Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Holiday update #5

Friday 11th July

We had vowed to get out of the house a lot earlier this morning and we managed to leave by 9:15am. First port of call was the Margaret River Chocolate Factory (after I had looked it up on the map to make sure we didn’t miss it again!). We had a great time checking out all the different things on offer and purchased a few different things just because we could! No kids there to beg for another one of this or that … sheer bliss! We also got to watch one of the ‘chocolate artisans’ making some hazelnut whirl truffles and were mesmerized by the three vats of chocolate with their big wheels churning the chocolate around and around and around …

On the way out of the carpark, we noticed signs for another new venture called Providore. It had all sorts of jams, relishes, spice mixes, wines, homewares and interesting floral arrangements. The first arrangement had a head of cauliflower in it. I know that it has ‘flower’ in its name but I would never have thought to put it in a floral arrangement. The other arrangement had rhubarb leaves tucked in the bottom around some lovely proteas. Another unusual idea but very effective.

After we left Providore, we went off in search of some ‘Divine Nooky’. Well, not actually Divine Nooky, as that is the name of a fudge at The Candy Cow, but the main ingredient which is a port called Nooky Delight. It’s made at a winery called Woody Nook, just north of Margaret River and is the smoothest port I’ve ever tasted. After buying a bottle each, Mina wanted to find a white port so the next stop was The Grove, a winery right across the road from Woody Nook.

There is a pond out the front of The Grove’s cellar door with a sign saying “No swimming! Crocodiles!” and sure enough there were! In fact, there were three crocodiles... well their heads anyway. (Fake floating crocodile heads added for novelty value). Grove does a range of liqueurs as well as wines and ports and we had a great time checking the place out before tasting their white port. It was nowhere near as smooth as Nooky Delight but quite nice all the same.

Then the saleslady talked us into trying their white chocolate liqueur, which was really yummy. (I know that’s not a technical term for wine or alcohol appreciation but it sums it up very well!) Apparently it’s very nice poured over ice cream; you just need to make sure you’re not going to be driving afterwards! Of course, we both had to buy a bottle of that too. I don’t know when I’m going to drink all the alcohol I’ve been buying but I suppose I could always give it away as presents .. yeah right!! We’d had our legal limit of wine tasting by the time we’d finished at The Grove, so we went back to Moonhaven in Cowararmup for another look around. We’d been there fairly late the day before and we both wanted to have another look.

While Mina went inside I rang Mum to wish her a happy birthday but got her answering machine, so I left a message. (I had arranged for some flowers to be delivered Friday and had left a present for Peter and the boys to drop off). Then I tried to ring Debbie to find out what time she was due to arrive but her phone rang out. (Her daughter, Sarah, had changed the ringtone so Debbie thought it was a sound effect on the radio!)

After not getting through to anyone, I went back into the shop and ended up buying some very pretty-smelling moisturizer (rose-geranium) before we headed back to Margaret River and the toy shop. Mina had spotted some funny fridge magnets that she wanted to get so we spent about an hour wandering around playing with all the toys and weird stuff. We both ended up buying a few things then realized it was after 2pm so we went back to the house for a late lunch and to wait for Debbie.

That morning I had done a load of washing and when it wasn’t anywhere near dry after 5 hours, I put my pyjamas in the dryer. There’s a note on the dryer warning that it’s loud and they weren’t kidding. I’m sure the neighbours six houses away could hear it! At least my jammies were dry before bed though!

Debbie arrived about 3:30pm just as the rain started again so we all sat down with a nice hot cuppa and a good girly chat. Before we knew it, it was after 6:30pm and our stomachs were starting to think our throats had been cut. We had decided to have a counter meal at the pub but it was full to almost overflowing, as was the next pub we tried. So we went to a lovely little restaurant called The Spaghetti Bowl where we managed to get the last available table.

Dinner was very tasty and extremely filling … but then again, the filling part might have been the desserts! Sticky date pudding with caramel sauce and homemade ice cream … yuuuummm! We were all so stuffed, we could barely move but we managed to get back out to the car around 8:30pm before going back to the house to do a fantastic impersonation of three sloths. Debbie went to bed at 10:30; Mina went at 11:15 but I managed to hang out ‘til midnight. Why I’ll never know but it seemed like a good idea at the time!

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