Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Mornington Peninsula

Our road trip is ending. Yesterday was the last wander-around day and this morning we begin the drive back up the Hume Highway toward Sydney. We will stop in Albury tonight and Canberra on Good Friday and back to Shirley's Saturday night so the Easter Bunny will know where to put our eggs.

We then have a couple of days in Sydney to take care of some errands before jumping on a plane to Singapore where we pick up a cruise ship that will take 24 days to work its way to Athens.

It's a good thing this trip is ending. We started out so well, basically living out of one suitcase and mastering the unloading/reloading of the car with military precision. But slowly - inevitably - old habits come to the fore.

LK, so conscious of space at the beginning of the trip, eventually ended up buying quilts, baskets, and now breaks away from us whenever a gift shop looks interesting. I sample wine and cannot resist buying a couple of bottles even though my wine fridges are sitting in storage in Glenorchy Tasmania. If we were to live out of the back of our car much longer, in order to fit everything in I think we would seriously have to consider tying Shirley to the roof.

Our two days on the Mornington Peninsula were fabulous. The weather was bright sun and warm in the afternoon and cool and clear for sleeping at night. The first day we drove down to Sorrento and had a pretty good wander in this pretty town by the sea.

Then yesterday we drove to the eastern side of the peninsula for a picnic at Point Leo. The picnic was LK's idea after we went online and looked at the menus for the wineries' bistros and decided they all looked like stuff we had had many times before on this trip and that they were priced way too high. Of course, by the time we bought the fresh bread, gourmet olives, rabbit and prune terrine and several very expensive cheeses, we ended up spending more than we would have at a restaurant.

But it was fun to do the picnic sitting by the sea. "This is camping," Linda proclaimed. And for Linda it was, of course, but every time she decides we are doing the equivalent of camping on this trip (usually when we check into one more place), I am reminded of William Randolph Hearst putting catsup bottles on the dining table at his mansion, San Simeon. He, too, had decided you could go camping without actually having to put up a tent or sleep in a bag or worry about that rustling noise in the night.

After the picnic we visited a winery known as The Cups. They had some fantastic pinot noir, and it was impossible not to take some back with us. I kept it down to two bottles because Shirley is already nervously looking at those bungee cords I put in the back seat.

Then last night we had Russian Night, a celebration my brother Bob first taught me. The problem with White Russians, of course, is that they taste like milk shakes and it's only after the fact that you realize there was a shot and a half of booze in each glass. Oh well, none of us really wanted dinner last night, anyhow. Not after that lovely picnic lunch.

The forecast is for good weather the rest of the weekend, and with luck some of the Easter traffic will have already gone ahead by the time we hit the highway. On to Albury,

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