Travels up North

Continuing our adventures in Melbourne for the rest of the week I caught up with my friends for playdates with the kids and of course. In St Kilda we had lunch at Dr Jekyll – my friend and I had the perfectly poached eggs with sumac and other delicacies. The kids scoffed down a lamb sausage roll. I caught up with other friends for fish and chips on Sunday and a dinner at their place on Thursday evening.

We enjoyed a TacoTuesday celebration with our good friends after a lovely chilly winter stroll to the beach to view the amazing sunset. Our dinner was enhanced with the New Zealand speciality pavlova with lemon curd and blueberries.

Later in the week, we met another friend for lunch at Supernormal – an upscale Asian restaurant in Flinders Lane. The boys enjoyed ramen and I enjoyed a super tasty lobster roll and raw kingfish and citrus sashimi and I drank the Fake Bews which was almond, pineapple and bitters which was very refreshing, I actually do miss having bitters as a drink option so I grab the opportunity when I am back home in Oz.

Oh and here is the Totoro crochet I made for my nephew! This guy took longer than I planned and was made in Adelaide, Melbourne and completed in Brisbane!! I do love the way it turned out in the end as I was a bit concerned as I ran out of grey yarn so he has black gloves on plus the grey tones change with the tail and the ears as the acrylic I was using throughout only made it to the bottom of his body.

The trip to the sunshine coast to meet the many animals Millie, the dogs Sailor and Leo and the koala. The kids had a blast together playing hide and seek in my sister’s house.

Our beach time at the Sunshine Coast is super special as the day we planned to go to Noosa – which I do not recommend even though it is so beautiful, it is packed with people and parking is hard to find. After the plan, I read that you can park at Sunrise beach and then walk to Noosa through the National Park and catch the bus back, such a cool idea for a day trip. The kids love the water so they were in for a swim, it was too cold for me!! I love the many vistas of just being at the beach and it makes me so happy to be there.

After the rain the day was spectacular and we went for lunch at the Chenrezig Institute in Eudlo, which is the hinterland up in the mountainous region of the Sunshine Coast. The energy there was just mellow after wrangling the children the time we had up there was chilled out and the lunch of a vegan shepherds pie, steamed seasonal vegetables and salad was so warming. Their temple for meditation space would have been perfect if the kids would have joined in though it looked like there was a workshop happening for the day. I would happily go back again and volunteer in the future.

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My sister and I have had such a special time together and it was wonderful to be hanging out at her pad in Buderim with a super cold pool which would be amazing in the summertime. I know the time we spend together I have to cherish but as I will be coming home next year, I can make it up over the winter to escape the Melbourne chill and enjoy the time together with my nephew.

Thursday was a big day out to Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World – these pictures captured the fun we had with our aviary tour and the parrots hanging out with us. The gardens were fun to wander around and provided many picture opportunities of the three cousins! The views of the Glasshouse mountains from the gardens was just the best. Oh, the female red-tail black cockatoo was a highlight for me and she just enjoyed her perch way up high observing everyone!

In the evening we went to Mooloolaba to Elixiba a plant-based restaurant and dining experience for a friends birthday. I was so excited to see a sparkler on her raw cheesecake with berries that we all tried. I had this cool colour changing cocktail called the using house-made chameleon lemonade. The food was fresh and tasty and the coco-mari a rif on calimari using coconut shreds was so moreish.

Our last day up the coast was to visit the farmers market and to enjoy a potato rosti I had only heard about and was hanging out to try. This was the spanner crab omelette with the crab caught off Fraser Island served with Asian herbs and chilli, absolutely divine and disappeared in seconds! And then it was time to say goodbye to Aunty where we took the train back to our place in Redcliffe to be with my family and enjoy some chilled out time at an Air Bnb with a highlight of Christmas in July coming up on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

From Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast

At the end of the week, we moved into the second leg of our Australia trip 2018! After a week of enjoying the chilly winter weather in Melbourne and catching up with friends, it was time to go our separate ways. We said our farewells as a family at Tullamarine airport my hubby flew back to the Bay and I headed up to Brisbane to spend a week with my sister and nephew at the Sunshine Coast.

For one of our first outings at the coast, the children enjoyed Wildlife HQ interacting with Australian native animals, they especially loved the free range kangas, emus and wallabies. My new point and shoot came in handy and I managed to get some beautiful pics and I found this super cool pic of a mama and baby koala – sweet!

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Wildlife HQ was the perfect size to take little kids with each area marked out neatly to allow an easy trek through the animals. The South-American area was super cool with the tamarin monkeys going nutzo in their enclosures – these cotton top tamarins were chilling in the afternoon sun.

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Like a bunch of old gentlemen, these emperor tamarins were sitting in their enclosure chatting away.

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There were two friendly mini horses and we all loved this guys hairdo!

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The rooster was hilarious with his constant crowing all day and indeed he was certainly a very handsome guy!

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Other friends we were allowed to pet were the Wallabies and pademelons, super soft and cute.

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Ash really enjoyed patting the emus, I had no idea how huge they were and at least these guys were very friendly.

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At Wildlife HQ there are animal encounters and for the kids, we decided to do a group koala pic as our sitter just loved koalas. Missy was the holder of the koala and she said it was the weight of a baby.

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Ash’s fave animal the meerkat in action.

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An animal I had never seen before from South East Asia reminded me of a cat lazing out there in the sunshine.

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Koalas were definitely our highlight even though they only stay awake 2 hours of the day and the rest of the time they are sleeping after they enjoy their feast of eucalyptus leaves.

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On entry you have the option to feed the animals and buy a bag of feed for around $1, the animals know and they know the sound of the bag and will happily come to you for a small fest of hay.

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For our first day in Queensland, we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day with the kids at the ocean and where the kids loved wave jumping between the flags.

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We travelled to Chambers island for lunch and enjoyed low tide on the Maroochydore river, catching a glimpse of some wildlife – the amazing pelican.

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We were sad to say our farewell to Melbourne on Saturday after all the fun we had with friends and food. This beauty was the on the ceiling of our Air BnB.

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Our wanderings around Albert Park in the chilly weather I took my camera out to capture the wildlife around the place and found this rainbow lorikeet with its buddy in a tree hole nest.

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I love the magpies but I think it was a bit of a close call to be near them as they can attack if they are nesting, whew lucky for me check out that pointy beak!

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These lovelies are corellas and were digging about in the grass looking for their lunch.

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I always love to find the Moreton Bay fig trees as they are perfect photography specimens and the best trees to climb.

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On our walk we spied a flock of cockatoos and ended up finding them enjoying a feast by the golf course – this was shot across the road from where these birds were feasting.

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The wind was relentless the day we went for a walk around the lake the swan was battling the waves.

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The kids were all rugged up and thank goodness for my pussy hat to save the day.

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On taco Tuesday my friends came over so we went for a walk down to the beach and stayed until sunset and it was brilliant. Melbourne beaches in winter are stunning and completely empty except for the dog walkers.

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The girls enjoyed their time in the cold making a sandcastle on the deserted beach. All in all our time in Melbourne was so much fun and we now have a projected timeline for our house plan with the next stage of advertising to the neighbours and then the design finishes of the interiors and then to tender out to a builder! Proposed start of the project will be February 2019 with an estimated 8-month build. So I am feeling good and will be getting ready to leave to the USA mid-year 2019 and I am so happy to be getting out of there. Being home in Australia I am so grounded really feel it is time to come back home!

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Pocketful of Sunshine

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The time finally came to say goodbye to a favourite place of mine – the Sunshine Coast! It’s name just says it all – Sunshine, which is one of the reasons why we are still in California enjoying all its sunshine.

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We couldn’t leave the Coast without a party and my uncles band playing their own range of ‘swamp music’ as they call it – a mix of old classics to sing along to! We also had a couple of their friends bring their djembe drums for some drumming action. The highlight of the evening was a surprise CD my uncle found of one of his friends Herb playing the Cherokee flute – here he is playing it while we enjoy the amazing flute sounds. The funny thing was that my uncle thought I found the CD and sent it to him from California and as it turned out I had never heard it before! Still it was a great way to end the evening with a bit fun for Herb hearing his CD and playing some live tunes for the gang.

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It was a night of enjoying glasses of wine from the Waeco camping fridge that also comes in handy for a party! It keeps your wine nice and cool but be careful that it does not get too cool and turn into a slushy wine, which is what happened to mine – yikes!

AS it was a big night out – I stayed up till 2am drinking and chatting about the classical music and arts scene in Australia, it was very insightful?!? Then comes Sunday after sleeping in a bed full of 3 children I was pretty knackered – the day was way too beautiful to sleep away so we went to Alexandra Headland for a bit of a relax by the sea and it was the perfect tonic but just remember if you swim in the surf to be between the red and yellow flags.

The day before we left a friend of my Uncle’s took us out for the afternoon to Point Cartwright for some incredible photo opportunities. We felt so alive with an energy when we were rock hopping right by the crashing waves that it could have been the adrenalin from an unseen danger! The super spry kids found many shells in between the massive flat rock islands and enjoyed the rock hopping the most, moving along the rocks very gracefully.

The rocks themselves were pieces of art in themselves – the colours, textures and shapes creating this amazing space to walk and rock hop through.

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Point Cartwright has a huge lighthouse sitting atop the coast and right next to it is a massive water tower holding 6 mega litres of water which recently scored a facelift with beautiful mural and we enjoyed finding the different animals like the square tailed kite.

Then finally the time came to say goodbye to my sister and the kids favourite Aunty. It was a sad farewell as who knows when we will be back home to Australia to see my sister and my nephew who is already 5 years old!

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Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

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The next stop in our journey was an hour or so up North to the beautiful Sunshine Coast to hang with my sister and my 5 year old nephew. The day when we arrived the weather was warm and sunny – a perfect Queensland winters day. As it was the perfect day for a drive we headed on up to the lovely town of Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Wandering through to the local town centre we found these lovely blooms on the way to a hot chocolate. The local town had a co-op and a fabric store that I love, called Sapling Textiles with fabrics from India – I was sad that it was closed! Also we found a cool local non-profit with beautifully designed clothes from India called The Industree where I found a lovely hummingbird jumper AKA sweater that matches my tattoo!

On our way to The Shak for a Sunday brunch to meet up with family we found this secret sacred garden called Wunya Park in honour of the Indigenous people of the area. A lady places random crocheted items around the garden for wanderers to find and follow.

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Finally we made our way to The Shak a legendary local, organic cafe for brunch and excellent coffee. The menu was just amazing and I enjoyed the Avo’ Smash, just delish!  Check out the iced chai with their coconut mylk made in house, just perfect!

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These amazing Moreton Bay fig trees are just a walk down from The Shak on King Street in Buderim and are perfect photo subjects.

Some more of these beautiful trees in colour. They are the best trees for climbing.

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We enjoyed some winter beach time and hanging out with my friend from Portland while we serendipitously met at the Sunshine Coast for our Stateside summer vacations!