowral
11.11pm, Dancing and eating cheese and drinking Champagne and dancing some more and maybe doing the Conga and definitely drinking more Champagne and eating desserts and having the best time. We were at Maddie and Dan's wedding, which was in the beautiful Hopewood House in Bowral. Emily, Andy and I caught the train down this morning, and had a speedy change in the hotel roo while swigging bubbles, then it was time for the wedding. Mads looked absolutely divine, and it was so brilliant to all be together celebrating such a beautiful woman and her wonderful husband. We had a fab time wandering the grounds, trying all the ace cocktails (made by Boston Tom) and loving the speeches and then the dancing! It was a beautiful evening, a really wonderful day, and full of memories to last always.