Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Star of Greece

For lunch today Nina wanted to take me to a restaurant "with beautiful views", and oaw, it sure had the best views!
We drove out to the coast, to Port Willunga, and went to the restaurant 'Star of Greece'.

I don't know if it was the name of the restaurant that spurred it on, but I really got Lefkas-vibes when arriving and looking along the coast line, it looked just like the Agios Nikitas beach on the north-west tip of Lefkas. The same long-stretched beach, the same cliffs, the same different coloured sea in all blue and green hues imaginable - so beautiful...

The name of the restaurant comes from a wreck that foundered here, the Star of Greece, one of the best known wrecks in South Australia. It was wrecked in a violent storm off this beach in July 1888.

And no, they didn't serve Greek food at the restaurant (...), but they had a very appetizing menu. Nina had crispy pork belly with scallops, and potato skins...

... and I had some green salad and salt-and-pepper squid, m-hm!

Another enjoyable lunch! I was full all day after this!

Amongst the gums

I've had a fabulous last day here in South Australia, just loooovely!
We went on a little road trip this morning out to McLaren Vale, one of Australia's most highly regarded wine regions; and also with a reputation as a culinary mecca.

It was such a beautiful morning, and even though it's winter/spring here now, so not many flowers nor greenery; it was a very nice drive across the vaste wine fields.

We did an express wine-tour, that is - we stopped at only one wine cellar (we were a bit short for time), at the Wirra Wirra Vineyards. 'Wirra wirra' is an aboriginal name meaning "amongst the gum trees".

They showcases their wines in this stunning cellar door:

We tasted a little bit of everything, muscats, whites, reds and stickies:

I didn't end up buying any though, as neither their whites or reds were quite what I was after. I liked the stickie and really liked the muscato wine, but unfortunately the latter only came in a 500ml bottle. As you know I can bring 2 bottles back in when I get back home, but I ain't wasting my allowance on anything else than full-size ones!

You could spit it out if f.e you were driving, like Nina:

But I wasn't letting any of it go to waste! :)

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


We are still just in August!!!
I guess the shop assistants will be well sick of Xmas by the time it actually arrives...

Balls of steel

Today all three girls were in child care, so we had the whole day to ourselves!
We decided to drive into the city center, so that I could say I've properly seen Adelaide. Although, we mostly looked through the shops, of course...

It was glorious sunny weather, but really windy and quite cold, brrrr! So walking down Rundle Mall (Australia's first pedestrian street mall) we had to take refuge in the many shops and boutiques.
We had some yummy salad for lunch and spent a few hours chatting over some nice coffee and cake. Shopping, chatting, coffee - what more can you ask for?

This is the "Mall's balls", as the locals calls them. Can you se Nina and me?

This is the best-known sculpture of the Rundle Mall, actually the proper name is 'The Spheres'. They are four meters tall and apparently a common meeting place along the pedestrian street.

Monday, 29 August 2011

The House of Fine Chocolate

This afternoon we indulged and followed the famous saying "Life is short, have dessert first" and stopped in at The House of Fine Chocolate, Bracegirdle's in Glenelg.

We had a range of amazing dessert delights... Nina had a Belgian waffle, served with ice-cream, strawberries and warm liquid chocolate... Mmm mmm...

I had a lemon meringue pie, and we both had their famous hot milk chili chocolate - seriously yum! To-die-for...

The kids enjoyed a chocolate fondue with strawberries...

... and some babyccino (with love hearts, very important!) and ginger bread men. We were all clapping our little hands in delight while we were enjoying our treats, it was so yummy! A must if you ever come to Glenegl!

The three musketeers

The Considine girls, Milla, Agnes and Elliot.

Gold Class Baby!

To finish off a perfect Sunday we decided to go to the movies. Nina, as a mother-of-three (and currently working hard on finishing her PhD plus holding down a part-time job) doesn't get out much; so we decided to go for the full-on super, fantastic, sensational, great, superb, awesome extra-everything movie experience!
Gold Class Baby!

Before the movie we placed our order in the lounge. Not only could you decide what you wanted to snack on, but also exactly when, f.e straight away or an hour into the movie etc.

We saw "Horrible Bosses", not the funniest, funniest movie ever but all in all ok and it had a few good bits in it.
We started out with a bit of pink bubbly...

Oh, and I forgot to mention the seats! Or more, the beds! Fully reclining, huge, soft armchairs, aaaaahhhh...

We also enjoyed some ice cream sundays, popcorn and some Calypso coffee during the movie! (Ha ha, I just sat there and kept waiting for our treats to arrive..!)

Yup, best movie experience in a long time!

Shake, wiggle, giggle

Yesterday I went down the road for the day, to join in some more Zumba training.

(Such a coincidence, I tell you! When I had sort of decided to come and see Nina I checked out the Zumba website just for fun, to see if there were any trainings nearby. Found one on this weekend and asked her if it would be possible for me to do it... would it be far to go? Turned out it was literally FIVE minutes down the road! Was that a sign or what? I mean, Adelaide is pretty big, what were the odds she was going to live practically next to the studio where the training was held!!)

Anyway, I'm now licensed to teach not only Zumba Fitness, but also Zumbatomic! Yay for me! (Zumbatomic is their specially designed program for kids aged 4-12)
We were about 40 geared up instructors who took this training yesterday, and we had so much fun!! It was a lot different to my training in Sweden, people here were super friendly and chatty; and we actually networked and I made some friends, just like I'd thought it would be! Some of my new Zumba friends:

I was definitely the exotic element in the group, ha ha! Sure, some people had driven over four hours from outside Adelaide to get there and one girl had flown in from Melbourne - but hey, I had flown in from another country! :) Plus, I originally came from the other side of the world! I don't know how many times I told my story yesterday..!

Such a super day - I was, and still am, on a Zumba high! Zumbaaaaaaaaaa!

The Boel

Well folks, after the initial loneliness during my trip, I quickly got over it and have had a fab, fab weekend!

My friend Nina picked me up from the airport on Saturday and told me that her hubby generously had told her to "go and catch up, and take your time"! So we drove to straight to Brighton and had a 3 hour lunch in the sun - and caught up!

A fantastic afternoon! Lovely fresh air, lovely sunshine and lovely company!

Eventually we got back to her place, and were met by her three little curly-haired princesses, oh my, her kids are so cute!
They were all very curious about me, and really keen on this friend of their Mummy! I made myself popular by bringing presents:

And they showed me all their tricks on the trampoline:

The cutest thing is, they keep calling me "The Boel"! Ha ha, makes me feel like some kind of rock star - like "The Edge" or something! Kind of cool.

(I also ate my first kangaroo steak Saturday night! It tasted sort of gamey, but rather nice actually.)

Saturday, 27 August 2011

All by myself

So, I'm on a trip! All by myself!
I guess I should be enjoying it, not having to do unplanned toilet stops at the worst times, not having to think about feeding, keeping track of or occupying little people - just myself.
I do try, and I've just been circulating Melbourne airport for 3 1/2h between flights; enjoying getting to check out all the shops in peace (not just the toy shops) having nice coffee, getting some magazines, doing some people watching etc. But, now I'm bored and have no one to talk to!

It's been well over 5 years since I last left the family at home and went on a trip on my own. Back then Lucas had just turned two and Linnea was about 5-6 months, and I went from the UK to Amsterdam to meet up with some friends for the weekend.
This time I'm off to a whole other continent, to Adelaide, to catch up with a Norweigan friend I haven't seen in... about 8-9 years! Exciting!

I do enjoy only having one, very light, suitcase; and only carrying one posh little handbag with only the essentials, my essentials (and not a bunch of snacks, toys, wet wipes etc...) - but I must admit it's an odd feeling to be all alone, like I've nearly forgot how you do it... and I do miss the little munchkins!

Looking at other people traveling with tired, noisy and uncooperative kids, and tons of stuff, I start to relish a bit in being just me though. I think this will be a very relaxing trip!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


This afternoon we went into Kiulap to find this "snake show" I had heard some of our friends talk about. Well, it was actually an "Exotic Pets Expo", and it was rather interesting!
Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera (*duh*) so the pictures are taken with my phone, and not very good due to the low lighting.

It was cheap to get in, only $6 per adult and kids went free. We were the only ones in there so the tour guide walked around with us and told us all about the different snakes; explained all the different species, their care and do's & dont's about pet reptiles.

We thought this one was an albino snake, but found out he was actually coloured this way - ivory:

There were about 40 different snakes. Mostly pythons, with wonderfully imaginative names - like Granite Burmese Python, Genetic Stripe Ball Python, Butter Ball Python, Cinnamon Ball Python, Lemon Blast Python. There was also different kind of corn snakes and boas. (Most of the snakes came from a personal collector, you can read his blog here.)

They also had lizards in all sizes, like this big Sahara Monitor Lizard. It was rather sleepy, and liked being cuddled!

Linnea stroke it for a bit:

The Indian Star Tortoise:

The tour guide took the snakes out of their terrariums and you got to touch them if you wanted. Both kids had a (very quick) touch, to feel how smooth and cold the snake was.
Mummy was the only one brave enough to actually hold one of the snakes!

I held him quite far away from me though, didn't want him wriggling around my neck or anything... and although he was "just" a regular python, he was pretty strong and squeezed my hand so hard I could hardly get it out of his grip!

(If anyone else here is keen on getting up close and personal with some of these creatures, this Expo it's still on for a few days yet until the 29th of August. Open 10 am-10 pm, and it's located at the end of the tent behind the Kiulap HuaHo.)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

I don't want to grow up...

... I'm a Toys' R Us kid!

It's true! It's here!

For months and months they have been building on top of our local supermarket and the rumours have been wild about what was coming, someone even suggested an ice rink (?!). But no, the most persistant rumours were also the the truth - it was a new Toys' R Us, the first one in Brunei!

It had opened while we were away, and yesterday we took the kids there for the first time. It was really big, had every toy imaginable and the kids were in heaven!
Well, it'll be easier to buy birthday presents from now on, that's for sure!

Lunch Deluxe

It's Ramadan here and one thing that is really nice to do during this holy month, is going out for lunch. Since the locals aren't allowed to eat until after sundown, the restaurants are pretty much empty.
The other day we decided to try out a newly opened restaurant in the capital. We don't often go "downtown" so it was a bit of an adventure.

It's Kaizen Sushi that has opened a new branch on the waterfront, and they have made a really good job of the decoration both inside and outside.

We watched the boats while we were waiting for the Roses, always a hit.

And you can even see the Istana from here.

I don't have any more photos unfortunately, because as soon as the food arrived I got busy eating!

I must say it was really, really nice sushi. The menu was very extensive and we tried quite a few different things. But... it was nearly double the price to our normal sushi haunt 'Excapade', and question is, was it worth it?
Well, at 'Excapade' sushi is so cheap we treat it a bit like fast-food. We go several times a week, plus we don't mind taking the kids there.
I'll probably go back to Kaizen again yes, because of the lovely setting and the different sushi, but it'll be for a nice evening meal - and without children...