Weekend in Adelaide

Adelaide is definitely the festival state, the event capital – an all round ‘there’s always something on’ capital.

I’ve been browsing various brochures for all the events on now and coming soon.

The Adelaide Festival is on in March. You should check it out. It looks wonderful.

https://www.adelaidefestival.com.au

This weekend is more about family for us though. The family came for dinner on Friday. Always fun with the children.

Saturday and Saturday mornings Steve and I tried the pools nearby. Saturday it was Unley pool.

Sunday it was Burnside.

Both pools are lovely. The lifeguards here take sunsafety very seriously. They wear long pants and long sleeved shirts topped off with shady hats. The pools are also partly shaded. We could learn a lesson in Sunny Qld.

On Saturday afternoon we headed into the Adelaide Hills. Niece Vashti,her husband Jeremy and their 4 children have bought a small farm. It’s not far from Hahndorf , has a creek running through it, wonderful big trees, a dam, 3 alpacas and a very large dog!

Inside the house there are multiple musical instruments and ten year old Soraya played the double bass for us. Very talented she is too!

We drove to Ambleside Gin Distillery and had a sampler flute of three different gins. I’m becoming a bit of a gin fan. In the hot weather it’s really the perfect drink!

https://www.amblesidedistillers.com

It’s in a beautiful spot and is the perfect place to go on a lazy Saturday afternoon. There were some very trendy young people there but we managed to not disgrace ourselves.

Then it was back to the farm for a walk and dinner before finishing with marshmallows on the fire.

Sunday afternoon we visited yet another historic house in Adelaide. It belonged to Edward Ayers ( a certain large rock was named after the family)

It was an interactive museum. You could touch things, use things and make things. Great for children.

The ball room where they now have concerts

The lovely dining room

They even had a dress up box which I took advantage of!

The weather has changed again. It very hot today. At least 32. So our plan for a drink on the roof top bar changed. We headed home for our own gin tasting.

Ayers House.

http://www.ayershousemuseum.org.au/events/signatureseries2018/

Decorative Arts in Adelaide.

Visiting another city, even one you’ve been to before can offer opportunities for something new.

I had heard about the David Roach House Museum when talking to ADFAS friends.

ADFAS for those who haven’t heard of it is the Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society and I am Chairman of the Brisbane Society. We have lectures on things of a decorative & fine arts nature: it can be painting, sculpture, gardens, music, fashion, porcelain…….

My sister in law booked us into the 10am tour this morning. It’s in Melbourne Street North Adelaide, a fairly trendy area with beautiful home and many coffee shops.

We arrived in plenty of time for our tour and were greeted at the door by name. The Director of the Museum Martyn Cook met us, introduced himself and took us to the stylish reception room. We were the only two for the 10am tour. Yesterday it was booked out.

Take a tour with me now. Let me know what you think!

The Reception Room

Our guide John then took over. He was super informed and gave us a very good commentary on all aspects of the house and it’s collection.

David J Roche AM (1930–2013), a collector for almost sixty years, spent his lifetime developing what has become The David Roche Collection. The collection, which spans the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and includes European furniture, ceramics, metal ware, clocks and paintings, is remarkable in its quality and range. 

House exterior

The central hall

He came from a large Irish Catholic family and moved to Adelaide as a child. He had a passion for dogs! He had around 53 dogs and was a world renowned judge and often a winner of Best in Show. It’s definitely reflected in the paintings, ceramics and collectibles around the house.

The house is not big. He lived there by himself and often had guests stay in the one extra bedroom. Every inch of the house is decorative. All furnishings were custom made with no expense spared. The effect is overwhelming but somehow, beautiful. The collections are vast and stunning. From walking sticks, to hat pins, jugs, vases …….

The Russian room

Mr Roach’s bedroom

The sitting room

The Library.

The kitchen collectibles

Then the urn where Mr Roach’s ashes are kept.

We had a wonderful tour for 2! I urge you to visit.

http://www.rochefoundation.com.au

Opals: Fossicking in Lightening Ridge.

A little nightcap last night gave us s reason to have a sleep in so we wandered to breakfast around 8.30.

The town was waking and the sun was shining. Breakfast was at the Green Gecko 🦎. Another success! Delicious and served with a country smile.

We made our plans for the day and started with the Art Gallery across the road. The John Murray Gallery is a popular stop on the tourist trail. And with good reason.

The building itself screams outback. The paintings on the shed wall capture the outback in a humorous way.

Inside was just as interesting. We watched a movie with John Murray talking about his arrival in the Ridge and starting an art gallery. We saw his home with its natural materials. His art is colourful and fun and I couldn’t resist buying one or two small pieces.

No photo inside. 😫

We crossed the road walked past the emus on the wall and went into the opal cave. A renowned shop selling the famous black opal.

The shop is done out like a cave full of treasures. I spotted a beautiful black opal reflecting the most gorgeous colours. Not in any setting. A single opal for $12,000. Wow.

The sales people patiently explained how to spot a good quality opal let us look, examine and try various pieces of jewellery and good naturally farewelled us after we didn’t buy anything.

We tossed up over the next stop and decided on the underground mine. It was a few km out of town.

We hatted up and down we went. It was cool and a little claustrophobic. But fun. Another little movie explaining how to fossick. I think you’d have to be determined!

And you’d have to like being underground!

The owner of the mine was from Shorncliffe Qld. He told us if you worked hard mining you would make a good living. There are opals to be found. Perhaps a career change?

Above ground we decided it was beer o’clock. Michael promised us a tour of the 3 pubs in the scrub via the underground sculptures.

Today we could see the yellow car doors so followed them to the sculpture underground. Sadly closed for lunch. For 3 hours! So we continued heading out of town. Past the big emu.

A quick stop at the great church and then we spotted a sign. Yes it was the pub. Well one of them.

We drove across dusty, unpaved stony roads until finally The Club in the Scrub.

Such a great place complete with its own library!

We ordered food in the nick of time from the rather unsmiling waitress.

Helen ordered a large chips to share and boy …….. was it large!

What a place.

We loved it.

After lunch we decided to ‘blow this fox hole ‘. A rather fun saying meaning ‘that we got to go’

Back along some more tough roads past miners houses of varying quality.

Past a memorial to those who had died

And past Nashy’s thong tree whoever Nashy is!

And then a few dusty kilometres later the next Pub.

Disabled parking is provided with a smile.

Even bus parking!

We loved it all. Especially the friendly blokes , the miners enjoying a Friday afternoon beer. We joined them and had fun.

Before the dusty road back.

Back to Ridge and dinner at the Bowling Club. . Or as it’s known. The Bowlo!

Another great day in the big dusty outback!

Mt Agung holds us in Bali

If you have to be held hostage somewhere Bali isn’t a bad place to be.

We’ve spent the day just lounging in a cabana by the pool. With the pool in front and green lawn and the beach behind it’s pretty good.

There has been a little to and fro from the reception trying to organise rooms in case we had to stay another night.

So it seems the Qantas flight is going tonight ( or early tomorrow) at 12.30am. This is a surprise to us as the Virgin crew flying with me to Brisbane have been partying by the pool all day and said ‘if we don’t fly then Qantas won’t ‘ seems she was wrong!

So I’ll be here alone night and tomorrow after they all leave the hotel at 9.30 pm. Then the dreaded overnight flight.

The kids have been in and out of the pool all day. Great fun.

We had a little walk along the beach and chatted to a few locals offering manicures, massage and a chat!

So people who come to Bali should not complain if they get held up here due to volcanic activity. The airlines don’t like it , the locals don’t like it, but there’s nothing you can do.

There is no insurance to cover the hold up, so plan for it or perhaps don’t come to Bali.

Safe travels everyone.

Passing Time in Bali

It’s amazing how time passes when you’re not doing much!

Bali is super relaxed.

A day goes like this:

Wake up when a 3 year old Zali or 4 year old Jack appear at the bedroom door. Chat in bed. Share a story or play a game.

Prepare for breakfast- walk to the restaurant. Share the delicious breakfast and the chat, the hat swapping and some games.

Back to the villa for a swim and playing games together.

Then have a walk to another area we haven’t explored . Catch a buggy to the gate or for exercise walk! Walk!

The streets aren’t the easiest places to walk so we manoeuvre the ups and downs of the pavements which have a gold star in a red square every few metres.

Today we walked and explored the W hotel by the beach. It’s beautifully done – from the tree lined drive way

to the restaurant with a lovely pool area. Just right for a G&T!

The graffiti/ street art livens up the buildings

We usually have a sleep in the afternoon before heading out for dinner.

Last night we went to Bikini.

What a great restaurant. I’ll do a whole separate post on the restaurants we visited.

Tonight we walked down a long drive to Potato Head Beach Club. What a scene! It’s a great place to relax with a drink and watch the sun set.

We sat on the lounges near the pool. The dress seemed to be Bikinis 👙. The smaller the better. But we maintained our standard and dressed up, not down!

We watched the sunset with a cocktail in our hand and talked about the great week we’ve had together.

There was a large sculpture at the entrance which depicted the waste all salvaged along the shores of Bali’s west coast. 5,000 thongs or flip flops as they are known in some countries!

Another lovely day.

Tomorrow we pack and leave late at night.

State of Origin Bali Style

Another lovely dinner last night at believe it or not a Greek restaurant. ‘Slippery Stone’

This doesn’t suggest Greek but it was like being in Greece. And the food was good. The kids tucked in and so did we.

Then the fire show started. It was a little like the show I saw in Vanuatu last week. But just 2 lovely locals standing in ankle deep water.

This morning we walked from the hotel along Jalan Katu Aya past some of the big resorts and also some of the lovely homeware shops. There are some very smart shops here.

We arrived at the markets which compared to some markets I’ve been to were clean, friendly with individual little shops.

We browsed and chatted to the shop owners and bargained. The Balinese are really sweet lovey people. No mean words if you don’t buy anything. No shouting ‘looky looky come here lady’

We moved onto Seminyak square and had a cool drink in the Seminyak Bakery. A cool respite in the heat.

It’s not as hot as I thought it would be. Perhaps living through our Brisbane summers has hardened me!

We returned to our little oasis in Peppers for a swim and a Vietnamese salad from a little street food place named Street Boi – near our villa.

Once again a lazy afternoon by the pool until Clare suggested a session in the gym. There’s a good gym at the resort that Clare has been visiting each day. I did my 10km on the bus me and s few yoga stretches and felt better.

Now it is watching State of Origin in a bar near the resort. It’s dominated by Blues supporters and every time it gets exciting the TV freezes. It’s funny to watch the reactions of the crowd.

The drinks are flowing. The crowds are cheering. The Blues are winning. The locals are laughing. They prefer the soccer World Cup.

Now off for dinner at Sarong. This is an Indian fusion restaurant.

The decor of the place is dark, moody and sophisticated. The food delivers a punch.

We certainly are eating well here.

We walked back past the restaurants and bars, avoided the scooters and motorcycles and made it back to the villa by 10.30. A late night!

So we have been to:

La Lucciola

Stepping Stones

Sarong

If you have a favourite restaurant in Bali please send it’s name in the comments at the end of the blog.

Beautiful Bali

Yesterday I repacked my bag after returning from Vanuatu and flew out of Brisbane into Sydney, then onto Bali!

Yes another lovely holiday coming up. This one will be a more relaxing holiday – no long distance swimming.

Coming out of the arrival hall I was greeted by a smiling Arys a lovely local man.

I’m staying at the Peppers resort in Seminyak with my niece and her family, their mothers ( my sister Catherine) and now me!

The resort at 11.30 was very quiet – unlike the streets around Seminyak which were awash with bikes , cars and groups of people wandering around.

I crept into the Villa and into the pavilion bedroom I’m sharing with my sister Catherine.

The villa is made up of 3 separate pavilions around a pool and lovely shaded cabana. And an outdoor bathroom! Bliss.

Breakfast this morning was in the central resort area by the pool and was served by the smiling Balinese. Fruits, eggs, pancakes ( not for gluten free me!) Now we are sitting by the pool chatting and playing with Jack and Zali.

I could get used to this.

Rain rain go away. New York on a rainy day.

Rain alters your perception on how you enjoy your holiday.

I don’t believe in grizzling about it. You can’t change it. Just change what you do.

Jordan and Rob are great at finding interesting things to do – so today it involves eating , walking, viewing, walking, eating, viewing. Eating!

We started with a late breakfast, sitting at the bar at Jeffrey’s Grocer. It’s a typical NY corner cafe/bar with a local crowd. We had to take a place at the bar and that was great. We were at the curved end so talking was still possible and we had a great view of the very small kitchen and all the activity.

Steve and Jordan started with a ‘wake-me-up’ Bloody Mary. Rob & I stuck to healthy juices!

Then it was lox and cream cheese bagels. Yum.

Back into the rain. Umbrellas up until we entered the subway station which took us to Times Square. We walked around the corner and into Gullivers Gate. It’s a museum of miniatures . It had cities and scenes from around the world. It’s fascinating.

See if you can pick the countries.

It had an airport with a take-off and landing runway. The planes were all on time!

 

We spent quite a bit of time examining the countries before we went back out into the rain and had a 30 min walk to 32nd street to Eataly. This is one of the latest food areas. It’s a huge area / markets. A sort of shop, bar, little restaurant all under one roof. It’s fantastic.

We once again sat at a high table and tasted cheeses, meats, veggies & bread and food all washed down with Rose. We sat and talked and got a fix people watching.

Then back into the rain and a return to the apartment for a small rest and preparation for what was to come.

Rob & Jordan suggested we attend a play they had seen a few weeks before. It’s an interactive play (be wary I thought!) set over 5 levels in a warehouse building with stairs and corridors – in almost total darkness.

You enter the ‘McKitterick Hotel’ to participate in the play Macbeth – it’s called appropriately ‘Sleep No More’

Oh my goodness.

It was amazing. Scary, fascinating, unbelievable. There were strange characters who acted in different rooms and then moved between floors and scenes. You followed whichever you wanted.

Everyone wore a mask.

There were some strange scenes. And it was exhausting. Running up and down stairs in the dark. Sometimes in a creepy room by yourself! Steve and I got separated at the beginning and there is no talking at all.

This is a theatre company that specializes in “immersive” theater in which the audiences wanders in and throughout spaces, interacting with the cast to one degree or another and having a unique experience often quite different from the people they attend the show with.

The audience is an integral piece of this theatre. Actors will approach individual attendees, whisper in your ear, kiss you on the hand. While performers gauge the comfort of those they get close to, if you don’t want this type of interaction—no problem. Situate yourself within the crowd instead of at the very front.

BONUS: Prepare for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Enter Sleep No More with an open mind. No two visits are exactly the same and the film noir vibe makes for a mysterious, sensual, and exciting evening.

Quite a NY night!

Anyway I survived!

Discovering New York

Today we visited the WTC with Galapagos Bill. The site of the worst attack of terrorism in American history. Known simply as 9-11

Bill had pre-bought tickets to avoid the queue and that worked well.

It’s well organised and everyone working there was so helpful.

We started with the half hour movie which brought it all back. It’s one of those events that you say ‘where were you?’. It’s something Americans living here, particularly in NY, will never forget.

Our friends Lois and Lynn were in their apartments near the United Nations and after the first plane hit were on their roof top and actually saw the second one hit. How could you forget something so terrible?

The centre tells the story and our guide was informative and a good storyteller. I heard recounts of incidents from the day I’ve never heard before.

The displays were moving. I really can’t say much about these pictures. Each one tells it’s own story.

We left in a sombre mood and made our way to the National Museum of the American Indian. Our friend Lois Dubin, the landscape architect, is also an expert on glass beading. She wrote a book:

‘Since its publication in 1987, The History of Beads has become the world’s definitive guide for bead lovers, collectors, and scholars. In her new edition, Lois updates all chapters with the latest archeological discoveries. ‘

Lois is particularly interested in American Indians – their culture and in particular their beading.

She is on the board at this Museum, which is part of the Smithsonian group.

So we were very fortunate to have her guide us through the Museum. It’s in a restored building, that is just so beautiful. It was previously the Port of NY Customs House, was going to be pulled down but has been saved and restored.

The collection is wonderful, the beading exquisite.

We were able to visit the newly opened Children’s centre, a very interactive display which aims to make information about the American Indian accessible to all.

Me in the canoe trying to stay afloat!

We moved on from the museum to have a few drinks and particularly liked the jazz trio at the Lovelace Gin Bar near Wall St. [Trombone and vocals, bass and vocals, guitar]

We moved on to Wall Street to check out the bank our son works in. It’s not a big street but has some grand buildings particularly the Stock Exchange. The security in the area is amazing. No cars are allowed near the Stock Exchange so it feels a little like a movie set.

Rob is not the Wolf of Wall Street like in the movie! More the Lion 🦁 !

Rob’s work place.

The Stock Exchange

Some of the heavy duty security!

We made it back to our perfect little apartment and tried to have an early night after the three previous nights out.

Monday at Lynn Sherr’s home

Tuesday at Carbone

Wednesday at Blue Hill Farm.

Tonight at Olio e Pui

So much eating. So little exercise! Walking yes. Swimming will be suffering.

“Take me out to the Ball Game….

Our little apartment is proving to be a cosy nest. Close to everything in the West Village. This morning we decided to explore it a little more.

What better way to start then by walking the 6 mins to Rob and Jordan’s and adding to the walk by going up the six flights to their apartment. You sure would keep fit living there.

They were ready to go to work so…..

Back down stairs and a quick photo.

If you visit NY, an apartment in this area would be great. We’re in Charles St. They’re in Commerce Street.

Other streets around like Christopher, Grove, Waverly are all quiet and have easy access to three metro stations. 14th Street, Christopher St are on the red 1,2,3; and W4th and Washington has blue ACE and orange BDFM. Once you’ve bought a card and loaded it with cash you’re right to go. The subway, buses etc. are an easy system once you know which direction you are going!

Washington Park is nearby and one of my favourite spots. It has a wonderful stone arch, beautiful fountain and areas of lawn for relaxing. And a dog off-leash area where all the locals mix and mingle – dogs and owners.

I love the sign on the grass here.

We walked past the University of NY law school and saw recent graduates fluttering around in their purple robes, stopped for coffee at one of the many coffee places in this area before continuing onto Soho. David Prior, an Australian food writer living nearby recommends Stumptown coffee and Atla for breakfast.

Soho and it’s charming streets – Prince, Mercer, Green, Worster and LaFayette – are littered with lovely boutiques. Some big known names, others new designers. Fortunately for Steve most weren’t open. Hours here are more 11-7pm. Or even 9pm.

Jordan works in this area at Glossier – a skin and make-up company. I’ll be visiting her on Friday so more about that then.

We reached Canal Street and bought a cheap duffle style bag for the extra purchases we’ve made including some birds for the garden! Fibreglass, not live!

A map of the area with a red dot marking Glossier.

By now it was Ball Game time.

So onto the Red1 to Times Square a quick change to the 7 out to Citi Fields, home to the Mets. One of the local baseball teams.

The whole thing was great.

Arriving and walking through the now grey rainy skies to the entrance.

Inside and up the giant elevators to the concourse, past all the food vendors selling beer, sausages , pretzels, cotton candy, supporters gear and cocktails!

We found Lynn and Bill and braved the conditions to sit in our $91 seats a few rows back from the protective net.

Great seats. Pity about the rain. But Barry bought Bloody Marys! Apparently that helps with the now cool conditions and the cheering & supporting!

Lynn and I huddled as she explained the finer points of the game. She’s been a Mets fan for years. She knows a lot!

They were playing the Blue Jays from Toronto where Barry comes – from so Steve became a Blues supporter with Barry.

By the third innings the rest of our swim trekkers had arrived and we knew the local Mets team were struggling. No home runs to 3. Not a great start for them.

Food called – so off to the Shake Shack. All coloured lights and fast food. Burger, hot dogs, beer and nacho! By now the temperature had plummeted, we were cold and sought shelter in cheaper seats under cover.

At the end of the 7th inning they sing. ‘Take me out to the ball game…..’ we all sang with gusto and beer-fuelled voices.

The Mets were still playing like they had celebrated too much after their 12-0 win last night. They play about 4 times a week – at least. It’s big money here so they play them all the time.

Despite many leaving – it was still raining – we stuck it out. We made it to the end and caught the train back into Manhatten.

Steve and I headed home to rest up because we had a dinner date at a restaurant called Blue Hill Farm with Rob and Jordan.

I had heard about it on a podcast with Leigh Sailes. Jordan had also heard about it and as it was close by here Jordan made a reservation a month ago.

It was wonderful. Expensive – yes. An experience- yes again. The food was fresh and simple and just lovely flavours.

There is a four course menu for about $95. I choose the fish followed by artichoke in a delicious sauce followed by pork and a gorgeous raspberry dessert. The restaurant was friendly, not pretentious at all, with an elegant design.

What a lovely night with the new Mr & Mrs Maitland.