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

Sunday, 26 March 2017

39 years.....

We've been married for 39 years. Holy Molly.  Where did those years go.  It seems like yesterday that I was a nervous bride walking down the aisle towards the man that I promised to love "till death do us part", and you know what, I love that man as much today as I did then.  Sure, the love changes over the years from being passionate love to companionable love....kids will do that to a marriage.  My husband is my very best friend.  I listen carefully to his advice and he mine.  Certainly we have our arguments but I think that is part of a healthy relationship.  We never sleep on an argument and that has seen us, on occasions, still awake at 2 in the morning! We've had good times and bad times and losing our eldest son was the lowest point any parent (or marriage) can go.  If we were not as close as we are we may not have survived as a couple.
So, how did we celebrate 39 years of marriage.  Well, we had lunch in our favourite restaurant in Port Douglas, Bel Cibo, and then we attended a community BBQ in Julatten in the evening.  It was perfect.  Lunch together and then dinner with our community friends.   Over lunch we raised our glasses and proposed a toast to the next 39 years and then we both burst out laughing.  That would put us both at 100 years old.  Possible, but unlikely.  So we changed our toast to "whatever the future holds".

Taster Dessert Platter

My entree - scallops, pancetta, cauliflower puree

Philips Entree - Chilli Garlic Baby Octopus

My Main - Pumpkin and Sage Gnocchi

Philip Main - Chilli Crab Linguine

Our view on the Bel Cibo Balcony looking down onto Macrossan street

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Crater Lakes National Park

Since we have become retirees, our weeks seem to blend from one to the other.  Not that it is a bad thing but Philip will often ask me what day of the week it is.  I usually know, but if he were to ask me the date I would have to go and look it up on the calendar.  One thing that we have to do more often is treat our weekends more like week days, and by that I mean a work day, and treat mid-week, for example Tuesday and Wednesday like a weekend.  A good example was today......Sunday.  We had talked earlier in the week about taking the kayak to Lake Eucham. We rose bright eyed and bushy tailed after an early night and made the hour long journey to Yungaburra and then on to Lake Eucham.
It is a lovely place and perfect for a picnic lunch.  We should have not been surprised that at least fifty other people thought the same thing!  It is a smallish picnic area and it was packed.  If we had come here in the middle of the week we would have probably had the lake to ourselves. We will try to remember this for next time.

Paddling our way around the circumference of the crater lake was pure bliss.  Our orange kayak and colourful life jackets had a Ulysses Butterfly hovering around us for quite awhile but still too fast for me to pull out the camera and take a photo.  There were hundreds of other varieties of butterflies also fluttering around and lots of birdlife.  We spotted a little turtle in the extremely clear blue waters of the lake and lots of little fish.  We paddled in and out of places hidden by reeds and marvelled at the lush rainforest that surrounded the lake.

Giant trees soured above us and we had to be careful of the ones partially submerged in the, thankfully, crystal clear waters.

This submerged log was about 4 metres underwater.  The water is crystal clear..

Lake Eucham and the more commercialised Lake Barrine are part of the Crater Lakes National Park.  Lake Eucham is a volcanic crater formed by massive explosions from the superheating of groundwater.  The crater has filled with water forming a lake 65m deep!
We paddled for over an hour before making our way back to the picnic area where we had a snack of empanadas and fruit salad.
I thought I would be clever and add frozen berries to my fruit salad.  Little did I realise that the fruit salad would turn pink! Didn't affect the taste thankfully!

We didn't stay very long....you know....the crowd!  So it was a quick pack up and back to Yungaburra to enjoy Coffee and Custard filled Canoli at the Whistlestop Cafe.  It was very delicious and decadent.

We were home by 1.30 pm and glad because the sky has really closed in and we are getting intermittent showers that, looking at the radar, are also right across the Tablelands. It is a good time to curl up on the lounge with the weekend paper!

Monday, 13 March 2017

A Family Affair

Months ago my two younger sisters and I planned a trip for them to come and visit us.  My youngest sister had not seen our new home that has been built for 10 years and my middle sister had not visited for about 5 years so it was certainly time for a visit!  The date was set and flights were booked.  Neither of my sisters can be away from home for long so it was going to be a four day break.  It was not long so I had to plan carefully.  Both of my sisters work in high paced environments so it was important that they also had some rest.  So, with that in mind I decided that we would spend the first couple of days at home and then on Friday I booked us into Sea Temple at Port Douglas and dinner in the evening at 2Fish Restaurant.  Breakfast on Saturday morning would be at Lure Restaurant on the Marina at Port Douglas and then on to Cairns to board their flight for home.  It was perfect.
It was lovely to spend time with them and what a talk-fest!!  The time flew and I did sleep for 10 hours after they left 😴 but what a great time we had together.  I loaded them up with as much fruit and vegetable that they could fit within their 20kg baggage allowance and copies of recipes that were my favourite tried and tested.  We will all be seeing each other again at the end of April when I will travel down to Toowoomba for mum's 80th birthday.  Can't wait.

Dinner at 2Fish Restaurant

Kathy and Philip chose the Duck for main

Robyn chose the barramundi
I chose the Coral Trout
A walk along the beach (??) next morning - forgot about the king tide

This is where our beach walk ended.  No crossing here!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Rock Stars

It was announced last week that Cairns would be hosting two huge events this year.  Midnight Oil will be re-uniting and kicking off their Australian tour at Kuranda where they started their musical journey and the even bigger news that Sir Elton John will be performing in Cairns!  What a huge feather in the cap for North Queensland!  It seems like Queensland is the place to tour with Adele playing two concerts in Brisbane this weekend (Adele, if you're reading this how about coming to North Queensland too!).
On Thursday night we went along to Suzi Quatro's Leather Forever  concert at the Entertainment Centre in Cairns.  What a legend this woman is and she proves that age is just a number.  Her voice is just as strong as ever and she certainly worked the audience.  No one stayed in their seats (except maybe, my husbandπŸ˜—) as we danced to "48 crash", "can the can" and "devil gate drive" to name just a few.  Suzi started her show with her new band - QSP - Suzi Quatro,  Andy Scott (The Sweet) , Don Powell (Slade).  They played a rendition of Bob Dylan's "Just like a woman" and Status Quo "Price of Love" that were just fabulous.  I am going to download this album!
Dr. Suzi Quatro, at age 66, is a legend and I love her quote:

 "I will retire when I go onstage, wiggle my ass, and there is silence".

Before the show we had dinner at Mondo's.  It is one of my favourite places to eat with its laid back relaxed atmosphere right on the waterfront at Trinity Inlet.  Philip settled on Caesar Salad with Calamari and I ordered the Roasted Tomato and Feta Tart and of course we can never sit down to a meal without "fries-on-the-side"!  So very delicious.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Tandem Kayaking

The tandem kayak that we purchased for a joint Christmas present has not been used all that much.  Not because we haven't wanted to, but because it has been so wet and rainy and not the sort of weather you want to be sitting in.
Someone asked me how much rain we have had this year and even we were surprised that to date we have had over a metre of rain.  That is 1040 mm or almost 42 inches on the old scale.  It has been very wet and I just wish that we could send it south to the ones - including our son - who need it the most.
But, getting back to the kayak, last weekend was sunny and warm so we packed up the cruiser and headed over to Tinaroo Falls Dam for a paddle.  I had printed out the National Parks map of Danbulla National Park that encompasses Tinaroo.  There are numerous campsites that are very well maintained with clean toilets, mowed grassed campsites, and more than a hundred fire pits have recently been placed strategically around the campsites.  We drove into each one of the campsites but because the dam level is still quite low we were limited to just a few to launch our kayak.  We chose "School Point" campground to unpack the kayak.  Five minutes out of the car and we were regretting our choice as the march flies attacked us.  Gosh I hate them.  They sit so quietly on the hardest part of your body to reach and than bam!  They've got you!  And of course we forgot to pack the Aeroguard didn't we. πŸ˜’πŸ˜’
It didn't take long to inflate the kayak and to push off.....thankfully leaving the march flies behind.  As I mentioned, the water level is quite low and we had to manoeuvre our way cautiously between the exposed tree stumps and also to keep our eye open for the semi-submerged.  These are the ones that can cause a lot of damage to an inflatable kayak.

We paddled close to the waters edge because that is where you get to see the incredible wildlife.  Many, many birds hide amongst the reeds along the waters edge and it is quite challenging to get a photo because they move so fast when they are disturbed.

We paddled for about an hour and stopped at Fong-On Bay camping area for a toilet stop and to check it out for a future camping spot.  It is lovely here and just a gentle slope to the waters edge.  We will bring the camper for a few days next time.  I love getting sunrise/sunset photos and you really need to camp to get those shots.

Tinaroo Falls Dam is about an hour and half drive from our home and then it takes about another hour and a half to circumnavigate the waterway.  We launched the kayak at 8am and by 10.30am we were back in the car.  We stopped at "The Chimneys" picnic area for brunch and once again we were attacked by the "Marchies" so it was a quick stop!  The two chimneys at the picnic area are all that remain of a soldier settler house built in the early 1920's.  The chimneys are each 7m high and built of red clay brick.  You can still see securing points for what was once a mantlepiece.  It was very interesting.

Back on the road and it was a short distance to the Gillies Highway where we turned right to head towards Yungaburra but decided to turn-off before we reached there because I really wanted to get some cheese and chocolates from Gallo's Dairy at Malanda.  This is always worth the stop.  We purchased many varieties of cheese including blue, feta, peppered cheddar, camembert, and the rainforest variety.  Of course you can't leave without a bag of the rocky road and almond clusters that we devoured before we arrived home.
It was a lovely day and we have promised that we are going to try to get the kayak in the water at least once a month. πŸ’¨πŸ’¨ Watch this space!