Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt

So, how was the trip to Australia?

It was... wonderful. Sooner or later, I need to blog about it in exhaustive detail.

For now, though, the highlights:

- Boo took us to the airport, and picked us up upon our arrival
- Four nights' at Binna Burra Lodge
- Amazing bushwalks - including the 23km border track from O'Reillys
- Wildlife sightings: lyrebirds, a dingo, Eastern water dragons, blue river lobsters, kangaroos, wombats, and much more
- Wollemi pines, much bigger now
- Lunch at Mt Tomah gardens [venison pie]
- Dinner at Strangers with Candy [barramundi cooked in a plastic bag with saffron and bouillabaisse, figs with prosciutto and cheese, etc.]
- Marching in the Mardi Gras parade
- Conversation with many wonderful folks on topics ranging from 'what is beauty?' to 'OMG look at that hawt guy'
- Bear Essentials, the bear run that 'gets it'
- [deleted for decency's sake]
- Sharing a dozen bottles of wine or so with Julian
- The Ridge 2000 syrah viognier, which is the only American syrah I've ever tasted to completely blow me away; wish I had been able to score more than two bottles of this :(
- Day trip to the Hunter Valley, where many good folks poured us wines that were "not available for tasting"
- Watching the ACT Brumbies barely win against the Bulls [and, more importantly, watching the crowd]
- Realizing that Mark is a terrific travelling companion, and making plans for South Africa in 2006
- At Clonakilla, running into Tim Kirk, who remembered my name, and treated us to barrel samples of the 2004 shiraz viognier [oh my God is it good!]
- Sharing a bottle of the 2000 Monte Bello with Tim, Dan, Julian, and Mark
- The view out across the landscape to Mt Warning from the mountains to the west
- Finding a killer Wandawuy bark painting for only $65
- The view from our 70th floor apartment in Sydney, from Botany Bay all the way to Darling Harbour
- Snuggling with the Marmot before drifting off to sleep
- The 2001 Clonakilla shiraz viognier [so good it completely killed dinner conversation for ten minutes]
- Absolutely nothing going wrong with hotels, rental cars, or flights, thank God

The lowlights:

- Margan Family Estate winery can blow me for employing a snooty French mâitre d'hôtel who said "I am sorry, but you must book a table. We cannot possibly serve you lunch" while standing in front of several empty tables. [Their wine sucks ass too.]
- The one broken bottle of wine [thanks to the TSA].
- Having to go home after two weeks.
- Finding Digit barf under my desk [only just now, actually!]

Bonus weirdness:

- Apparently I am in possession of one of every fifty bottles of Clonakilla shiraz viognier imported to the USA. This smacks of fanboydom, yeah, but if you tasted that wine, you'd do exactly the same thing.


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