Saturday, September 29, 2007

I found my thrill.....

On Monday morning the 17th, we headed out from Sydney to the Hunter Valley wine country. It's about two hours north and there is no easy way to get there on public transportation so we bit the bullet and rented a car to brave the drive on "the wrong side of the road." Karen only had to yell at me a couple of times about where I was on the road and we made it to the valley unscathed. The fellow from Hertz had recommended a couple of wineries. Once we made it to and through Cessnock, we were told to look for the Hunter Valley Wine Country Visitor Information Center. We found it and went in to get info. They have a good book on the valley which contains a nice map. Most things in the valley are fairly close to each other. There are a lot of wineries to choose from and we first located Blueberry Hill based on the recommendation from the Hertz guy. Nice small winery. We tasted some Shiraz and bought a bottle to take home. We're going to have it some night soon. By that point we were hungry and looking for a place for lunch. One of the recommendations from friends was Blaxlands Grill, which turned out to be only a short distance from the Cypress Lakes Resort where the conference was being held. A good thing too, as we ate and drank our fill at lunch and were ready to check in when it was over. The food highlight at lunch was a delicious lemon souffle as an appetizer. Excellent. While we were sitting at the table, Karen, being seated facing the window saw her first kangaroos, hopping off in the distance. Great thrill. The picture here is not that roo sighting but it's a great one all the same from a few days later while at the resort. We made it to the resort but alas they were not ready to check us in. We found the bar and were happy to see an NFL game on. We did not care if it was live or who it was. With all due respect to the Aussies, it seemed like half the channels on the hotel TV had rugby, Australian rules football or cricket. Not understanding the rules for any of them, we were U.S. sports starved and very happy to see the game. I was ready for a beer at this point and once again, the local beers did not disappoint. Had a very nice lager from Bluetongue Brewery just up the road. Very pleasant. The Aussies manage to brew local beers without going over the top on hops, which seems to be a strong tendency for craft beers in the U.S.

Next, the iMedia Cypress Valley Agency Summit.

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