Farewell my Fine Feathered Friends

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Today I say farewell to the first part of our journey down under… We came to Redcliffe my hometown first to see my family and from here we are going up to the Sunshine Coast (a place where I also lived up at Peregian Beach). Then we will be going down south to feel the real winter of Melbourne and traveling over to Adelaide for a weekend getaway to see my husbands family. Whoa I am exhausted just thinking about it but time is flying by – only 11 days and I see my hubby again! Still it is always paced gently and generally centered around food with family and friends, which I like very much.

Thursday we travelled by train – a trip I know all too well when I used to work in the city and did the journey every day. This was when I returned home from a 2 year trip to the United Kingdom and need to save some $. Sometimes you wonder when will this day to day cycle ever end and it sure did with moving down to Melbourne, finding a partner, having a baby, buying a house, getting married and then relocating to the Northern Hemisphere. The finding a partner, baby, house, marriage and relocating happened in a mere 3 years!!

I digress, so back to our day trip to South Bank in Brizvegas and it was a sunny and warm winters day in Queensland. We visited the rainforest walk and the Nepalese Peace Pagoda from World Expo ’88 – such a beautiful piece of craftsmanship created in Nepal over 2 years transported from Nepal and assembled for the Expo. I remember going to the Expo in 1988 and visiting the Pagoda and it is wonderful to see that it is still here. The area of South Bank by the river is a thriving tourist hub and a very beautiful place to visit and I am sure in the summer it would be a lot of fun to go swimming at the man made beach. It looked inviting with life guards there at the ready for those brave enough to jump into the chilly waters.

We had a pub lunch at the Plough Inn that has been in South Brisbane forever – more beer battered chips, so good! The smoked salmon on rye bagel with the chips was a treat but my uncle who took us out for the day enjoyed his roast lamb that the pub serves every Thursday. How I miss pub meals. After lunch we needed a walk and took the kids to the museum to see the dinosaurs and the fantastic collection of taxidermy animals including lots of Australian animals. We finally saw a platypus plus and the kids enjoyed checking out the possums and flying foxes who we have been watching traveling the sky at dusk.

Friday was my last day and we had a farewell lunch at Pipel By the Sea and we ate at the cafe. The food was amazing and Mediterranean is one of my all time favorite cuisines. This platter of dips was divine with roast capsicum, blue cheese, olive and hommus with toasted pita bread. The desert was a lemon sorbet in a lemon skin outer with turkish delight and baklava with caramel and coconut – certainly a wonderful treat. I love eating new foods and I have certainly had a fair share of seafood since coming to Queensland, the shish kebabs I enjoyed with lunch were Lemon Myrtle Calamari and Garlic Prawns – my two favorites from the menu.

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The kids found it hard to sit and eat at the cafe so after they had eaten as much as they could they could go and play with the soldier crabs at the low tide. We could see them from where we were sitting and they had a blast digging out the crabs – it was probably a bit cruel! Then they relocated the crabs to a resort they built out of sand leading out to the waves with a pool for the crabs to swim in?!? That kept them occupied for a long time and with the weather at a lovely 21 degrees C they wanted to dip their toes in, so off went the shoes and in they went. I must say the water did feel a perfect temperature unlike the chilly waters of the Bay Area in SF.

My dad enjoyed taking some pictures of the silhouette of the monkey tree on the sand and the shades of blue in the water. It was such a perfect day. Soon it was time to say goodbye to the soldier crabs and head on back to the house for a cuppa and to FaceTime California.

 

There are a few things I discovered in the first part of this holiday –

The trees planted by the beach are called Norfolk Pines not monkey tail trees!

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Pic taken by Ash

These mechanical sounding birds are cool and called top notches by my uncle. Actually they are crested pigeons!

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My kids can actually smile for a photograph.

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More evidence of kids smiling in a photograph – this is the photo shoot we did with the kids when we went to the shops our first week here.

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I do really enjoy the beach and spending time there, it is in my genes and makes me feel at home.

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I also enjoy watching the sun set in the evenings – I can only can do this on holidays when I am being a slacker and not working in the kitchen making dinner!

A trip to the beach G

We had a lovely day planned to go tide pooling with friends of our from the East Bay so Half Moon Bay turned out to be a great half way point for the both of our crews. We decided to eat first and then head on down to the cold beach for some tide pooling action! As it was a cold and winter type of day we found this amazing restaurant called Flavor at El Granada. It was one of the best meals I had enjoyed in the 5 years I’ve lived in California – locally sourced ingredients, food made with attention to detail and excellent staff. The freshest of ingredients and homemade pastry is what I thoroughly enjoy. As an added bonus the ice cream is also made in house – I was eyeing off the goat cheese and Pecan but I didn’t try it … maybe next time. Here is a picture of the vegetarian pot pie that my friend and I enjoyed with a spinach and pear salad.

Vegetarian pot pie and look at that green salad

Here is the bathroom which is beautifully designed – I just love the colours! And check out the tiles – now that is a bathroom worth visiting – decent looking bathrooms are few and far between compared to Melbourne. 

Bathroom tile and orange love
After our feast we went on down to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve where it was absolutely freezing and so windy – there was a bunch of Harbor Seals but no marine life in the tide pools due to the fresh water from the rain, according to the ranger. The ranger redirected us to the bluff and through the woods to the beach where we could get a better look see of the marine action. 
These trees are so big! 

It was quite spooky with the dull day and the cold in the air and the kiddos had a fun time chasing us through the trees. Missy Moo checking out the size of the trees.

Abalone shell

The lack of marine life was fine as it was a beautiful quiet beach, I still managed to capture some interesting shots of shells and moss as the over cast light was perfect. 

Crab hanging on for dear life

The ranger was telling us that there was a lot of wild waves over the last few days and as we were wandering the shore we found bits and pieces of kelp, crabs and seaweed. I found this lone crab claw probably hanging on for it’s life while it was being battered underneath the swell. It was well worth the day out to catch up with our friends and breathe some fresh air – aaaah…