Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Perfect January

My January has consisted of a lot of wonderful family ADVENTURES.

My first adventure was to spend some very special time with my granddaughters Clare and Mikayla. I wanted to have a special day which each girl, totally on their own. It was their choice what we did, what we ate and where we went. First up it was 6 year old Clare to have an adventure.
First up it was Clare and Gaga's adventure day
For dinner her request was for Mexican. Easy done seeing that my favourite food too.
Clare loves Mexican and loved decorating the table for dinner -
NO that's not her beer!!
The following morning we travelled into the city as she wanted to go to an art gallery. At the moment she wants to be an artist when she grows up.
Clare was pretty excited about seeing the water wall at the gallery's entrance.

I was pretty excited about seeing this amazing 14 metre long reclining Buddha.
Clare was a bit surprised about all the naked figures surrounding the Buddha,
 me too actually. 

Mmmmm a room full of skulls, 100 skulls actually- very interesting
After our inspirational time at the National Gallery of Victoria we headed into the city for lunch and and a stroll through the Graffiti filled Melbourne laneways. But first it was time to stop for a yummy donut.
Seeing Clares surname is Walker we just had to get a donut from Walkers Donuts!
The next day it was 4 year old Mikayla's turn to have an adventure day with me. Her choice for dinner was Spaghetti Bolognese, with is also up with my favourites.
Time for Mikayla and Gaga to have their adventure
At first she couldn't decide how she wanted to spend her day but finally it was the beach she wanted to visit.Our first stop for the day was Luna Park, we both had fun checking everything out, we especially got a lot of laughs out of the mirrors that made us look funny.
She was pretty excited
The crazy mirrors certainly had us laughing
After lunch it was time for the beach and a playground. Mikayla was pretty happy to finally be at the beach.
One excited little girl
The playground we went to was right on the beach so we didn't have far to go.

The playground was a great place to have fun and stay out of the sun a bit
We finished our adventure off with an ice cream and it was time to head home.

Mmmm Ice-cream time
Next up was my week long adventure with my son Shane, his wife Stacey and my three gorgeous grandsons (O'Shea, Finn and Louis) visiting for a week.
First up we had a day at Brickvention, a Lego fan convention. We travelled into the city by train which was a bit of excitement for the O'Shea and Finn.
It's great experiencing a train journey through kids eyes
Louis didn't mind having a train trip either
The Lego Convention was held at the beautiful Old Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne.

The stunning Old Exhibition Buildings

This shot was taken as we walked in the door.
Within seconds of turning around the boys were overwhelmed by the amazingness 
 Some of the exhibits that had been made were huge and absolutely amazing.
Just one of the amazing Lego structures, totally amazing
Oh and a day's adventure just has to be topped off with popcorn and fairy floss!!
We had our second Christmas Day with both my children (Shane and Rachel) their spouses (Luke and Stacey) and my six adorable grandchildren.
Oh what a cherished moment this was.
I am the luckiest person alive.

Stacey and Rachel were kept busy most of the day.

Next was Papa's turn. The tiny people are starting to get restless. 
The week was full of mini adventures, among them was a day at the beach.
A fun family day at the beach
Clare, O'Shea, Finn and Mikayla also participated in a basketball clinic, although it seemed more like a relay of who could have a bit of a sook. But by the end of the session they all said they had fun.
At last they were all having fun - it took a while!
Little Louis and Lily didn't participate in much, they just layer around and looked adorable.

Oooh aren't our two new family members adorable
Then to finish of the week Clare and O'Shea lost their first baby tooth on the same day. They certainly were pretty excited about having the tooth fairy visit.
First one out Clare.....

......closely followed by O'Shea
I finished my month of with a couple of hours with beautiful Lily and I have also started a Detox in preparation for my trip of a lifetime to South America in May this year.

What a cutie Lily is.
Louis and his Lulla doll sleeping peacefully
Oh and what do you eat the night before you start your Detox? That would be Mexican of course!!

Yumm Nachos and a good old Cascade

Yes a very tasty meal indeed

Detox here I come !!
What an exhausting but totally satisfying and FUN month of ADVENTURES I have had. Thank January you were just perfect. I wonder what February will bring me.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Another year of Adventure Days commences....

Hope you have all had a fantastic Christmas and a very very happy New Year. As with the past few years when I am not away in our camper "Myrtle", once a week I take myself on an Adventure Day to explore my environment. So seeing it's the first week of 2018, I decided it was a perfect day to commence my adventures. Although this was a bit different as Shane came along for the ride and the day actually turned into a "foodventure". One night while watching telly we heard about an orchard in the Yarra Valley that sounded like it could be FUN. Seeing I live on the outskirts of the Yarra Valley why not check it out. The Yarra Valley is probably best known for the extensive and wonderful wines the area produces, but with its extremely fertile soil it is also an excellent area to grow lots of varied produce.
Beautiful fertile rolling hills
Driving through the beautiful rolling green hills we saw a sign "Cherries for sale". Now seeing we are both partial to a nice plump fresh cherry it was an obvious first stop. So our first stop was at Lanidale Orchard "The Cherry Well" in Wandin. Lanidale is a family run business that grows Cherries and Apricots, but today all they had were Cherries. But what a beautiful selection they did have, such as the sweetest  Sweethearts right through to the very sour Morello. After tasting all the different varieties they had, we purchased 1kg of the Sweethearts. If you are a fan of cherries you should check out the Victorian Cherry Trail on www.cherries.org.au
I think that could be another adventure for next cherry season. 

Magnificent Cherries
Next stop was Raynors Stonefruit Orchard in Worri Yallock. Raynors Orchard is another family run business. Throughout the year they grow around 450 varieties of fruit. We went on a tractor tour where we told about the different fruits and had tastings. Also on the tour you could pick and eat as much as you wanted - interesting time. You could also pick any fruit to take home and pay only $5.00 per kilo. 

Tractor Tour

Nothing better than the taste of fruit straight from the tree

Just a bit of what we bought

There was a row of magnificent Sunflowers

Of course I had to buy one, only $2
Absolutely beautiful countryside
From there we headed onto Yarra Glen to the very yummy Yarra Valley Choclaterie and ice creamery.  Set on 16 hectares of beautiful countryside this is a chocolate heaven with over 250 varieties of chocolates.

At the front door you are offered free samples.
Limited to one spoonful.....

Pretty Tasty pizza
After a yummy pizza and of course an ice cream we headed off home chocolates in tow.

Pistachio Ice-cream
No too bad considering....
One last stop on the way home was Sugarloaf Dam. Sugarloaf Dam is one of approx. nine water catchments that supply Melbourne and surrounding areas with water. Sugarloaf Dam has a capacity of 96,000 million litres. It was completed in 1981 and supplies the northern, western and central suburbs of Melbourne. Every time I come up here to visit I think of my late Dad. We were out going for a drive (we even had Adventure Days back then) and after buying fish and chips for lunch we sat in the Sugarloaf grounds eating our lunch and discussing how much water and how many trees were here. My Dad always used to say "I don't know what those greenies are on about, look at all these trees".

A very small corner of Sugarloaf Dam
Seeing I had filled up on fruit, pizza, ice cream and chocolate throughout the day dinner was pretty light on, but I did sit down and enjoy a nice cold beer. 

Mmmmm.... Nice way to end the day
So my first adventure day for 2018 may have been different but as everything must be, it was FUN.

Do you ever take yourself of on an adventure day? If you do I'd love to hear about them.  If not give it a try, explore your environment. You may just be pleasantly surprised to find what's hiding out there. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Shrine of Remembrance - Melbourne

The Shrine of Remembrance is the National War Memorial of Victoria, a monument dedicated to all those who have served in the armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australia participated.
The Shrine of Remembrance with the Eternal Flame
Originally built in the 1920's as a memorial for the 89,000 Victorian men and women who served overseas in World War 1 and the 19,000 who made the supreme sacrifice. Although other monuments in the Shrine Reserve commemorate later services, the Shrine itself now honours all men and women who have served. It belongs to yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Poppy Courtyard

As we arrived at the Shrine the first area we came across was one of the courtyards. This courtyard was black walls with many many red poppies poked into holes and what looked like a huge poppy suspended above. 

The Poppy Courtyard from above
It wasn't until we could view the poppy courtyard from above that we could see the beauty of the suspended poppy. Our tour guide also informed us that the thousands of holes in the black walls that all the poppies were stuck into actually said the "Ode to Remembrance"in morse code. 

Gallery of Medals
At the entry of the Shrine we were confronted by the Gallery of Medals. This wall of medals certainly emphasises the scale of Victoria's service since World War 1.  This hallway exhibits over 4000 replica service medals since the Boer War. Each medal represents one hundred Victorians who served in armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

View along St Kilda Rd / Swanston St, Melbourne
Standing on the second floor balcony you get the most amazing view of Melbourne's CBD. 

Can you see William Barak?

Looking northward up along St. Kilda Rd and Swanston St. you can see the majestic St Pauls Cathedral. Beyond the Cathedral you can see a newly built striped building. Without our extremely knowledgeable tour guide we would never have noticed the magnificence in front of us. Can you see it? Constructed into the balconies of the apartment building is the face of the Wurunjeri elder William Barak. Not only was William Barak an elder of the Wurunjeri, an artist he was a social justice leader. We were absolutely amazed at this beautiful acknowledgment of a great Australian from a private building. 

Father and Son 
Centrally placed in the crypt is this very powerful sculpture "Father and Son", with this inscription. 

1914-1918 AND 1939 - 1945

Changi Flag
Captain Kenneth Parsons,2/3 Motor Ambulance Convoy, removed this union flag from the Sultan of Johore's palace in late January 1942 to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands. After Singapore's surrender on 15 February 1942, Parsons and the other Australian medical officers concealed the flag for the entire three and a half years of their imprisonment in Changi. Between 1942 and 1945, over 100 signatures were placed on the flag. Of these, 91 are Australian, including 33 Victorians, 36 New South Welshman, 16 Queenslanders and 2 Western Australians. The rest are attributed to members of the liberating forces. 

The Devanha Landing Boat
The "Devanha" landing boat is the last remaining of the six landing boats that ferried ANZAC troops to the beaches at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.  I must admit standing beside this amazing piece of history I could almost feel the spirit of the men aboard. 

Remembrance Garden - Post World War 11 Memorial. 
Although a small out of the way area, this is a lovely peaceful spot and sit and appreciate all we have.

Hall of Columns
The Hall of Columns is part of the original substructure of the Shrine. Approximately four million bricks were used in the construction of the columns to support the original structure. This area has now been opened up to the public and with it's subdued lighting and many many artifacts it gives an atmosphere of contemplation. 

World War 11 Memorial
The World War 11 Memorial, which includes the Forecourt, Cenotaph, Eternal Flame and flagpoles, was built to commemorate all Victorians who served in World War 11. 

Close up view of the World War 11 Memorial
I've never been one for war stuff but I am so glad I included The Shrine in my adventure days. I learnt so much about some pretty sad history. War is a terrible terrible thing and these days we don't know from which direction it is coming. I don't have a solution, all I can do as one person is love and treat all other humans with kindness and compassion.