Monday, November 30, 2009

The silly season has begun...

The Sunday after we got back I joined the girls for Simply Crafty's Xmas break-up. It was a great way to finish off my holidays!! Cathie brought Mitchell in and I kept getting distracted by his gorgeous, gummy smile!! LOL I didn't get much scrapping done - 1 LO and started on a 2nd - just enjoyed catching up with everyone. I made these cute candy-cane reindeers for everyone. We also had our final swap for the year - journal spots. Thank you to my Secret Santa for the lovely gift!

While I was away two swaps arrived - Scrap The Girls star swap & White With 1 orange swap.

Craig & I went to our management Xmas get-together on Saturday night - lots of drinks, Singstar and laughs! Lots more celebrations planned for the month - woo hoo!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 20 - Holidays

Day 20 - We drove through The Great Dividing Range to Uralla - Craig had a look through the war museum there. Then we went to see the bush ranger - Thunderbolt - grave and statue. We stopped at Glen Innis for lunch and to see the Australian Standing Stones and the balancing rock. We crossed back into QLD at Tenterfield. Saw the Big Apple at Stanthorpe. We stopped at Hendon to have afternoon tea with my Pop, Uncle Joe & David - it's been years since we've seen them. I loved catching up with them, Uncle Joe showed us around their farm. We were going to stay the night at Toowoomba, but ended up driving all the way home - we tumbled into bed at 1am.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 18 & 19 - Holidays

Day 18 - We caught the train into circular Quay, then the ferry around to Darling Harbour. Wandered around for a bit, then hopped on the monorail to Chinatown. We went through the beautiful Chinese Gardens, then to Dixon Street for lunch - so many delicious meals to choose from. We all enjoyed our lunch, but I found out I don't like sea cucumber - eeewww!! LOL After Chinatown we caught the ferry to Manly - went past Fort Dennison and Garden Island. It was a bit rougher than usual, but luckily no sea-sickness! LOL After wandering around Manly and checking out the beach, we jumped back on a ferry to Circular Quay. Wandered around Sydney Opera House eating yummy ice-cream. Hopped back on a train back to camp - where I got to see more of the wildlife up close when a bandicoot decided to run around my feet and scare me!! LOL

Day 19 - Up early and got to Mailand. We did a bit of shopping and had lunch, then onto Tamworth. At Tamworth we saw the Golden Guitar, then spent a relaxing afternoon floating around in the pool.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 16 & 17 - Holidays

Day 16 - We left Batemans Bay crossed the border into ACT and headed to Canberra. We spent the day looking around - went to the War Memorial, Parliament House, drove past some of the embassies, we also went to the Australian Mint. We had lunch at Lake Burley Griffin and saw the National Carillon and Captain Cook Memorial Jets. We drove a bit further, crossed back into NSW, brought a 2kg box of cherries (yummo!!) and set up camp at Goulburn.

Day 17 - At Goulburn we went to Riversdale National Trust house - it's beautiful to wander through the old houses. Went to the Rocky Hill War memorial, an amazing Anglican church (the stain glass windows were stunning) and saw the Big Ram. We went to Katoomba to see the Three Sisters, then set up camp at North Ryde in the national park in Sydney. We were treated to a typical Sydney thunder & lightening storm - all show and no rain! LOL Lots of wildlife roaming around the campsite - we got to see a cute possum.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 14 & 15 - Holidays

Day 14 - We spent half the day wandering around the Coal Creek Historical Village at Korumburra - it was lovely to walk through all the old buildings and furnishings all set up in their original state. Then onto Sale to see Australia's only swinging bridge - unfortunately it only turns on the weekends. A bit more driving and we set up camp at Lakes Entrance.

Day 15 - We went for a drive around Lakes Entrance in the morning - admiring all the beautiful views at the lookouts. Along the river front there are 4 amazing statues carved from old tree trunks. We crossed back into NSW between Nowa Nowa and Eden. Stopped for lunch at Quarantine Bay - it was beautiful weather to sit by the beach and watch the fishing boats come in. We walked down to the jetty and watched 3 huge stingrays swimming along eating all the fish scraps the fisherman were throwing into the water. Drove on a bit further and had a look at the antiques at Oaklands Barn at Pamboola. We went to the cheese factory at Bega and got to taste a variety of delicious cheeses. We set up camp at Batemans Bay - we were right next to a swamp / wetlands and the frogs & bugs sounded like a "Sounds of the Rainforest" CD that unfortunately we couldn't turn off! LOL

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 12 & 13 - Holidays

Day 12 - We went through Melbourne (via the tunnel) to Frankston where we looked around the pier & jetty. I loved the little beach sheds at Dromona - while taking pics one of the owners invited us to have a look inside and told us about the history of the sheds. We saw the Lt Flinders monument and the bay at Flinders. We brought a slab of the "world's biggest and best" vanilla slice - it was about the size of 3 normal slices put together - no wonder they sell it by the "slab"! LOL We crossed the bridge over to Phillip Island and set up camp. We went down to the beach to see the Penguin Parade. We sat in the grandstands watching the sunset while waiting for the penguins to arrive - very romantic, just Craig, me and the 1000+ other people! LOL To see hundreds of Little Penguins coming out of the water, getting into groups (safety in numbers) and waddling up the beach is an amazing sight! (Unfortunately you are not allowed to take any photos - but I was able to purchase some at the gift shop) After watching the parade for about 40 mins, we walked back up to the board walk and found you can see them up closer. They were walking under / next to the board walks to their burrows and it is chick season - so there were hundreds of baby penguins waiting for the adults to come home.

Day 13 - We went to Nobby's Point hoping to see the seals, but there was a heavy mist for most of the day. We did see the seagull nesting area - managed to walk around the the boardwalks without getting pooped on! LOL We were lucky enough to see 2 penguins - so I got to take some pics!! Woo hoo!! We went for a look at the Grand Prix Circuit, then to the Vietnam Veterans Museum and wandered around looking at the displays. After that we went to the Phillip Island chocolate factory - they have a giant Dame Edna portrait - made from 12,000 chocolate pieces!! There were lots of things to see & do - a 400kg chocolate waterfall, make your own chocolate, lots of displays made from chocolate, etc and of course lots of yummy samples to taste. We went for a drive across to Churchill Island for a look. Set up camp at Korumburra.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 10 & 11 - Holidays

Day 10 - We continued along The Great Ocean Road. More bush walking around the Loch Ard Gorge. We saw The 12 Apolstles - to see them up close is stunning! We drove along to Cape Otaway - as you drive along there are koalas in the trees everywhere. We stopped to take some pics of koalas when Craig noticed a koala in a bush right next to us. It was a mother koala and her cute little baby kept peeking at us! We stopped at Apollo Bay for some lunch - there are beautiful carved wooden statues all along the beach front. We then went to Split Point to the lighthouse. We set up camp at Geelong.

Day 11 - Went to the Geelong branch of the company we work for and I got to meet Debbie, Baz and Keith - I talk to these guys via teleconference every week - so it was wonderful to put a face to the voice!! We had lunch at the bay, then walked along looking at all the people painted on wooden poles - there were little old ladies, a band, sailor, lots of life guards, a clown, etc - I walked along the boardwalk taking pictures of every one of them! LOL At the pier there is a huge old fashioned carousel - not something I was expecting to see on the beach. Spent a relaxing afternoon floating around the pool at the caravan park.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 9 - Holidays

Day 9 - We saw the most amazing sights today. We went to the Umpherston Sinkhole - it's where the roof of a limestone cave has caved in. Then we drove around The Blue Lake - the lake changes colours throughout the seasons and we were lucky enough to see it at the Summer / turquoise stage. We also saw the Cave Gardens (another sinkhole) right in the middle of town. We crossed the border back into VIC near Nelson. We started driving along The Great Ocean road - we did a lot of bush walking to see all the different rock formations - Bay of Islands, bay of Martyrs, London Bridge, The Arch. We set up camp at Port Campbell.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 7 & 8 - Holidays

Day 7 - We took the train into Adleaide, then jumped onto a tram and went out to Glenelg. We had fish & chips on the beach and dipped our toes in the Southern Ocean. It was actually quiet pleasant, but not warm enough for me to have a swim! LOL We took the tram back to Adelaide, then got on the free City Loop bus and checked out all the buildings and the city. We went back around on the City Loop and hopped on and off at various stops to take pics and walk around. We had a look inside the casino before jumping back on the train back out to Elizabeth.

Day 8 - We travelled 30 mins into the Adelaide Hills to Gumeracha to see the giant Rocking Horse. Then travelled along the Younghusband Peninsula. We stopped at various beach towns along the way - lots of lovely beaches, we saw a boat unloading lobsters and huge octopus. Saw the giant Rock Lobster at Kingston. We went to the Tantanoola Caves just outside of Mt Gambier - unbelievable! We also did the cliff top walk- amazing views. We have set up camp at Mt Gambier.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 5 & 6 - Holidays

Day 5 - We went to the historical J-Ward Gaol for the Criminally Insane at Ararat. It was really interesting and slightly creepy! LOL We the drove through the beautiful Grampians up to the Boroka Lookout. Then onto Stawell to the Big Koala. We camped at Dimboola.

Day 6 - We saw the Pink Lakes outside of Dimboola - pretty amazing! We crossed the SA border near Bordertown. We stopped and had lunch by the Murray River at Tailem Bend. Then we drove to the Adeliade Hills where we wandered around the German village Hahndorf looking at all the old buildings and various shops. Then over to Melba's chocolate factory to see them making chocolates and some taste testing :o) We also went next door to the cheese factory for some taste testing - I tried cheese made with goat's milk - delicious! We are staying with a friend at Elizabeth just outside of Adelaide for a few days.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 3 & 4 - Holidays

Day 3 - We went to see the bush ranger Ben Hall's grave site at Forbes. We wanted to see the underground tunnels that the banks used to move gold to stop thefts, but unfortunately the Albion Hotel had burnt down in February. From there we went to Neranderra where we saw a Tiger Moth plane and the Royal Doulton porcelain fountain. Next was Jerilderie to see all the Ned Kelly sites and the giant windmill "Steel Wings". It's interesting to see all the paddocks with huge bales of hay. We crossed the the Murray river and the border into VIC - which was very exciting for me as I have never been into VIC! We set up camp on the river at Echuca - there was a big ski festival on so we sat by the river and watched all the boats & skiers.

Day 4 - Walked around High Street at Echuca and looked at all the historical buildings and sites. We visited lolly, chocolate and fudge shops - yummy! Due to Melbourne Cup day some of the shops and river cruises where closed - we nearly decided to go to Albury on our way back so we could go on the paddle steamers, but found a boat that was doing cruises - woo hoo! We went for an hour long cruise up the Murray River on the P.S. Emmy-Lou. We went to Bendigo and got on a Talking Tram ride that took us around the city pointing out historical buildings and sites - fantastic! We got off at one of the stops and walked for a few blocks- taking pics of the buildings. The paddle steamer ride and tram were two of the main things I wanted to do on our trip - so doing them both on the same day was fantastic! We set up camp at Avoca. We had gone from hot days of 38 degrees to a cold night of 9 degrees, which was a shock to the system! LOL We warmed up by the fireplace in the camp kitchen. We were so busy sightseeing, that we didn't get time to place a bet or hear / see the race - so didn't find out who won the Melbourne Cup till that night.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 1 & 2 - Holidays

Day 1 - We were up and on the road by 4am. That was hard to drag myself out of bed that early - I'm not a morning person, so I pretty much slept the for first 400km!! LOL We saw the Gunsynd statue at Goondiwindi, then crossed the NSW border. We stopped at various towns along the way, but wanted to get a decent head start into the travelling so we drove until we sent up camp at Coonabarabran. The camper trailer and gear was very quick to set up.

Day 2 - We drove to Dubbo and went to the Old Dubbo Gaol - it was great! You do a self-guided tour and they have a hilarious show as well. We spent the afternoon driving / walking around Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Then we drove to Peak Hill and saw an open cut gold mine, then onto Parkes to see the giant radio telescopes. We stayed at Forbes that night.