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Tag Archives: Ma Dukes and Papa Bear

Just a quick post with a few pics from the gorgeous resort we stayed in at Port Douglas, the Thala Beach Lodge. It was about 15 minutes drive from town, and absolutely stunning – both the hotel itself, and the 150 acre property it sat on.

my mom spotted this mushroom with net growing from it, so cool


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By now, everyone here is familiar with my rainforest obsession, so imagine how excited I was to actually walk in one and see those big old trees in person.

Next to snorkeling, this was the highlight of my trip – we did a two hour walk through the Daintree Rainforest, starting off on a solid walkway near the tree line, and eventually taking a winding path deep into the forest, where it was very dark and did, in fact, rain/drizzle incessantly.

Nick tried to get on my mom's good side by wrapping her camera in his shirt to protect it from rain. She totally bought it...sucker.


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More great barrier reef pics? Well, okay.

Also – not too brag, but this was in the middle of the rainy season. And it rained pretty much every other moment, except for the day we went snorkeling – could that water BE any flatter? It was almost surreal.

Worth noting is the company we went with – Wavelength. Highly recommend them – they made it an amazing experience – super friendly and knowledgable, and only 30 people or so on the boat made it a bit more intimate. AND they photographed everything beautifully – that’s where I’m getting the underwater pics from, can’t take credit for those.

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Last weekend (two weekends ago? I don’t know, time flies when you have a drinking problem) I went with my parents and Nick to the Great Barrier Reef.

It was an amazing time, for several reasons:

1) It is always wonderful to see my parents, especially when they come visit me in Australia. Plus they are expert travelers. They are good planners – and I’m good at being told what to do and where to go, so it works out.

2) Port Douglas is a great little city (city is being generous), with fab restaurants and bars.

3) We stayed at the Thala Beach Lodge, which was stunning.

4) The Great Barrier Reef was everything I had hoped it would be. I’m terrified of snorkeling and I suspected that they doctor up all the reef pics to make it look insane – but no, it is that insane. And it turns out I’m like a pro snorkeler when I have a noodle. Behold:

More pics to come, WordPress messing with me and won’t let me show any more in this post.

SPOILER ALERT. There is one other very big reason I loved our time in Port Douglas, but I’m not going to tell just yet.


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A few months back, Karen, Fuller and I went to a leisurely Sunday afternoon lunch at Garfish in Manly, and we liked it so much that we decided to go back Saturday night and bring my parents too.

Who needs the real life view when it's showing on the plasma overhead?

The verdict? Better as a lunch place. The seafood is beautiful and fresh, but the view and the breeze are just more enjoyable on a sunny afternoon.

Highlights: my Hendricks Pink cocktail (Hendricks gin, maraschino liqueur, apple juice and fresh cucumber… amazing), our highly efficient server – from Florida, no less.

Qualms: The plasma TVs that have a live feed of the horizon on the water. You can get the same view if you look past them… to the OCEAN. Bizarre.

Parking in Manly makes me want to burn down a council building.


Nothing like eating prawns at $12 apiece and then paying $55 FOR PARKING.


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On Friday, the boys went to the Rugby League match while Karen, Fuller, mom and I opted to go out to dinner. We went to Buon Ricardo in Paddington, where Karen had been before but the rest of us hadn’t.

I was totally surprised by how it looked inside – faux orange brick tiles on the floor and heinous floral printed chairs. This dinky little bar plopped in the middle, looking like the kind you’d find in your grandparents basement. The white jacketed waiters standing throughout the dining room looked like they had gotten lost on their way to their real job.

If there was a living room at Buon Ricardo

But it was CHARMING. In a city where bars are renovated every six months and the service and atmosphere often pale in comparison to a restaurant/bar’s design – this was a refreshing change. The service was elegant without being stuffy, the sommelier made wine suggestions that were helpful and reasonable, and the food itself was beautiful and simple.

Karen and Fuller asked the waiter to let the chef choose their entrées, and were rewarded with off menu creations that were delicious. The chef came out several times to lavish some special attention on my mom, and make a fuss over Karen who is about eight months pregnant. It was all really lovely.

Highlights were the duck consommé and the Fuller’s specially made entrée of cantelloni. Overall, wonderful.


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Mom and Dad are here. So excited!

They landed yesterday and we had a nice day lazing about in the sun on the back patio and wandering down to Balmoral Beach.

Was good to see Valentine too, as I don’t get to see him as much as I used to now that I am not living around the corner/showing up for dinner three nights  week/ bothering them for lifts everywhere/showing up at their house to borrow shoes, Foxtel, the contents of their fridge, etc.

I’ve spent so much time obsessing about when my parents arrived that it’s almost strange to actually have them here.

Hoping the next two weeks go by nice and slow so I can absorb it as much as possible.


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I had a record breaking nineteen views to this page in the last two hours… aaaaand they were all accessed via a link I sent to my parents in an email this morning.  So, thanks mom and dad. Also, Nick says thanks for the hat.

There's always next season

Good thing you got the adjustable size.  Schmitthead like whoa.


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