Sunday, August 18, 2013

Margaret River

Saturday morning came early, so I dutifully headed out for my final long-ish training run.  It is the first run I have done on my own in the darkness, which was a bit exhilarating.  Never alone for long, there are many other runners, walkers and cyclists in pelotons of 10 to 20 in a pack out and about.  There are also quite a few swimmers, slipping into the ocean - in the complete darkness.  I always pass some of the run time trying to imagine what would make ocean swimming, with sharks, in the darkness, in low 50 degree temps appealing.  The only thing I can come up with with is a childhood nostalgia of swimming in salt water and a false sense of security that you haven't been eaten by a shark yet.  My Australian 'mates' try the ol' reasoning of more deaths in cars, etc. but there's something about all those teeth.

The run was great, despite some strong winds and a rain storm.  I so love the beauty of ushering in the early morning light.  My mantra when feeling like I need to run at an angle into the wind to maintain a straight course or having to wipe rain away from eyes is "no shortcuts" - repeated over, and over again.

I was home by 8 and we quickly got ready to head out to Margaret River by 9... the drive takes about 3 hours so we pulled up to Vasse Felixe right about lunch time.  The vineyard was much bigger and more developed than when we last visited, with expanded grounds and sculptures.  The restaurant overlooking the vineyards was just as we remembered, where we had one of our best meals ever long ago.  It is considered one of the only 5 star restaurants in the area, so we decided that it was not the best move after a 3 hour drive with the kids.

Vasse Felixe

Strolling the grounds

Gia enjoying the vineyard terraces.

The weather was drizzly, so we opted to not do any other vineyards.  We drove through town before checking into our hotel and were delighted to come across a field of 'roos out grazing - just like deer.

We stayed at Margarets Beach Resort in a great little condo, right near the beach.

Margarets Beach Resort

After checking in, we tried to figure our a good dinner spot.  The vineyard restaurants all closed at 5, so we decided to go back into town, a short 10 minute drive away.  We ended up at an excellent little spot called 'morries anytime' that served excellent tapas.  Caden was quite an adventurous eater enjoying risotto truffles and crispy pork belly.  Afterwards we strolled up the street to enjoy desserts in a cozy little restaurant with a big fire roaring.

morries anytime
The next morning we were delighted to have sunshine and rainbows.  This is the view from our balcony looking towards the ocean.  We dressed quickly to try and find the pot of the gold at the end of the rainbow...

As we walked out of the resort, we were excited to see both ends of the rainbow.  Note Lily in the middle.

As we walked towards the ocean, this is the view from the other direction of the some coming up over the hills.

The cautionary signs we encountered about the beach.  Swim, anyone?

Many stunning views to enjoy...

One of the interesting sites was this man fishing on the dock below.  The waves were coming in over the dock, but still he stood there, determined.  Then a wave washed his tackle box over, and he stood there a minute deciding what to do, before kicking off his shoes and diving in.  He was muttering to himself as he packed up, got back on his bicycle dripping wet, and left.  A pretty chilly morning.  I didn't envy him!

We ventured on a bit further, enjoying the rainbows.  The cold was getting to Lily too, while Caden wanted to explore the beach, so Corey and the girls headed back for coffee and Caden and I walked on a bit more.  Here are some of the incredible rainbows we encountered.  Never before have I seen such brilliant rainbows, so close by.

Caden with shells in hand :)

After a great breakfast, we set out to explore a bit more, starting with the beautiful kari forest.

Next we went to a cereal and nut factory, attempted the ice cream factory - but they had closed for two weeks, just starting the day before, and then of course went to a chocolate factory.  We had a chance to observe chocolate making in progress, and then enjoyed a great outdoor area where ALL of my kids played hide and seek :)

Watching the chocolate workers

Our next stop was to Hedyon Estate, my new favorite winery - discovered at 'morries anytime' the night before.  The proprietor, Mary and her husband have a house in Cottesloe, but moved to Margaret River to start their farm 10 years ago and raised their two boys there while renting out their property in Cottesloe.  She was a lovely and stunning woman who we really enjoyed chatting with while tasting their wine.

Their grounds.  Not able to be seen, but their kids had a zip line going over the water. 
The kids alternating between games on their iPads and running in the rain
Next stop was lunch at a great organic restaurant Mary recommended called Olio Bello.  Even the drinking water was rain water.  There is an entire green community being built among the olive orchards, with units still for sale.  After this idyllic lunch and setting, I am considering a bid! We enjoyed a leisurely lunch in the sun, enjoying excellent food and some of our Heydon wine.  :)
Kids playing around the grounds
Our table, with our BYO Heydon chardonnay

My pumpkin truffle filled ravioli
Whew!  What a wonderful weekend!

1 comment:

Leah Campbell Badertscher said...

Loving your stories!
Xoxo from Notre Dame
The Badertscher's