Thursday, December 3, 2009

A nice get away

Hi guys! I'm back! If any of you guys are wondering where I have been for the past's a BIG clue:
Yup, I was away to Australia, specifically sunny Gold Coast for a wonderful getaway with my family. :) Sunny because it's Australia's summer now and we stayed at Surfer's Paradise at a beachfront hotel. The beaches are beautiful and clean. The weather was actually nice, not hot at all especially while at the beach because the constant sea breeze is very cooling. The sand at the beach is powdery soft and the seawater is clear. I can go on and on on how nice it is there, but I guess showing you pictures will tell you more. So here it is:
The super long 20Km stretch of beautiful white sandy beach at Gold Coast.
Surfers Paradise, known for it's good waves, enough to satisfy novices and pro surfers. As you can see the beach is not densely packed with tourists even on a weekend, nice!. ;) Love the powdery sand there. My kids can't get enough of it! They dig and build, dig and pile non stop all day while we're at the beach. And when we get back from the beach, they will ask when are we going again tomorrow! :-P
Yes, this is what I wake up to every morning....a beautiful sunrise view from my bedroom. :)
A view to remember. :)One of my all time favorite things to do....listening to to the sound of the waves. Its really calming. A nice morning stroll at the beach is what I start my day off. ;)
Yes, my husband likes to surf. One of the things he enjoys doing when we go on beach holidays. You might notice the long stretch of hotels, apartments along the coast. Yes, a tourist hot spot & very commercialized. :-P
Enough beach photos. Will show you some of the yummy food we enjoy while we are there. Our first dinner there was at a Japanese restaurant which I forgotten the name! But it's a nice and cosy place. ;) Price wise, slightly on the steep side though. I dine at Japanese restaurant very often and this is just another one of those udon noodle set with tempura. Don't ask me why, but I REALLY enjoyed this!We dined at 2 other Western restaurants call Sage & Yellow Fin which was recommended by a friend. We even get 40% off the tabs from the coupons in the brouchours we got from the hotel. So peel your eyes and look out for special discounts when you go out dinning. ;)
Fish and chips, my girls' favorite! We practically order fish and chips in almost every eatery we go. :D
The kangaroo steak did not taste gamey at all. For someone like me whom seldom go for game meat, this was actually quite delicious. :)We ordered the fresh catch of the day, which is Sword Fish, grilled and lightly seasoned. Personally not a fan of sword fish, I find it on the dry side.
Love this one, fresh scallops in riosotto which is slow cooked with pancetta and sweet peas. It's creamy and flavourful, with the mild sweetness from the scallops and peas, in contrast with the salty pancetta, it's delicious!

The night before we leave GC, we dine at an Italian restaurant call Toscani's. Overall a nice meal which we all enjoyed. :)
This is such a refreshing salad. The avocado goes really well in it and the mango dressing was tangy and flavorful, a good combination I would say. ;)
My elder daughter devoured almost this whole plate of gnocchi all by herself...well maybe except the sun-dried tomatoes and the beef strips. :-P
This pizza is a meat-lovers choice, it has ham, chicken breast, bacon and even tender lamb chunks. With the BBQ sauce drizzled over it, makes it taste even better. ;)
When you think of Australia, people would normally associate it with Koala bears & Kangaroos. Well, we saw plenty of those amazing animals while we were at Cirrumban Wildlife Sanctuary & Seaworld. ;) We even got up close and personally with those creatures taking pictures and holding them in our arms. ;) Let me show you some of those pictures we took.I am always amazed at how friendly a dolphin can be towards human. And watching the dolphin show just further enhance the fact how smart these sea creatures are.
Wombat looks cute, fluffy and all, but it is one tough "cookie". It is packed full of muscles and it can run up to 40km/h.
The ever so lovable Koala Bear. If they are not sleeping, they are munching on the tender greens of a eucalyptus tree. So you would be lucky to see them active! ;)
When I saw this koala bear...the image of Yoda from Star Wars pop up from my mind! Too funny & too cute! "Patience young Jedi, patience."
Before I sign off this super duper long post, let me finish off what I started off in the begining, the cookies! It all started when I bought this set of Aussie Animal Cookie cutters from a Bakery Supply Shop.When I was back home, I couldn't wait to try them out! And here is what I came up with:Unfortunately the kangaroos look like some prehistoric dinosaurs! *sigh* But I am quite please with the crocodile and Koala Bear cookies. ;D My kids were pretty amused when they saw the cookies and snatched up a few when I was done with it.This cookie recipe is the same one I used before, call vanilla shorties. Even though this is a delicious recipe, the cookies are kind of delicate for this purpose, so perhaps next time I would use a simple sugar cookie recipe.
Final Thoughts: Hope you all had fun reading and looking through my post and photos as much as I have fun writing it out for you guys. It took me 6 hours to complete it! Hope I have not bore any of you out there! If you are thinking about visiting Gold word of advice, don't hesitate, go! Have a great holiday all! Cheers!


Bren said...

One of my wish to go Gold Coast :) It's a beautiful place for family vacation. The kangaroo and koalas are so cute :) really match with those cookies :) Wish to try my hands on decorating cookies too. Thanks.

Pei-Lin said...

Goodness!! I was melted completely by the time I saw those adorable koalas!!! Nice pix!!


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Mysweetkitchen!
Yes, indeed a great place for family. But one tip, make sure your kid is at least 105cm before you go, because most/all of the kiddie rides in Seaworld requires that. ;) Actually I merely used vanilla sugar icing (confectioner's sugar+milk+vanilla) for the deco, too lazy to do fondant, hahaha. Find some nice cutters and try it! Good luck!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Pei-Lin,
Thanks! Hahaha...yeah I love those cuddly koalas too. ;)

Kitchen Corner said...

Hey.. that's a wonderful holiday! I'm sure you very much enjoy it. Beautiful pictures, VERY! Perhaps after a break, it is time to cook and bake! Look forward to it ok :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Grace! I am glad you enjoy looking at the photos. :) Yes, more baking is on the way! In fact there is a cake in the oven right now, heehee. :D

Kitchen Corner said...

Hey.. can't wait to see the cake lar.. :P

Happy Homebaker said...

Wow, what a great holiday! I have not been to Gold Coast, but may not be able to go in the near future, as my better half thinks that the place is too commercialised? I love the wombat!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Your husband is right about GC being a commercialized hot spot. :P But you know it's not too bad because in a way we save quite abit on meals and transportation. How? There are several bus services (much cheaper the taxi or car rental) catered to go to tourist locations (e.g. Seaworld & Cirrumban wildlife) And because tourist tend to stay in a range of >4 days, there are more apartments there then hotels (real nice ones too). So more then half of our meals were cooked in the apartment. When I asked my daughter what was the best meal she had in GC, she said the spaghetti I cooked! Hahaha! But if you love beaches, this is a really nice place to go, so maybe you can try to change your husband's mind? Well unless you prefer Sydney or Melbourne which are also big cities, where else do you get to hold a fluffy Koala bear in your arms! Yeah, the wombat is like a big hamster, hahaha! Hope you will visit GC someday too. ;)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hey Grace,
Haha, super happy of your enthusiasm and support! But when weekend comes I usually can't find any free time to blog! Sorry...hopefully I will post up the cake soon. ;) Have a great weekend!