You can tell it's summer, the blog posts are fewer, I'm outside, I get behind with everything, just enjoying the sun and the outdoors, I wish I could share more about the great stuff we get up too. So here I am, I've been to Australia, OK, back in October, and the middle of October at that, it was a epic moment, those days of waiting to get our passports back. All sorted, done and dusted, free to travel again.
In the lead up to leaving and on the journey itself, I did find myself having to explain why I was going to Adelaide for my first visit to Australia. Not the usual, nor the place people would expect (how I love to be just a little different). Well there was actually no choice for me, nor did I want to go anywhere else until I had been to Adelaide. It was imperative you could say.
You know those people who aren't, but really are family, they hold such a special place in you, they've been there since you were born. They've been there through the heart surgery and boat sinking. They've taken you on countless visits to Dover Castle and Howletts. They cheer and cry and then they cut jam sandwich's into your name.
My mother's dear friend, Julie is this woman. She and her family moved to oz 16 years ago, and it turns out I haven't seen them for 10 years (though it really doesn't feel like it). They live in Adelaide and we arrive a couple of days after my birthday to a rapturous welcome of tears and hugs at the airport. It really was quite dramatic. She had sorted out birthday cake as a surprise for that night and this touched me it a really special way.
To feel so welcomed and at home in seconds is a wonderful gift - the photos placed in my honour helped but their home is a big reminder of friends, family and good times. To have that feeling of love and specialness bestowed upon me was comforting and reassuring and made me realise how much I miss that unconditional love you get from those you are very close too. It made me miss my family and friends but appreciate what I have and the great time Julie and Ben showed us. Great hosts, all perfect.
So it was a nurturing and comforting time, a time for lots of wine, lots of photos in rather dubious places, times for lots of laughing.
South Australia does has some rather lovely vineyards, we first visited the McClaren Vale area, got onto a large empty stage and gave our rendition of the Simply Red play list, still stuck to the stage floor from the weekend before concert. This was of course near the end of the day wine tasting. Did I mention we could take back 6 bottles of wine each (well we couldn't cos our bags were too heavy, but we tried).
Our weekend away to Burra, had the crucial elements of historic Cornish mining stuff, Ozzie bars in their prime and more vineyards. Clare Vally - home of the Riesling and the Barrosa valley, home to those big names and I was rather a bit excited at being at Jacobs Creek.
Did I mention we went to Kangaroo Island, a two day trip, to the 133rd largest island in the world (thank you Lonely Planet), and saw rather a lot of wildlife and great beaches. So yep, cuddled a Koala (rather special I thought) and fed Kangaroos (rather cute). Lots more photos on flickr, take a lookie if you fancy. I will take this chance though, to say a huge thank you to Julie and Ben for the unbelievable welcome, time and just great time we had with them.