Australia Day weekend is usually characterized as a beautiful weekend with good weather, beaches, beers and Aussie Pride – I have been looking forward to this weekend ever since I found out Australia Day existed. Imagine my disappointment when cold rain and winter-like conditions were forecast for the long weekend. Even still, we made the most of it.
As you may recall, we were making a big trip across New South Wales this weekend for an engagement party and Straya Day celebrations. We left our house Friday night for a long drive to the farm, and woke up Saturday morning to the sounds of cockatoos and cows, ahh Aussie farm life. Ben’s dad had some work to do on the farm and Ben was recruited to help, while I somehow managed to escape the farm work and went into town with Mrs. J to pick up an engagement gift instead.
After a lovely morning shopping we stopped by Sprout café for two glasses of homemade lemonade.
In Australia “lemonade” is really like Sprite, but this homemade glass had a bit more lemon flavor and mineral water so it tasted similar to the American lemonade but with a bit of sparkle.
Back at home the boys were
farming hanging out and not doing a darn thing, and when we got back we joined them. An afternoon full of laughter, games with our 20 mo. nephew, and naps for everyone before the engagement party.
We got to the party fashionably late, and the moment we got there I was greeted by Mia, the bride. It was my first time meeting Luke (Ben’s cousin) and his fiancé Mia and it was an instant connection. I was so thrilled to be able to spend time with them. We had a great time laughing and dancing all night long.
Literally, all night long. Around 12:30am several people asked me where Ben was. Of course a mid all my dancing I hadn’t noticed he wasn’t around anymore. I asked Mr. and Mrs. J if they had seen him and they said he went to get a jumper (sweater) 30 minutes ago. So I headed to the car and found Ben passed out in the back seat.
He rejoined the party and we had a little chat about the amount of sleep we were going to need before Australia Day and the drive to Sydney; then we both headed back to the car and got in the most comfortable position for a sleep. Around 2:30 his parents decided it was time to head home. Thank goodness for our nap, we definitely wouldn’t have stayed awake until then.
Just two hours after getting back to the farm we were awake and driving down to Sydney. We usually don’t drive that way, but I am glad we did because there are so many cute towns along the drive and the gorgeous landscapes in the Blue Mountains.
We made our first stop in Orange at the Scrumptious Cafe for Chai Lattes – delicious!
Then Ben took me to Kinross Wolaroi where he went to Boarding School; the school he was playing rugby for when we met almost 10 years ago.
I don’t know what I thought Kinross would look like, but I was not expecting gorgeous 1800’s buildings, perfecting maintained lawns, and large sport fields. I had so much fun hearing the stories about life in boarding school – the pranks and things teen boys did for fun when they lived away from home that Ben tells me I can’t share on the blog.
We kept it moving on the road to Sydney stopping at a lookout near Bilpin, NSW and then hitting every light as we approached Sydney. Our 6hr trip turned into 7, without any of the stops.
Needless to say we were pretty exhausted by the time we arrived to our friends Dave and Elissa’s house in Sydney’s Northern Beaches – and after checking the forecast for Monday (cold and rainy) we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and head down to the beach to take a nap while the rest of our group headed to the Newport Arms to save a table for the Australia Day Eve festivities.
The waves were pretty ruthless, crashing into us and knocking off our clothes. That sounds bad, but if I learned one thing this weekend it’s that after dropping weight and almost two sizes do not wear the same bikini into an ocean with massive waves. Yep, learned that the hard way, and the beach goers had an eyeful.
Moments after I took a photo of the surf the skies opened up on us and we were caught in a down pour as we walked back to the apartment… the storm was really a blessing in disguise because Ben and I would have laid on the beach all afternoon if we hadn’t had a reason to get up and go.
Our friends were waiting for us at the pub and had snagged a table just next to the river with great views and no rain!
The first few hours we were there were great! The boys drank round after round of Coronas while the girls had mixed drinks and ciders for hours.
After what must have been 5 hours of drinking our table was invaded by some unwanted visitors… I guess that’s what happens when you have the best table in the house. Those drunk, unruly, and annoying people spilled my drink… and then later danced on top of the table kicking a drink all over me. They were wankers, and I wasn’t a happy camper.
No apologies were given and some of the boys in our group were a bit upset at the rude uninviteds. A few dirty looks later, and still no apologies the uninviteds left as well as some of our boys we had had enough from the night and were ready to go.
Despite being ready to leave as things had gotten a bit too crowded by 10pm the rest of us waited for the Australia Day fireworks display midnight. Quite possibly the longest two hours of my life.
After the fireworks concluded we immediately hopped on the city bus and went home. We all stayed up a bit later, drinking more beers and ciders and chatting. I must be the epitome of a hombody, because I honestly enjoy chatting on the couch with a wine and friends than going to a pub to do the same thing.
Despite the big night, and overcast rainy weather, I could not sleep in past 8:30. Am I the only one who is doomed to never be able to sleep in despite perfect sleeping in conditions?
We headed out for breakfast on the lake in Narrabeen where we all ordered Eggs Benedict; eggs benny and a beautiful view.
As we walked back to the house we walked right through an Australia Day festival where kids were getting their heads hair sprayed yellow and green, and playing games that involved throwing thongs (flip flops) as far across a field as possible – I am not quite sure the point of that one.
Back at the house we turned on the Triple J Hot 100 – an Australia Day tradition to took naps. The weather stayed crummy raining off and on all afternoon and was super chilly. It felt like a winter day on what should have been a sunny, relaxing beach day.
We headed back to Newcastle making a pit stop at KFC for some dinner, and then picked up some Australian treats at the grocery store for dessert. I have never tried a lamington before (pound cake, chocolate frosting and coconut filled with cream and jam) so and since it’s a traditional Australia dessert I figured there was no day better than today!
Overall, it was a great weekend… though I’ve been told it’s the tamest Australia Day weekend I’ll ever have!
Can you sleep in? Or are you doomed like me to always be an early riser?
What did you get up to this weekend?