We had my Dad over this year – from the 23rd January till 26th January – it was good to have him stay with us for the weekend up until Australia Day. We didn’t really get up to much. We went over to the Entrance for a spot of lunch and a quick visit to a couple of shops on the Sunday. On the Monday Dale had to work so we had a quite day at home and I took Dad to the beach at Bateau Bay for a swim in the afternoon. On the Tuesday, Australia Day, we went down the road to the Wyong River with about 4 other families and had a BBQ lunch and the kids’ hooned around in Dale’s boat until the gears went in the outboard. Not a bad weekend.
In March Dale was out on Lake Macquarie both Saturday and Sunday. There was a fishing competition on – somewhere out there was a fish with a $40,000 tag in it and, apparently, it’s still out there as no-one claimed the prize. Unfortunately the comp is over now so if someone did manage to nab the fish now they wouldn’t get the money. Apparently on other years the tagged fish has been caught up in Brisbane, a few days after the comp had finished, and one time a fisherman caught a shark, a few days after the comp had finished, and found the tag inside it – the bloody shark had eaten the fish.
On ANZAC day (April 25th) Dale’s sister and I took Dale’s cousin and aunty up to the Hunter Valley where we went to The Hunter Valley Gardens and shops – where we had a beautiful stroll around the gardens, some lunch and a cuppa in a café and a bit of wine tasting in the cellars, The Smelly Cheese Shop (at the Tempus Two Vineyard) – where we sampled some different flavored ice creams and I tried some cheeses and then home through Wollembi where we stopped at a small Arts and Crafts shop. It was great day.
On the Queen’s Birthday weekend (early June) we also went to a Rio night at a local Brazilian Restaurant on the Saturday night with several friends. It was a good night – there was plenty of food, salads and especially meat (every meat you can think of actually – lamb, beef, pork, sausage, chicken and even prawns and fish), the drinks were reasonably priced (a jug of mixed spirits or cocktails – 8 drinks – for $25), there was Latin American dancing (a lot of backside shimmering/shaking going on there, they even gave quick lessons to people they picked from the crowd), a display of martial arts Brazilian style (which involved spinning around, high kicks and somersaults – they also gave a couple of lessons in this) and good company. Our main complaint would be that it was so cold in the restaurant – the walls on one side are only steel bars and bamboo so the cold winter air could get in.
Dale’s birthday was in July and on the Sunday prior to the big day we went to the Wyong Golf Club with a couple of neighbours for dinner – had a lovely dinner of pork, crackling and roast veggies and a couple of drinks before going home. Dale thought he would be smart and park in and block the neighbours driveway instead of going straight home. Dale didn’t realize that they had parked right behind us and had parked so close behind us that we couldn’t see their car lights – in fact (as we found out the next day) they had actually switched their lights off to play a joke on Dale. Dale then decided, because he couldn’t see them behind us, that they must have been delayed so reversed. He soon stopped when he heard the crunch but instead of getting out and checking what the noise was he went forward and tried reversing again. Needless to say there was another crunch – the damage wasn’t too bad – a new groove in their bumper and a hole in their grill where our cars tow ball had plowed through it and our car had some minor damage to the rear bumper.
The following Saturday friends invited us around to their place for dinner and to watch a movie. Lovely dinner – yummy pork roast with all the trimmings including dessert - thanks guys – our turn next time – roast or BBQ depending on the weather. On the Sunday Dale and I decided to take a drive up Swansea way. While we were up there we went and had a look at Redhead Beach and decided to stop of at the new, improved, Caves Beach Hotel. Wow how good is it now? Huge improvement on what it was previously. Have to get the usual crowd together and go up when the weather gets warmer.
A couple of weekends after this we went back up to the Caves Beach Hotel again, but this time we had Dale’s fishing buddy and his wife in tow. We had a huge lunch – I usually order an entrée size meal for lunch, which is what I did this time, but their entrees were the size of a main meal. I had nachos with beef and beans, Dale had the big beef burger with all the trimmings and the other two also had burgers.
In August Dale and I joined friends and another family of 4 in Bali for almost 3 weeks of sun, massages, finger nail and toe nail painting, day trips and shopping
Please see my journal on Bali - uploaded earlier this year.
We went to the Williamtown (Newcastle) Airshow at the end of September – what great day out – 4 hours of entertainment. The planes of the Australian Airforce were all on show as were a few of the oldies but goodies – there were F111 jets, F/A18 jets, helicopters, a Saber, spitfires, a huge Hercules and numerous other planes, an acrobatic demonstration and The Red Hornets put on a show. It was the F111’s final flight/s before being retired from use and getting replaced with the F/A18’s. God those jets are loud, should have maybe worn earplugs but it would have taken some of the fun out of it and the flames that trailed behind them from the fuel burn-offs were awesome.
In mid November the company I work for had a Sunday BBQ lunch at Bobbin Head – located in the Mount Kuring-Gai National Park. I was surprised Dale even said yes to going along. It was a good day – we went early and got there at 10am so Dale could fish for a while before everyone else started to turn up. We ended up being the last one’s to leave at about 4.30pm. The weather was beautiful – the first weekend for a while that it hasn’t rained continuously.
The following weekend we went to a Maori get together at a small hall in Tuggerah with Dale’s sister, his cousin and Aunty – the entrance fee included a hangi dinner – yummy – there was muscles, fish, pork, lamb, beef, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, salads fried bread and Maori bread - and a short Maori concert party. They had a good turnout and had to turn away about 300 people who wanted tickets for the event. They even had the Wyong Mayor and Member of Parliament there.
On the Sunday Dad and Patsy arrived at our place – Dad was over for the second time this year. They stayed with us for a week during which time I had the Monday and Tuesday of work. On the Monday they just relaxed at home getting over the travel and we went out for lunch to a café at Norah Head and on the Tuesday I took them to the Australian Reptile Park and came home via Gosford where dad picked up a rental car he had organized. During the rest of the week I went back to work and they managed to drive themselves around the coast to different places. On the Saturday before they left I took them up to Morpeth, Newcastle and then for lunch at the Caves Beach Hotel. It was great seeing them – hope they had a nice week on the NSW south coast after they left our place. The weather was beautiful for them for the first week that they were at our place and I hope they didn’t get lots of rain on the south coast.
We went to Tasmania for Christmas - please see the Tassie Journal recently uploaded - had the best time tripping around and seeing some of the island - have to make a return trip to see the rest of it.