This weekend Ben’s parents came to town to visit Ben and I before we head off on our vacation to America Saturday. Now, before you get all defensive, they did tell me this should be the title of this weekend with them so I obliged.
On Friday, Ben and I celebrated the end of our Whole30 with some champagne, cheese, and crackers.
One of us may have just skipped the crackers and ate all the cheese….
That night we made reservations at our favorite local spot Barrio for dinner, where we stuffed ourselves full of Spanish tappas and cheesecake!
Saturday morning, despite the gloomy weather, Ben and I finally made it out of bed and to yoga, on time! I just love a good yoga class in a studio with a teacher to push me through and being determined to improve those Whole30 results – they’re good, I wanted better – I am hoping to make it to a few more classes before I spend the next 2 weeks in a bikini.
After yoga we walked down to the markets in the rain for some gluten free muffins, which of course sold out before we got there. It’s not the first time I have gone hoping for a delicious muffin only to find the GF ones to be sold out… I feel like there could be some better planning on the businesses part there.. but I digress.
Instead we walked around the block to check out the construction on the apartment building we are hoping to move into later this year, and then down Hunter Street Mall for some actual breakfast.
Our potential neighbor!
We ended up at Ground Floor Cafe. It was my first time eating there, and I was so impressed by the decor and food! I have time to kill on Wednesday between appointments and yoga, so I plan to stop here again and take advantage of the great location and wifi to get some work done.
Just as we were finishing up we got the call from Ben’s parents they were in town and would be at our house shortly. By the time we got home they were just pulling up as well – perfect timing!
We spent the afternoon chatting, napping (all of us were exhausted), and cooking dinner.
I put on a slow cooked chicken for paleo tacos, and made two salsas (one paleo, one not) for dinner.
Dinner was amazing, if I do say so myself, and “restaurant quality” were the words chosen by Mr. and Mrs. J. I’ll get things perfected and share when we get back from America.
We spent the night laughing over a bottle of wine and beers – all sleeping really well that night, thank to the alcohol and chilly overcast weather. By the time we all got out of bed, around 10am we were well rested and excited to spend the day walking around Newcastle.
But first, breakfast. Ben and I had decided we’d take his parents to Saluna on King Street, where I got these awesome pancakes a few weeks ago. It was the right choice and there were vegan/gluten free pancakes on the menu again – perfect for me as I am trying to not eat gluten unless completely necessary (you know in fried foods and cupcakes!) because I know what it does to me and it’s not pretty. I did have a bite of Ben’s eggs benny with avocado on a bagel and loved it… a panera bagel may have my name on it next week… so much for no gluten!
After breakfast we browsed Villa Cone, a shop across the street full of imported items from around the world. I knew from the moment we walked in, Mrs. J would be in love and we might not leave for a while.
We actually spent about 45mins inside Villa Cone and it never got boring as I would have expected it to, I’m not one for browsing shops. Every where you turned there was something new to catch your eye. Ben and I ended up purchasing a few engagement and wedding cards for our friends/family in America as we have never seen a more beautiful card as what we found there.
When we left we walked down Hunter Street towards that apartment building Ben and I have been looking at. We talked with Mr. and Mrs. J about the area of town and did a bit of exploring taking them to look at the Convict Lumberyard.
We’d never actually been to the yard before, and now that we have, I don’t see a reason to go back. Once you have read this sign you have seen it all.
And, the statue of an arrow that basically says here is where the convict lumber yard is.
We then walked towards the beach stopping to learn about the history of the area which used to be the ground for a hospital and is now apartments and hotels.
It was interesting to learn that the hospital had such prime real estate in this city, but this had something to do with most of the patients being convicts who worked in the lumber yards or sailors who would visit the hospital when their ships came into the port. An earthquake that struck Newcastle in 1989 damaged most of the buildings, which is why only a few towers and brick building fronts remain today while the rest of the buildings were rebuilt as modern apartments.
All that history built us up a bit of a thirst so we walked to Bar Petite for beers and cocktails.
The Passion Fruit Bellini was strong, so I am glad we did a bit more walking before heading home.
We explored hidden corridors around the city and then found ourselves at the back of Christ’s Church Cathedral looking at old convict bricks, and sharing jokes about how the Anglicans have the highest building in the city and not the Catholics…. as Ben is Anglican and I am Catholic we constantly talk about what type of church we will get married in and of course there was some convincing it should be this cathedral.
While it is gorgeous, I won’t be getting married in Australia. You’re welcome, mom.
We decided to have dinner out Sunday night so we didn’t have to cram into our house for dinner again, and walked to our local pub, The Royal Inn. The bistro at The Royal is lovely, and not at all what you expect when you think “pub food.”
We all had great meals and conversation over dinner, and then took it home to finish the evening in our back shed over more beers and wine.
Ben’s parents left a few hours ago, but not without spending the morning hanging out with me on the couch over cups of tea and chats about life in Newcastle and our trip to America. It was so lovely to catch up with them, and I am looking forward to their next visit.