What do the ballet and a trip to San Antonio have in common?

Answer: Things we are going to do while staying in Abilene

Just had a call from Leonie she is going to try and get tickets to the ballet in Abilene and organise a trip to San Antonio.

Ian has dipped out on the ballet but is looking forward to visiting San Antonio again. He says he and Scott will go to the pub while the ballet is on.

Things we will enjoying seeing in San Antonio are visiting the Alamo again and also seeing the riverwalk decorated in Christmas spirit.

I am still wearing some shoes (which I love and wear almost every day) that I purchased in the Rivercenter, hope I can get some more.

Bring it on less than three weeks to go before we fly out

Short trip this weekend – North Rothbury and back

Where is North Rothbury and why would one be heading there? I hear you ask. A quick trip to collect mum from my niece Kelsie’s home after her baby shower. Kelsie and her husband Peter are expecting their baby on the 14th December. That is the way now for the where…North Rothbury is between Cessnock and Branxton. A nice little place that is only a short drive from either of the above-mentioned towns.

Couldn’t get over how much Cessnock has developed these days, my last trip would have been at least 20 odd years ago. It looks like such an inviting place to spend some time. A good place for a weekend getaway and the Crown Plaza would be a perfect place to stay. There are many other places to stay that would make any visit to the area pleasant. Another place that looked interesting was the Potters Brewery on the edge of town

Distance traveled: 330kms
Time: 4 hours driving

PS The Oak Factory at Freeman’s hasn’t changed one bit.

The Race!!!

Admiral did us proud yesterday and showed enough potential for us to know he will win a race or two for us. It was so hot at the races and the club still need a few lessons on handling large crowds such as multiple bar outlets spread over the precinct, not just the main bar which had the queue snaking through the bookmaker’s ring. We left after Beau’s race. Late lunch at Shelly’s and back to Sydney, good trip and arrived back in Parramatta at 10 pm 16 hours after I left.

Six weeks to go and counting

Today I booked and finalised accommodation for the first four nights and the car for 16 days of the USA trip.

Delighted with the deals, booked at Paris Paris for an A$100 a night, bargain. You can’t even get a room in country NSW for that price that let alone a four-star casino in the middle of the strip.

Not planning to book anything else before leaving Australia. We a playing everything by ear and will settle on firm plans as we go.

Closer to home Jorja and I spent a very enjoyable day at the zoo yesterday. A reminder to me we live in a very beautiful city and need to get out and enjoy it more. Jorja was excited to get very close to Luk Chai the new baby elephant born at the zoo early this year.

Our Next Adventure

On the 29th of November, we are heading off to the USA. This trip will have two purposes. The first is to spend Xmas with family in Abilene Texas and the second is to see more of the west coast and some of the east coast. Main points of interests are a driving leg from LA to Grand Canyon around to San Diego on up to San Francisco then back down the coast road to LA.

Then fly to Texas for Christmas, mum will get to see how they go all out at Christmas with decorations and fare. A couple of side trips around Texas during this time especially a return visit to San Antonio.

After New Year fly to Washington DC. Train from Washington to New York and then to Boston. Fly back to LA for the Flight back home.

Home safe and sound

We arrived on time Sunday night. Cleared customs quickly. Sarah was waiting to collect us and we were pleased to see home at about 9.30pm. Thanks to everyone for checking out our blog during the trip. I am going to continue to upload some pics etc for a little while for anyone that is interested.

Thanks again Ange

Paris – Day 2

We decided to start out walking towards the Opera area, picking up the bus again and heading to the Eiffel Tower. Madness had set in and we lined up for two+ hours to take the lift to the second level(another hour wait to go to the top..mad but not that mad…save top for next trip) The views were truly spectacular and we spent a long time checking out the views with what seemed like everyone else in Paris. Can’t remember the statistics of this construction but they were amazing. After the tower we headed to Notre Dame but first things first lunch, French Onion soup followed by superb steak for me… no dinner needed again tonight. We spent some time looking around the square in front of Notre Dame. Fatigue and cold was starting to set in so we climbed aboard the trusty bus to headed back to Opera area(stop nearest our hotel) A cab home was the answer to tired legs. The peak hour traffic, the drivers driving skills and constant streams of abuse of the other drivers in French. She seemed like a nice lady but boy did she give to the other taxi drivers when they grid locked a roundabout. An enjoyable day.

Paris – Day 1

We arrived in Paris from Nice on the train (TVG train) at 11.30pm after a 51/2 hours on the most comfortable train I have ever been on. The countryside was very beautiful and as it didn’t get dark until nine we saw more than we expected. Paris is terrific we walked for miles on our first day from our hotel (near Sacré Coeur Catholic basilica) to the Arc de Triomphe. The monument was so much bigger than I expected and the roundabout is crazy. Driving would be a risky business at the best of times. Cutting drivers off is no problem ….the more cars you can cut off the better driver you are, it seems.
We boarded the Hop on Hop off bus and spent the rest of the day on the bus. This was a good opportunity to get our bearings and decide on what to do on day 2. We had a late lunch and didn’t need dinner. No Escargot or frogs legs but I did have the best French Onion soup ever(leaves my version for dead, maybe I can recreate at home). Our hotel is very comfortable and the staff are helpful and friendly. Couldn’t swing a cat in the breakfast room but food was good and worth lining up for.