Attractions · Australian Travel · Working on the Road · Writing & Reading

Moving a Little Further Down the Road

We have now been calling Tobermorey home for five weeks. Time has flown and we haven’t really stopped for air until this weekend. The time has come where we are moving next door (over a 100km away) to Tarlton Downs for a few weeks. It is sad to leave Tobermorey behind especially now that I am becoming fast friends with Donkey and Bambi (my baby poddy).

My dear friend Donkey – aka Doris

Variety is the spice of life so a change is always welcomed by us and our gypsy lifestyle. As I write this we are enjoying a nice weekend break in Alice Springs. There is no real purpose to our stay and that is always the most rewarding. We have spent most of our stay so far doing sweet nothing at all and catching up on much-needed sleep. The plan is to restock on a few bits and pieces and just chill out and relax and head back to work refreshed. It is funny I am already missing the day-to-day back at Tobermorey and I’m sure Tarlton will be just as good if not better. I’m actually missing being in the kitchen and am looking forward to trying out some new recipes and cooking inventions when we get back to it. One thing I will miss is my dear scurry maid, (Mrs Boss), Gretchen she has been a god-send to me and has helped me out of many a kitchen nightmare. She has gone home for a few weeks so will hopefully be back by the time we are back to Tobermorey. Ms Margie will hopefully returning soon I miss her like crazy. Shaun and I are so lucky to have such amazing and down to earth bosses. People are what make the experience and we hit the jackpot there as we work with some of the best.

On a side note we found the best bookshop ever today! What a little treasure. http://www.redkangaroobooks.com/ It held the widest ever selection of Australian Literature I have ever seen. I could have stayed in there all day. Make sure you check it out next time you’re in Alice.

Queensland · Travel Photography

Dear Old Isa

This past week we have spent our time in Mount Isa not so much as tourists but kind of, in a way as new residents. Mount Isa is going to be our closest town for the next few months so we wanted to get to know where everything is. On arrival we were a bit frazzled after the long drive, the unhelpful person at one of the info desks, a dodgy CP map and one horrible CP (caravan park) after another (we went to all five) We finally found somewhere to camp at reasonable price a bit out of town but the nicest of all of them. After the week I think we are finally getting our head around where to do groceries, where to get business supplies, which bottle-o to drive thru and so on. (You know the important things) The only thing we did as tourists was the Hard Time Mine Underground Tour. It was well worth the ticket price. You can read our full review on the tour in our post titled Hard Time = Good Time. (to be posted shortly) Other than that our time has been relaxing, cleaning, washing and just plain old nothing which to be honest is just what we need before our new adventure which starts the next week.

Camping · Preparation

Got Our Bags Packed & We’re Ready to Go!

Well tomorrow is the day we leave Griffith and head west. We are almost packed. Only a few more things to organise in the morning. We’re really excited to be heading off on more adventures &  are looking forward to sharing our travel tales with you.

Cooper the Camper all packed ready to go
Food Drawer Stocked!!
Batteries all charged.
New South Wales · Preparation · Random Thoughts

Ciao Griffith.

Image Sourced from http://froggg.altervista.org

Well this week has been one of goodbyes, see you laters and more importantly ciaos.

We have been packing up, cleaning up and getting ready to hit the road. As exciting as it all is it will be sad to leave as we have been here for quite a long time by our standards plus Shaun has family connections here and that is always hard to leave.

For me so far the saddest see you later for me was Mum and Dad. After their two week visit they headed home on Saturday morning just gone. I think what made it most difficult was that we don’t know when we will be seeing them next as we don’t know how far away our travels will take us and as Mum and Dad are still working for THE MAN they have to wait to accrue leave again. Which could be sometime next year.

I worked my last shift at La Scala and that was another round of ciao bella’s. I am sure I will see many of them again as we will be back to Griffith to visit family no doubt. However, it was such a wonderful place to work and the staff are fantastic – I will miss them.

Tonight we are having a farewell dinner at the farm to see all the family together. It will be hard to say goodbye but we will be back.

At this stage we haven’t decided whether we are leaving tomorrow or Saturday. It all comes down to whether everything is packed. So I guess instead of blogging I should get packing.

Here is my Top Five Griffith Experiences:

  1. Working at La Scala
  2. Catania Fruit Salad Farm Tour
  3. West End Estate Wine Release
  4. Showing Mum & Dad the sights of Griffith
  5. Getting to know Shaun’s side of the family better

 

Ciao for now. xx

Australian Travel · Bush Cooking · Reader Interaction · Travel Photography · Writing & Reading

We Won Lunch with Sammy & Bella from MKR!!!!

I love watching MKR (My Kitchen Rules) It is a brilliant and I watched the first two seasons without so much as missing an episode. This year’s show I didn’t get to see many episodes, one of the down sides of our nomadic lifestyle (actually life without TV is  a good thing really) Who would have thought when I was watching the Finale of Season Two where the Polish Sisters, Sammy & Bella won that a year or so later I would be sitting down to a fully catered lunch with them and a few of my family members.

Please be seated
Waiting for the girls to arrive

I am a firm believer that things happen for reason and from little things big things grow. We pre-purchased the first four tickets to La Festa and went into the draw to win a lunch with Sammy & Bella catered by Dolce Dolce Cafe and we won. I’m not the kind of person who wins many things. It was a fluke that’s for sure. We had a fantastic meal and the girls were wonderful to talk to, down to Earth and beautiful.

One thing I learnt during the lunch was that passion knows no bounds. By this I mean that the girl’s passion for food is infectious and it spread around the table like wildfire. I believe our passion for our nomadic lifestyle did the same. When someone talks about something they are truly passionate about you want to listen, you want to learn and you want to explore their ideas. I did in fact came home and cooked that night and all the next day.

I want to thank Sammy & Bella for taking the time out of their busy schedule to answer all our questions and share a lovely lunch with us. I also want to thank Dolce Dolce for their beautiful catered lunch. It was delicious. Most of all I want to thank the organisers of the 2012 Steggles La Festa for not only giving us a fantastic prize but also for putting on a great festival. We had a beautiful time.

Winners are Grinners
Norris Around Australia with Sammy & Bella
Attractions · Destinations · New South Wales

Fruit Salad Yummy Yummy

Welcome to Catania

Since Mum & Dad have ventured all the way to Griffith for a visit we have been doing all the touristy things and in doing so we have uncovered a real little treasure right on our doorstep. Cantania Fruit Salad Farm runs daily farm tours and is home to a gift shop filled with wines, jams, mustards and gifts right in Hanwood, NSW about 8km from Griffith.

Now a fruit salad farm doesn’t produce fruit salad, fresh or in a can it means that the farm produces several kinds of fruit and nuts. That is exactly what Catania produces, a myriad of fruit and nuts including prunes, pecans, walnuts, table grapes, wine grapes, oranges and more.

On the Tractor
Sugar Plum Trees
The Old Ford

Your hosts Joe and Sharon are truly salt of the Earth, kind-hearted people who love life on the land and their passion for farming and the local area comes across with their interesting and informative tour. The tour takes you on a bus tour around the farm where you view the vineyards, sugar-plum & nut trees and irrigation channels. The tour is followed by a video depicting the history of the region. To top off a beautiful afternoon you are invited into the original mud brick house now gift shop to sample all home-made jams, mustards and wines plus all types of giftware.

Original Mud Brick House
Tasting Time
In the Gift Shop

If people ask me one thing to do while visiting Griffith I will definitely  be pointing them towards Catania Fruit Salad Farm.

Check them out on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/cataniafruitsaladfarm

Attractions · Australian Travel · Destinations · New South Wales

A Festive Easter at Griffith La Festa

I couldn’t recommend a better time of year to visit the Riverina then the Easter break. The whole town comes alive with a real festive buzz and the options of what to do are endless. The only problem you will have is deciding which events to attend.

As we have been residing in Griffith for the past few months we decided to attend the Griffith Easter Festival named La Festa, Faces of Australia. La Festa is held in the town’s Community Gardens and showcases the many different cultures that create the diverse Griffith Community. The festival also showcases the region’s fine wine and fresh food produce.

La Festa

I’d heard many mixed reviews about La Festa from local people prior to attending the event. Some had stated that since it had moved from the main street to the gardens it had gone downhill. With these opinions I went to the event with a negative outlook however I was pleasantly surprised. It had a lovely family atmosphere that wound it’s way throughout the gardens. It was a very enjoyable day and I can see why over 10,000 people embrace the festival each year.

La Festa Main Stage

 

Main Stage

For the foodies there were not only a myriad of food stalls there were also celebrity chef cooking demonstrations by Sammy & Bella from My Kitchen Rules and Paul Mercurio. The demonstrations were well received by the public and I think these should be honed in on for next year’s La Festa and create a real focus on this while the “celebrity chef craze” is still flying high.

Sammy & Bella - Cooking Demonstration
Sammy & Bella Cooking Demonstration

 

Paul Mecurio - Cooking Demonstration

The highlight of the festival for me was the Sunny Cowgirls. I love this Australia country music act they really know how to put on a great show and entertain the crowds. I felt sorry for them for the most part of their performance due to the lack of audience response. I don’t think they were the right act for the audience. The children loved it, I loved it and I saw a few others who were loving it but the majority of the audience was unreceptive.

The Sunny Cowgirls

 

The Sunny Cowgirls

 

The Sunny Cowgirls

I think La Festa is a great community event and should be given a lot more credit. It is great for families and a good way to encourage a sense of community amongst locals while showcasing what the region has to offer to visitors. If you are planning a trip to the Riverina around Easter next year make sure you add La Festa to your bucket list.