I bet you thought all of my “saying goodbye to Perth” posts were done, huh? I promise this is the final one. Remember when my wonderful friends threw this lovely going away picnic? In addition the hugs, kind words, aussie animal mini-quilt, South Perth foreshore picture and globe of WA sand I also received this wearable memory keeper.
Coordinates Collection makes jewelry with the coordinates of a place particular of significance. Of course my necklace has the coordinates of Perth to reminder me of beach days, lunches with a view, girls weekends, secret selfies, sightseeing, sunny winters, sunnier summers, sailing the swan, hiking the hills, making new friends and enjoying such a magical place. Seeing that the move and various travels had us a bit discombobulated I had the necklace shipped to my parent’s house and I just now was able to see it. I love being able to carry all of these beautiful memories with me. Thanks again ladies for the precious gift.
Even the box is cute
My home’s coordinates
In case I forget where it was
Lovely finishing touches
Excited to accessorize
Remember the aussie animal mini quilt?
Enjoying the South Perth Foreshore and WA Sand in my new home in Vietnam
Each year the signs of Autumn come barrelling in – it usually starts with Pinterest boards of home fall decorations and crafts, boot wish-lists and sweater/ scarf combinations with distressed leather bags, then the Facebook posts of first sightings of pumpkin spiced flavoured everything and finally the barrage of pics at the pumpkin patch. Adorable kids and families all impeccably dressed in coordinating fall tones prescribed by Pantone – like radiant orchad, cypress, cognac, aurora red and mauve mist, pyramids of pumpkins being climbed on and mugs of warm cider.
This would all be fine and dandy if I weren’t watching from afar, and by afar I mean from a completely different season. In Perth were in the midst of Spring (a beautiful Spring mind you, temps in the mid 70s, many lovely lunches at the beach and allergies going completely haywire). To combat the effects of America’s most loved time of year I went to a patch as well – but the strawberry patch. See while y’all are trying to lug giant pumpkins around, carving them up and saying you’ll roast the pumpkin seeds later (which come on, we all know that’s not going to happen) it is prime strawberry season here. My friend Tori and I (with kids en towe) drove to a pick your own strawberry farm. (side note: what a great idea, labor costs here in WA are insane and here they have insane carloads of people paying to pick them ourselves, it’s the Field of Dreams of strawberries!).
For only $10 you get a giant cardboard tray and pick until you can’t pick anymore (or carry anymore – those things get heavy!). I didn’t quite realize the quantity of the literal fruits of my labor until I started working through them. After lots of washing and cutting I ended up with 5 containers of freezer jam, two strawberry pies, a Tupperware That’s a Bowl size of berries for snacking, and multiple bags of frozen berries for future use. All in it was well over 20 cups of hulled strawberries.
Just as I was getting over the absence of Autumn a packaged arrived from my mom and my Kristin which included tasty fall oriented US treats. So I sat down and enjoyed a nice piece of strawberry pie alongside s’mores flavored candy corn (and candy corn flavored M&Ms and candy corn flavored candy corn).
This is a strawberry pie
The literal fruits of my labor
We forgot to get a picture of Tori and I so I did my selfie best
Goodies from ‘Merica
Did I mention I got stinging neddle?
Tori and the boys
My helpers – although they had a hard time staying upright
We’ve been going non-stop lately with Robbo’s racking up the frequent flyer miles and with having out of town guests (which I’ll write more about later!). Saturday arrived and we found ourselves having a bit of downtime so we took full advantage of the bright shiny thing in the sky that had been hidden by rain recently and went on a hike.
Since I was preparing the hike details it was a morning scramble to locate maps, details and directions but we eventually made it to the Kitty Gorge walk in Serpentine Falls. The hike is 14km return trip and once we finally figured out how to read the map it was only about 17kms. It really was a gorgeous hike taking in the flora, waterfalls and other hikers taking selfies.
The Serpentine Falls themselves were a nice treat and I was able to feed a young Irish boy pretending to be a kangaroo some of my Honey Soy Chicken chips. He also wanted some of my lollies but by then his horrified mother realized he was begging food from a stranger and summoned her children away for a picnic. ( I should add that I was happy to share my food with him because it’s not every day you come across an Irish roo).
We made it back to our car about 5 hours after we started and then hobbled around for the rest of the evening remembering that hiking hurts more than just regular running. All in all it was a perfect Perth day.
I kept pulling this map picture up many, many times on the hike
No four leafers
I’ve always enjoyed baking (which is good as I’ve always enjoyed eating). Now my concoctions would never quite make it to the Great British Bake Off but they wouldn’t make it to to the Buzz Feed baking fails either … I definitely fall into the category of “tastes better than it looks”. I decided to start down a path that would rectify this situation – I signed up for a baking class.
A friend had recommended Sweet Artist Academy after taking their European Breads class. I perused their portfolio and realised that I want to enroll in every single class. But alas if I did that right away I’d have a dirty house, a pile-up of laundry and a gain of about 25 pounds. I selected the very appealing Choux Pastry class.
In the words of my 6 year old nephew when he’s talking about the Residence Inn – It. Was. Awesome. I was nervous going into the full day course and was really impressed how it went. Patrick, the owner and pastry chef extriordonaire, did such an amazing job – and trust me, I’m a hard person to teach (as I get easily distracted, don’t follow directions well and am usually too busy talking). We made eclairs, profiteroles, swans and multiple toppings and fillings. At the end of the day I got to bring home about three boxes of pastry treats. Then we had to find a way to eat it all … we managed but it was hard work. The good news is that I have been able to replicate what I learned at home (although it was a bit awkward when I rocked up to a casual BBQ with a croquenbouche en towe …).
Let’s go to a BBQ!
Eat it up!
A few weeks ago some gal pals and I went on a much needed girls weekend. My husband was confused on why I needed a get away considering we had just been in America for the two weeks prior to my trip, but as usual he just doesn’t understand how hard it is to be me. Rather than have me go into detail of this hardship he quickly acquiesced.
The nine of us planned a weekend to the Margaret River region, just a few hours South of Perth. Wine lovers, food lovers, surfers, and anyone wanting to “get away” all love the area. I’d write more about it but frankly I’d just be copying from wikkipedia so click here . If this isn’t convincing enough to go there Hugh Jackman called Margaret River the best place he’s ever been to – and if you can’t trust Wolverine or Jean Valjean than who can you trust?
We rented a great holiday home in Yallingup borught a ton of food and proceeded to eat and laugh and eat some more (and laugh). For our full day there we went on a wine tour. Before you get any crazy thoughts, there is a LOT you can do as a water drinker on a wine tour – I managed to eat my weight in olive oils, dukkah, chocolates, yummy winery lunches, bought a bunch of stuff, and took heaps of pictures (and sometimes pictures of others taking pictures, and some on my camera and some on my phone for instagram, and some of my camera with my phone for instagram … there are a lot of pics …). I would talk about all the pretty places we saw but I’ll just show you pictures … The weekend wasn’t full of self indulgence, there was some learning too. We managed to teach our fellow friends what #hashtags are. (and by the way, no, they are not just your inner monologue).
Testing out the tripod in the house
Love it when our driver and tour guide also becomes the photog!
Mmmm, this water is yummy
Wolverine is right!
Denim Jacket Love
We’re like the denim jacket band
Putting the tripod to more good use at the canal rocks
more lovely ladies
Final lunch – still looking pretty
okay, so something funny actually happened at the crab festival, not on the way, but it sounded more lyrical as the play title … a play title in which I was actually in. I have quite the stage experience to be honest, in high school I was in a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. My friend Gina and I were
biblical prostitutes courtesans to be exact at the production at a local all boys boarding school … hey, they needed girls, we fit the bill. We also got to sing and dance. Looking back I can’t believe people had to listen to me sing – let alone pay to hear me sing … and I digress …
Anyway, on this gorgeous Autumn day (read 85 & sunny) we hit up the Crab Festival in Mandurah. In addition to crabs they also had all sorts of motorbiking, skateboarding, and water sports to check out. Amongst all the crabbiness there was an appropriately positioned random kitchen appliance tent. One glance inside I realised that I needed to keep Rob away from this place. I turned around and before I knew it there he was standing with “our” new purchase … *drum roll* … a mini pie maker. Yup, at a crab festival.
Knowing that I’d have to immediately put it to use I started frantically looking for acceptable mini pie recipes. My recipes were quickly set aside once “we” decided that we should make peanut butter, banana, and chocolate pies. I’m not one to ever say no to that combination of flavours so we heated up the pie maker and made us some gooey pies. Let’s just say we have a few bugs to work out and that they taste better than they look … for now …
Death Defying Trickery
The Family Fried Platter – complete with gravy
Heaps of Crab Paella
“we can make mini pies all the time!”
I always opt for the frozen banana
About to go into the pie!
It tastes really ooey gooey good
I always swore that we’d never watch the cricket. Never, ever. Well, it turns out it wasn’t the same never, ever that Taylor Swift uses. Apparently it means give us year or two and we’ll be season ticket holders … We started out small with T20 Big Bash League and learned all of the rules and even bought some shirts. Our season included some amazing games including a real nail biter, playing Elizabeth Hurley’s fiance, and making it to (and subsequently losing) the series final. My absolutely favourite part of it is that I now have a whole new world of puns at my disposal! (Wicket has turned into quite a pun word – and not just the adorbs Ewok). It also turns out that our stadium (the WACA) is internationally known as having the fastest wicket. I learned that from an overly excited Britt who was on the stadium tour with us.
I know you’re all mocking me with this whole cricket thing now but all you Downton Abbey lovers will be singing a different tune since they play a friendly game at the end of season 3 and I actually knew what was going on!
The Perth Scorchers on Fire