Holiday Close to Home

The beauty of Queensland is there are so many great places to visit close to home.

It’s school holidays so eldest son Peter is home and invited us to have a day out on his boat. He keeps it at home and trailers it to boat ramps for a days outing.

Today we headed south towards Dreamland. Just behind there is a boat ramp and today, a Wednesday, it wasn’t busy.

In no time the boat was in the water and we were away.

We were heading towards South Stradbroke Island. I’ve written an earlier blog on North Stradbroke- go back and read it.

Today South Straddie. We headed into the wind so it was a little breezy !

Ollie didn’t like it much! He pulled his hat down and listened as I sang in his ear.

Happy but hiding from the breeze

We passed the lovely Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove. We’d stayed there a few times when the boys were young. It’s a lovely resort.

We headed past the resort Couran Cove. This resort has rooms, little apartments and house. All available for rent.

And arrived at Tipplers. The weather was perfect.

There’s a beach where you can pull up and jump out onto the sand. The minute you arrive it feels like a holiday.

There is a restaurant with indoor and outdoor tables. all very casual resort style.

We made ourselves comfortable in the shade, waiting for our lunch to be delivered and were entertained by a watching a large lizard roaming around.

Ollie watched from the safety of Didi’s arms.

Our lovely lunch came – nice salads, sandwiches and fish & chips. Ollie liked his kids serve contained in a pirate ship!

Good to look at!

After lunch along came a wallaby! So much entertainment.

Standing up for a better view!

Following the wallaby show we played in the sand and the shallows until time to go.

El and I walked along the path to find the camping ground. It’s really lovely. There’s a few tent structures for hire if you don’t want to bring your own. lots of bbqs , picnic table and access to the beach. We decided we’d like to come here to stay.

Back on board the breeze had dropped and we cruised back via Couran Cove. There are some great looking houses. Again we decided it would be good to rent a house when we want a family getaway.

We cruised around the canals of the Coomera area. Then back to the boat ramp.

Ollie was having a great time and loved running up and down the ramp! With me in hot pursuit.

He wore himself out and slept on the way home.

Why not consider a Queensland holiday? Right in our own backyard we have a wealth of great beaches, rivers parks. Plan a visit soon. You’ll love it.

First stop Sydney

Welcome back to my travel tales.

We’re off again!

This time London , Turkey and back to London.

But first a mini stay in Sydney as Steve has a board meeting before our flight tonight.

Last night we met up with my sister Catherine and David, nephew George and niece Helen.

Today a gorgeous ferry ride to Double Bay to visit my sister at her school, Double Bay Primary, where she works as a teacher librarian. So no lunch with her!

Then lunch with nieces Pip and Clare and little Max. We were so busy talking I forgot to take a photo.

But the ferry ride was wonderful so lots of photos. It’s a world beater ride. The views in the sunshine are breathtaking.

I haven’t been to Double Bay in years. It’s still has it’s Village feel but there are as many Beauty bars as espresso bars.

The little beach next to the ferry wharf is a beautiful place to chill.

The public Library is another place to spend time. It’s so inviting. Libraries are not dead!

I’m waiting on the ferry back to Circular Quay , meet up with Steve then out the airport. A Qatar flight to London.

So follow along for the next few weeks as we rediscover London and swim along the coastline of Turkey. Another swim trek based in Kas.

Sea Day. 

A day at sea is a change from exploring a port each day. Everyone on board seems more relaxed.
What does at sea look like?
The buffet is well attended at all times of the day but breakfast is popular. People are making new friends and greetings are getting friendlier.

There are two buffets which run next to each other. The first looks more casual and the food is slightly more casual – some lighter options. The second one has darker furniture and has more heartier options.

Both theme a part of their choices to the port we are in. Along with all sorts of food (which change daily) we’ve had Italian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Greek food. We can look forward to Italian and Spanish.

The food is good in the buffets and very good in the 7 or so restaurants on board. There’s hardly ever any waiting in line and it’s fresh and tasty.

Today as I walked around the ship observing my fellow travellers. The ‘walk a mile’ circuit is well used. There’s a fast or slow lane and a woman in a pink Lycra shirt powers her way around every day. The Japanese stroll, the Americans sweat, the Germans charge, the English potter and the Australians – well I walk with purpose and avoid holding any runners up!
There is also a basketball court, a driving range and about 2,000+ deck chairs. There’s always a deck chair when you need one.

Today there’s a huge number of activities. From prayer group to AA meetings, quiz games, bridge, Mahjong, knitting and bingo, silent auctions, concerts, singalong, dancing, outdoor films, ice carving, cooking demos and today a Mr Sexy legs competition (and I’ve left lots out!).

We have an app on our phones where we can message each other, make bookings, build a daily planner, keep track of our spending (we buy alcoholic drinks unless we bought the beverage package!)

This ship has thought of everything and I’m surprised to say I’m enjoying it all. You have to throw yourself in and have fun.

Today I went to the cooking show then a tour of one of the kitchens. It’s amazing. Huge, clean as a whistle and super organised. Then we went to the ice carving demo by the pool. A swan appeared out of a block of ice. Next up the Mr sexy legs. We wanted Kenrick, hands down the best looking bloke on board, to enter but he has his standards and refused!

I spent an hour in the cabin on the sunny verandah just reading and suddenly it was appertivo time!

Also formal night.

We had our cocktails in the Main Piazza and all the kids had a dance and a few adults.

Then it was the time for the Hawley Show. A magic illusion show. It was fantastic. CLEO and Demi had seen it before and kept giving us hints as to what came next! I truly don’t know how they do these tricks!

Then lobster dinner in the dining room for adults. Kids went off to the kids club. Oh what a cruise. Something for everyone.

Tomorrow Corsica and Marg’s birthday.

Good Morning Corfu

We woke up in Corfu today.

It was a super smooth trip. You can barely feel the movement of the ship at all.

Last night we had aperitifs in Berti and Fabios little apartment. Fabio had organised some wonderful nibbles.

Then it was off to the Crooners Bar and the Princess Show

Today we are doing the first and only organised tour. To the Achilleion Palace. Built during the 1880’s by Empress Sissie (or Elizabeth) of Austria as a summer Palace.

It has beautiful gardens with an array of statues and light airy rooms.

Once again I realised why we don’t like group tours!  They move so slowly.

But the drive in the bus out of Corfu town was a  good way to check out the countryside.

Rome I ❤️you. A day in Rome

We arrived at 10.30 and made the trip via train to Termini. It’s fast and efficient and costs about 12e each. Then a taxi to our hotel the Hotel Navona Via Dei Sediari. It’s a pleasant surprise.

The room wasn’t ready so we left our bags and headed off. Piazza Navona was out first stop. How beautiful it is there with its playful fountains and people posing for photos. The weather is spectacular.

Then it was to Via Coronari a favourite street of art , jewellery and glass shops before a siren sounded and people started gathering in a little Piazza. Smoke was streaming out of an upstairs window and people were pointing and exclaiming and a fire engine made its way along the narrow cobblestone Via. We stayed and watched the action. Police  – the Carabinari arrived , two fire trucks and an ambulance.

Then the crowd stood as one and smoked and chatted whilst waiting for some action. It took on a community feeling. But taking far too long. So we headed to cafe de Theatro.

This little cafe sits in a lovely little Piazza and was buzzing. The waiter considered his job a performance so entertained the customers- to the amusement of some but definitely not all.

The fire 🔥 spectacle had finished so it was safe to continue walking.

What I love about wandering in Rome is that around every corner sits a surprise so wonderful it takes your breath away.

We rounded a corner and looked towards the river and there was Castello St Angelo. Such a beauty sitting with its history so imposing.

I also love Paris but Rome has a different effect on me. It’s more casual about its place in history. It’s there for all to enjoy. Paris is more formal – very beautiful but more controlled. Rome and its people want you involved in having fun.

We had to return to possibly my favourite place – the Pantheon. I love the feeling it gives me.

So we walked and observed the history and the people having fun. The business men looking impossibly glamorous with one hand in a pocket the other nursing a cigarette. With their navy suits and their tan shoes and such well fitting trousers!

The women wear either ballet flats ( I bought a red pair) or heels as they manoeuvre the cobblestones with confidence. Also the scarf tied casually at the neck sets off any outfit.

It’s a pity the hordes of tourists get in the way of this street fashion catwalk.

Naturally we had a gelato. Apart from the tourists the locals also enjoy a gelato in the afternoon. We bought ours at that cathedral of gelato, Giotto – where the act of buying is a theatre.

Shopping is another delight in Rome. There are the usual chain stores and high end shops but the smaller boutiques are fabulous. I bought some beautiful ballet flats, red, pointed toe tiny heel (they came in all colours and either v. flat or tiny heel)

By now the crowds were out,  the armed guards standing on most street corners and the Aperol Spritz drinkers taking up key positions in the sidewalk bars. We joined them at Piazza Popolo. Such a great way to people watch. .

Back to our room which turned into an apartment – lovely but turning on lights is like organising a Vivid Festival!

Dinner was gorgeous. Baked fish served by Mr Rome. A young handsome man who in the olden days would have been a gladiator!

I enjoyed a baked fish with potatoes sliced so fine you could see through them. A Sicilian dish. Steve had Veal lemoni a Roman tradition.

A quiet walk back to our apartment where a tribe of young girls were yahooing in our hotel courtyard and clomping up and down the staircase. Rome in all its glory!

We have the morning to wander before heading for the cruise ship in Civitavecchio.