I've always perceived watching the beauty of a sunrise as the fate of a man earning his dues.
...and watching the beauty of a sunset as the fate of the privileged frolicking in evening fun.
I do peer out the window occasionally for a glimpse at the morning skies. Streaks of pink and orange peeking through the dark clouds really is a refreshing start to the morning. Taking the blinds down and gazing at it puts me right back to sleep! *grin* I like my lazy time before the sun rises completely. Nothing like 8am sunshine in your face to get you right up!
Having spent a week in Sydney enjoying it's Spring weather; I decided it would be a good idea to whisk the family of city slickers to something different. A place in the country... to the west of the coast line...where fields and cattle are aplenty...and better yet; to a beautiful place scattered with endless wineries!
It felt like we were driving around mindlessly throughout the morning in our rented SUV; but truth was... the Hunter Valley was actually much further from Sydney than we expected it to be. After 4 full hours of blind searching... we made it. I was getting kinda tired of watching cows and horses in fields of green. Rolling hills don't amuse me as much... I'm from Ipoh; Malaysia.. we have spectacular views of rolling hills in our backyard. *grin*
We finally got ourselves checked into a little Tuscan style cottage filled with luxurious insides. The place was lots of fun to discover; it had many interesting rooms and corners of the patios where you could sit back with a book and a glass of wine.I had booked Ivillini weeks in advance; we had it for a fair price as it was a Monday and we were only staying the night.It's little fruit grove up front provided us with fresh grapefruits; lemons and delicious oranges. The fragrant bursts of freshly picked citruses filled the air as Sis, dad and I mischievously plucked ourselves a satisfying fruit platter for dinner!
It's tiny waterholes and acres of lush greenery called out to my wandering soul. Staring out into the sun set from the french doors of our bedroom... I couldn't help but to dash out for a glimpse of it's glorious beauty. With my warm coat on my shoulders and my Jo hot on my heels; we both ran out into the sunset... just like in the movies..*giggle*
It was incredible.
We weren't left much time to explore the neighbouring towns for vineyards and specialty local shops late in the afternoon. We headed down to pokolbin where we did a quicky at the smelly cheese shop for cheese; olives and gelato. We then made our way to a few cellars to have a taste of their finest. To be honest; I'm not a fan of huntervalley wines ... Haha I did venture into the cellars with an open mind...but I still could not be convinced otherwise.
There were chocolates and fudge for sale as well... but I could not brave myself to buy a piece. Haha having had 6months of Chef Ewald Notter; I can never look at chocolate the same way anymore. Candy bars have even become sometimes hard to stomach. *tsk tsk* i'm such an unbearable candy snob now.
Not very often do we get the whole family up for boardgames and hours of chit chat.
I suppose when you're stuck in the middle of the land of all things 'wine'; there isn't much to do other than kick back; relax.... pick at delicious olives.. savour decadent local cheeses and sip your purchased whites and reds.
While us kids and dad took a swing at playing trivia pursuit; Jo's mom cooked up a FEAST. It was a huge huge feast... I had missed her home-cooked Korean meals for months since I've left Australia and boy was I excited to finally dig in! She made my favourite spinach side dish and spicy octopus that I love so very much. I've learnt to make them on my own.. but it never seems to taste as good as her cooking. *sigh... I'm probably needing more practice. Hehe
The morning began early for us; in anticipation of the long drive back straight to the airport. It was time to say our goodbyes to beautiful Australia.I got to use a variety of coffee 'tools' they had lined up in the kitchen! It was so much fun doing things old school. I admit; it took me a couple minutes of staring before i figured out how they worked. **blush*