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2014 in review

One of the things I love receiving from WordPress at the end of the year is the ‘Your xxxx year in blogging’ report. It’s a succinct recap of the year that was: how many posts I posted, where my readers come from etc.

In reality, my year had ups and downs the same as anyone. The highlight was watching my nephew grow in his first year. Babies are so much fun, there is something new every day. And my holiday to Darwin was my travel highlight. The photo below is probably my favourite of the holiday which included trips to Kakadu and other national parks.

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Below is the report issued by WordPress if you would like to read it. It helps me set goals for this year such as posting more than the 208 times I posted last year. I would love to be able to post every day but that’s not always possible.

Thank you to all of you for reading my blog. I love having this outlet for my writing.

https://deliciousfoodandtravel.wordpress.com/2014/annual-report/

Cruise from Melbourne to Williamstown

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For my birthday I decided I wanted to do the cruise to Williamstown. It’s something I’d wanted to do all Summer and thought my birthday was the perfect opportunity. It’s a one-hour cruise along the Yarra and Port Phillip Bay.

So Mum, Dad and I set off to the city in the pouring rain. However, this being Melbourne, soon after arriving in the city, the sun came out and it got hot very quickly. We bought our tickets and boarded the boat. Soon after we set off to pick up more passengers. I heard a bit of a commotion at the back and turned around to see some very concerned-looking people. I soon saw acrid smoke filling the cabin. There was a small fire at the back which was quickly put out with a fire extinguisher. We had to dock and abandon the cruise instead of picking up passengers.

An hour later, after getting a refund from that company and buying tickets for another, we were on our way. We sat in the open air part at the back so I was able to take photos. When we arrived in Williamstown we looked for somewhere for lunch before settling on a fish and chip cafe. They have an eating area in the courtyard at the back of the shop. It’s really nice area and we sat back and relaxed while eating our lunch. After that we went across to an art gallery on the other side of the road. It was really warm by then and we had a quick walk around before going back to the dock and waiting for the boat to take us back to the CBD.

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Dining in famous company

In yesterdays post I wrote about the food we ate at Rosetta Ristorante.  Today I’m writing about our small brush with fame.

I had my back to a lot of the restaurant and after a while my friend pointed out that Jimmy Barnes (legendary Aussie rock singer) and his wife were eating at a nearby table.  I’m a massive fan of Jimmy Barnes but am so reserved around people I don’t know that I would never approach him.  He was in town for A Day on the Green concert in the Yarra Valley the next day.

The funnier story (well not so much for my friend) is that her favourite comedian, Judith Lucy, walked into the restaurant while my friend was telling me about Jimmy Barnes.  We had a laugh about the fact that she was eating at the same restaurant we were eating at.  Next minute we found Judith sitting at the table next to us.  The gap in between each table is quite small; just enough to squeeze through side-on to the seats.  In other words, very close to us.  We couldn’t help laughing that someone that famous was sitting just centimetres away.  In the end we decided not to disturb her lunch.  We felt bad disturbing her when I’m sure all she wanted to do was go and enjoy lunch with a friend. 

My 2012 year in blogging

One thing I didn’t realise until the other day is that WordPress produces an annual report full of statistics for the year. I couldn’t work out how to show it like some of you have done so I thought I’d pull out a few stats to share with you.

First of all though I thought I’d share with you why I started blogging. As mentioned in other posts I spent the first three weeks of 2012 in New Zealand. I started my first blog as a way of privately sharing photos and stories of my holiday. Unfortunately I discovered how bad the lack of internet access was when I got there so it fell by the wayside. However I still wanted to share those stories and photos so in May (after requests from several friends) I started a new blog (this one). I love going to restaurants and travelling so decided to call this Leanne’s Delicious Food and Travel Adventures. Coming up with a somewhat catchy and memorable name (well, to some anyway. An inside joke that one of you will understand) was the difficult part but I’m happy with the name.

So, now to some stats:

* 2400 posts (although this was much higher by the 31st Dec. I think they issued the report too early in December)
* 155 new posts
* 813 photos
* visitors to the blog have come from 52 countries. That blows me away.

The thing that surprised me the most is that my post about my Yum Cha at Lucky Chan at Crown Casino https://deliciousfoodandtravel.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/yum-cha-at-lucky-chan-crown-casino-melbourne/ was my most-viewed for the year. Although the food was delicious and the meal remains one of my favourite of the year.

In closing I want to thank all of you who have read my posts and shared my 2012 journey. I’m committing to posting every day in 2013 after missing only one day in the last three months. So I know I can do it. I’m also looking forward to reading many of your blog posts during the year.

My 2012 in Photographs

This blog is one of my favourites. I make sure I visit it every day to see what new, inspiring, photos Leanne has posted and the stories behind them.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Weekly photo challenge: Renewal

Since the Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009, the town of Marysville has undergone an almost complete process of renewal.  So many houses were destroyed and the town is still rebuilding now.  Above is a photo of a sculpture at Bruno’s Sculpture Gallery 6 mths after the fire. Below is what the area looked just before the first anniversary of the fires.  I hadn’t visited the town, which is only 140 kms from where I live, before the fires but every year since I’ve visited to support the town that was virtually deserted.  The Bakery Cafe is one of my favourites.  I love their egg and bacon pie and lemon slices.

New Zealand day 4….Knights Point

We got off to a very late start on day 4.  The people who had booked their joy flights over the the glaciers were waiting to hear if they would go ahead.  The weather was constantly changing so the decision of whether the pilots would fly was also changing .  Eventually they all went up and loved every minute of it.  I didn’t go on a flight but they certainly saw some awesome sights.  They were able to land on Fox Glacier and walk around briefly.

Once we left we drove for about an hour to Knights Point.  It’s a popular hangout and breeding area for New Zealand Fur Seals.  Unfortunately they are located off land so we couldn’t see them off the rocks.  I’ve since found out that they also play in the sand on the beach.   The area is very beautiful, being on the west and wild coast.  We were jokingly told we would have been able to see Australia if it hadn’t been so cloudy.

 

 

New Zealand day 3: Staying at Fox Glacier

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We arrived at our hotel at around 5.30pm.  It had been a long day, particularly as I haven’t done a tour of this type since I was at school.   As was to happen at all of our acommodation on the tour, the manager or receptionist came onto the coach to give us our room keys.  That saved us all from having to queue up at reception.  I also realised our bags would be taken to, and picked up from, our rooms each night and morning.   I had never had that happen before and it was something I was going to enjoy.

My room was the size of a shoebox and tucked away in a maze of rooms.  It was clean and tidy though and had a spectacular view of the nearby mountains.

Soon after my bags arrived I went down to dinner in the hotel restaurant.  We were able to choose from a limited three course menu.  As it was the second night in a row we’d been offered this I thought it be normal.  Sadly it wasn’t to be.

Salmon entree

triple choc cake for dessert

Sketches Cafe, Bar & Restaurant, Burwood, Vic

Mum and Dad wanted to go out for breakfast after Matty’s soccer so I asked to join them.   Soccer was in Doncaster so I looked in the Entertainment Book for somewhere suitable and found Sketches. 

It turned out to be a small cafe in a strip shopping centre on Burwood Highway.  The main part of the cafe is very small and filled with dark furniture which makes it feel even smaller.  We were offered a table in the Atrium out the back and decided to sit there.  It turned out to be in a nice courtyard.  The sun was shining in and warming us nicely so the outdoor heater had to be turned off as more people came in.

Service was quite slow but it looked like there was only one waitress.  I had to go and ask to place our order.  Drinks took forever to arrive.  We heard some people at a nearby table ask when their coffees would be brought out and mentioned they had ordered them an hour ago. 

Mum and Dad ordered the big breakfast which consisted of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomato and hash browns on sourdough toast.  They had run out of hash browns which didn’t bother them.  Mum asked for her eggs to be scrambled and didn’t want the mushrooms.  When it arrived her eggs were poached and the mushrooms were on there.  The waitress was a little rude about it.

I ordered the breakfast bruschetta which apparently is one of the most popular dishes on the brunch menu (they serve brunch until 3.30pm).  It was absolutley delicious and left a beautiful aftertaste in my mouth.

  It had garlic-rubbed sourdough toast, poached eggs, tomato, basil, balsamic glaze, extra virgin olive oil, wild rocket and parmesan.