Wednesday, March 27, 2013

day 11 of my australia trip

This day was absolutely jam-packed. We were given a number of recommendations in addition to the chocolate factory, so we had to use our time wisely. We got up and packed, then went down to the mill to check out of our cottage. The owner wanted to show us around the accommodations at the mill, and she yakked and yakked and was super weird and we were glad we had stayed at the cottage instead of the mill. She was pretty in love with the fact that she could pronounce some French words in a very pretentious and off-putting way, bless her heart.

We had breakfast at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, which was very good, with beautiful, huge, sweet raspberries. Then we went to the Ashgrove Cheese Factory, which has some heavenly cheeses, one with pepper berries in it from a native Tasmanian tree. I loved it the most and would have bought a hundred of it if there were a way to transport it home. Next we went to the House of Anvers chocolate factory and bought some delicious, really unusual chocolates and saw the chocolate sculpture that is the size of a human child--not a baby, a grade-schooler.
Then we drove up to the coast to the beach and walked on the sand, waded a bit, collected shells, and admired the indescribably gorgeous water. Tasmania is so, so beautiful. 
Next we drove to Latrobe to look for platypuses in the river, but it was the middle of the day and fairly warm, so nopes. We did see some taxidermied platypuses, and it was cool to feel their soft fur and see their venomous spurs. Then we went back through Deloraine to eat at the restaurant we'd been eyeing since Saturday night, but we had to kill an hour before they started dinner service, so we drove down to the riverbank. Elaine wrote postcards, I fell asleep in the sun and got burned again, and Claire looked for platypuses. Suddenly she came running up and said, "You guys! I found one!" So we hurried down to the shady part of the river, where we stood quietly and watched for a few minutes, and then WE SAW A PLATYPUS IN ITS NATIVE HABITAT. He was swimming back and forth in the river, bobbing in and out of the water, and then he got out on the opposite bank and lay on his back and gave himself a good long scratch. He seemed very content, and he was quite big, much bigger than Groceries. Just when I think this vacation can't get any better, BAM, second encore. I can't believe how lucky we were.
We went to the restaurant and ordered our food in a hurry. The best of all our three dishes was the blue cheese gnocchi that Elaine got, which was the most delicious gnocchi I have ever eaten; light and fluffy, with an amazing, perfect sauce. It's so funny to me that a sleepy little town like Deloraine has such a stellar restaurant. Yet another reason we need to move there.

We drove back to Launceston and caught our flight with no problems. I did a very good job of driving on the left side of the road, with only a few minor reversions to American driving that didn't cost us our lives or anything, so no worries.   
On our flight back we almost had to have a fight with a rude lady in front of Elaine who slammed her seat back quite painfully into Elaine's legs, and then had the juevos to turn around and complain that she kept feeling Elaine's knees in her back, and told her to stop moving them. But then after the flight when she saw how long Elaine's legs are she apologized. So that was okay.

Nate picked us up so we wouldn't have to get a cab. Claire went in and peeked at Owen when we got home, and he screamed like a banshee at her and wouldn't let her hold him until Nate came to get him.  I think he has forgiven her now, though.  Silly baby.