Tag Archives: Margaret River

The one with PerThanksgiving

Even though it doesn’t really feel like it in Australia, the holiday season is upon us! 🙂 We didnt make it to the states last year for Thanksgiving either (kind of a long and expensive flight for turkey), we were again blessed to spend the holiday with good friends (we miss you, Virginia!) And we did miss our pup as well, but don’t worry – he looked like he was enjoying the meal back in Houston with my sister:

Patiently waiting for a single crumb to fall

Dash patiently waiting for a single crumb to fall – bless his heart! 

For our second expat Thanksgiving, we escaped Perth and headed south to Margaret River, land of wine, beaches, and kangaroos. A very organized couple rented an absolutely amazing house for five couples and six children…a very full house! We even managed to snag a good ole’ Texas style deep-friend turkey – it’s the little things. Everyone brought a few goodies for the big dinner (a few days delayed from actual Thanksgiving Day, but memorable, delicious, and happy all the same), and the guys even did the dishes 😉

Yummo!

Yummo!

Putting the finishing touches on the meal

Putting the finishing touches on the meal

A fabulously set table - true red, white, and blue!

A fabulously set table – true red, white, and blue!

And it wouldn’t be a trip down to Margaret River without excessive kangaroo sightings! The kids loved it (and who am I kidding, the adults did too).

Perth Thanksgiving Abbys Roads33 Perth Thanksgiving Abbys Roads22On our last morning there, a group of us got up waaaaay too early from a post-turkey coma to surf. Thankfully, we did have a former professional surfer in  the group who had plenty of tips for a first-timer like me (as well as an excessive number of surfboards). It was a bit like what I would imagine being stuck in a washing machine would be like, but I’m so glad I tried. (Barr, of course, is a natural).

Perth Thanksgiving Abbys Roads69 Perth Thanksgiving Abbys Roads

 

Western Australia is unfortunately well known for shark attacks on surfers, so I was a bit apprehensive , but there are always the helicopters scouring the coast for any suspicious shadows (sharks are also tagged and monitored just for this purpose).

Can you see the helicopter?

Can you see the helicopter?

It was such an ideal weekend and Thanksgiving, and I am especially thankful for the wonderful friends we’ve made here in Perth over the last few weeks and months….as well as for views like this:

Perth Thanksgiving Abbys Roads53

Until next time…

 

The one in Margaret River: Whale Watching

Y’all, I mentioned it before, but I have a whale phobia (officially called cetaphobia); this is defined as an “irrational fear”, and yes, I know it is 100% irrational as whales are gentle and don’t hurt/kill people. (Although, am I the only one who read Moby Dick?!) 😉 Don’t try to tell me this – I already know. I’m just frightened of their sheer size.

This doesn’t alarm anyone?

OMG (via totallyuselesstrivia.com)

I would literally have a panic attack (via strangevehicles.com)

This is not photoshopped (via sapeople.com)

Searching for these photos will now give me nightmares. Back to happier pictures. Here was the weather for our trip:

Geographe Bay

Geographe Bay

But moving on.

Despite my (irrational) fear, we went whale watching to cap off our weekend in Margaret River. I booked us a two hour, afternoon whale watching experience on Geographe Bay with Naturaliste Charters in hopes (?) of seeing humpback whales migrate down to Antarctica for summer feeding.

You can see Geographe Bay all the way over on the West Coast (via AustralianTraveller.com)

It didn’t take long before we saw plenty of whales! The captain told us to keep a lookout for the blow hole, which would spray up lots of water and indicate where the whales were swimming.

See?

See?

We saw a handful of the whales breach, but they were pretty far out in the distance, so I didn’t manage to capture any of those moments – although it was pretty incredible, I even have to admit.

Waving hi!

Waving hi!

Coming up for some air

Coming up for some air

We even saw some dolphins racing the boat:

MargaretRiver030So, while it would not be an excursion that I would have selected, it was a pretty incredible and unique experience; an ideal way to cap off Barr’s birthday weekend. Until next time…

Happy birthday, Barr!

Happy birthday, Barr!

The one in Margaret River: Golf, Wine, ‘Roos & Views

We drove down to Margaret River on Friday afternoon, arriving just after sunset.  The trip was broken up into two hotels since we booked a tad late, and Friday night’s accommodation was the Rosewood Guesthouse – a charming B&B right in the village of Margaret River. There were even some other Americans staying there! It’s so rare to find tourists from the USA, given the long flights, but y’all: it’s worth it, trust me. 🙂

Saturday morning, which was Barr’s actual birthday, the birthday boy had his B&B special waffle (much better than any breakfast I could have prepared!), and then embarked on his annual tradition of birthday golf.

Birthday waffles at the Rosewood Guesthouse

Birthday waffles (and cereal, of course!) at the Rosewood Guesthouse – nom nom nom

I met him on the back nine and loved all the kangaroos that lounged around the course – they were everywhere, and we could literally be within five feet of them without them stirring or moving an inch.

This one is like me on the golf course: always in the bunker

This one is like me on the golf course: always in the bunker

Love this shot Barr caught

Love this shot Barr caught – it’s like they posed for him!

After the birthday golf, we headed to some wineries. Given its Mediterrean-esque climate, the Margaret River wine region is known for their Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Our first stop was Leeuwin Estate – it was really busy there, but the pourer was so congenial and took a lot of time to walk through their different vintages.

Leeuwin Estate tasting room and restaurant

From Leeuwin Estate, we drove back up north to Vasse Felix for lunch. We’d heard their food rivaled their wine, and we weren’t disappointed – one of the best meals I’ve had in Australia so far!

Our view from lunch at Vasse Felix

Our view from lunch at Vasse Felix – the weather was *literally* picture perfect!

Onward from Vasse Felix! Just a few minutes beyond, we made a quick stop at the Cape Lodge. We stayed at this breathtaking boutique hotel when we came down to Margaret River in 2007 (most of the pictures from yesterday’s post were from our time at the hotel). Anyhoo, we thought it would be fun to make a pit stop and reminisce!

Our Cape Lodge pit stop

Our Cape Lodge pit stop

Cape Lodge

Cape Lodge grounds

We then headed to our Saturday night accommodation, which was near Dunsborough: the Pullman Bunker Bay Resort. I don’t know what I was anticipating, but it wasn’t this:

Cape Naturaliste, near Margaret River

Cape Naturaliste, near Margaret River

The hotel was comprised of individual villas, all tucked into the greenery, with partial ocean views. There was even a heated pool which overlooked the water as well. And just a quick walk down from our room was this:

The beach on the Pullman resort

The beach on the Pullman resort

and this:

A lone surfer

A lone surfer

And around the corner from the resort, you got views like this:

I mean..

I mean..

and this:

MargaretRiver016

Cape Naturaliste, WA

and this:

So many different shades of blue :)

So many different shades of blue as the waves roll in

We really lucked out with the weather and our stays – beautiful all around!

The birthday boy taking it all in

The birthday boy taking it all in

Sunday was our whale watching day – eeek! …Stay tuned. Until next time…

Birthday weekend cuddles

Birthday weekend cuddles – he’s the best

The one where I throw it back

Last year, for reasons beyond our control, I was unable to be with Barr on his birthday – and it was a big one: the big 3-0! (I actually think I was probably more upset about it than he was…he’s pretty easy going like that 🙂 ). Given this, I wanted to make sure 30 2.0 was special for him!

Having just returned home from our marathon trip to the states, we didn’t really get our act together in time to plan another plane trip, so I decided a road trip down to Margaret River would be a birthday excursion; only a three hour drive, pretty much one road the entire way, Margaret River is gorgeous wine country right along the coast of southwest Australia.

See Margaret River on the little cape/point southwest of Perth? (image via Busselton Golf Club)

Barr, my parents, my sister, and I actually visited Margaret River back in the day (Christmas 2007, to be exact). Here are some most excellent throwbacks:

Baby faces (aka "fuller" faces)

Baby faces (aka “fuller” faces) at 20 and 24, respectively

Anna, my mom, me, and Barr on the beaches of Margaret River

Anna, my mom, me, and Barr on one of the beaches of Margaret River

The Simpsons do Margaret River

The Simpsons do Margaret River

Christmas dinner 2007 at the Cape Lodge

Christmas dinner 2007 at the Cape Lodge

I’ll share our golf, vino, and beach adventures in Margaret River (circa last weekend) tomorrow – hint: get ready for some kangaroo pics!

And then…drumroll please…we went whale watching on Sunday (if you know me, you know that whales terrify me – this is a real thing called cetaphobia); and although I won’t be swimming with the whales anytime soon (or ever), it was pretty incredible. So get ready for some reviews, memories, birthday celebrations, and picture overload over the next two days 😀 Until next time…