JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Two Weddings in one Weekend!

DH and I had the most amazing weekend.  We travelled more than 1000 kilometres to get to two weddings on the same weekend!  Both of the couples were special to us and we wouldn't have missed their weddings.  It took a bit of planning to get to both, but it was so worth it.

The first wedding was in Cairns an Saturday....that was easy as Cairns is only an hours drive away for us.  The second wedding was a little more difficult.  We caught a 6am flight from Cairns to Brisbane on Sunday morning and then made our way to the railway station for AirtrainConnect to the Gold Coast.  AirtrainConnect is a new idea where you have a chauffeur pick you up from the train station and take you to your accommodation and then the chauffeur picks you up and takes you back to the rail station when you have finished your holiday.   We packed very carefully so that we wouldn't have any checked in luggage.  Hand luggage speeds up the process of getting through the airports and we do this whenever we can.

The two weddings were quite different but equally lovely.  The first wedding was very traditional.  The service was held in a lovely little church....the kind of church that I remember from my childhood.  The old wooden pews that make you sit up straight, the pulpit that seems to be ten foot high, the alter that is always one step up.  These are the things I remember.  Anway I regress.  This bride and groom have been together since school and are a perfect match.  They are a lovely couple who just look right together.  The service was beautiful and the reception that was held at the Hilton Hotel was also perfect.    It is a beautiful venue and the food was to die for.  We had to leave the reception at a reasonable hour so that we would make our early morning flight the next morning, but not before we danced up a storm on the dance floor!

The next wedding was quiet different.  The reception was held in the Botanical Gardens on the Gold Coast and the reception was at the Grand Apartments restaurant called 3 sixty.  I always enjoy garden weddings because as someone who enjoys taking photographs you can wander around more freely.  This bride is just so unbelievably beautiful and looked stunning.  The groom didn't scrub up too bad either.  It was our son who introduced this couple and this fact was acknowledge by the groom in his speech.  This wedding was like a reunion for us.  Many of our friends from the west were there and it was great to catch up.

As I said, it took a bit of planning to attend two weddings in the same weekend but I'm so pleased we made the effort.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

McGregor Summer School

It's such a revelation to clean out your photography library.  Long forgotten photos make their way to your computer screen along with the memories of each and every one of those photos.  I'm up to 2010 and have culled many, many photos.  But this is one I would never cull.  You see I went to McGregor Summer School at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba in January 2010 for a digital photography course.  I've always had a love of photography and this course was a chance to expand my knowledge. It also helped that my mum lives in Toowoomba so I had board and lodging for the two week course!  This photo is of the Old Toowoomba Town Hall that is beautifully light each and every night and is a photographers dream.  

Monday, 10 September 2012

Four Mile Beach Port Douglas

I had been wanting to shoot some sunrise photos on Four Mile Beach at Port Douglas for awhile and the perfect opportunity came about on Saturday.  DH always goes for a bike ride in Port on Saturday mornings so we got out of bed a little earlier so that I could catch the sunrise.

Unfortunately it was a bit of a non event as there was no cloud that can make a sunrise spectacular but I made do with what I had.  I walked the whole four mile beach that would normally take about an hour but with all the photography stops it took me two and a half hours!

 It was a beautiful morning and nothing could have broken my happy mood until one "gentleman" mumbled as he walked past me that there should be privacy on a beach!  For goodness sake.  It was a public beach and he wasn't even in ANY of my photographs. Ah well *sigh*.  It takes all types

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A bottleful of Deliciousness!

Like most things in our garden this year, the grapefruit tree has had a prolific crop.  We don't eat grapefruit and it seems such a waste to leave them rot on the ground.  We have a couple of friends that will take as many as we can give them.  They like to juice them, but other than that it's hard to know what to do with the excess.  That is until I came across this recipe by my favourite cook Annabel Langbein -  GRAPEFRUIT MARMALADE.  

The recipe used 2kg grapefruit so that helps the glut a little.  The recipe was very easy especially with the use of a good food processor.  Altogether the recipe made 24 bottles that should keep in the pantry for ages.  The hardest part was cleaning up after bottling!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Mt. Lewis National Park

We live just a few kilometres from the Mt. Lewis National Park so it's a lovely "Sunday" drive for us.  I went to Mt. Lewis at the beginning of the year with the Port Douglas Orchid group and I loved it.

 It is a pristine rainforest and we are so blessed that we have these areas set aside for our enjoyment.  We drove the 28 kilometres to the end of the national park road and stopped many times along the way to photograph some of the lovely creeks.  

We walked a little way along (actually in) Mary Creek and I've been told that if we had've walked a little further we would have come to quite a lovely waterfall. Apparently though you have to be very careful near the waterfall because the rocks are like glass and if you slip on them you would slide all the way over the waterfall!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Happy Birthday Kurt!

My son, my eldest son.  Today you would have been 33.  And still the wondering continues.  What would you have been doing, would you have been married, would you have had children, what would you have looked like, where would you be living. These questions and many more haunt me.  Don't get me wrong.  It's been twelve years since we last saw your beautiful smile and time, remarkably, does dull the pain.  But still the wondering continues.  You were a most remarkable soul, one would perhaps wonder if you were too good for this world and there is perhaps another place for such a soul, but I still miss you....incredibly so.  I love you Kurt.  Happy Birthday my darling son.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Daintree Skink

My photography group made a trip to Daintree to visit "Wild Wings and Furry Things".  This is a wildlife reserve just teeming with birds.  We photographed the Magpie Geese but as I don't have a long range zoom lens my photos were nothing spectacular.  As I made my way back to the car I came across this little fellow.  I've been trying to figure out which species this little skink is but as there are so many of them it is very difficult.  If anyone knows please leave a comment at the end of this blog.  Anyway, here is my very well camouflaged little "Daintree" Skink.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Fathers Day

We bought tickets to Tap Dogs some time ago not realising at the time that  the show just happened to fall on Fathers Day, so we decided to do the full monty and stay overnight and enjoy dinner as well.  Our son and daughter-in-law gave us an Accor Club membership (thank you!!) that entitled us to a free night accomodation PLUS we get a huge discount off meals eaten at the hotel restaurants.  We chose to stay at the Pullman Reef Hotel and made dinner bookings at Tamarind Restaurant.

First, the show.  We arrived into Cairns at about 3.30pm and the show was due to start at 5.30pm.  We showered and dressed early and made our way down to the Vertigo Lounge Bar  and enjoyed pre-show drinks and nibbles, then we drove over to the Cairns Civic Theatre for the Tap Dogs.  Wow.  What a show.  It had everything.  Six very talented tap dancers managed to give the audience a performance that they will never forget.  The show had humour, and was vibrant and visual. The audience did not want it all to end and we managed to get three encores from the performers. (It was there last show for the season!) We had seen these men perform in the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane many years ago and it has been amazing to see the growth of these performers.  They were always good but since they have taken their show worldwide it is now phenomenal.  I recommend you to go and see this show if it is in your area.  I had a bit of a glance around at the audience before the show started and the show attracts everyone from three year olds to seventy three year olds.

After the show we made our way back to the Tamarind Restaurant (click to see menu) and enjoyed a very tasty meal.  This restaurant has won many awards and "Chefs Hats" and I must say that they really are deserved.  For entree we had the Chicken Terrine and the Quail and for main we ordered the Battered Prawns and Braised Lamb Shank with Lotus Root Crisps as a side.  We ordered a Wild Oats Pinot Grigio to wash down the meal and there was no way possible we could fit in dessert!

After dinner we made our way back to our room via Vertigo Bar where Karaoke night was in progress. We stopped and listened for awhile.  I give all the singers a thumbs up for courage because some of them were really bad! Ha!  Ha!  Some were also very good.

Let me tell you that the rooms at the Pullman Reef Hotel are fabulous, in fact we would go as far as saying that they were the best we had ever stayed in.  I alway forget to take photos when we first enter the room so these photos are after we have had a good nights sleep and made ourself at home!
Looking back to the bathroom from the bedroom
The bathroom has sliding doors that open to take in the view

Magnificent views over Trinity Inlet

The next morning we wandered down the esplanade and had a delicious cooked breakfast at one of the many eateries.  We then played the tourist and wandered through the beautiful water park on the esplanade and then followed the bay around to the marina and then back to our hotel.  It was only a walk of about a kilometre but such a lovely walk.  Here are a couple of photos that I took along the way.
The Marina

The Harbor Lights Boardwalk looking towards Pyramid Mountain

Looking north