Final Countdown

Oh dear, it has been a while, but I thought I would finish up with some added Christmas Cheer! So here is the final installment of land cruising, as well as some snippets from Christmas.

So we departed Collie around 1000, and began the big trek north back to Perth. Poor Pete was struggling with his head cold, so I took over driving after our short stop at the coast. We had a lovely lunch break in pretty Fremantle, before getting back into the traffic of the big smoke. Such a difference driving in traffic after our two weeks of pretty much being the only vehicle on the road! We arrived at our hotel near the airport, offloaded the van, then Pete and I returned the van. Full refund of the bond, plus they got some extras from us – mattress topper, fleece blanket, handy step, extra pillows….

A swim in the hotel pool to cool off, a gin and tonic, then dinner in the hotel restaurant. Considering it was far from a fancy hotel, the meal was excellent, and to dads great delight, they had affogato on the menu for desert. Of course we finished with affogato, having finished our last two bottles of wine, before retiring for a delightful nights sleep in an actual bed!

A free airport shuttle in the morning and we arrived at check in to find we had all been upgraded to business class! Joy! Not only did we get to wait in the lounge, but we would have a comfortable flight across to Sydney. It was also a brand new plane, so we got the fancy new business class pods, with endlessly adjustable seats, that even went flat if you wanted. It was a great way to finish the trip, with a bit of luxury. Good old Qantas!

Choppa came to pick us up, and we all headed up to Lindfield for a lovely light prawn salad. Pete and I left mum and dad at Fran and Choppa’s to have a few days break from us and headed home to unpack, and for me to prepare for work the next day. This was a whirlwind lead up to Christmas, with me working a few days, Pete also having some work meetings and trying to fit in a bit of Christmas shopping and present wrapping. We also had the last Friday twilight of the year, which was of course the usual Wine-Dark Sea extravaganza, helped along by the ever-fun and utterly hilarious Sandy-Bob, who became the Elf on a Shelf for the evening! Needless to say, Pete and I did not make it home, and ended up nursing fairly sizeable hangovers on Saturday morning!

Mum and Dad came back to our place on the Saturday and we did some more Christmas shopping together, then on Monday, Christmas Eve, I cooked a turkey and we had a lovely dinner with the four of us, Jaq and Al and Fran and Choppa. On Christmas Day, Pete and I went for an early swim at the beach with Fran, then home for present opening with mum and dad. We all went to the beach and Pete and I took surf boards and had a great fun time, though not many waves were caught!

At 1430, the four of us plus Fran and Choppa headed to Pilu where we had an absolutely amazing Christmas lunch, with a fabulous window seat overlooking Freshie. I can’t remember a more delicious way to celebrate Christmas Day! We eventually dragged ourselves away around 1700, and decided to head to the beach for another swim, with an emergency bottle of wine to ensure we didn’t die of thirst!

Boxing Day was celebrated watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart Race from the water with our dear friends Clare and Paul on Pilgrim. It was love.y to be out on the water on the eat Pilgrim after our travels around WA on the “other” Pilgrim! We spent the afternoon and evening with Clare and Paul and ended what was a lovely day finding a great little eatery in Double Bay, where we dinner together.

The rest of the time was spent variously partying, visiting friends, going to the beach and trying to have a little down time as we roasted in sunshine, lapping it up after the chilly start to the summer. We did have the occasional storm, but usually late in the afternoon or overnight, allowing for plenty of time out in the sunshine. By New Year, we were ready for a rest, but had to head back to Wine-Dark Sea for NYE on the harbour, though this time from our mooring.

We had a wonderful two days, spending NYE swimming and relaxing until the storms hit, then we just ate and drank until fireworks time! Simon had brought his boat and friends to raft alongside us, and was awesome in taking us all out to see the midnight fireworks so we got the full effect of the bridge as well as the barges. We then retired back the WDS to saubrage multiple bottles of champagne to welcome in 2019.

Happy New Year to anyone reading this and may your 2019 be all that you wish for!

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