??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


BIG Heatwave

img_3307The BIG heatwave that crossed other parts of NSW also hit here at Port Macquarie. First we knew of it, was leaving our room to walk the hotel cafe at 9am, for breakfast – we melted in the 10 metre walk. After breakfast, we thought a BIG sea breeze might be found at the beach, so headed there. The first beach was awash with seaweed so we moved on.


Lucky for us we got a great parking spot at the next beach. The early birds had caught their worm (or wave) and were leaving as we arrived. Brian went for a BIG swim but I tested the water temp and decided it wasn’t warm enough for me.


  BIG crowd


BIG Bluebottle swarm

BIG Bluebottle swarm

I  also saw bluebottles on the waterline and took this as a warning to find shelter away from the sand, in the shade. Shade however was at a premium,with tall pine trees giving sparse deep shade.
An hour later we headed in search of ice cold Coke and drank this in our (air conditioned to 22C) hotel room fighting with incredibly poor wifi 😥





In the afternoon, with the temperature still soaring, we headed to some breweries. On arrival at the Little Brewing Company we saw one of the ‘Hello Koalas’ that are spread around Port Macquarie. Hello Koalas is a Sculpture Trail of 56 painted koalas. They are definitely worth a drive around following the map here. Brian with his BIG thirst, had a 4 taste adventure and, of course, we left after purchasing some products.


Driving on we moved on to the  Black Duck Brewery, with Brian enjoying another taste sample. I liked this too, not for the beer, but a lime soft drink and dukkah with oil and bread platter. Yes, Brian bought some of his favourites here too! bdbbDinner was at Hogs Breath. We had a table outside enjoying the soft breeze. But… BIG gusts came, threatening to knock the large umbrellas over, so we were moved into the veranda.

We had a BIG ( actually enormous) dinner then raced home buffed by wind gusts beating at our backs. Great day for me to choose to wear my circular skirted dress 🙂


Ways to enjoy a swimming pool and ensure others do too (?) !!

I decided although I like to wear the newest style clothing and hair, keep up to date with music and can tell you the latest Kardashian gossip with the best of them, there is still a hidden ‘old’ gene that surfaces every now and then. I think it was surfacing big time when I was sitting poolside at a resort and while I wrote this. 🙂

1. If mum is sitting on the pool edge in her pretty bikini, well styled hair and make up, don’t jump in the water there. Instead walk the 10 paces to the stranger who is also sitting poolside, also has perfect make up and hair and is enjoying her quiet time. Jump right in there, creating a splash that won’t splash far enough to wet your mum.
2. Signs don’t apply to men. Don’t let the ‘No Diving ‘sign take away your fun. To maximise your fun, ignore those empty spots poolside when choosing your spot to execute your dive. Choose less than 30 cms from the lady sitting quietly poolside relishing in the peaceful water gently lapping over her feet. Select the lady who is enjoying the fact that she no longer has to do the ‘watch the kids safety’. Step as close as you can, bomb into the water. If you really want it do it well stand up after the dive ( yes the water is only shallow) then do your most splashiest duck dive. Very impressive.
3. Children need to practise their swimming strokes every opportunity. You have invested many dollars in those lessons and where better to practise the fast feet kicking. The best method is to do it pushing out from the beach area of the pool. More often that not the beach swim out is only used by one or two people. They are sitting there using the area as it is designed, to sit in the water without disturbing others and enjoying the sun’s rays dancing on the soft water lapping around them. Sit back on your deck chair and bellow ( oops use soft tones) at your children, “Do It again!” “Go back to the edge and kick harder this time!” This will buy you time without the kids . Those sitting close by will enjoy watching your children have fun and listening to your exquisite instructions, not to mention being covered in water splash. Another suitable venue for this activity is near the swim up bar as well. All those drinks being carried away can be made more tasty with a good splash of chlorinated swimming water.
4. The lady staring out at the water , saying nothing, enjoying the vision of palm trees swaying , music of a solo guitar player singing ‘her’ music,is just waiting for you to bring your baby over to splash right up close, and not to mention you engaging in loud cute baby talk and yes, splashing. Nothing cuter than someone else’s baby in a baby float that keeps floating to her and knocking her legs. What fun would the empty area of the pool be for this activity? No , close range to another is the preferable place.


5. Don’t just bring a float to the pool. Bring a huge ( decent size) float then ride it close to others floating in the water. Up close those floats look even more impressive as they glide past a face , pushing glasses from the face of the plastic float free person. Don’t bother with a verbal apology, no, respond with a simple splash wave as enjoy your hands help you paddle on.
6. Bring a decent size ball ( talking regular football size of course!) to the pool. Stand the person who is least likely to catch the ball near the person who is standing and / or floating in the pool carefree. Purposely ignore the empty expanses in the pool. Have the strongest tosser hurl that ball so it skims the water creating a perfect splash – yes in the face of unsuspecting swimmers. This can only be topped in greatness if the player who didn’t catch the ball does some hectic water thrashing to reach the ball.
Most of all, always have your interactive pool fun as far away as possible from the empty parts of the pool…and your mum. Choose an unsuspecting stranger instead. 🙂

Have you any other examples of where others involve you in their fun at the pool ?


A Thing of Beauty

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

      Its loveliness increases,

        It will never

     Pass into nothingness.

                John Keats

He surely wrote this with Hamilton Island in mind. I have seen the island in all seasons, each with its own beauty. The sky is a lighter blue in winter but temperatures hover mid 20C , the springtime breezes caress the palm fronds, afternoon  storms are more spectacular in summer and in autumn hardly any rain seems to fall  and the skies are crisp blue. But enough words , for this post is supposed to be a wordless . But I just couldn’t resist adding a few ‘brushstrokes ‘with ‘word paint’.

Make sure you click on the image to see the beauty in greater splendor.



Anniversary Celebration

Today my husband and I travelled to Melbourne for a short break. Each year we try to get  away to celebrate our wedding  anniversary. This year it’s our 26th.  We are lucky now cause our adult children are home minding the pets , organising bins and mail – no longer do we have to organise neighbours to help  out.
We are staying at  Stamford Plaza and had booked a nice room. On arrival reception asked if we were here for any special occasion. I told him about our anniversary. With a click of the keyboard we were no longer in a queen room but a King suite. I was impressed to get the upgrade. We had just been in the room less than 5 minutes when there was a tap on the door.  An employee was there with a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolates and a little note of congratulations. This mightn’t be a big deal to the hotel but it was a really appreciated touch by us ….and a great PR advertisement.
The lift here is glass and flies fast, reminiscent of the Willy Wonka glass elevator. As you zoom up you pass paintings of clouds and a sculptured bird. Then the walk to the room is an aisle with a bannister that looks down to the ground ( if you look over the edge ) . Did I tell you I have a real fear of heights? I tend to clamber to the wall as w walk to our room – luckily it’s on ly a few rooms along  from the lift!!
With a few hours left of the afternoon and not having eaten since early in the morning we caught a tam o Acland Street in St Kilda to enjoy a fish and hips lunch. We were going to walk down to the water but the strong winds hipped t our faces and veiled my face with my bar, so we bought cakes for back at the hotel . we used our free time on the trams ( maximum of $7 a day then its free) to head to Docklands, but ll the bars were clsed or out of business.  By then it was around 7pm , freezing winds whipped at us so w came back to the hotel. Time now for coffee and cakes in our suite 🙂 then some champagne and chocolates.

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My Muses of Melbourne

Today we left Melbourne, bound for home. Days disappear too fast on holidays – so much to do and see-always something new to experience .

Muse One- A plastic container means you can have your cake and eat it too

Le Bon (cake shop of Acland Street, St Kilda fame ) slices travel well as hand luggage on a plane. Tonight the boys who were left behind on the girl’s trip are munching on peppermint, caramel and chocolate slices . Next time I will know I can pack more :))

Muse Two – Ignorance is bliss!

Poker machines have no rhyme nor reason. We each donated to the casino the price of a Tuesday movie ticket. Our machine, despite ringing loudly and having a little smiley emoticon banging a gong many times, paid out about $2 which we re-donated (if there is such a word). It wasn’t til we had fed our notes in that we realised the machine had no instructions about winning combos, least none we could see. Others nearby had similar machines and seemed to be cursing when they missed combinations that were not wins. Least we never experienced that disappointment as we never had any inclination of what was a winner combination.

Muse Three –
Either check your boarding gate well prior to departure or don’t wear a swing style skirt

Unfortunately our flight departed from gate 28, a tarmac entry by stairs…..in this day and age why so archaic?? Steps are never my friend. Not only did I have to carry my **ahem 10kg ** luggage bag and handbag (somewhat laden as well ) up but I had to cope with stairs you can see through ( accenting height, something I find a little disturbing) . In my hand I had my boarding pass. All was going well, I was calm moving up the stairs, the travel was slow meaning I had longer to ‘enjoy’ the slight movement of the stairs in the light wind gusts. Then, I felt the wind whirl around my skirt. Now I had one hand on the rail gripping tightly with fear, one hand holding my skirt down and the entry line begins moving again…which hand to remove from its job was my dilemma . Skirt , safety, leave bag behind on step hoping someone would drag it up cause its in their way ( least likely lol) . Choosing wisely (safety and baggage) I gusted onto the top landing of the stairway…able to hold skirt now with no railing support at this stage. I stumbled onto the plane not wanting to have to stand outside any moment longer than I had to and was greeted by the crew member telling me he couldn’t read my seat number cause I was holding my pass the wrong …all said with smile of course 🙂

Muse Four – A late queue joiner and her under seat leg room are soon parted

Those that look silly lining up to board a plane the moment it is announced to do so are maybe not so silly. They are the ones that have their huge luggage in the overhead lockers and leg space for the journey. Today we adopted the ‘If you can’t beat them join them!’ and enjoyed luggage free leg room.

Back home, now it’s time to unpack my shopping souvenirs .


Melbourne…city of shops and cafes

This morning I had the opportunity to experience the long commute many make to the city daily. Up early as the stars twinkled against a dark sky. A hint of navy hued against the black as the sun tried to press it’s rays out through the cloud hiding the horizon.

The roads were virtually car free but arriving at the station drones were marching in step to the station. I have to wonder where and how they appeared here almost as if rising from the ground like the busy ants they imitated.

We had a strangely easy trip all the way, so unusual for us us. There is usually some funny twist…well there was a little one in the evening involving a taxi ride, but more about that later, don’t hold your breathe though cause it wasn’t that crazy 🙂

We grabbed breakfast at the airport, taking it to our boarding gate as it was 8:25 and we were due to board at 8:55 for our 9:25 flight. The flight in was a little late so we boarded and departed a little late . As always once the boarding is announced everyone obediently joins the long slow line despite them knowing they have a seat waiting for them. Ally and I on the other hand waited in our seats. As Ally pointed out to me though, if no one joins the line we would never board.. But that didn’t convince us to join until it was almost done though 🙂 We heard a man on his phone relate a similar thought about the queue . We also thought as we had an aisle and middle seat this would give his person time to get to their window seat to save us having them climb over us.
We found on boarding that a lot of people have a poor ability in measuring the size of carry on luggage. The overhead lockers were full, with some bags carrying a little ( that’s being kind haha ) more than they should. We had to store our “somewhat empty in preparation for shopping bags ” under the seat. Only a few people were behind us as we entered and of course our window seat was still empty haha….the man who waited til sat was of course the owner so we did have to move out of our seats to let him in and we helped him store his luggage too under his seat haha

On arrival in Melbourne once again the mad bun rush occurred as people struggled to remove their squashed in , heavy luggage. One piece …a suitcase, no other word for it … Was tugged forcefully out of its crammed spot almost falling on Ally’s head….so lucky. Got me wondering though where An airline would stand were someone hurt as a passenger got their luggage out of the overhead storage. It’s such a mad rush to escape it really is an accident waiting to happen, especially in this day of sue mentality.

Surprisingly our hotel was ready at 12:30 pm when we arrived so we dropped our luggage and headed to Harbourtown. Starving we found a coffee club for lunch and then headed our own ways to check out the shops.

In the evening we caught a taxi to Lygon Street for dinner. We had to think “Who’s the tourist” when the taxi driver asked us if it was near the airport. Explained where it was , luckily then he turned on his GPS. The meal was tasty and Ally and I enjoyed the people watching. It’s always fun bringing other people ‘alive’ with the lives we give them 🙂

Time to rest ready for a busy day tomorrow.