Monday, October 27, 2008

The Aussie Chronicles - Day 3 & 4

Saturday, October 25th & Sunday, October 26th

Day 3 I was treated to a massage by my Fav Camp Counselors at the Australian Institute of Holistic Medicine. As a Guest Service Associate at Exhale Spa in the states, and an avid spa lover, I was mentally preparing for bliss. Let's just say this was a little different. Helene was nice, and she tried to get firm in the tight areas across my shoulders, but it wasn't the traditional deep tissue. She tried. The set up wasn't conducive to relaxation being that all guests shared partitioned space in the same room. It was pretty cold too. But the intention was pure and I appreciated the 60 minutes in my own head.

We did a little running around in preparation for the house party Tony & Maurise were hosting on Saturday night. We went to Liquorland pick up drinks and Nando's for lunch. The Portuguese-style flame grilled chicken put Boston Market to shame...and I love my BMarket to pieces. It wasn't too long before I was ready for a nap. The jet lag was still kicking in. By 6p Australian time I'm usually ready for a nap.

Tony gave me a wake up call after a few guests arrived. I was still getting adjusted when the warmness of the awakening American was met with warm smiles and greetings. Tony & Maurise were definitely the "Hosts with the Most." The wine was flowing, the finger foods were being prepared and the conversation was abundant. I met the Dunn's and the Hill's, the Diva and the DJ and Dee from Detroit. There were couples, families with children and singles abundant in the duplex apartment on Lentona Road overlooking the Swan River.

We chatted about everything from urban culture and music to politics and God. It was such a healthy conversation all around. I was especially intrigued with the amount of folk that originated from the states and migrated to Australia...The brothas definitely spoke about the quality of life being different than their American hometowns. Family definitely seemed to be the priority out here and I am all about that. It was interesting to go to house party where the single couple hosted other couples and their kids. It was pretty cool.

We were all saddened to hear about the JHud family tragedy. Definitely a tragic turn of events that begs us all to value every day that we have life. My prayers are with her during this trying time. The mood was lightened when I was surprised with a birthday celebration of cupcakes and the traditional "hip hop hooray" after the birthday song. The cupcakes were courtesy of Maurise's sister Melanie and her man Tom. Damn, NY-Atlanta-Australia birthday celebrations, I am such a blessed girl :) The evening ended well into the wee hours but we had a nice little road trip planned for the early morning...

Day 4 was all about the road trip down south to Margaret River for the wineries. All the times I've visited Cali, I've never been to the wine country, so I was excited about this little trip on the vine. Can't really say I'm a connoisseur either, but I know I like sweet whites, German Riesling is usually my thing...(I lovingly thought about my Boo's affectionate nickname for my sweet tooth while sipping).

Maurise was the driver and Tone was the videographer...and I played my big role as passenger :) The crew hit six wineries and one chocolate factory before 5pm. Here's the list: Woody Nook, Evans & Tate , Laurance, Brookland Valley, Margaret River Chocolate Company, Hay Shed Hill, and Willespie. Evans & Tate caught me with the 2008 Pink Moscato, while Hay Shed Hill caught Tony with the 2008 Late Harvest.

We ate at Laurance which was such a breathtaking site. The Mediterranean Chicken Salad and the Italian Cheese platter was a nice balance to the various wines that whet our palettes throughout the day. We sipped, laughed and took tons of pics.

After all the traveling and wine, by evening we were beat. It was off to Dunsborough a few miles away to retire for the night. The Wyndham Vacation Resort & Spa Asia Pacific was our rest spot for the night. The two bedroom suite complete with a kitchen and washer and dryer was just enough for our restful evening. Tony even got busy in the kitchen cooling chicken, pasta and alfredo sauce with brocolli. Talk about "i-tus."

My room with the balcony view didn't see the light until after I got dressed in the AM. The property was pretty sexy and ultra relaxing. We did a quick stroll before we were on the road again to "The Caves" and Busselton as we headed back north. Even the black lizard we encountered by the pool didnt bother us much. A little scary, but we kept it moving.

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