Sunday, June 28, 2015

Perth & Broome Holiday :: Day 1

Pier 21 Apartments & Pool

Richie dropped us to the airport at 9:00 am and we hopped on the flight to Perth just after 11 o'clock.  








View from the Pool to the Marina on the Swan River

We landed in Perth at about 2:00 pm, picked up a hire car and headed down to Fremantle, where we were staying in some nice apartments called Pier 21, looking over a marina on the Swan River.

Pier 21 Apartment Living Room



We checked in, unpacked and then put our feet up and relaxed with a cuppa for a few minutes, checking out the view from the balcony.



Pier 21 Balcony & View of Marina




The weather was lovely - sunny & warm.  So, we decided to take a drive along the marina and see what we could find.

The Left Bank





Just over the bridge we came across a likely looking pub - The Left Bank - sitting bathed in the afternoon sun and full of people enjoying themselves.








So, we decided to join them!




The Left Bank Courtyard



Wayne ordered a fisherman's platter and a Peroni for tea and I had a cheese board and a nice cold sav blanc.




Wayne on the balcony of The Left Bank






We wiled away the next few hours on the balcony, watching the boats sail passed and the sun set.  A very nice start to the holiday!















Sunday, September 21, 2014

Family Picnic

It was Richie's 23rd birthday during the week, so I asked him if he would like to celebrate it by having a family picnic.  He thought that would be good, so we sent out the word to everyone and we all came together at Jells Park today.

Lizzy, Richie, Nick, Mum, Jack & Phil















There was Wayne & I, our three kids Victoria (Torie), Richard (Richie) and Elizabeth (Lizzy), Torie's boyfriend Nick, my Mum Dawn (who had travelled all the way up from Phillip Island by bus on Friday for the occasion), Wayne's sister Debbie and her husband Phil, and Wayne's brother Mark, his son Jack and Mark's new girlfriend Suzie.


Phil, Debbie, Jack & Mum


Mark & Jack



















Everyone brought something, so the load was shared nicely between us all.  We had cheese and biscuits to begin with, while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Mark, Torie & Mum











Lizzy, Richie & Nick

Then Wayne and Phil fired up one of the electric barbeques that are at the park and cooked up a whole load of different meats - steak, lamb chops, sausages, chicken wings and salmon fillets, while the rest of us laid the table with four types of salad, bread rolls, mustards and sauces.


Richie, Nick, Lizzy, Torie & Phil

Wayne, Jack, Debbie, Mark, Suzie & Mum
















The weather was just perfect!  Sunny and warm and about 18 degrees Celsius, which was a relief because it had been overcast and raining all week.


Suzie, Mark & Phil in the foreground

The only family member who couldn't join us was Wayne's Dad, Geoff, which was sad and we missed having him there.  But hopefully we will be able to do something similar in Stratford next time and he will be able to be with us.

Torie with Daisy
















We brought the dogs too - our two spoodles, Jarrah & Daisy and Debbie brought her schnauzer Schminke.  Mark said his dog was too smelly to put in the car today!

Richie & Lizzy throwing the frisby
















After lunch, the kids had a bit of fun throwing a frisby while we cleared away the mess into big garbage bags to take home.

The birthday cake




Then we put the kettle on a little portable gas stove that we had brought and made coffees and teas and brought out Richie's birthday cake as we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him.  Everyone gave him their presents.










Earlier in the day, when they were able to have some quiet time together, Mum gave Richie her present which was very special ... it was Dad's wedding ring.  Dad passed away a year ago last weekend, so to give Richie his ring was a very moving thing for both Mum and Richie.  He was rendered quite speechless by such a special gift from Mum and gently tried it on each of his fingers until he found the one that it fit perfectly.  Then he wore it all day, but said he would put it away safely afterwards and only wear it on special occasions, as he wanted to take great care of it.

Richie wearing Dad's wedding ring
It was a lovely family day and everyone said they enjoyed themselves.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Port Douglas :: Day 8 (last day)

We had a little sleep-in today, but had to have everything packed and the house cleared by 10am.  We didn't have to be at the airport until 5 o'clock so we had a whole day to spend just looking around at the shops in Port Douglas before making our way back to Cairns.

With fairly significant encouragement from Lizzy, Mum decided to follow-through on something she has been wanting to do for quite a while now.  She got a tattoo.  Yes, my 78 year old Anglican Minister mother went to a tattoo salon and asked them to put a permanent mark on her skin!!!  Of course, Lizzy and I went with her to make sure it was done hygienically and that all was above board.

She chose her favourite picture - a Ulysses butterfly - and before long the man was working away on her shoulder ...


... she said it didn't hurt at all, just felt like someone was scratching at her ...

 
... and within half an hour it was done!
 
 
I don't think I could ever do that, but I'm so proud of Mum for being so brave and for getting exactly what she wanted.  She is absolutely delighted with the outcome and we are so happy for her.
 
After that excitement, we drove half way back to Cairns, stopping in at Palm Cove for a picnic lunch on the beach (getting through some of the food we cleared out from the house).

Picnic at Palm Cove ... beautiful!!


Mum grabbing her last chance
to enjoy the warm sand!


A wind surfer enjoyed the warm breeze.



















Then we headed off to Cairns, arriving at about 3 o'clock.  So, we went to the big Cairns Central shopping centre for some retail therapy until it was time to head to the airport.
 
Dropped the car back to the rental place and checked in by 5:30pm.  On the plane at 6:30 and landed in Melbourne at 10 o'clock.  Picked up my car from the long term parking and were home by 11:30 that night.
 
Well, what a wonderful holiday!!  So many fun things and so many great memories!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Port Douglas :: Day 7

We were all up early today and off to the marina by 9 o'clock for our exciting boat trip out to the reef.  We were there in time to have a coffee before boarding.



The Quicksilver boat is a huge wave piercing catamaran and they have it all organised very well with food and drink on board, as well as information videos showing on TV screens all over the place.




It takes about 1-1/2 hours to get to the pontoon anchored at Agincourt Reef.




Then when everyone has exited the boat and boarded the pontoon, there are all sorts of activities, from going into a submerged room to view the coral and swimmers, a mini submarine, to snorkelling, to scuba diving (with all equipment provided).  Even changing into the gear gave us a lot of laughs!








Mum went into the submerged room, while the rest of us went snorkelling.  It was really great fun!






Wayne & Lizzy (viewed from submerged room)






Richie



Me
Wayne, Richie (and some other guy) in the submarine

After we were finished, a fantastic lunch was provided on the pontoon and then we just lazed about and sunbathed until it was time to return to the boat for the trip home.


In the evening we returned to the marina for a fish'n'chip dinner at a restaurant which had a live band playing old rock & roll from the sixties.




Barramundi & chips, wrapped in "newspaper"
(hygienic culinary paper, actually)
Richie went for a rib eye and chips

Mum loved it and asked if they could play "These Boots Were Made For Walking", which they did.  A funny guy from the table next to us (who saw Mum request the song) asked her up to dance.  It was so funny because Mum can jive really well but the guy couldn't dance at all and just stomped.



 
We were all pretty tired after our big day out, so were back at home by about 8:30.  Aahh ... our last full day in paradise!