As many of you may know, it was my birthday on Friday and I turned 26 (old). So for my birthday Andrew and I took a drive to Hunter Valley (wine country) for the weekend. We left Friday morning after my wonderful boyfriend made me breakfast in bed and then gave me my present. My present was the most special gift he could give me. He wrote me a beautiful song and with the help of his brother Paul and a few other people, they recorded it at Nova studios and Veronica did all the artwork for the CD case. It brought tears to my eyes which is not an easy thing to do!! 🙂 Of course I’ll have to play it for all my friends and family when I get home!! And of course we listened to it over and over in the car on the way up to the valley. Oh- and I saw my first wild kangaroo today!!! Too bad it was dead on the side of the road. Sad.
We stayed at a cute little winery/bed and breakfast and we were the only couple there along with the owner of the winery, John. Friday we had a little wine (John gave us a bottle for free which was nice) and we drove to this little shopping center near Hunter Gardens. (We drove there BEFORE we drank the wine) 🙂 We were going to walk around in the gardens which looked beautiful, but it was $20 bucks so we decided it wasnt worth it. It was a nice day so we just lounged on the grass for awhile and enjoyed the quiet. We went in a few of the shops too but I only made one purchase. A little wine wheel that tells all about wines and where they are from and what they go well with. it was cool so I had to get one. Friday night we went to dinner. I won’t speak much about dinner because it was kinda chaotic and not the best service ever. It took us literally HOURS to find somewhere in the area that had chicken breast or anything remotely vegetarian (most places had things like duck, prawns, beef, lamb etc… but no chicken). We finally found somewhere and went there and needless to say, they didnt have their alcohol license so we couldnt even get wine (at a winery) haha. It ended up being ok though so I wont say any more about that. It was just nice to be with my love on my birthday.
Saturday was nice. We woke up and took a wine tour of 5 winerys, a cheese shop and we had lunch at a cafe nearby (that had chicken AND vegie stuff). Interestingly enough, 3 of the couples on our wine tour were the parents of some of Andrew’s old classmates from high school. We learned a lot about wine and things like that which was nice, but we didnt even get boozy at all. 5 winerys over 6 hours just didnt cut it because we drank all the wines so slowly. I guess that is probably the ideal way to taste wine, but whatever… we were looking forward to getting a bit drunky and we didnt. It was so different from wine tasting I’ve done before though. We actually got to sit in these private rooms and someone explained all the wines etc. It was very detailed, not the type of tasting where you just walk up to the bar and point out what you want. We had dinner at an Irish pub type restaurant and that was nice as well. Oh, and I forgot to mention… it was POURING rain all day- made it a little cold and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t really too bad.
Finally it was Sunday, time to go home 🙁 We packed up, said by to John, got a few more sips of wine and we were off. We stopped by the Olive Center where they had SOOOO many yummy dips and spreads and jams and jellies and oils to try. It was wonnnnderful. You just walk around and get your bread and dip it in all this stuff. All for free, but of course I liked so many things that I had to buy a few 🙂 My favorites being the macadamia nut butter and the dukkah… YUM 🙂 I’m praying that U.S. customs doesn’t care that I’m bringing them home! Goodbye Hunter Valley- I definitely want to come back and see you again!!!
On our way home we stopped by the home of some of Andrew’s friends (John, Stu and Webb). Played some pool, watched some “footy” and ate some delicious cheese and crackers. I love cheese! We then stopped by Andrew’s dad’s one last time so I could say goodbye before I leave next week. We just chatted a bit and stayed warm indoors since it was still pouring down outside.
I guess that’s it for my weekend. It was a wonderful birthday but it was my last full weekend here in Sydney and I’m sad about that. I’m looking forward to seeing all my family and friends, but I am NOT looking forward to leaving here. I’m going to just have to come back in a few months and stay again for a long time 🙂 I guess I will be seeing you all in a week.
Hey girls, you up for some Don Jose’s when I get home on Sunday? I haven’t had Mexican food in almost 5 weeks!:)
Oh… P.S.- thanks to Sinead for planning dinner on Thursday night before my bday- and thanks for my drink 🙂 It was nice to see you and Kris again and if I don’t see you before I leave then I will definitely see you when I come back!!!