28 November 2008

Hunter Valley at Belleray (and our Australian Thanksgiving)

I know it's been ages since i've updated the blog, and I don't even know where to start! We've got so many exciting things going on right now! I may have to "back-post"... In the meantime, one of the best weekends we've had here was last weekend. It was a colleagues 30th birthday, so we rented a house up in the Hunter Valley. (Hunter Valley is basically Sydney's version of Napa or Sonoma). The weekend was an absolute blast, the company was good and the house was AMAZING!

The house was sitting on 160 acres of land. There were animals everywhere! When we first arrived, we were stepping over snails on the main walkway. We woke up the next morning, fed the horses some apples, saw some kangaroos bouncing around and then of course got to see the swans, the goose and the cattle all roaming around!

Can you see the kangaroo?

Here are the horses...

So, we woke up Saturday morning and a little bus picked us up to take us to some of the wineries. The 10 of us hopped in the bus and we were on our way... We went to some great wineries and had a wonderful "light" lunch and then headed back to the ranch!

Here's me and two of my (tall) colleagues at one of the wineries:

Saturday night, my friend Amy had some caterers come in to cook us a great dinner. We all got dressed up in our cocktail attire and had a delicious meal.

We then played some games - Smart Ass and Nancy and Marcus’ fun "charades" type game. It was a BLAST and there were LOTS of laughs! Oh... Socialism and Mr. T!

After a long night of games, we went to bed and woke up and made a big breakfast... Fry up! Here's us eating on the outside patio.

We then went for a little swim in our pool and relaxed in the sun. Then Chris - the romance that he is took me for a little ride in the row boat on our pond. We went to visit "Bruce the Goose" and got about 20ft away from the cows that roamed on the property...

At around 4pm, it was time to check out and head back to the real world. So, Team Belleray got together for a picture (and made a poor attempt at a pyramid). Here's Team Belleray!

If you'd like to see some more pics from the weekend, you can take a look at Gary's Blog by clicking here, or you can take a look at our slideshow below!

20 October 2008

Whale of a time!

This weekend was a great one. Friday night Chris and I went swimming after work and then met up with some friends at a local bar. We woke up Saturday and met up with some of our friends and did a walk from Coogee to Bondi Beach. It's a gorgeous walk along the ocean and it typically takes about 2 hours. As you're walking along you literally come across about 3 or 4 different beaches that each have their own little charm. So basically, from Coogee you hit Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and then Bondi. It really is an amazing walk.

As we were going along, we got to Bronte beach and noticed out in the distance (about 150 meters off shore) a mother whale and her calf. There was a surfer nearby who must have been about 20 feet away from this whale. It was unreal! Before we thought it couldn't get any better, we spotted about 10 dolphins swimming around and jumping out of the water around the whales. I swear these animals KNEW there was a crowd watching them and they put on a serious show.

We watched for about 20 minutes and more and more surfers started surrounding the whales and dolphins. I couldn't believe how close they were! Luckily we got some video and a bunch of pictures which I have put together in one video below. (If you take a look as this picture, you can see a dolphin jumping out of the water!

The original reason why we did this walk was for an event called "Sculpture by the Sea" which basically consists of a bunch of artists who... create sculpture and put them along the coast by the sea! In the video, I also added a slideshow of some of the artwork we saw.

It's a little hard to really see the whales and the dolphins and this video is very amateur, but I do hope you enjoy. I've never seen anything like this in my life and I only wish we could have better captured the moment. The video just doesn't so it much justice... but have a look anyway!

After the walk in the beautiful sun, we decided to have a late lunch at a restaurant called Icebergs. It overlooks the famous Bondi Beach and has an amazing view.

Our friends Amy and Gary who we went with also have a blog, so check out their post too!

Click here for Amy and Gary's Blog!