Brisbane, QLD

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Its a funny name for a hill, however we went for a drive to see the view from Arthur's Seat on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.

The view from Arthurs Seat is of Port Phillip Bay and the Mornington Peninsula. Port Phillip Bay was discovered by John Miller in Jan. 1802. in the ship "Lady Nelson". He named the hill overlooking the southern part of the bay, Arthurs Seat after a similar hill in Edinburgh, Millers hometown.

On top of the hill there is a seat. It was another chilly morning but it warmed up in the afternoon.

Needless to say, TOH had to have his morning coffee to get through the rest of the day without being grumpy. The view from the cafe was fabulous.

A map showing Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. We stayed at Rye down near the bottom of the peninsula. Arthurs Seat is near Rosebud.

Photo from the web.
 Ten weeks after Miller had discovered the bay, Matthew Flinders sailed into the bay in the "Investigator" on his way around Australia. (1802) He was the first man to circumnavigate Australia and prove that it was a continent. He also suggested the name "Australia" for what was called New Holland (western side) and New South Wales (eastern side). While he was in the bay he climbed up Arthurs Seat Hill and built a cairn. We walked down from the summit to find the historic cairn. It has been made larger now.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


This is the first Christmas that we have celebrated with children for about 30 years so it was a wonderful experience. We flew from Brisbane to Victoria to be with our daughter's husband's family. There were four families with children and two sets of grandparents. they were celebrating Christmas in their beach house at Rye on the Mornington Peninsula. We opted to stay in a quiet B&B but on Christmas morning we drove the few blocks to be at the house before the children opened their presents. Santa had left 8 sacks under the tree for the 8 children. The children were still in their rooms waiting for us and the other parents to wake.
 Fox was first out to see what Santa had left, but he wasn't allowed to touch anything until all the parents were up.

 All the children had to line up from the youngest to the eldest to get their sack.  Arlo (15mths) is the youngest, then Banjo (20 mnths) who ran out of the line as I took this shot. He had no idea what was going on. Then there was Fox (3), Freddy (6), Ella (8), Jimmy (12), Lachlan (13) and Georgia (14). (All the cousins)

 The parents helped the younger ones open their presents. Sonya helped Banjo. Fox loved his cars.

 The little beach house was bouncing with glee as children, parents and grandparents joined in the merriment of Christmas with little ones.

Santa couldn't fit Jimmy's drum set or Freddie's guitar under the tree, he had to leave them in the back shed.

This was a traditional Aussie Christmas. After opening gifts everyone goes outside to play cricket. Toddlers, teenagers and parents all join in. It is usually in the back yard but here they use the quiet street.

"Owzat!" I know very little about cricket but I think this is what they say when someone gets out. Our little American born grandson learning to be an Aussie.

 Then it is down to the beach to play.

 The children all get a ride in the boat and then the big boys go out to catch fish and dive for scallops.

 The young boys make wet sand balls to play at batting with later.

The girls play with the little ones in the sand.

 Then it is time to return home to prepare and devour Christmas lunch in the back yard. We had a mixture of traditional and Aussie lunch. Prawns, Turkey, Pork, and a variety of salads.

 Plum pudding, custard, pavlova and ice cream for dessert.

 As the sun starts to set it is Kris Kringle time where family gifts are given out by Grandpa Neville as Santa and his two helper elves, Jimmy and Freddy.

The day was full of hugs, laughter, giving, eating, drinking, playing in the sun, carols and church service.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Mt Martha is a village on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. It is not far from Rye where we are staying and it so happens I have a friend, Bill, living at Mt Martha. I went to teachers' college with him back in 1962/63 we lost touch when we were teaching in P/NG but we renewed our friendship at reunions that we have had since 2002. Today our daughter was busy catching up with lots of her friends so we took the opportunity to visit Bill, who invited us to lunch.
With our trusty GPS, Kate, we found our way to Bill's house. We met his lovely partner, Avril, and spent hours catching up with their travelling exploits. He took us for a drive to the nearby Mt Martha beach, famous for its colourful beach boxes. It was a drizzly, blustery cool day so there was no one on the beach.
 Bill shows us the beach and the colourful beach boxes also known as bathing boxes, beach huts or boat sheds.
 For over 100 years people have been coming to the Mornington Peninsula for holidays. In the early days people built the bathing boxes for modesty reasons.
 Today they are used for storage of boats or possessions related to having fun on the beach.
 They are leased and are not allowed to be lived in and there is no electricity, water or sewerage connections allowed. No more are allowed to be built. Thus they have become extremely expensive to lease if any become available. They can be be up to $100,000.
On warm weekends the huts are opened and many people are playing and laughing together with good community spirit.
But this was a week day and it was cold. Us Queenslanders had to rug up. Crazy Victorian weather, hot one day and freezing the next not like Queensland, "sunny one day and perfect the next"

Friday, December 20, 2013


We are on holidays in Rye on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. The peninsula is on the southern coast of Australia. The weather here is famous for being unpredictable which makes it hard to pack. We had to pack warm clothes and cool clothes. The weather has been living up to its reputation since we have been here. The first few days were around 19°C/66°F yesterday it shot up to 40°C/104°F. Today it is back to 23°C/75°F. At least it has been sunny everyday so far so that has been good. Every day we go and play with our grandsons from USA while they are staying here in their other grandparents' beach house but in the mornings and evenings we spend in our luxury B&B. Here are some pics of it. 

 This is outside our "Tuscan Villa" the entrance is covered by vines for privacy,

 The entrance with a BBQ for our use in our little back garden. See below

 Inside at the back of the living room there is a little kitchen stocked with all requirements.

 Part of the front of the living room. TV and sound system is on the right.

 The kitchen with an interesting notice.

It sure is a place for a romantic getaway have a look at an entry in the visitors book.

 Gogeous and comfortable bedroom.

Huge bathroom

 There are 5 villas spread out on the 3 acre property which has a swimming pool, pond (above) and lovely gardens.

This is where we have breakfast. Either on the deck or in the beautiful breakfast room overlooking the pool and gardens.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


 Another day at the beach with the grandsons.

 What little boys don't like to chase seagulls.

 Papa and Fox chatting to a boatie

 There are miles and miles of beaches along the shore of Port Phillip Bay in Victoria.

Our little family have the beach to themselves.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Once again we have packed our bags and flown away. This time we flew to Melbourne, hired a car and drove for 2 hrs south to Rye on the Mornington Penninsula. Why?? This is where our daughter's in laws have a beach house and Sonya, Bernie and the grands have flown from LA to be with Bernie's big family for Christmas. We were invited to join them so here we are except we opted out of staying in the beach house with a big, noisy, happy family and chose to stay in a quiet B&B.
It has been cool weather but  it was still fun on the beach, Granddaddy has fun playing with the boys. He hasn't seen them for over a year.
Fox showing Granddaddy how to play cars.
Banjo showing us his shark shirt
Granddaddy showing Fox how to use our P&S camera 

The camera club tutor with his smallest student.

Rye Beach on Port Phillip Bay

A perfect place for little children