Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Summer days

This travelling editor is having a restful holiday in beautiful Sydney and its surrounds. Arrived at Avalon, which is about 40km north of Sydney on a spectacular peninsula. There's a point when you realise you are in holiday territory here -it's when you drive around the Bilgola bends (overlooking Bilgola beach) and you are on the home stretch to the wonderful 'villages' of the peninsula. Quite heavily populated these days (especially during the summer holidays) the area has stunning beaches and unspoilt bushland (that which hasn't been encroached upon by developers who have had their pick of some damn fine real estate).
Anyway, it's a beautiful day; ham sandwiches, fruit cake and stone fruits are on the menu, the sun is out, the dog (Dell) wants to play ball and all is right with the world. Happy new year and may we all thrive, prosper and be content and serene in 2010.
(Picture courtesy of Peter Kershaw, cake courtesy Li Kershaw).
Thought for the end of days, 2009: 'Food is an important part of a balanced diet.' - Fran Lebowitz

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas greetings

Only four more sleeps to Christmas! At Get Up & Go, 'wind down' is the operative attitude. The summer edition of the magazine will be hitting the deck on 6 January, the latest e-newsletter has been sent to cyberspace and I'm currently organising stories for the next (autumn 2010) issue.
In the meantime, just look at these lovely pictures that a Get Up & Go writer took recently in Austria when she was zapped into fantasyland to visit the beautiful Christmas Markets and gather information on the stunning Austrian cities she visited to write stories for us to appear next year in the magazine.
She suffered for us, she had to eat traditional food, new wave Austrian cuisine, taste exquisite cakes and pastries and there was a rumour she had a little hot spicy wine to keep out the cold!
I know most of us in Australia will be under a blue sky with the sun beating down but there is something ultimately romantic and nostalgic about a white, sparkly Christmas - even  if we just enjoy the pictures.
Merry Christmas to all our friends and all the best for a wonderful 2010 coming up soon.
P.S. I'll be blogging through the holidays so feel free to comment and let us know how your Christmas went - sunny or snowy! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Peas on earth

A couple of years ago I spent the weekend before Christmas at the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba which is in the Blue Mountains NSW, an hour or so drive west from Sydney. The Carrington is an elegant, old hotel, with tradition and charm being its main drawcard. As we drove up to the front door an apparition caught my attention – was seeing believing? It was a Christmas tree structure that Salvador Dali would have approved of – it was made of fake peas in their pods. As you can see by the picture this wasn't the prettiest tree in the forest, nor on the block for that matter, but it had a certain whimsical charm. I kept the picture as I thought it might make a nice Christmas card - but hey! Best not to shock friends and family. It has to be the worst tree I've seen. Can you better this? Enjoy the Carrington Hotel all year round, it's on the top of the hill in Katoomba and top of many people's list for atmospheric places to stay. Visit: www.thecarrington.com.au

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

The year before last, I went to Canada for a quick trip - five days duration – the week before Christmas. We had a day in Vancouver (freezing winds) then an amazing two days in Whistler where I crunched around in the snow and went for a long ride downhill on a 'snow limo' - an unreal experience. We then did the journey from Vancouver to Banff Springs on the Rocky Mountaineer. What a stunning journey through the snow and pristine countryside, and the sight of the mighty Rockies was awesome. I arrived back in Sydney to a heatwave on Christmas eve - where in the world was I?  If you are dreaming of something other than a summer Christmas, consider Canada's Whistler for outdoor pursuits and glamorous resorts or perhaps Europe and the charm of traditional Christmas markets in Austria. For more info visit: www.rockymountaineer.com and www.austria.info/au
And to see a bit more of my travels visit: http://shegoes.com.au
P.S. Only 23 sleeps before Christmas.
The picture is the view from my bedroom window in the divine Fairmont Hotel Whistler.