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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Craft Work with Elyssa (2)

Here's the craft we did this morning...

Handprint Sun

Made it double sided - the other side was a sleeping sun


Elyssa insisted on a photo with her caterpillar and octopuses as well

I decided to attach a piece of string (from a paper bag) to let her play with it


Erin wanted to play too!   


 Now gotta think of next weekend's craft  :-)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Craft Work with Elyssa

After procrastinating for a long time, I finally started doing craft work with Elyssa recently. Our first attempt was an Egg Carton Caterpillar.

 Ta Daa.....

 Proud of her efforts

 
The following weekend, we did the toilet roll octopus.



This weekend's plan is a fingerprint sun.

Pretty fun! Should have started earlier but hey, better late than never :-)

Australia Holiday - Day 7

 Day 7

Just look at what greeted us on the morning of Day 7. Such beautiful scenery! If only I have this type of view from my home kitchen window, then I won't mind doing the dishes  :-) 
Oh yeah, we had a morning visitor as well.  Good morning Mr Kangaroo!




Photos of Pemberton Farm Chalet
The wooden chalet itself was quite basic but it was very well equipped - microwave oven, fridge, electric hobs, bbq set (our fav!!), pots, pans, kettle, plates, cups, spoon, fork etc.
Cost: AUD 120 per night for us + AUD 20 for Elyssa. 


 Interior
 There were 2 bedrooms - one with a queen sized bed and another with 2 double decker beds. Just for the fun of it, Elyssa and I took the lower bunks. (her first experience on a double decker bed!).  Hubs had the queen bed all to himself.



Our breakfast
 Hubby happily setting up the BBQ that morning.  I don't know whether it's a guy thing or not......he normally refuses to go near the cooking stove but when it comes to BBQ, he automatically takes charge!



After breakfast, we had another round of animal feeding. Yay!  And Elyssa picked up 6 warm eggs from the hen house.  (photo coming up)



After that, we set off exploring Pemberton town. It was a bit drizzly at first. Luckily, Mike from the chalet loaned us jackets and boots. I liked Elyssa's blue ski suit and blue boots. I called her "my little penguin" and she loved that nickname. he he.


Lovely Stream Area
There were many walking trails but since we had Elyssa with us, we skipped those. We just walked around on the bigger pathways while eating our chips and Tim Tam chocolate biscuits  :) 



Then we went back to the chalet for our lunch. Hubby fired up the BBQ again and just look at the eggs! I read somewhere last time that egg yolks stay firm when they are fresh. Well, now I know that's true.  
(side note:  looks like I can now blame it on unfresh eggs when I have trouble separating egg yolk and egg white for my chiffon cakes. There were times when the egg yolk just separated the moment I broke the shell. But of course that could be due to my lousy skills too. he he)



 A couple more photos before we checked out of the chalet
Jumping on the trampoline was pretty fun. Tried a few times but then decided to get down just in case it was not meant for adults. Err...don't wanna risk breaking it! 
There was a small swimming pool but it was of course wayyyy to cold to swim. Bottom right photo is Farmer Mike on his tractor. (btw, he was the only one running the place and we were the only guests on that 2 days)

Bye bye Pemberton Farm Chalet.  We had such a good time!

Next stop was the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk.  It's in Denmark, en-route to our next destination - Albany.

This gave the experience of being almost at the top of the giant trees. (minus the effort of climbing 150+ spikes like what I did with the Gloucester tree)

The walkway goes up to 40 metres. Hubby who's afraid of heights nearly freaked out halfway.  Elyssa was oblivious to the height though. Both of us went on the walkway twice. 




After the tree top walk, we proceeded to the nearby "Ancient Empires Walk".
Plenty of huge tingle trees there. For the first time, I can truly say that I was standing UNDER a tree trunk. 


We left just before the park closed!

Then we headed towards our accommodation for the next 2 nights - Greenfield Farm in Albany.Turned out to be another good choice. Will post more photos in my next post.

Sneak Peak of the Cosy living area
There were even plenty of toys for Elyssa to play with.


We cooked a simple dinner and then ZZzzzz....

---End of Day 7---

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Australia Holiday - Day 6

I have PLENTY of photos for Day 6, so I need to do photo collages instead of  posting single photos  ;)

Day 6
Just like Day 5, we started the day with a leisurely breakfast at our B&B. This Noble Grape Bed & Breakfast was the most expensive accommodation of entire trip. (AUD 149 = close to RM500 per night. Ouch!!). But definitely a lovely experience. The hosts Donna and Rod were very warm and welcoming. So nice to chat with them :)  For breakfast on Day 5, we also had a nice chat with a middle aged couple from Perth. On Day 6, we were the only guests so we had the whole place to ourselves! 


Breakfast @ Noble Grape B&B


Inside the Room
So comfy! Loved the little details like milk in the fridge, nice blue china plates (not the cheap type!)  and a stack of DVDs to watch :)



Around the B&B.  Bottom right is a photo with Donna.

Checked out of the hotel then we went on our way. 

First stop was another winery - Eagle Vale

@ Eagle Vale Winery 
As usual, hubby took his time to savour the wine and ask questions. (the owner was a friendly french lady). No complaints at all from me cos I happily stood outside and "soaked" up the scenery!
 


Next item on our itinerary was a Cave Visit. There were 3 caves to choose from - Jewel Cave, Mammoth Cave and Lake Cave.  We chose Mammoth Cave cos it was the most kid friendly.

Inside Mammoth Cave
Verdict?  Nice but not really mind blowing. I'm an Ipoh girl who has seen plenty of caves!

Outside Mammoth Cave
I enjoyed the short walk from the cave exit to the car park. (he he...enjoyed this more than inside the cave)

There was a slight drizzle when we left the cave. Luckily, it only started to pour when we reached the car.  Phew!

We drove straight to our accommodation for Day 6 - Pemberton Farm Chalet. Yup, one of the things I really wanted was a farm stay  :)  I did warn hubby that after the comfy stay at Noble Grape, he had to lower down his expectations for that nights accommodation!  He was rather apprehensive when he drove to the s-m-a-l-l and rather steep slip road heading towards the chalet.  Ha ha.

Turned out the chalets were very basic but ....... definitely no regrets!  More on the chalets later.


After a quickie lunch at the chalet, we headed to the nearby Gloucester Tree.

Gloucester Tree
Quick info from Wikipedia:  
1. It is a 72metre giant karri tree
2. It's the world's second tallest fire lookout tree
3. There are 153 spikes that spiral round the tree
4. Only 20% climb to the top of the tree, most make it part way before turning back.

Guess what.....I was part of the 20%!!! Can't believe I actually made it all the way to the top! Got such a "high" (literally too. he he) 
The view at the top was absolutely fantastic. And a bit scary too cos the wind was pretty strong when I was up there and I could see n feel the branches moving. My legs were super wobbly when I finally got down!


We also visited the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree after that. Then did our customary grocery shopping :)

Then it was on to our next highlight of the day - animal feeding time.

It was SO MUCH fun !!! 
Plenty of photos -

Elyssa was a bit scared at first, but after a while, she got the hang of it.

Check this out - picking freshly laid eggs from the hen house

Kangaroo, Sheep and Chickens


Animal feeding wasn't quite what I expected. I imagined the animals eating calmly from the bucket, but in reality they were practically attacking the bucket. Ate like they haven't been fed for ages. I kept on giggling at the beginning. ;-)



There was one more small highlight before we ended Day 6. We had our own mini BBQ. Having a BBQ in the cold weather and with a view of valleys, fields and animals were just.....what can I say : WOW!
Plus it was my first experience that halfway thru the BBQ, a kangaroo went boing-boing-boing past and then a few sheep when mehhh-mehh-mehhh past. (but luckily they didn't try to eat our food)


We had such a yummy dinner that night - beef steak, sausages, fresh eggs taken by Elyssa earlier, baked beans, bread and tomato relish.  Also popped a bottle of white wine bought from Eagle Winery that morning.

After dinner, hubby lit up the fireplace inside the chalet. Real fire using real firewood!




Fantastic end to a fantastic day :)

---End of Day 6 --

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Australia Holiday - Day 5

Day 5 - Margaret River

We started Day 5 with breakfast at Noble Grape B&B. (more on the B&B later). The friendly hostess even prepared a cup of hot Milo for Elyssa :)

Elyssa with her milo, cereal and fresh fruits

The we went off exploring Margaret River...

Couldn't resist taking this photo of cows. Black n white cows, just like from milk cartons!


We headed for Millies Ice-cream farm, but it was closed for winter. We missed it by just a few days.  :(
Well, next item on the itinerary was wine tasting - hubby's highlight of the trip!


Wine Tasting #1 - Watershed Winery


 Reception Area @ Watershed


Next stop - another vineyard:

Wine Tasting #2 -Voyager Estate


"Can I try pleaseeeeeee?????"
No you can't young lady!  But she was given a glass of sparkling grape juice  :) 


Reception Area @ Voyager Estate


I'm no wine drinker but I loved the grounds of Voyager Estate...





A pot of REAL tulips!!  Looks fake huh?
My first thought was "why they put fake flowers here?". he he.

More flowers



Then, we drove to the nearby Leeuwin Estate Winery.



Photo taken @ Leeuwin Estate
So happen there were a few small groups of people there, so hubby decided not to try the wine. Also, we wanted to have lunch there but changed our minds after looking at the dining place. (nice but nothing great)


For lunch we decided to go back to Watershed Winery.

Check out the vineyard view from our lunch table! Priceless!
Elyssa received a kids pack with colouring pencils, puzzles, pictures etc. Good to keep her busy while we enjoyed the view  :)

 Scallop Appetizer and Glass of Wine

 Wait.....must snap photo before eating
The scallops were Yu-Mmy!


5 hour roasted pork belly, err....some custard thing and errr..can't remember
Long fancy description on the menu. The waitress also explained each item and said "all the flavours compliment each other very well".

Our verdict?  Why we came all the way to Australia to eat "Siew Yoke"???  ke keh. 

We shared a Wagyu Beef Burger too


Dining Area (we chose to sit outside)



Close up view of grape vines. 
Winter time....all still botak!  Didn't even manage to see a single grape  ;-)



After the late lunch (plus some playground fun for Elyssa), we set off to the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse.


Another Random Roadside Photo
 Absolutely lovely! 


@ Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
 There were strong winds and it was really, really cold!



The Southern Ocean meets the Indian Ocean here
Brrrrrrr!!!!  For once, we were under-dressed (Other people were wearing thick jackets. Ours were in the car) I was just wearing a t-shirt and a cardi while hubby was wearing a thin sweater. For some strange reasons, we were so cold until we started laughing away!


One for the album
Photo taken by an American guy whom we coincidentally met again 3 days later! And yes, he took another photo for us.



Love the view!


When we were done with Cape Leeuwin, it was too late for the caves so we saved that for the following day. So what else to do?  We stopped by the roadside and took photos with fake cows near our B&B!  Ha ha...don't ask me why.






Did our usual grocery shopping, then had dinner in the hotel room, watched tv and then Zzzzz....


--- End of Day 5---