Hello all, we went to the Hunter Valley just 1 hour 45 minutes North of Sydney to a small town called Bellbird for Christmas this year, you can see where it is on the map below, not too far North of Sydney. Sanna’s cousin Tanya and her boyfriend (now her fiancé) live there in a house with their 2 dogs Zen and Missy. The hunter valley is very famous for being one of Australia’s largest wine areas and the entire area is covered in wineries and cellar doors everywhere, but most were closed during our visit to the area.
Sanna and I both finished work on Christmas eve at 1pm and dashed home for showers and then loaded up the RS4. With both the back seats down we nearly filled it up with camping gear, food and presents, it must have weighed nearly 100kg’s of stuff in the back!
The back of the RS4, loaded ready to go
As I said we stayed at Tanya and Jeremy’s house all made of wood and had a lot of land out the back not just the small garden you can see in the photo below. Sanna and I, her mum and some other friends camped out on the grass on the land, Susie and Daniel the kids in their caravan they brought with them and Hanna joined them, and Sanna’s cousin Nick stayed in the spare room in the house. There were 11 adults and 5 kids, so it was a big Christmas gathering and we all stayed for 3 days.
Tanya and Jeremy’s little wooden house in Bellbird
With so many people staying over for Christmas, there were so many presents under the Christmas tree as you can see in the below photo, and this photo doesn’t show the other half of the presents that where behind the sofa to the left of the bike. There were so many presetns the front door was blocked off and everyone used the back door to get in and out.
Lots of pressies under the tree
In the morning before we opened the presents we were all asking the kids if they had been good that year and if they deserved their presents and I’ve never seen them act so quiet and good. Look at the big kid on the right excited for her presents.
Christmas day morning with all the kids waiting for presents time
Presents time and chaos!
After presents time we got out the Slip ‘n Slide water game for the kids, a aussie backyard favourite. I was the only adult to give it a go to show the kids how to do it. I did it 4 times and then, I didn’t find out to much later I did some damage to my left side ribs from jumping and landing on my front as I was in pain for days afterwards. When we got back to Sydney I had to go to the emergency ward at the St Richards Sydney hospital and they did ECG heart scans and chest x-rays but it was just bruising around the ribs so I’m ok.
Slip ‘n Slide, a aussie backyard favourite
I made up a little camp in the back garden for the kids but they all got upset and didn’t want to share and it lead to arguments.
Backyard camp I made for the kids
For dinner we had all the usual bits and pieces for Christmas lunch like Turkey and Cranberry sauce also there was roast beef, ham and apple sauce, lots and lots of other things.
For breakfast on boxing day morning we had crispy bacon and tomatoes on the barbie, omelettes, bread rolls, and mushrooms yum!
Sanna’s cousin Nick cooking bacon and tomato’s outside on the barbie
Sanna and Basma cooking omelettes in the kitchen for everyone.
Boxing day breakfast at the table
On boxing day, Sanna Nick and I took the RS4 out to find the highest lookout we could in the area to look the valley and the vineyards. The last bit of the track was pretty steep and really muddy as the weather was wet and the car got up it fine with us 3 inside and still lots of camping gear in the back which I was impressed with. Nick found a small hole that he thought he saw a spider run into so he put a blade of grass down the hole to try and make it come out the crazy man.
Sanna and me enjoying the countryside and fresh air
Nick having some fun
Only 2 days to new years eve now and the party at Troy’s place next to the harbour bridge. I hope all my family and friends had a lovely Christmas for 2010! – Love Mark