Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 23 Purposeful Meandering around Oz

Kilometres          28025 - 28674km

The start of our full week in Adelaide couldn’t have been more relaxing. Well at least it was for the kids and I, Leonie on the other hand had decided it was time to get most of our Christmas shopping done, so just after 9am she headed off to the biggest shopping complex in Adelaide to get her shopaholic fix for the month…. For most of the day the kids and I did it pretty tough, the kids either rode the pedal carts around the park, swam in the pool, played pinball, ate ice-cream, went for a ride on the cycleway, had a picnic lunch and we did a few domestic chores…. Meanwhile the barrage of text messages from Leonie meant she wasn’t having the best of days. How could a shopaholic not have a good day doing something she loves? Apparently she couldn’t put her hand on the right gift and she kept getting lost in the huge shopping complex. At least by days end most of our Christmas shopping was complete.
Adelaide skyline
Tuesday was one of those days I’ll remember for a long time to come. Our holiday schedule coincided with the cricket test match in Adelaide and the unfortunate death of Phil Hughes placed great sentimental significance on this match and I wanted to be a part of the day 1 action. My first time inside the Adelaide Oval was amazing. There were 23000 people on hand to witness the tribute to P.H and throughout the day the emotional tributes continued. The weather was perfect, the Aussies piled on the runs and I had a great day. Late in the day I caught up with another old school mate who was in town on business, we made a quick dash to a pub where we downed a few bourbons…. Meanwhile Leonie and the kids had a relaxing day getting a few more presents, the kids had Santa photos and generally had an enjoyable day.
1st ball Adelaide Test match
On Wednesday the weather was more conducive to staying indoors, constant light rain swept across the Adelaide region. We chose to head to Glenelg where we jumped on a tram and headed into the city. The kids had a ball traveling on this form of transport for the first time. Once in the city we meandered up and down the Rundle Mall, while the rain may have dulled the brightness it didn’t dull our enthusiasm with the sights n sounds of Christmas providing a most enjoyable buzz. We had lunch as we watched the buskers entertaining the crowd…. Returning to Glenelg we had a brief look around the surrounding mariner and jetty before heading back along the coast to the van.
Rundle Mall - Adelaide
Thursday saw us up early and heading north to the Barossa Valley. We opted to only go for a day-trip as our previous visits to wine regions have proved very costly, so to reduce the temptation we thought it safer to only stay for the day. Heading north we drove past the Holden manufacturing plant where we stopped to take a historical photo. Our first stop in the Barossa was the “Wolf Blass” winery where nothing is done by halves. The kids were well looked after ensuring the parents could dedicate their time to tasting and spending money. We spent most of the day zigzagging through the valley, stopping at various wineries and shops such as Penfolds, Peter Lehmanns, Jacobs Creek and the Maggie Beer farm shop just to name a few, with each of them offering their own speciality….. With the kids nagging us to see some Christmas lights we made a full day of it by spending a few hours of our return journey driving around the suburbs checking-out Christmas lights.
Penfolds winery - Barossa Valley
With us having such a big day on Thursday there was no urgency to get out of bed on Friday morning, but by late morning we were heading across town to catch up with some of our traveling friends who live in Adelaide. Meeting at a park the kids were quickly enthralled with the skate bowl and playground equipment leaving the parents’ time to relax and chat. Before we knew it a few hours had lapsed and it was time to head for home. We had a few shopping stop-offs on the way before spending the remainder of the afternoon relaxing by the van.
Henley Beach sunset - Adelaide
Saturday was predicted to be a scorcher, the temperature peaked at 35deg. As we didn’t have anything planned for the day we spent much of our time lazing by the pool or at beach, even the shade offered minimal relief as a hot breeze blew across the area. Late in the day with the temperature dropping we headed out for a leisurely drive into the city where we checked out the V8 supercar track, china town, some of the parks that surround the CBD and a few of the picturesque church’s that are dotted across the city. We ended our day by having dinner at the beach with a fantastic sunset backdrop.
BIG Rocking Horse
On Sunday we had another busy day planned. We drove across town and up into the Adelaide Hills where we spent a few hours visiting the small villages of Lobethal, Gumeracha and Woodside. We stopped at the BIG Rocking Horse and the Melba’s chocolate factory, the latter being very dangerous with so much yummy chocolate on offer….. By mid-afternoon we were heading back to the city as the kids had a birthday party to attend, once again the good friendships made traveling were evident. While the kids played at Jakobs party Leonie and I took the opportunity to do a bit of retail therapy….. To wrap up our beautiful day and great week in Adelaide we had dinner with friends and then both families went to “Carols and fireworks” in Modbury.
Fireworks at Christmas Carols
Another great week on the road!

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