2 years ago
While still down in Sydney, it was decided Jodie was to catch up with a few people she knew. Jodie had lived here a few years and had quite a bit of history in the place (and some of it was good too). So our first port of call would be her father's place where we were to make our base for the next few days while we got around the general area in a somewhat manic manner and managed to see everyone that counted.
(Having not known any of these people previously, I hereby ask that they please accept this disclaimer if my comment 'people that counted' either included or excluded them against their will - Yeah, like they can do anything about it right now).
Anyway, from the hotel in Sydney we travelled 38Km further south to Bangor (another English, no, Welsh name) to meet Jodie's father Barry and his Thai wife Jongdee.
|Sydney to Bangor 38Km|
We stopped for lunch, unpacked for the duration of our stay, caught up with current affairs (family stuff) and got stuck in to some good old fashioned laundry (even holidays have boring bits you know).
From there it was a quick 20Km east to Kurnell to visit Simon and Fenessa and their kids Nathan, Georgia and Adrienne. (Close personals of Jodie).
|Bangor to Kurnell 20Km|
We arrived there just in time to see them getting home from school, drank copious amounts of coffee, ate cake, and gassed until well past six in the evening when it was time to make our way back to dad's again for a magnificent Thai spread laid on by his wife. It was gorgeous and the refusal of seconds was not an option. Yum yum.
Now for those of you like me who had never met Barry before, may I now refer you to the good old Noah of biblical fame. My reason for this will become quite apparent as soon as you approach his house only to be met by his baby, a forty foot yacht/party boat affair he is constructing out of finest quality aluminium’s, factory made pontoons, full living quarters, outboard motors, and probably a crew of twelve to man the lifeboats.
|Noah's Ark 2nd attempt|
And being the hands on kind of guy that I am, Barry and I found an immediate affinity and presently began talking shop for the duration of our time together.
Without delving too far into Barry's personal life, he was for many years a man working in hospitality. And that clearly showed the following morning when the breakfast spread produced by him was placed in front of us. It was a full spread of traditional English fit for a king and there was plenty of it too. I think he liked me :)
After Breakfast it was back in the car again to go see the Southern Highlands (more on this in another post) but we jollied along south for 121Km to a place called Moss Vale.
|Bangor to Moss Vale 121Km|
Where we found a long lost family friend Leanne working in her shop selling some class coffees and baccy to the passing workforce along with some select antiques. A weird combination of things to sell you might think but they seem to be making it pay so hats off to them.
|Old friends & antique coffee?|
And from there we headed north east. Another 76Km to Leumeah where we met with another old friend of Jodie's, Mel who was at home with her two sons Lochie and Joshie while hubby was working abroad back in the UK I think she said.
|Moss Vale to Leumeah 76Km|
More catching up, more coffee and biscuits for all as I was kidnapped by the boys while the girls sat chatting among themselves.
We had a fun couple of hours here before it was time to head off again for a Vietnamese meal with yet more friends, Ronnie and Sue 37Km north-east of here at Hurstville in the Miss Saigon Restaurant.
|Leumeah to Hurstville 37Km|
It was across the road from the restaurant we all found a place for coffee and doughnuts where Sue attempted to penetrate my numb skull and teach me the wonders of coffee in all it's various forms. Some of it even sank in too, before we headed back to Barry's again for the night.
|Hurstville to Bangor 16Km|
It was the following morning when things took a slight turn for the worse because the preceding night when asked what she would like for breakfast, Jodie replied "something light". That actually translated into me being robbed of my hearty traditional English being swapped instead for a scantily filled dish of fruit. Grrrr !!
It also meant beginning the last of three hectic days on a half empty stomach as we once again hit the road to see yet another friend Tracey and her hubby Geoff and their son Jack at Barden Ridge. Quite a local jolly this time being as it was only seven minutes down the road for us.
|Bloody hell I could walk that one!!|
We stayed a couple of hours there with them, just long enough to catch up for the next five or so years perhaps before we had to be back with Barry and Jongdee at Como Marina for a parting lunch before we set off on our way home again.
We were going back via Newcastle once more to catch up with that she-devil Cath Slater again for more of her sunburn, sorry, I mean a last meal, this time an Indian that happened to be more like a Mexican (yes the Vindaloo was more like Chile con Carne. I don't whinge for nothing you know). Then, after our 'last supper' there were cuddles and goodbyes before the deadly drive back to home and Brisbane.
So all in all, many new faces were seen, many Kilometres were crossed, and many hours of happiness were had. Life was certainly good (bar the sunburn Cath) for a change.
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