About Me.

A Family Tree researcher for over 30 years and a blogger since 2010, I love to share what I find. This blog has opened up a new way to contact and keep in-touch with both family and friends. It mightn't always be genealogy related and you might not agree with my point of view but I want you to comment, ask questions and look upon this blog as 'friends having a chat'.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Paul and Lilian's Excellent Adventure, Friday 17 and Saturday 18 November 2017

Friday 17th.

Good Morning Sunrise!

After the rain, overnight I didn't think the morning would be dry, warm and calm. Obscured by clouds, sunrise was pretty, with shafts of light piercing through and again I was the only person around.

Breakfast and then a walk south, past the surf club and down the steps to Shelly Beach, ( must be the name to give a small beach, with shells, as I know of at least four). We didn't go right to the bottom as it is the beach for dogs, it looks like rock platforms and a bit of sand. Heading up we decided to walk around the block and back in the top end of Kim's. There are 36 steps from the street to reception/ dining room area. Done in sets with long runs between them. Going up and down give you plenty of exercise. 
The view along the steps.

Shelly Beach.
 The water dragon was perched on a stone temple, in the middle of the fishpond and was very obliging for photos. 

Reading and relaxing, while Paul did his exercises, made me head out for a stroll on the beach. Raining, not to heavy, at first but when you start seeing the spots on the sand, it is time to turn back.

It is so relaxing just to sit and look at the waves.

Both Paul and I had  massages, this afternoon and they were so good.

Cocktails before dinner and I tried a Pina Colada, yum! We chatted to another couple, who are here for the weekend.

 The view north, from our villa.

Saturday 18th.

I woke early and managed to get some beautiful photos of the clouds, highlighted by the sun. A clam morning.  Breakfast and then the last of our packing and then to head home.

Kim's has a tradition of flying the flags of the country, a guest is from, as well as the Australian flag.  We have had, United Kingdom, United States of America, Samoa, Cook Island, Fiji, three state flags, being Northern Territory, Tasmania and New South Wales. I tried each day to guess them, before breakfast but this morning got stuck on the first flag and was seriously annoyed with myself. I had picked the Isle of Man and Greece but it was this one that stumped me. Can you work it out? Answer at the bottom.
This is the name of our villa and as the name implies, we were very idle.

                                                                         Bye for now,

Answer, City of Sydney.


Paul and Lilian's Excellent Adventure, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 November 2017

Arriving, yesterday afternoon, we settled into our villa and unpacked. Pre-dinner drinks from 6.30pm in the cocktail lounge, followed by dinner at 7.30pm.  Bed, after a glass of port and chocolate.
The sound of the sea, lulled  us to sleep.

I was up at 5.15am, so I didn't miss sunrise. Cool but not cold, with no wind,  I stood just off the beach and watched as the sun slowly crept up out of the ocean. Beautiful. It was cloudy on the horizon but there was enough of a gap to see the sun.

Back inside, Paul was still asleep, I made a cuppa and relaxed.  Breakfast at 8.30am was a buffet style, like last nights dinner. Plenty of delicious selections to choose from.  After breakfast we strolled to the Toowoon Bay Surf Life Saving Club and discovered that they had a café, something to consider, for lunch.

Back in our villa, I settled down to do some research and Paul did his weight lifting exercises.
Finding the coffee table to low, I set myself up at the desk, only to discover that, you can't get your legs under the edge of the desk as it is to low. I did get some research done but was uncomfortable, so decided that a walk was a good idea.

Now Kim's is on the side of a hill. We go up 33 steps, to get to the dining room and still more to get to street level. (The steps have level bits between them, not a straight run of steps.) I discovered that if you walk out the entrance to the surf club, there is a ramp and steps to the street, better but still a steep walk.

Paul and I then strolled to the small shopping area, Toowoon Bay Village,  most of the places are food places, from take-a-ways, to cafes to a classy restaurant. We choose the cake shop, for coffee and I did a quick shop in the grocers.

Back in the villa, the call of the beach got to me and taking my camera, I headed out for a beach walk. I headed north stopping to take photos of interesting things and the view. To the north is The Entrance and Nora Head. It is Norah Head lighthouse we see. With the tide on the turn, there wasn't much of the hard packed sand to walk on, making it a bit of a slog.

Norah Head Lighthouse, just before sunrise. I even managed to catch the beam as it went past.

Now very windy and the para-surfers are taking full advantage of the breeze. It is amazing that they don't collide or tangle their shutes  together.

Tonight there was a pianist, playing in the cocktail lounge. Drinks and canapés, before dinner. Excellent selection, the day's menu is on your table, so you have an idea as to what is available.

Wandering back to our villa, we both sat and read, late into the evening.

Thursday 16th.

No sunrise for me, we both didn't wake until 7.00am, enjoyed a lazy cuppa and then wandered up to breakfast. Paul tasted a different muesli and liked it. I might try and make it at home. I tried some of the honey selection and found the tastes very different, to what I usually have.

An after breakfast beach walk was in order, cardigan required as it was a bit cool and there was a breeze. I headed south, towards the main part of the beach and found that I had to walk in the soft sand as there was a good slope on the hard packed sand. Walking out to the rocks, I was able to see two headlands. I walked back along the path.


Today I set the laptop up on the patio table, much better and I was able to work comfortably.  Brought the blog up to date and answered emails. Enough, time to walk to the café for lunch.

I have noticed that the schools seem to be having lifesaving lessons, both primary and high school. I have also noticed a large number of swimmers, paddle boarders and a kayaker, enjoying themselves.
Wanting a break, I walked down to the beach and was amazed that I was the only person around, the beach was deserted.  Later there was a para-surfer and a windsurfer, taking full advantage of the strong wind and racing each other across the small waves.

This Water Dragon, hangs around the two fishponds, the garden edges and even the path.
                                                                    Today's flags.
Bye for now,

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Paul and Lilian's Excellent Adventure, Monday 13 November 2017 (out of order)

Today we explored three new wineries, Thomas Wines, Peter Drayton Wines and Usher Tinkler Wines.

Thomas Wines are known for the Semillon and Shiraz, after a small tasting we selected the Semillon, for dinner, and the Shiraz to take home.


                                           The view from Thomas Wines, stunning.

Peter Drayton is part of the wine family, Drayton. We have purchased Drayton's wines before and like them, so thought we would give Peter's a try. Not disappointed. A liquored Muscat and a liquored Verdelho, were delicious and added to our collection, along with his Moscato.

We had been told to try Usher Tinkler, as we were after some Muscat. Well after two tastings we walked out. We were the only ones there and the person, looking after us, poured the first one, explained it, poured the second one, explained it and then disappeared! There was other staff and they ignored us as well, so we left.

Thought we would have a look at the Hunter Valley Gardens, we had been before but they are lovely to walk through. Didn't happen! The entry fee for us oldies was $27, a family of four $85. Even the locals are complaining about the prices.

We went into the group of shops and had lunch at A Taste of Country. We shared a plate, with bread, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and spices, then Paul had a wrap and I had wedges. Everything was delicious. I had a caramel spon hot chocolate, yum!

From there we went to Kevin Sobels Wines, to do some shopping. Mandy was in the shop and it was good to have a chat and thank her for Saturday's lunch.  Shopping done, we headed to Pokolbin Village and I did some Christmas shopping. From there we went to Two Fat Blokes shop and I added to the Christmas pressies.

Back to the Vintage and we got ourselves organised to go out to Amanda's On The Edge for dinner.  Set on a hill, overlooking vineyards this restaurant gives ARIA a run for its money. Paul and I had three courses and everything was delicious. Paul tried a Martini and I tried a Midorie Splice. Mine was lovely but Paul wasn't keen on the Martini, very dry. The wine went well with both our meals. I didn't drink and drive, we booked a taxi, both ways.

The view from Amanda's

Home and I finished the packing,  tomorrow we leave the Hunter for the coast.

Most of our days have involved walking around the area. We are in a golf resort and we often follow the golf buggy path. We are both getting plenty of exercise.

Bye for now,

Paul and Lilian's Excellent Adventure, Tuesday 14 November 2017.

Today we said 'good bye' to the wine region and made our way to the coast.

Stopping to see Jill and Robert Ball, in their new home on the way through was great. They have a wonderful view of Lake Macquarie and it was great to have lunch with them and catch-up.

We then drove to Kim's Beachside Resort, Towoon Bay, home until Saturday. We are very close to the beach, in a villa and are planning to do not a lot very slowly.

I will blog about our stay but it won't be until we get home.

Bye, till Saturday.

Paul and Lilian's Excellent Adventure, Sunday 12 November 2017.

                                              Today is our wine tour day with Two Fat Blokes.

Our driver collected us and two other couples, bringing our bus passengers to nine in total,  one Japanese lady and the rest Aussies and then promptly got lost. This made us 30 minuets late for our first stop.

Lucy's Run, is a small winery and to my mind the friendliest of all. A delicious range of wines, served with bread, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and two different spices. Yum. We ordered some wines and spices and asked if they could be sent home, as this is only part one of our holiday.

Glandore Estate Wines was next and here we tasted the wines, with chocolates. Different, delicious and interesting to see how the flavours change.

On to Hanging Tree Wines, for our next tasting and lunch.
This is the hanging tree, not used to hand bushrangers, as we all thought but they would slaughter the cows and hang them from the tree, to drain the blood out.

Our little group was  fantastic, with everyone getting along, jokes being told and faces pulled, if the wine is 'different'. A good bunch to spend the day with.
After lunch we went to a Jewish winery, Harkham Wines. Everything, involved with the wine making is Kosher, from a Rabbi being present, only Jewish staff, the cleanliness and NOTHING being added to the grapes, i.e. no sulphur. They were a different taste and we purchased a bottle of chocolate sauce. It tasted like drinking liquid coconut rough chocolate. Will go very nicely with icecream.

Our  last wine tasting was at the Two Fat Blokes shop and was DeIuliis wines and nine different cheeses to taste.
Tasting like this shows you how a wine or cheese changes flavour, really interesting.

                                         Our last stop was Potters Hill Brewery, for a beer tasting.    Not for us. We did enjoy the talk on how the beer was made, tasted barely, smelt two different types of hops,
  American and Australia. We took ourselves for a walk and saw the old kilns.

Back on the bus and home. Dinner was in the bag, having pre-ordered  it before the tour and we sat outside and relaxed after a full day. Tomorrow we will explore a couple of other vineyards.

Bye for now,


Paul and Lilian's Excellent Adventure, Saturday 11 November 2017

 Today, on our morning stroll, it was the feathered friends that took centre stage.
The beautiful, cheeky pink and grey Galahs, were out enjoying what ever they could find in the grass. Last night they hung around in the gum tree, outside our patio door.

Then we saw the shy but noisy Little Corella and were dived bombed! Cheeky.

They kangaroos were out as well. 

Today we went to Kevin Sobels Wines for their annual wine club member's lunch. Being taken there in the bus, with others, so we could all enjoy the wine.
Moscato and nibbles, on arrival and the chance to meet people.
Lunch was served in one of the wine sheds, with empty oak barrels and crates of wine as the décor. A jazz band kept our toes tapping. A delicious three course meal, lots of different wines to taste, lots of laughter and interesting conversations.

It was a very, very enjoyable day.
Back to our place and we went for a walk.
Dinner was cheese and bickies and wine, in front of the TV, watching Victoria on the ABC.
Bye for now,

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Paul and Lilian's Excellent Adventure, Friday 10 November 2017. Part 2.

After leaving Wyong, we headed to Pokolbin and the Wine Region, our home for four nights.
Our first stop was Pokolbin Village and the Smelly Deli, for a cheese platter, having already
 picked-up a bottle of wine. 
Then it was 'lunch', well sort of.
Sabor in the Hunter, does desserts and only desserts and they are paired with local wines, ports and liqueurs.
Paul had the Belgium  waffles, with melted chocolate, ice-cream and  strawberries, paired with bubbly.
I had the Black Forest cake, paired with a raspberry liqueur.

The selection is wonderful, with two different tasting plates, as well. We took one back to the apartment, for after the cheese.
Once we had checked in and unpacked, we went for a walk and ran into this lot! they were more concerned about the golfer, trying to find his ball, than us. There were several joeys, close to their mums. 

                       Cheese, wine and dessert on the patio ended day one of our adventure.

                                                                    Bye for now,