30 August 2009

Holiday heaven

Hi readers
I am returned. I know you will have been "pining" for me but never fear, because here I am. Ha! Spud & I have been on a Road Trip! We went to Sydney (by 'plane) & rented a bombed out old Corolla to drive down to Canberra, The Nation's Capital. I know it is not probably one's destination of choice, especially at the tail end of winter, but we had several enticements to lead us there. The first was the Vanity Fair portrait exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. It was wonderful. To be honest, the Vanity Fair portraits weren't the highlight for me but the general exhibition of Australians from all walks of life. It was so fascinating to read about each picture and its subject. We stayed in a super hotel that we found on wotif.com called the Hotel Realm. It was tres deluxe. The bed was HUGE, the sheets were crisp & the bath was long & deep & I could see the flag on Parliament House as I lay in it. I was hanging out to catch a squizz of Julia Gillard or possibly, Joe Hockey, but no such luck as Parliament was on a two-week break. I can imagine however that our hotel would be a real buzz spot for pollies etc as it was quite close to Parliament House & also across the road from the National Press Club. They did a jolly nice brekky too. Best beans ever... Which brings me to the subject of dietary intake during a holiday break. If you look not-too-closely, you will see me looking remarkably like a marshmellow at the War Memorial, with this beautiful sculpture.
However, before you pass judgement, see this photo below and WEEP folks because I did not eat any of these delicious pies when we stopped in at Dobinson's Bakery in Canberra. I resisted all tempation, other than the tempation to photograph.

There was an incredible 14 minute movie of a WW1 dog-fight over the Western Front which was showing at the War Memorial. As some of you will know, I have a wild interest in this currently so was keen to see it & both of us found the film incredible. It was directed by Peter Jackson, the man who made the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so you can just imagine the special effects. I had to cover my eyes at one point! After a day and a half in Canberra, we found our way wandering through the back roads of the Southern Highlands, stumbling upon tiny, sleepy villages such as Bundanoon, where the vet was out.... The countryside was truly gorgeous, with daffodils, jonquils, camellias, azaleas & crocuses in blossom. The temperature was perfect too - just cool enough for one woolly pully.

We stopped at the Scottish shop in Sutton Forest where I felt a tiny bit like an extra in in the town of Royston Vasey, from that dreadful British black comedy called "The League of Gentlemen". The lady behind the counter was a tiny bit scary - possibly because we were not wearing 'the tartan'? We spent that night really lushing it up (thanks again to wotif.com) at Peppers Manor House, and once more I had the TV experience, where I felt this time like an extra in a Miss Marple mystery, circa 1936. It was rather lovely to be snuggled up in front of the fire though, drinking tea & reading. The house is one of those "country piles" that rich aristocrats have, but the maintenance must be hair-raising because there were massive cracks in the walls & they spend $1000 a pop for firewood.

Our last day was spent travelling via Bowral, Mittagong & Berrima to Burrawang, to visit our friends Susan & Faye who have just moved down there from Brisbane. We stopped at several little antique shops on the way, one in particular striking fear into our hearts at the knowledge someone with severe O.C.D was on the premises. My gosh. The tidiness and orderliness and cataloguing of the stock was incredible. Check out the tea cups if you don't believe me!

Susan & Faye's house & garden were just divine & I had an immediate urge to relocate also. Their garden is bursting with colour as all the flowers break into blossom. They have 1/2 acre so plenty of space & their two chooks were settling in to their new home quite well. Rosellas, galahs & king parrots flash across the sky and they even have their Very Own Bower Bird, living under their camellia hedge, collecting all manner of blue souvenirs. I found a bright blue feather in the garden & left that out, and sure enough it was collected up & hidden away.

I chose as a house-warming gift for the girls a lovely frog watering can (above) with no idea that Faye is actually terrified of frogs! We also bought them hand-made liqueur chocolates in Canberra but unfortunately, due to our greed, we cracked the pack before we handed them over! Are we the most awful house guests in the universe? Thank goodness for Dan Murphy's bottle-o in Mittagong where we were able to redeem ourselves.... It was Susan who opened the doors to world of sculpture to us by taking us to Robertson, a town about 3kms away, where we were able to lay our eyes on .... The Big Potato. Truly a feat of modern design & structure. We are still in awe at its beauty and magnificence. It leaves both the Big Banana & possibly the Big Pineapple in its wake.

Our final cool, rainy morning surrounded by colourful blooms of the imminent spring was spent at the Burrawang General Store where we had a delicious brekky before heading home to plan our next holiday in the Southern Highlands. It just had everything for me.... the defined seasons, the cool weather, the colourful flowers, the proximity to the most gorgeous south coast beaches and also to both Sydney and Canberra. It's certainly something to ponder over the next few years anyway.... Ponder, ponder, ponder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great to read your blog again!