Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Wow I have missed you guys!!!!!!

Well we're back home safe and sound from our little adventure and did we have a great time!!!

In a nutshell, cos I need to get the kids outta here and off to school this morning but wanted to come back and say hi first, we picked up Gladys (our little white Toyota Corolla rental car) and stopped in at the shop to get things to take to Krys Yealland, left at about 11am and hit the highway. We didn't really have too much of a plan - being mummies we figured we could handle just about anything that got thrown at us and for once it would be nice not to have to organise something down to the knickers like we have to do at home with the kids!!! We basically just kept driving and as it got darker we figured we could probably make it to Newcastle by early evening and find somewhere to stay there. As there turned out to be a home football game in Newcastle that weekend, apparently the opposition supporters had arrived in town and EVERY SINGLE MOTEL/HOTEL/BACKPACKERS was full!!! So we just decided to bite the bullet as we were both feeling awake and alert still and we just drove on to Sydney. We figured we'd have a better chance of finding a hotel room there and we did, in Hornsby, as soon as we arrived in town. It was nothing to look at but had an amazingly comfy bed (but after 12 hours in the car I think a cardboard box would have been comfy!!!), lovely warm central heating and a great shower. Because we'd arrived in Sydney in one day we had plenty of time to get up, organised and have a fabulous huge hot breakfast at a little kebab/takeaway in Ermington, right near the Express Publications offices. We then stopped at a cute bakery and got morning tea for the SM team and set off for Mecca.

Well we have never been so warmly welcomed in our lives!!! Krys, Casey, Jo and Kirsty were all so lovely and wonderful to chat to, we sat and had coffee, laughed and chatted for about an hour before we headed back down to the car to get our Masters stuff. We were so excited we forgot to get our cameras out and take a picture :( but we're hoping the team will be up this way again soon and we will definitely not forget then! After the visit to SM we headed over to Paramatta (actually just in the next suburb) to find somewhere to stay for the night. We found, after not much hunting, a gorgeous room at the Waldorf opposite the Rose Hill racecourse and when I explained that we were in town for the craft show from Brisbane and were looking around the big hotels for the best deal we were offered a great twin room on the 6th floor for only $120 for the night!!! We just couldn't believe our luck and were saying lots of little prayers of thanks all weekend for the fact that we kept having these little blessings over the whole four days. We then freshened up, tried not to have a very tempting nap in the nice hotel room and walked over to the racecourse for the Stitches and Craft show. Man that place is big!!! The show was over four levels, everything from scrapping, sewing, beading and lots and lots of haberdashery stuff. So naturall we spent a bit but not on traditional scrapping stuff, more on other bits and pieces that we could use or make into stuff for layouts. Friday night we got dressed up, trekked to the Westfield at Paramatta for some provisions (need coffee, need coffee) and did our best not to get lost in the five story enormous shopping centre! We then went to the Roxy Hotel for dinner but decided to have a quick poke first with $10 each. That's pretty much our limit and then we walk away but again, luck was on our side and we had a nice win so it was a rapid change of plans and back into Gladys for a drive into the heart of Sydney city to the Star City Casino for dinner!!! Wow that place is like Las Vegas!!!! It is just stunning everywhere you look!!!! We ended up having fabulous dinner at an Italian restaurant next to the Casino showroom downstairs, then a Guiness and a game of pool at the Irish pub in the concourse that runs out to Darling Harbour, then we ended up in a sports bar watching Drag Queen Karaoke. Now I've got karaoke on my list of goals for this year and when the opportunity unexpectedly came I decided, with much encouragement from Cass and the drag queen, to get up and finally conquer my fear of singing in public. I was completely terrified but did it anyway and I must have looked like I was being tortured as Cass kept telling me to smile. I was so busy concentrating on not messing it up that I think I looked miserable!!!! lol But I emerged from that bar triumphand and with two of my three goals for the year ticked off the big list. I'm really proud of myself!!!! We headed back upstairs for a look around the casino and I bought a huge Cosmopolitan cocktail as I'd never had one before (nothing special and just tasted like watered down cordial after a few mouthfuls!!!). We eventually headed back to the hotel and got some much needed sleep!!!

Saturday morning we were up and ready for breakfast at the hotel before heading off to Glebe to see the markets (thanks to Jo from SM for that tip- it was fabulous!!!). We got a park nearby and spent a couple of hours trawling the markets and bought some seriously funky stuff. I got Doug a dalek t-shirt (Dr Who fans will get it!!!), a shirt for Caeligh that said "little devil", a cactus for Blayd and some crystal pendants for Lachlann. We then set the Navman (which has been like having a knowledgeable local in the car with us the whole trip) to go to Bondi Beach which wasn't as big as I'd imagined but I got some great "arty" shots for a big double page montage I want to do as well as a tic tac box full of Bondi sand to bring home. I had amazing sushi for lunch and we had to eat on the run as we needed to do the super quick tourist thing and see the Opera House. We set Navvy again and he took us over the Harbour Bridge twice!!!! We were so excited, squealing in the car like a pair of dickheads as we went over the bridge. Hey, c'mon guys - it was exciting for us who haven't been there before!!!! lol So then we went down to the Opera House, did the drive around the roundabout at the bottom as I madly took shot after shot from the car window (that will be evident in the pictures!!!!) and did a quick drive through Kings Cross just to say we'd been and seen. Not much during the day but I hear the night life is pretty spesh!!! Then we set Navvy yet again and told him to take us to Lusi's house in the Blue Mountains.

Far out you could feel the temperature drop as you head out there!!! We stopped at an antique shop quickly for a squiz and then arrived at Lusi's door. She was as excited as us when we got there and we jumped around like a trio of mad things for a few minutes!!! She and Brett have the most warm, love-filled and spiritual home and they welcomed us without reservation. We honestly have never felt so comfortable in someone's house, especially someone we'd never met IRL before, just talked on the phone and via email. Her kids are absolutley gorgeous too, so sweet and loving to us even though they didn't know us. Lusi made us a delicious dinner and we spent the night sitting, chatting, laughing and sharing our stories and our albums with each other. Far out Lusi is one amazingly talented and gifted scrapper and we look forward to her joining us for a special project in the near future. Can't wait to have you on board babe!!!! I hope the kidlets are feeling better and that you and Brett haven't come down with anything!

The next day we had to drive home although we honestly felt like we could have stayed at Lusi's for ages and we'd have loved a chance to scrap with her although she's coming for a visit soon and we're so excited!!!! The shop is yours babe whenever you come up to see us!!!

Lusi even packed us car packages for the drive home and we took ages saying goodbye and getting pics (all on Cass's computy right now but I'll put some up later or check on Lusi's blog as she beat us to it!). We decided to head out to Bathurst once we realised it was sort of close to Katoomba as Doug is a huge V8 fan. Because Bathurst is actually a street course for most of the year we were able to drive the whole track in our little Corolla!!! We video taped the whole drive for Doug and I bought him a shirt from the Motoring Museum at the site. Then we headed off on the long drive home.

We decided to go via inland for a change of scenery so we headed through Orange, Dubbo, Coonabarabran (where my mother grew up and where I saw some familiar sights for the first time in days), Gunnedah (sorry Jodi we couldn't find a phone number for you and the directory assistance couldn't find your listing but we did try!!!!), then through Armidale, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Stanthorpe, Warwick and finally home at 11.30pm Sunday night.

We had to take Gladys back yesterday, quite sad really, we were sad to see the gorgeous, bug splattered dream machine go!!!! We did get lots of photos however and kept the fabulous Randall at Harvey Norman at Browns Plains quite busy yesterday printing out all our pics! I can't wait to scrap something and I think today it will be our Navman as he got us everywhere we needed to go with no trouble at all, and we wouldn't have gone to many of the places we saw without his guidance!

The menfolk and kids were glad to see us and we divvied out presents yesterday morning before school. I was lucky enough to come back to a house that was cleaner than when I left it!!! Doug I love you heaps and you are the best hubby and daddy ever!!!!

So there you go, a quick overview (but by the length of this post it wasn't so quick - sorry!!!) of our trip and we had the most relaxing, wonderful time. Even the driving wasn't hard when your best friend is sitting next to you! We talked, laughed and sang lots and loud for most of the driving so a couple of sore throats by the time we got home!!!

I'll be back again when I've got some more time and I hope I haven't bored you all to bits with my epic adventure story!!!!

A huge thanks to Cath who helped us out with our trip - you are the best boss ever!!! Thanks also to Cass's mum who lent us the Navman and the camcorder and was a constant phone support for us while we were away. Thank you to everyone who offered us a bed, breakfast, dinner or rest stop on the trip and we promise there will certainly be a next time! Thanks to everyone who also included us in their prayers for our trip and our safety - it definitely paid off and we've said quite a few prayers ourselves as we feel so thankful and blessed to have had such an amazing, safe, wonderful trip.

Take care everyone, lotta love, Lu


kerry said...

Well what an adventure you too have had it sounds like you had an amazing time.Good on you.And i'm so hoping that you get one of the prizes to top it all off it will be well deserved.I prayed that you would come back safley and here you are.Talk to you soon mwah take care Kerry xoxox

Kat Browne said...

Sounds like the best trip! Glad you had so much fun, can't wait to come visit and hear all about it.

Welcome home!!

francineA said...

wow glad that was the short version..lol..no seriously i loved reading about your incredible journay.,..incredible as you seemd to have fit sooo much into your weekend..well done!cant wait to see the layouts!

Lus ;) said...

Hey babe! i miss you guys!!!!!! it was so wonderful to have you here- an absolute highlight of my YEAR!
I'm so glad you felt at home - your comments were so kind Lu! And go Doug - you are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God really did an awesome job keeping you guys safe and providing lots of little joys along the way hey ;)
So glad you guys did that trip and sooooooo blessed to have you come here along the way! Thanks lovely ;)
Lots of love
Lus x

Jasmine said...

Wow - it sounds like you girls had a BLAST!!! I think all us mummies could do with an adventure like that from time to time. Hey I crossed the Harbour Bridge twice on Saturday too LOL - wouldn't it be a laugh if we passed each other and didn't even realise?!! I still get a bit of a rush going across the bridge and I've lived in Sydney most of my life. I wasn't far from the Opera House for my cousin's wedding either - how funny.

We'll have to catch up next time for sure ;)

Jas xx

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