Monday, August 24, 2009

Off to Australia we Go!

27 July 2009

Our MAS flight was at 935am and to our horror, when we checked in at the counter, we realised we hadn't applied for VISAs to enter Oz. OMG. I had previously asked Alan who had studied for a year in Western Australia and he confidently mentioned "no need". So, of course I had trusted him - even though silly me had been to Oz 7 or 8 times before this time.

We rushed to get the VISAs done ASAP and thankfully they were approved. After our Mac D breakfast, we boarded the plane and enjoyed the comforts of a non-budget air flight. Interestingly, the MAS flights were going for a steal - they were even cheaper than Airasia's flights to Perth!! Mamamia!

We touched down in the minute Perth International Airport at around 3pm and proceeded to the budget-rent-a-car to collect our little vehicle. 20minutes later, we were at Hay Street Comfort Inn (we got there with the aid of the small but mighty GPS). After we had checked in, we walked to the shopping district (it was a LONGGGGGGG walk) and had dinner at Baby Dazzle.

I tried Kangaroo (heaven forbid) medallions which were lip-smacking good and my laogong had his first of many beef steaks in Australia on this trip. Then bought some fruits / water / biscuits to last us for our drive the next day. We had fun at the check-out counter. It's so advanced. Customers can check out their items (and even weigh and price tag) at one of the many cashing machines. Very fun!

28 July 2009

After our cold breakfast at the hotel, we checked out at around 10am and drove 2+hours to Busselton Jetty. It wasn't as pretty as I had remembered so we just took a few pictures and then proceeded to fill our bellies at Samovar Restaurant in town. My Chicken and Bacon Carbonara was to die for and I finished almost all on my plate! Alan had (no prizes for guessing), a Beef Steak sandwich.

We proceeded to drive to Margaret River next but along the way, chanced upon our cottage (Yelverton Brook Eco Sanctuary and Spa - What a mouthful) along the way at Ray Road. The owners were a trusting couple (simon and joy) who had left the keys hanging on our cottage door.

Almost immediately, we were greeted by a whole troupe of friendly kangaroos who hopped to our doorstep enthusiastically. They were even more enthusiastic when Alan whipped out our bunch of bananas and fed them one. haahah. Very cute. It's pretty weird though that after each of them had some fresh banana, they all took turns to look as though they were puking. But the interesting to note is that they all tilted their heads back whilst doing that and so they kinda looked like they were swallowing their own vomit...eeeeeeeeeeee

We unloaded our stuff / luggage in the cottage and then left for Margaret River another 20+km (!) away to pick up some groceries at River Fresh a big supermarket. We bought A$104 worth of meats / milk / dried foodstuff etc to last us for the duration we would be in Margaret River. (If one meal outside is around A$40+, we could save alot like that!)

Then, we headed back to the cottage to whip up a storm in the kitchen - Dinner was Lambchops, vegetable and beef cube soup and bread. The wildlife, kangaroos/ WOylies/ Bandicoots all came to join us in feasting a while later... We witnessed a damn funny sight - The cute little furry Woylie, in an attempt to scare away the Bandicoot which was snatching his scraps, stood on his two hind legs and stretched out its front paws (not unlike Kungfu Panda) and produced a 'fierce' hissing sound. ahahhaha. It was HILARIOUS! :P

29 July 2009

We woke up around 930 because of an irritating bird's calls. After playing with the Roos and feeding the parrots, we leisurely cooked our brunch of sausages and eggs.

Leaving the cottage at 115pm, we drove to Vasse Felix to pick up two bottles of Cab Sauv. *sigh* ALan tasted the wine until his breath reeked and all I could do was inhale... BooHoo.

The Margaret River Chocolate Company was our next stop and we had the renowned Simmo's icecream there. YumZ. After that, we drove to Cowarumup to shop at Candy Cow and Moon Haven soaps/ lotions and potions. We picked up quite a couple of bars of soap and then hopped over the the grocery store across the road to purchase a lone lemon.

Back to the cottage we headed to cook a delicious dinner. The salmon was baked and the beef steak pan-fried and we had the remainders of the vegetable soup from our previous dinner.

Entertainment was the DVD First Knight and also the wildlife which included a Bushtail Possum and Woylie fighting over Kangaroo pellets left out for them in the plate on our lawn.

30 July 2009

We woke up at 10am and had a light breakfast of yogurt and bread and then headed to Margaret River town to do some shopping. We picked up some vases for a steal and 4 postcards and a MR magnet to commemorate our tour at the shop Memories.

Our next stop was The Berry Farm and we enjoyed a late lunch there with the birds. I had their famous Beef and Red Wine pie and Alan had (you guessed it) his Beef Steak AGAIN! After pumping petrol, we headed to Cape Lavender and had almost given up locating it when we finally spotted it along Ulu Pandan Road (no no I'm joking).

The restaurant was closing and we could not enjoy a hot choco amist the beautiful flowers but both Alan and I realisedthat the Lavender farm and store we loved so much was not to be found in MR but in Pemberton! :P

It was then again time to head back to the cottage to cook dinner and relax....

31 July 2009

After checking out sadly of Yelverton ( and chatting with the friendly Simon and Joy), we drove to Leuwin Wine Estate and my alcoholic husband picked out 2 more bottles of Cab Sauv - one for the boss this time!

We wanted to fish for our lunch at Marron Fish Farm but they only sold frozen fish! So we headed to our next destination - Redgate Beach Escape. It did not disappoint. The chalet was a very lovely and spacious and modern one complete with all the necessary ammenities. It was great that we could check in early at 1pm.

Sea Garden Cafe, a short drive away fed us well. Alan had a beer battered snapper and chips and I had the Box Fish Burger and a vanilla milkshake. After the meal, we went to a 'scenic drive' but found ourselves in the middle of nowhere in the woods. Discovering nothing scenic after driving for around 20mins , we headed out and visited the Boranup Art Gallery where we bought our best buy of the trip - the painting "Flowering" by a NSW artists. It now is framed and hung on the brown wall in our dining room. :)

The sun was setting and we hurried back to Redgate beach to enjoy the sunset. Then we headed to Witchliffe to pick up some milk at Gull, a petrol station cum grocery store. The cafe we had wanted to eat dinner at was closed and so it was Sea Garden again for the pork chops Alan was craving for. Unfortunately, my tandori chicken pizza left much more to be desired and I had two pieces before giving up.

That night, Alan took pics of the moon in a cloudless sky and then we watched Mamamia on DVD and played Upwords. hahahaa. I won! YaY

1 August 2009

Our breakfast was made up of leftover pizza and milk and then we checked outta Redgate Beach Escape after chatting with Roger Budd, the owner at 1030am.

Again, we drove to MR Chocolate Company to pick up more chocolates for souvenirs and then headed to Fremantle for our next pit-stop.

We checked in at Esplanade Hotel Fremantle at around 230pm and then drove to the nearby E-Shed markets to have lunch and do some light shopping. Whilst we were tucking into our Chinese fried rice and veges, Alan suddenly asked me a horrifying question," Where's our painting?" We did not remember putting it in our hotel room !! OMG

He dropped his fork and zoomed back (luckily the hotel was nearby) to the esplanade and found "Flowering" still resting against the wall of the hotel lobby car porch. THANK GOD. I dread to think what would have happened if it were gone...(btw, if this happened in Malaysia, it would have been gone in NO TIME)!

After finding E-Shed damn super boring, we went over to the Fremantle Market to relive our memories.... and to buy some fruits from a friendly Chinese lady who babbled to me in fluent Cantonese...

We then went to Joe's Fish Shack for a big bowl of mussels each with sufficed for our dinner. :)

2 August 2009

Our breakfast was crepe rolls at the market. Mine was ham/ cheese/ pineapple and ALan's was beef creole. Then we did some shopping, buying bommerangs (one for Alan and one for Hayden our godson) and handcreams... We also left the market after a while to shop around town. We popped into two shops specialising in wood stuff and bought the salt / pepper shaker and two bowls to place as ornaments on our tables / counters in the new house. :) Alan also pestered for me to buy a set of jarrah wood coasters. and Finally I gave in :P

After our fruitful shopping expedition, we put our purchases in the car and walked to the wharves for dinner. It was Big Joe's Shack again and I had a Fisherman's Platter for One and Alan repeated his order of chilli mussels - only this time it was the main instead of the entree. hahaha.

Then, we made sure we loaded EVERYTHING (including the painting) into the car and drove 1+hr away to Perth CBD where we checked into Comfort Inn again.

3 August 2009

We woke up at 830am and had breakfast downstairs after our shower.

Today was designated SHOPPING DAY and we then drove to the nearby Harbour Town Budget Outlet Mall to help the AUstralian economy out of recession. We bought our son lots of clothes from Pumpkin Patch, Kids Warehouse etc. Ethan even has a new pair of Osh KoshbiGosh sneakers!!! Alan bought himself a pair of Billabong berms and a $109 luggage bag to stuff our belongings - the 1 big and 1 small suitcase we had brought with us from KL would definitely not suffice! We bought some house decor also, from another shop.

Lunch was at Noodle Inn and my tomyum noodles was a tasty treat from the meats and breads I had been eating over the past week. Alan's char siew noodles did not satisfy though. We topped our meal up with Gelare icecream bought at a discount (because we had tourist coupons). :D

After shopping somemore, I had an orange juice and Alan had his usual latte at Gloria Jeans and then we drove to the nearby Murray St and shopped at Myers. Alan saw another luggage bag - this time from his favourite brand Crumpler (costing A$300+) and dragged me all the way to the other end of the street to buy it - as the Myer Crumpler had no stock.

Then, we drove to Kings Park and Alan reminised about his days in his uni..

Dinner was great Italian food at CafeItalia near our hotel. We both had linguine to die for - mine was with clams and white wine and Alan's was with seafood. Then we went back to watch "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" in the hotel. ahahha

4 August 2009

We awoke at around 830 and went downstairs for our last breakfast in Oz. We checked outta the hotel at 11am and walked to Hay St for some last minute shopping. I bought scrapbook materials from the $2 shop and then we went into Target where I bought a scrapbook for Ethan's journal and Alan bought more Wii games (Raving Rabbits) and Blue Ray discs (Iron Man etc).

We walked back to the hotel quickly and then left to pump petrol and head to the airport. We caught the 4+pm flight back by MAS again and then arrived in KLIA sadly at around 8+pm.

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