Monday, September 18, 2006

Hunter Valley Weekend

What? No photos of Harriet? *shock* *horror* It's ok, they're a bit further down. But I just wanted to show off that this weekend James and I went on a hot air balloon ride over the Hunter Valley! It was AWESOME! I honestly loved it so much, it was so peaceful being up so high in the sky and there being no hum of machinery and just the occasional blast of propane. It did require a 4.30am wake-up call but given Harriet's sleeping regime the past week that wasn't too difficult to manage. The light was just gorgeous at take off and I took some photos of the other balloons taking off as well.

The bummer about flying in your own balloon is that you can't take photos of it! Oh well, it was just so beautiful. Afterwards we went to a champagne breakfast at The Mill Restaurant and I highly recommend this place if you want to go somewhere lovely when you're Hunter Valley way. The breakfast was delicious and I ate enough for five. We met some lovely people there too, which always makes those things much more enjoyable. They had bought their grandma the ride for her 80th birthday! She was a great woman and James had to lift her out of the basket at the end though.

And just as a little aside, on our way home we saw a little duckling separated from it's family. I ran over to it but just 10cms away from my fingers it slipped down a stormwater grate! We lifted it up and I dropped down into it to try and coax it back but it kept chirping further and further away. I couldn't see it anymore but all you would need is a torch and anet to get it back safely, so we went and phoned WIRES and they were sending someone down. So fingers crossed for the cute duckling everyone! I am pretty sure it would do well since it was so close to the grate.
And this is what we came back to at the grandparents' house! This photo is courtesy of Jan and Mike. Harriet was loving sitting in the laundry basket playing with pegs. Oh yes, spend all the money you want on expensive toys but when it comes down to it, put a baby in a basket, show her some pegs and watch the magic happen. She had apparently been a little confused in the morning about where we had gone off to, but wasn't upset (gee, thanks Hazza!). Of course as soon as she saw me though it was velcro baby for a little while.

The best thing about staying with Nana and Grandpa is that Harriet just LURVES her Nana so much that I get to use two hands for most of the day. It is both amazing and fantastic!


We all went for a drive to Maitland to go to Walka Water Works, where they have some gorgeous gardens for genteel picnic type activities. I felt a ltad cloddish clomping around there in my modern day garb - thought I should be dressed in a pinafore and corset. Harriet however was dressed appropriately in this cute dress we bought from an online store run by a girl on EB. Isn't it cute? We all had lunch and Harriet wouldn't leave Nana alone. I actually got to finish my sandwich in realtively normal time whilst poor Nana was the one left chewing away an hour after we had all finished as she tried to juggle playing with Miss Harriet Dora, her ball, the roll, the drink and miscellaneous flora that Harry decided was fun to play with. On our way back to the car she decided that gravel was great fun and because we don't believe in forcing timelines, we just stood there and watched her have a ball with the small stones. Can you remember when you were so joyous over rocks?

On Sunday we had a lazy hang-around-the-house morning and then headed out for some lunchtime winery experiences. We firtsly went straight back to the place we went to for breakfast after the balloon because they had a dairy there. Mmmmmm...cheese! We bought some delicious cheeses and Harriet met Joe at the fountain. Poor Joe wasn't allowed to do the stuff we let Harriet do. For some reason Joe's mum didn't want him touching the water and there was Harriet, splashing away and getting herself all drenched, as well as almost climbing into it. If it had been warmer I probably would have helped her lift that leg a little higher so she could jump in. Then Joe would have really been upset I'm sure!

We also drove to another cheese shop but it got really busy and packed with people and Harriet cracked it, so we went to go home...cracked it again. Seeing as we were in no hurry, and as we said we don't believe in forcing timelines as well as wanting to keep the car a positive experience for the long drive home, we walked up to Brokenwood (what a pity - another winery to visit). Here she is a lot happier, grinning up at her Papa who finally got a chance to use the camera himself.

That afternoon Harriet had some lunch - pickled onion, herb & garlic fromage frais, turkish bread, hummous, dolmades, the list goes on. Oh yeah, she's a difficult eater this one! Having said that though, if there was one thing I could change about this girl it would be her approach to sun protection. She just will not wear a hat! I can distract her enough to slather some sunscreen on her, but that's as far as it goes. *sigh* She can't blame me for those wrinkles when she's older.

1 comment:

Jan and Mike said...

What great fun it was for Nana and Grandad to have you all for the weekend. We loved having you and look forward to the next time.