Showing posts with label Weekends Away. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weekends Away. Show all posts

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Catching up - Bali

Last December, Ross and I popped over to Bali for a whirlwind few days.  Ross had a few days work in Denpasar so, thanks to my wonderful parents, I was able to accompany him on the trip.  As he was working I spent most of my days reading by the pool or wandering through the fabulous shops and gardens.   We also had some wonderful meals out with some of Ross' work colleagues.  Mostly expats that live in Jakarta and that are lucky enough and close enough to have holiday houses in Bali.  Their lifestyle sounded fabulous to me until I heard about the traffic issues in Jakarta.  One family we had dinner with had boys at the British School in Jakarta (where I went to Pre-school way back in the late 1970s!) and despite the fact that the school is only 8km from their house it takes them two hours on a school bus to get from A to B.   My 40 minute school trip (yes, some days it can even take longer, sob!) sounded not so bad after hearing their tales of traffic woe.

The first few days we stayed at the W in Seminyak.  It was gorgeous and as we had a villa with a private pool, extremely relaxing.  I floated about the pool amongst frangipani flowers, read lots of books and caught up on sleep.  It was heavenly.

I did manage to leave the hotel every now and then.  Coffee at the The Corner House in Seminyak became an essential part of each day quickly.  Easily the best coffee we found in Bali and the most charming little cafe to sit in and enjoy said coffee.  It is well worth a visit if you are in Seminyak.  Even the Bathroom is gorgeous!

Homewares shopping isn't too bad either!  This is Kim Soo near the Petitenget Temple.  Lots of gorgeous things to be found inside!

After 4 nights at the W, we moved to the incredible Ayana, famous for the adults only pool and the Rock Bar.  Both well worth a visit and I actually thought that this hotel would be fun to stay at with the kids.  There were multiple pools and the gardens were a delight to wander and explore. The staff bent over backwards to ensure we enjoyed our holiday experience as well.  

The kids pool was being renovated whilst we were staying there so this is unfortunately the best photo I was able to take of it, but seriously how much fun does that look?!  When I showed the boys they insisted that we take them next trip!  

This is the divine adults only pool.  Truly spectacular!

Whilst we were at the Ayana we celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.   11 years, sigh.  I feel so lucky and so blessed. 

So that takes us up to mid-December.  I'll try and add Christmas and our annual trip to Whistler before the year is half over!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


R and I recently celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.  The traditional gift for 10 years apparently is tin.  According to wikipedia the modern interpretation of tin is diamonds.  I would have been happy with diamonds, that goes without saying!  The gift I did receive though is even better than diamonds.

My lovely and ever thoughtful husband suggested to me that I choose a new painting to celebrate our 10 years of marriage and so I did.  I finally got my much longed for Alexander Mckenzie art work and it now hangs in pride of place in our dining room.

For the actual day of our anniversary though R whisked me away for a whirlwind getaway without the children.  It was the longest I had ever been away from them (5 nights!) and I struggled, but as I knew they were in capable hands with my parents I eventually relaxed and started to enjoy myself!

The first two nights were spent in Port Douglas at the new QT Hotel.  R is a huge fan of the QT Hotel chain and stays at the Gold Coast one several times a month.  Yes, he travels a lot for work.

I haven't stayed at any of them, but when I walked into the hotel lobby and spotted this incredible wreath made of vintage glass sea buoys I knew I would not be disappointed.  It was made by Nic Graham of g+a, (the interior architects behind the QT chain) and is absolutely breathtaking in real life.  It is almost reminiscent of a magnificent sea creature with it's shimmering blue and green colours and the dangling ropes are tentacle like in their delicateness.

The rest of the hotel is equally as charming and full of fabulous vintage nautical references that I of course adored!

On our second day in Port Douglas R somehow convinced me to get into a helicopter.   My cheerful smile in the photo above really does not reflect how nervous I actually was! I know, for someone that worked as a flight attendant for years it is a bit crazy that I am terrified of small aircraft/rotorcraft! 

The helicopter flight over the reef was an amazing experience though and it really was a fabulous way to explore the Great Barrier Reef.  Such a different perspective to seeing the reef from a glass bottomed boat or snorkelling, both of which we have done on previous trips.  Instead from the helicopter we were able to comprehend for the first time the incredible vastness of the reef.  It  is so enormous it is actually visible from space!  It was also so pretty seeing it from above, a beautiful garden under the sea.  We saw huge turtles that were the size of small cars, sharks swimming at great speed and the highlight for me was seeing enormous, colourful drifts of coral spawn!  At one point we even flew over Australia!

Once again Tasmania was forgotten though!!

Port Douglas is very pretty and I loved our quick visit but after Port Douglas we drove back down the coast to Palm Cove which truly is the jewel on that part of the Queensland tropical coast.  There is just something about those enormous and ancient paperbark trees lining the beach and esplanade that really is spectacular.

We have visited Palm Cove several times before but it was the first time we stayed at Peppers.  As soon as we walked in I announced to R that we have to come back and stay here with the children soon!  The hotel is positioned directly opposite the beach where the playground and swimming net is located and is walking distance to all the great restaurants and most importantly for the children, it has two fantastic pools!

For our anniversary dinner we had the degustation menu at Nu Nu's. We were both left a little underwhelmed unfortunately.   The new location of the restaurant is stunning though.  Last time we dined at Nu Nu's, which was about 2 years ago, it was part of the Pepper's hotel. The restaurant is now located at the new Alamanda Hotel, (the old Angsana) and is positioned right on the waterfront.  I think it is the only restaurant in Palm Cove that is actually on the water and the location and atmosphere were absolutely perfect.  The food though, sadly it just was not as good as the last time we ate there. R informed the wait staff that he was allergic to peanuts and would prefer that no other nuts were included in any of the dishes he was served.  Literally every single dish we were served had nuts (yes no peanuts but everything else in the nut family just about made an appearance!)  To say that this left a bad taste in R's mouth would be the understatement of the evening.  We were unable to foresee this happening as the degustation menu is at the Chef's whim!  It was quite disappointing as the last time we ate there it was truly amazing and we were really looking forward to eating there again.  As in all things though, it might just have been a bad night and we would almost certainly eat there next time we visited Palm Cove.  I would recommend lunch or breakfast though to make the most of that view! 

Palm Cove really is magical.  It is so pretty and unspoilt and well worth a visit if you feel like a tropical holiday without the tourist element that is omnipresent at so many other Australian coastal holiday destinations.  

Our whirlwind getaway then wound up with two days in Melbourne that largely rotated around shopping, attending parties and catching up with family and friends!  R was quite put out with me for choosing what he deemed to be "family destinations" for our 10 year wedding anniversary.  He was desperate to go somewhere more exotic but for my first holiday away without children I insisted that we remain on the mainland and near an airport at all times! Next time though I think I am ready to cross the seas without them.... I just have to hope that my long suffering parents will put their hands up to look after the darlings again for me! 

Friday, April 5, 2013


Nearly 30 years ago, when we moved back to Australia after our posting to KL,   I made two very dear and special friends.  One I met on my first day at my new school, which was actually my old school but Canberra has such a transient population that there were hardly any recognisable faces.  I was allocated a seat at a double wooden desk next to D and promptly handed a Hymn book, a Bible and a sheaf of photocopied Prayers and Hymns that needed to be glued into both.  I must have looked quite bewildered as D kindly offered to do it all for me.  V I met shortly afterwards at Girl Guides.  Come around the back she enticed and I'll let you feel my bra strap.  I have been best friends with both ever since.

Last year for my 40th birthday they gave me a very generous voucher for one of my most favourite shops. 

 As V lives in Brisbane nowadays she was able to accompany me for the grand shopping trip but D now lives in the Hunter Valley and thus has not yet seen the divine things that I purchased with their very thoughtful gift.

Thank you both so very much for my lovely 40th birthday presents.  Every time I look at the Pineapple painting it makes me smile and everybody that visits the house loves it and asks after it.  I use the butter dish everyday and it's vintage gorgeousness makes me so happy, as does the lovely hammered silver trinket box which looks perfect on my bookshelves. 

Thank you for being such marvellous friends, you have both enriched my life in so many ways.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas 2012 and Depot Beach (far away in time...)

Christmas was fabulous.  Apparently I was even having too much fun to take photos.  Luckily my Mum snapped this one before the kids got to the crackers.

Followed by a trip to the beach house for New Years.

As we are on tank water this is the most convenient and fun way to wash off after the beach.

I spent a lot of time doing this.... (nothing).

Will someone please take me down to the beach!?!

oh okay.....  R teaching them to surf.  Me, still doing nothing.  It was a lovely break.  Happy New Year all.


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