Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

October Surprise – Day 3

Posted: October 6, 2020 in Uncategorized

Good nights sleep only disturbed by pesky wildlife from about 5 am on had us fully charged and raring to go after our casual breakfast. Here is me raring to go

As wineries don’t open until mid morning we opted to stop in at Stanthorpe for a coffee first. As suspected the place is not really cafe society folk so we ended up with an ordinary take away flat white we drank on a park bench as no sitting in cafe. Thought the benches were a bit uneven until realised there was a homeless person still sleeping on it.

We headed off in general direction of Ballandean as the most likely suspects tendered to be grouped around down there . The local term for gathering of wineries in a close area is “ heaven”. Ballandean Estate was very good and we did beat any crowds by getting there early . A tour group did arrive soon after but only 3 in it so not so much a tour group as a group of losers with nothing to do on a Tuesday


As we found last time the cellar door staff are very friendly and helpful in recommending other wineries in region if after a particular grape variety. After we bought a few bottles Tobin’s just up the road was recommended as a unique winery . Not on our list but why not. In Maryhole we would call it pretentious rather than unique. To be fair he does advertise as fine , premium wines and has a price list to match . It was a bit busy by now and slow service so we bailed after he got to the $80 Moscato 😏 They do have big women in the area who seem adverse to clothing – win,win.

As we had visited Stanthorpe some years ago we had a fair idea of the best wineries and next on list was Symphony Hill. After Ballandean our cellar door experience had dipped and continued here. As a tour group was expected we were set up out in the back where all the forklifts practice reverse parking apparently. The Finnish lass said it may be a bit slow with the tour group so we relied on our old trick of order two different wines at once and sample both. After all you were going to tip half out with driving . Then stumbled on the best idea anyway and just helped myself to the vat .

We ordered two to be sociable and then out into the real world to check on this massive tour group and fuck me it’s the same 3 losers we saw at Ballandean 🤦🏻‍♂️ Getting a pit peckish by now so stopped in at Jamworks for a very passable beef curry as you do and CLP bought some Sheila stuff for the pantry. Hope the jam works tonight because a bit bunged up if ya get my drift and we haven’t hit the cheese factory yet

Having stopped drinking alcohol for 20 mins it was time to reattach the wobbly boot and headed to Harrington Glen just up the road. Walked in and were told doesn’t do much tasting midweek as he has to drink all the leftovers. His logic escaped me as did our $5 tasting fee for him. With a Verdelho and a 2021 Cab Merlot on offer to taste we passed. When in doubt stick with the old faves . Next stop Rumbalara . The closest we may ever get to Africa 😰 Rumbalara is a very honest winery and makes wines to suit their customers and not win awards. Hence the bottles start at $15 each and never go above $25 . Certainly drinkable in our Qld climate and do like the no bullshit approach. All varieties are named after animals so we got a Lion, Buffalo and Zebra so now we can start our own zoo when we get home

I have a theory that there is a limit to how many wineries one can do justice to in a day and I think it may be 4 . By the end of our last visit I had drunk enough and taste discrimination was lacking a tad . I was prepared though in case CLP wanted to soldier on .

Luckily I mentioned soap, candles and cheese and we were away. The Cheese factory was on outskirts of town but as our social calendar was not bulging at present we pressed on. After 8 toothpicks worth of cheese we headed home. Quite afternoon now as will pick up a frozen” chef prepared” meal for tonight from brewery . We have the technology . It’s called a microwave.

Been a fun few days catching up with family and the two days here. Long day tomorrow with about 6 hrs driving before Maryhole appears on horizon.Will break it up with first 4 hr stint to Flashman Inc at Sunny Coast and then a break before heading home later in afternoon . Back to reality then and the approaching sweltering summer . No more trips planned yet but then the best ones usually are the spontaneous ones.

October Surprise – Day 2

Posted: October 5, 2020 in Uncategorized

We had our usual Stamford buffet breakfast Covid Style – you point at food and they put it on your plate . On the road by 730 am to be at Toowoomba by 0900 to meet up with some of clan at Picnic Point Lions Park. It is a great area for kids and had a wonderful time with half the 6 pack. Anastasia Beaverhausen has done a pretty good job but this new rule of “ only 3 Grandmuchins at a time “ is a bit poor

Then it was onto Stanthorpe via Warwick for our 2 night stay at Granite Belt Brewery . On outskirts of town we dropped into Sutton’s Cidery and Juicery for a light lunch . For some reason they also wanted me to log in AND provide a urine sample. Well , it had been a long drive…

On to our lodgings and luckily they had log cabins and not just a cold room. When we saw our Cabin 7 we felt right at home

Thought best plan was to look at a map of wineries while sampling our first ale . Did I mention the brewery was on site 🕺🏻 We have dinner at the on site restaurant booked tonight so we’re looking for a light afternoon.

Most of the wineries we are interested in are about a 30 min drive south of Stanthorpe so will do in one hit tomorrow . We chose Ridgemill Estates as first winery as close by. Excellent cellar door and friendly staff and purchased a couple of reds. As it turned out was our only winery of the day 😰

Then onto the Brass Monkey Brewery – which was closed sadly. It is a public holiday of course so there will be closures. Brass Monkey theme does seem popular around here . Here is one I prepared earlier

We decided to check out the metropolis that is Stanthorpe then and not sure whether it was because it was a PH or that Stanthorpe is just dull but man it was quiet. Tomorrow may confirm our suspicions

First I’m pressions of log cabins are would be great in winter so may return . Wi Fi is spotty as one may expect so hope peace and quiet is the trade off for the night. Expected to get down to 8 degrees – Darool Darool . We have a continental breakfast hamper included so really don’t need to poke a foot outside door until 9 am

Unless we find a winery open at 8 am ….

October Surprise – Day 1

Posted: October 4, 2020 in Uncategorized

After a few attempts to visit Victoria this month we finally gave up and settled for a few days closer to home. Granite Belt appealed as gave us an opportunity to catch up with Toowoomba clan on way through and when we found a place with log cabins and a brewery on site ,well it seemed like destiny. First up though a day and night in Brisvegas and a catch up with Ferguson Matriach at the Low Security Twilight Home.

We then made a slight detour to catch up with ADJG at Burbank for an early birthday drink for Julia. And by early I mean Champers at 10 am 🕺🏻
We had booked our usual hotel for the night – Stamford Plaza- and thought would try for the usual early check in at midday. Luckily our room was ready or else it was back to ADJG – so I mean lucky for them of course. It’s all self park now as well but at least room on site . As we arrived a very long limo pulled up in front and 4 people got out. Initially I thought the All Blacks were in town but they were actually women. A group to avoid methinks and luckily they went to 16 th floor and we are on 12 th. I think their footsteps would be good for about 2 floors of cement so we should be ok. Nice room as usual

The Stamford does look pretty busy actually and then it into CBD for lunch. To be fair we made it a block before we stopped for a beer at the Buffalo Bar. This part of town was pretty dead so we settled in for a beer and some of their famous buffalo wings. Ah no, not available today Sir. Some chips , chicken and burger then I guess and watch the world go by

Speaking of said world I would suggest many other countries would wish they were in our shoes at present. At Noosaville yesterday and again today people are out and about, casual and carefree, eating, drinking and being merry . Hardly any masks at all or social distancing. Have we gone a bit early – time will tell .

Glorious weather so will probably duck out for a walk and maybe early dinner a bit later on. Sadly pool is in shade all afternoon and still some pesky kids around . At least no NRL or AFL players around….

Spring has Sprung

Posted: August 31, 2020 in Uncategorized

Which of course in these grim times means the one saving grace – cool weather – is about to evaporate like an Aussie’s chance to win the Fed Ex Cup. It has been the usual glorious, if dry, short winter here and even had a grey nomad – in disguise – drop in last Friday so showed her the sights of the region. Yes both of them.

What was a glorious afternoon at the Bay did end on a disappointing note, much self inflicted to be fair. As it was approaching 4:45 pm it was time to seek out our fish and chippery for dinner. Our usual one, where we had parked, was closed. In the car and head to the Pier. On the way passed Madigans and even at that time had a crowd with a likely 15 minute wait so continued down to the Pier to the apparently only other FC open and lined up for order. After 5 mins of watching a 10 yr old completely stuff up order in front we got back in car and drove back other way. Lets stop in at Dan and Stephs. Parked car, got out and it was closed. Drove back to Madigans and only waited 30 minutes this time! By then it was dark and mossies out so we drove home and reheated the food to eat while watching I Am Woman. What a piece of crap. At least then we were able to sleep in comfort of single digit temperatures so as usual good weather can save most scenarios.

On the travel front no news is bad news. Still waiting on refunds from Qantas from March(TA booking) and June (Direct) Its tough times sure but if they ever want my business again stop bombarding inbox with emails to earn points to use who knows where and work on the bloody refunds! A planned trip to Victoria in October is dead. About now would have been getting a tad excited about Vegas 21 – DOA. Africa 2021, previously known as Africa 2020, is firmly in the “too hard” basket. USA 2021 grounded like a Qantas A 380. Two years ago we booked a cruse for Sept 2021 and then promptly forgot about it. As we now approach the 12 month countdown even that is looking dicey. Not to be de turd 😉 we booked a River Cruise for 2023 on the Mississippi River for my 65th birthday.

Heart of the Delta

The thought of becoming an old man on the river was too much to resist. Of course planning doesnt always work out perfectly and to avoid Mardi Gras in New Orleans our trip starts day after birthday. As we will be in Memphis for my actual birthday I see a trip to Graceland a distinct possibility. Still eh…..

When it comes to future travel have been saying if international travel isnt open by –/–/– then the world is screwed. Lets acknowledge the world is screwed and we are just haggling over the degree. A determining factor in that of course will be Nov 3 in USA. Dont be fooled, Buffoon Bob is a realistic chance of being re elected mostly due to the 3 most notable characteristics of many Americans – simple, arrogant and patriotic. As unbelievable as many things that happen are they just dont seem to resonate much with many Yanks. Its a different country now for many reasons and one never really sees it returning to any degree of normality ever with so much obvious division and corruption.

In sporting news the PGA Golf is the shining light and now smack bang in middle of Fed Ex playoffs. So great to have a tough course last weekend. Too tough for Scotty obviously. NRL mostly seems to be whoever stays healthy will win but would be surprised if Roosters dont three peat. Cricket is very much in the who cares category

TV land is busy as usual. Yellowstone is Dallas without Victoria Principal sadly but after a good 3rd season had a ludicrous ending 5 minutes. Ted Lasso is ok in small doses which is all you get anyway. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was a good story not told particularly well. Perry Mason was a good period piece and will be better in second season methinks. In these quiet times have finally bitten the bullet and got the kitchen redone. I do hate having Tradies on site but they did a good job for a good price. Also got some Carpet and Lino replaced which is certainly less value for money

When one cant spend money flying overseas one has to do something with it I guess. Here is one I prepared earlier. At least I can look at the fridge magnets and dream of better times…..

Brisvegas Because We Did

Posted: August 6, 2020 in Uncategorized

Wednesday dawned clear and warm as predicted . Quite warm in room even with AC set to 18 and fan on high. The fact I was walking around in singlet and socks (3 to be fair) supports my theory that many hotels fiddle with the controls to save on power😏 Good nights sleep all things considered had us ready for our first buffet breakfast of our stay after a short walk

Buffet breakfast was intriguing . No self serve but rather ask the masked avenger to fill your plate with a,b,d,f and a dash of q please. Works well enough but coffee was cold as just filled from a communal flask. Sated though it was time to start a leisurely river cat up to UQ and back because we can and it’s free for the premium class. Booteeful morning on the river but almost 90 mins was enough so hopped off at North Quay for that first hot coffee. You would think Coffee Club was a safe bet but nope. Service was slow and coffee cool on arrival. Simply left it there and walked on . The sign was misleading to say the least . One out of two at best

It was tempting to head straight back to pool to beat the hordes but did need some more Nespresso pods so stopped in and when offered a coffee well why not. It was good and hot and easily best of day so far. Then back to the pool and a few rays . The sun had a bit of bite trust me

Back to room for a brief respite and organised a plan for next hour. It involved food and drink and not much walky walky. Kabuki on the Go adjacent to , and part of Stamford, fit the bill perfectly so we rolled up for some sushi rolls and Jap beer. The sushi was great but the beer same temp as first two coffees of the day sadly 😰

Speaking of Kabuki Teppanyaki we were keen to try it again but did not think it was open before Thursday . When did enquire yesterday did find it open but only free spot was at 530 pm. Given the fun nature of this dining experience quickly thought who else has a dull social life similar to us that could join at such short notice. When Matt and Quinn RSVP’d in the affirmative within 5 mins we knew we chose wisely grasshopper. So having had a beer for lunch the first half of the afternoon would naturally include a sleep for CLP.

We still had those pesky free drink vouchers to use so headed to Pav Bar on site at 5 pm for pre dinner beers as you do . Not sure how Pav Bar stays open even before COVID times as there is always a service problem there and tonight was no different . Kabuki on the other hand was excellent again. We even had same chef Neil which was great . Not only is the food superb but it is a total experience. Of course I was the goose in the group and dropped both the egg and the fried rice. Meanwhile the 5 yr old in the next group nailed both ! Smart ass

Thursday was pretty much same start as Wednesday but spelt different . Like the red sea today we parted which is spooky as people say each day I look more like Moses . Same non self serve full buffet breakfast had us looking for a pleasant walk followed by a hot coffee. Much more of this fine dining would have my belt going kabookie but tomorrow it is back to “ work” at Maryhole. Originally spending another whole day in Brisvegas by myself but pulled pin on that last week. About now am wondering why I am even staying tonight 🤔

Saw the little lady off on her train to Cleveland to catch Water Taxi to Straddie for the week. This quickly exposed the next major flaw in my plan – I have to take my own washing home with me and do it myself ! Back to pool and gym for a bit and then look at afternoon stretching ahead . It’s an impressive gym for a hotel and of course, like the pool, very quiet at present

Well that’s the morning sorted , now for that tricky next 6 hrs. Did someone say Pub Crawl? Ok, but with ankle at present it could be more of a pub limp. Let’s check the local area and not get too adventurous.

Mr Edwards Ale House was across the road so fit the bill perfectly for a quick couple . Then onto Buffalo Bar a mere shanked wedge away. By now better eat something and attach wobbly boot. Spent some time in shop land and got that pesky travel clock been chasing before finishing off at Winghaus where they grow em big brother

So a fun few hours really only leaves one question. Do I really need to leave tomorrow …… later dudes

Xmas in July 2020

Posted: July 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

The big day arrived under cloudy skies as predicted. First up time for a hearty breakfast of frozen veggie fritters washed down with red wine as you do. It was an interesting mix to say the least

The hosts are old hands at this caper now so there was a clear plan of what had to be done and when. The cooking side required 4 Webers on the go – what is known locally as a Warble of Webers actually. With so much juicy meat around it seemed smart to post a guard but maybe not all that smart for it to be a dog. Of course with a name like Flash what could go wrong?

Naturally the success of the whole day depended on the Antipasto starter plates so of course I was put in charge. One has to consider both the nutritional appeal along with the asthetic look. Going with two different lettuces was probably the decision that generated most positive feedback. Its tough work and certainly had to wash my hands afterwards. Next time must remember to wash before too methinks. The tables were all set up which just left the wine to choose and to ensure my seat was closest to said table

Weather was a bit hit and miss by now but of course can always guarantee rain will be heaviest when people have to get from car to cover. There has not been a family gathering for some months so was great to see everyone again. Of course the two girls, especially Ruby, have changed and grown a lot in recent months. Eloise quickly gravitated towards Nonna which left me holding the baby. Literally 🙂

It was also Claudes 90th this year and wonderful to see 4 generations all together. Time then to get down to lunch and before you know it 3 hours have gone and two buttons have popped! TB have really sorted this one out with the arrangement of the 3 tables all leading into the very lazy Susan – as in it doesnt move at all. If we can get more people next year we can finally get that Pentagram set up

Our guests staggered out at staggered times for a staggered departure with the only sad faces being those of the designated drivers……CLP and I stayed the night and helped TB knock off another 10% of the food left over which means they could start running out next Thursday at this rate. Of course the really heavy rain waited until this morning when we needed to leave and it was a bit hairy first up. The closer we got to Flashman INC Sunshine Coast the better the weather looked and in the distance could see a rainbow with not so much a pot of gold at the end but almost the same – Maryhole. So it was a lot of driving for one day but some of us have to work ya know. Back on the Golf Course tomorrow to kick the ducks out of the temporary ponds left in the bunkers after the rain.

It was a great short holiday with many wonderful memories and photos to match but this one could be the winner for moi. Bye for now

The rain has started as predicted. Amazing how accurate the weather clowns are when you want them to be wrong as usual 😏 It’s a matter of filling in the morning as best we can before decamping at the Mcleod Spread after lunch. Avocado Sunset is fully booked so does need us to vacate on time at 10 am. Working backwards from a midday lunch we have 2 wet hours to fill in. The eternal question may be asked – how long can you sit on one beer for ?

As we were leaving I had my usual cheery face on which prompted Clive to ask what we were doing now and when I said standing in the rain for 2 hours he kindly offered to let me sit in the communal room for as long as I like . I said ok but only if you let me go tell CLP she doesn’t have to stand out in the rain anymore. You know in about 10 mins…..

One probably shouldn’t start the blog too early. After just settling in said communal room our next hosts contacted to say the previous guests had been evicted early and our room was ready now . Their Trip Advisor review will reflect this kindness . I almost smiled but it was one of those inward ones I prefer.

Duly rocked up and shown to our quarters which was a recent addition to the complex. I called shotgun on the top bunk STAT

The only question then really was when is beer o’clock ? As one does get older one on occasion shows a glimmer of wisdom and thought probably best wait until the sun went down. Looking outside for guidance it was raining so could only assume the sun probably does go down around 2 pm in the country ? Sweet

This could get ugly , better sign off now and get ready for Santa coming tonight 🙏🏻 Could be a bit late too. With social distancing he has had to drop 5 reindeer from the lineup

MTM – Day 3

Posted: July 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

We started up the fire last night for no other reason than CLP is a bit of a pyromaniac 😏 Great way to warm up the pillows too. It has not been very cold this stay but certainly pleasant days under cloudy skies with no rain. Yet…

Relaxed plan today after another very filling breakfast. Only issue with this wonderful room is it is adjacent to the communal living area and there were a couple of sheilas in there last night talking until all hours. You know 8 pm! A polite request and they left back to their rooms no problem. We will head off to Gallery Walk around 10 am to fill in a couple of hours before it is socially acceptable to knock on Fortitude Brewery door! Ok….. they don’t open until midday , ya got me .

After the stunning success of our African Attire last night CLP thought she would keep the African theme going today but I suggested perhaps a quick wax first ?

When I got back up off the floor we headed out. We had a perfectly good coffee to start with as most shops don’t open until 10 am. Clearly there is a theme here and it is basically hippie new age and no vaccinations required 😏 CLP still found some stuff of interest apparently but really the plan was to get to the end of the street quickly

At the end of the street and just around the corner of course was the first alcohol inspired venue on list – Tambourine Mountain Distillery . Luckily it was quiet when we were there and really excellent value tasting paddle for $5. These babes start at 20% ABV and don’t stop there so the 4 samples were perfect and we bought a couple of bottles just to be sociable honest. As we were leaving a bus of hen party sheilas arrived so we really dodged a bullet there

We then retraced our steps but on the other side of the street for variety. Sadly the shops were mostly the same. As the big hand and the little hand were were getting cosy it was time to head to Fortitude Brewing just in case the sheilas followed me after a skin full. Once again suitably quiet and we had been there before we passed on the tasting paddle and went straight to the 8.8% Slipstream IPA. In this weather it would certainly be a slipstream again rather quickly. Ordered another excellent pizza as well

By now the alcohol level was just under appropriate levels for still driving so time to head back for a break and a bath and test out some of that sweet smelling stuff La Lady had bought . It was very pleasant indeed and quite romantic so may just sign off for the day with one last selfie. They say the longer you stay together the more you start to look alike but I reckon I am still the stunner in the group

Tomorrow we head down the mountain to the McLeod Spread for a couple more days of eating and drinking but in the warm embrace of family . Luckily with this social distancing in place I don’t actually have to hug anyone 🕺🏻

MTM – Day 2

Posted: July 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

A good nights sleep in the Safari room had us all snuggled up as if in a tent on the edge of Victoria Falls. Here is one I prepared earlier

Our host Clive the South African maybe thought we were sneaky Victorians who had invaded up north given the sign near our door. Naturally as true blue Qlders we were up for all and any breakfast we don’t have to cook. As expected it was a delicious and filling spread

Plans today revolved being Canungra Winery adjacent at midday for our pre ordered picnic hamper. As we were heading in general direction we decided to continue on to O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat first for the morning. We knew it was a windy road but what a nightmare drive. Luckily we saw about one car coming the other way on the 45 min 20 Kim ascent. Give Way signs for a 100 m one lane stretch with actual visibility of about 25 m! Surprisingly it was quite crowded up top with many foreign backpackers looking to settle in. Lovely views even on a cloudy day but it was plane to see there wasn’t much to enthrall non trekkers

As always the trip down seemed quicker and we were at winery nice and early for some tastings . Ah no, we can’t do tastings at present. Odd as many wineries are 😏 So, we took our hamper and set up in the rotunda near the vines for a very pleasant lunch. Perfect amount of food and good range if not necessarily great value for money. It did come with a free choice of a wine so with no tasting we chose the Sangiovese and it was perfectly acceptable

Next to the winery was an Alpaca Gathering and Shop. For $25 you could walk one. For free you could smell 30 and feel like you were at the Ekka again . Cute little buggers indeed and come in all shapes and colours. Could make a beautiful bedspread out of them

As we are out and about in Tourist Ville there certainly are plenty of “ restrictions “ around and sensible limits in shops etc. A sense of humour always helps of course

Meandered back to our abode with plans to visit the Distillery just 100 m down the road to round out the day nicely in the eating/drinking stakes. Sadly the distillery has shifted to Gallery Walk so we will chase that down tomorrow. That just means then time for a relaxing couple of hours and then we are getting dressed up in our finery and hitting the town . I think we will fit right in no worries

Mr Tamborine Man – Day 1

Posted: July 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

In an effort to avoid every bloody sporting team in Australia being in Qld now we decided to spend a few days at Mount Tamborine before decamping at Canungra for the annual Della Xmas in July this weekend. Of course because of la pesky bug 2020 we will also be celebrating Claude’s 90th Birthday , Easter , and Bruce’s confirmation. Yes we can confirm he likes a drink

Speaking of the elderly first up we dropped into the Twilight Home to see Ferguson Matriach and a belated 94th birthday. It’s a strict protocol to get in but kudos to the place for keeping all the oldies safe and healthy. Mum is not travelling real well these days in the memory stakes so luckily we were able to convince her we gave her a birthday present last week. Look ya make the most of a bad situation 🕺🏻

Then it was off to said Mountain for a quick lunch hook up with our hosts for the weekend and a quick tally of alcohol, food and alcohol supplies needed. You know, in case they all turn up 🤔 We met at Clancy’s Irish Bar and Restaurant as you do and was able to even sneak in the requisite black stuff before our guests arrived. It was an excellent meal and even finished off with one of the better Irish Coffees we have had outside Ireland and even within the majority of their counties come to think of it 😏

We quickly checked out Main Street and then it was onto our very pleasant lodgings for the next 3 nights – Avocado Sunset B&B. Looks a lovely setup in a quiet area with magnificent views. Sadly the weather has turned cloudy and likely to remain so all week so photos can’t really do justice. We have the Safari room and the host is South African so it’s almost like being in South Africa without the wild animals – at least until the weekend. Oops there are a couple lurking now….

As it approaches 5 pm maybe time for a quick drink and nibble but will be a quiet night now as rather full as a goog from lunch and do have full cooked English breakfast to deal with tomorrow as well . Later dudes