Family frolics

Back with my family in Redcliffe on Sunday as we took the train from the Sunshine Coast to the new train station at Kippa-Ring, it was very exciting and so picturesque with the pineapple fields and sugar cane. Very different from the slow Caltrain back in the valley. I have been eating a lot of fish and chips and my good food diet has gone out the window but hey I only visit here once a year and this food is so good!! The walk to the beach from the Air Bnb is only 15 minutes through the back streets leading to a beautiful boardwalk along the entire beachfront.

What I enjoy is visiting with my family when I am here – here is my aunty outside her place with us and the kids with their great aunt. Every time I go to my aunty’s place I check out her collection of retro housewares and she is happy to give them away, this time the glitter seahorse caught my eye!

The kids have been wanting to go for a swim at the lagoon by the beach so why not on a beautiful Queensland sunny winters day we took them out and enjoyed more chips and a delicious fava bean burger from the Suttons Beach Pavillion.  The playground was a lot of fun with a giant pink cage and the gran and grandad enjoyed spending time outdoors with the kids where they could see them in their element.

The weekend was a lot of fun starting with a big night Friday of big Australian wines, a Shiraz or two and a delicious dinner at home with the kids. Saturday we met some friends at a local handmade market and came back for a cuppa and biscuits at our Air BnB. The market was super cool with some wonderful local designers that I loved especially a woodworker who made these stools that fold and can sit together they were so functional and beautiful in design. I am on the lookout for furniture for our house in Melbourne but I will not know what we need until we build, my hubby and I are starting a Pinterest board of ideas for when the time comes. Oh and the added bonus of this market was the food trucks and they were both vegan, so I had a vegan sausage roll which was delicious – oh the food memories I am making on this trip. My sister’s man made a beautiful farewell lunch of potato rosti with poached egg and smoked salmon, sour cream and dill that I truly enjoyed! Until next time my friends.

And to wrap up our weekend we celebrated Christmas in July with the family which was so much fun and of course, I did not eat the roast but scored the grilled barramundi, chips and salad – oh those chips again! At least I know when I go back to California I will not be eating them as I do not like fries. I drank a couple of glasses of NZ Sauvignon Blanc and felt very happy but it was a sad afternoon as I said farewell to my sister, nephew and her cat Millie, until we meet again we love you all!

 

We are Family

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On tour visiting my aunt’s place today we were looking through more photos including my wedding album from a mere 10 years ago. Thank goodness it is safe with my aunt as it may be in someones garage in Alabama if I did not keep it safe here in Australia. The story goes that when we moved to the USA our removal company lost a massive box of our possessions that may have ended up in the land of the lost! Trying to locate this box was when I found out about American customer service – that is customer service minus the focus on service, boo!

To keep the kiddos entertained while we wandered down memory lane my uncle took them to the beach to check out the park and the pelicans. Ash had his first taste of a meat pie for morning tea, which he really enjoyed down to the last flake of pastry. Meat pies full of flies 🙂 The kids were at the park across the way where Pelicans are huge in these parts of the world and very plentiful.

We went down to the local fish and chip shop to check out what was on offer so I tried the grilled Goldband Snapper with some crispy chips – fish and chips here cannot be beat! That is one meal I will always enjoy though a walk is usually needed after scoffing down all the chips. Plenty of ibis came by to see if they could grab some stray food and the funniest thing happened to Missy when she had a chip in her hands above her head a cheeky little butcherbird grabbed the food from her hand and flew off – such a fun experience!

At the fish and chip shop there is a fresh fish market straight from the trawler from up North Queensland – there were plenty of crabs and prawns and these special little fellas called the Moreton Bay Bug which have flesh like a lobster or crab. The picture on the right is of the New Zealand mussel and the colour of their shell was just stunning. I so wanted to feast on everything there.

Little shrimp and Large Ocean Occy (octopus) to snapper heads and fish a plenty gave me inspiration for a seafood BBQ feast – today I just settled for some fresh Australian Pacific Oysters to enjoy with the fish and chips. The funny thing is that when I was looking at the fish to buy here I had to be careful on where the origin was, I found a Barramundi that was from China. To me as a foodie who loves to dine on local foods it was a bit of a shock to find this at a local fish monger. I imagine it is a supply and demand thing and if the people want Barramundi they don’t care where it came from, even if it was on a fish farm in China. I am happy to support the local fish companies here and tonight for dinner I had Tasmanian smoked salmon from the Huon River region – it is so worth that extra to support a company that has some sustainability practices in action.  I love Tasmania from the first time I visited it as a backpacker to the last time I visited as an environmental activist in the Tarkine region with The Wilderness Society. It is a place that I will be wanting to visit again and take the kids to see the World Heritage forests in the future – most likely when it is warmer and lets hope those forests are still there.

Lucky for us after all that seafood we found an outdoor gym so the kids could use up more of their energy on the cross trainer and get some weight training. Such a great spot for this gym equipment by the beach as you are getting a nice sea breeze while you are working out.

We have been here for over a week now and another day has flown by with more eating, catching up and hanging out. One thing I have been enjoying are the colours of the sunset and these super fluffy cloud formations, maybe I am too busy to notice them back in Cali as the time of the day I am too busy. Being on holiday gives you time to stop and appreciate the beauty and sounds around you, it is great to be home.