Hi friends! Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend with their families. We had a fun-filled four day weekend here in Brisbane.
Good Friday in Australia is a big deal and everything shuts down, even the grocery stores. We took it pretty easy and hung out around the house and took a quick trip to the park in between nap times.
Saturday we got up and moving pretty early and by 8:45 we were on the road to the Sunshine Coast. We hung out at Dicky Beach all morning. Leighton loves playing in the sand but the noisy waves were not her favorite. Luckily, the beach has a little creek that runs from the ocean where the water is shallow and still. She was splashing and dunking her head in the water just like she does in swimming class, it was so cute. We stopped at the local fish and chips for lunch and we were back in the car for Leighton’s afternoon nap. We have learned the trick for these day trips is working the car times to be at Leighton’s nap times, so we are all happy campers.
Hi! Remember me? I didn’t mean to take a two week blog break but our first week back at school after the break was pretty crazy and the only thing I wanted to do when I got home was crash.
So without further ado, I will (finally) begin a recap of our amazing Easter weekend…
Ever since our trip to South Australia’s wine country last year, we have been dying to get back. When we were planning my parents trip we knew we wanted to take advantage of our four day weekend over Easter and go somewhere. My dad is a wine lover himself and we knew he would love Barossa and all the surrounding regions, so our decision was pretty easy.
Even after finding out I was pregnant and wouldn’t be able to partake in the wine tastings, I was still so excited to get out into the country and enjoy the scenery.
We started our journey by flying into Adelaide Thursday night after work. Friday morning Travis had to go into the office, meanwhile we hunted for an open cafe (NOTHING is open on Good Friday in Australia) and picked up our rental car.
We headed out to the McLaren Vale first knowing that it would be slim pickens as far as open wineries. After a quick stop at the visitors centre we headed off with a list all the wineries hours for the holiday weekend (SO helpful!).
Our first stop was Fox Creek, where everyone enjoyed a tasting out on the covered patio. Next up we took my parents by one of the prettiest vineyards we visited last time, Coriole. We knew the winery was closed but just wanted to show them the grounds.
When we pulled up we were greeted by the owners letting us know they were closed for the day and having a family gathering. She explained that there are only two days a year they are closed (Good Friday and Christmas Day) and the family can use the property. She was happy to let us wander around and check out the gorgeous gardens and rolling vineyards while giving us some background on the family and property.
Afterwards we stopped by Zimmermann where we heard a lots of information about the wines (and quite a few other topics) from the owner.
By this point I was starving and very hangry so we tried to skeedaddle out of their as quickly as we could to find lunch.
Since most places were closed we decided to continue through the Adelaide Hills to the quaint but touristy German town of Hanhdorf. Everything there was bustling and only a few places were closed for the day. Hanhdorf does Autumn really well, and the trees lining the streets were really showing off.
After lunch and some browsing at the antique shops, we took advantage of an open grocery store and loaded up on some essentials for the weekend (namely cheese, crackers and sandwich supplies) and set off towards our Air BnB in the Barossa Valley.
All of the bed and breakfasts were full by the time we went to book, so we turned to our favorite source- Air BnB. We found the perfect country house nestled in the heart of the Barossa Valley with amazing views. It more than exceeded our expectations and we loved hanging out and taking in the views from every room in the house. We couldn’t believe what a great find it was.
We were all pretty exhausted from our big day, so we chose to hang out at the house and enjoy some of the yummy treats our host left us and have family game night.
Sidenote: Australian 1982 trivial pursuit is really hard.
Well that’s all for Part 1, next up will be our day out in the Barossa. I will be back later this week with some more recent of updates on our life lately!
Given that both Friday and Monday of Easter weekend are public holidays, most people take advantage and hop on out of town (no pun intended). We had plans to do the same, but unfortunately “having plans” and actually making plans are two separate things. It worked out though because with all of the traveling and entertaining we had been doing in the past couple of weeks, a quiet weekend at home actually sounded much more appealing.
Good Friday was spent pretty lazily. When we finally got out of the house to look for a place to eat lunch, we realized that EVERYTHING was closed. Being that Australia is not a very religious country we were surprised to see that everything had pretty much shut down for the day and/or long weekend. Even the grocery store was closed. After over an hour of driving around we finally found a spot. The rest of the day we laid around and went to see a movie. Per usual, we were the only people in the theater. I will never understand what the deal is with Australians and the movie theaters. Is this normal or is it just our neighborhood?
But don’t worry I did make Travis take this adorable picture. Making people put their face through a cardboard cutout does not get old for me.
Saturday we decided to take advantage of being in town and explore our neck of the woods. We had been wanting to do this hike in nearby Mt. Tamborine (about an hour away) so we headed out there after breakfast.
We had absolutely no idea that there was MUCH more to do in Mt. Tamborine than just hike. There were cute little shops, nice restaurants, wineries galore and TONS of different activities. We went hiking, ate lunch and did some wine tasting. I will write more on Mt. Tamborine later and hopefully we will be making a trip back there soon.
Easter Sunday we got up extra early to go to church. We ran into one of Trav’s co-workers and his family that are all from my family’s hometown so we had our own little Texas aisle. Afterwards we hit up the farmer’s market to get lunch and some produce for the week. It was funny how everything was closed on Friday but then Easter Sunday it was business as usual. We spent the afternoon laying by the pool and cooking up an Easter feast for the two of us. It was definitely the first year Easter dinner was prepared in board shorts.
Our meal included this Jamie Oliver recipe for slow cooked lamb and mint sauce (delicious!), Trav’s mom’s recipe for cheesy potato squares, caramelized brussels sprouts and bacon, grilled halloumi and the Aussie staple of Hot Cross Buns (bought at the market).
And a bottle of wine from the winery we went to Saturday. Because Easter is about Jesus, and Jesus turned water into wine. It just makes sense.
Our verdict on the hot cross buns… chocolate is the best! So next year we will just be purchasing chocolate because raisins are gross and I am five.
Monday was also a holiday (longest weekend ever) so we spent it brunching, binge watching Kimmie Schmidt and going on a impromptu pub crawl on our bikes.
Now back to real life- at least for Travis. I am now on school holidays for two weeks which is kind of a joke because I haven’t even worked two weeks consistently. Hopefully I will use my free time to get caught up on blog posts and Teachers Pay Teachers projects. Hopefully.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend full of kids in cute outfits with bunny ears on their head (my favorite) and lots of chocolate.