Holiday happy snaps & Happy Birthday Dad!

Our recent holiday to...we tell the kids we're going to Esperance, but actually it's closer to Condingup. Close to a beautiful spot along the south coast of Western Australia, The Duke of Orleans Bay - more affectionately know as being at 'The Duke'. This is Wharton Beach. Simply the best beach. Ever. It should be in the "1000 places to see before you die" book. It might be. I'm not sure. If you've never been, you should go.

A bit of apricot picking off Mum's tree on the farm...deliciousness. The farm is about a 40 minute drive to the beach. So not that close, but it's so good it's close enough to drive down each day or two.

 Then some playing in the dirt with a new garden set (Christmas present from Nan and Grandad).  A little too much weaponry for Nathan, for my liking...

Don't these boys look like they had fun!!


We didn't do much else. It was quite hot, so the beach was mostly the best place to be. A drive out to Thomas River in the Cape Arid National Park to visit my Uncle Paul, Aunty Tracy and their boys, who were camped up, enjoying the peace and quiet of the beach, river, fishing and waves with only a handful of others. The boys had a ball playing in the river, trying out their new fishing rods (another Christmas present) enticing my cousin Patrick to swim with them and squelching their toes in the river slime!

Oh, of course... We celebrated Dad's 60th Birthday!  Happy Birthday Dad!! I doubt he's ever read this, so maybe he will today :)

Mum made him a little cake, which I was to decorate with a map of Australia. And even though her idea and my idea weren't quite on the same page,  it looked pretty darn awesome, even if I say so myself!! My page was quite a bit bigger and the grand plans I had for licorice or coloured piped icing for routes travelled, town markers and a great Ayers Rock...Uluru.. well they weren't written on my page for anyone to read about, or get supplies for, so at 6pm realised that I actually had to come up with something on a cake a quarter of the size I was imagining! Oh. The usual luxury of being able to nip to the shop to get said bits and pieces was out of the question (too far), so I improvised with food colouring as my friend.

How do you ice a cake to look like Australia? Easy goes something like this...Print map of Australia..Cut out...Place Australia on cake... Ice around outside of map... Poke toothpicks through paper at major towns... Lift paper map off cake... Fill inside of Australia with orange icing ...hmmm luckily there was yellow food colouring and a dribble of red left (I swear those bottles was at least 20 years old!), there was also a lovely violet colour that I remember from oh, probably 1994 at a guess...I digress...go carefully so you don't move your toothpick place markers too far out of place....Place spare icing in fridge, so that later when someone asks where Tasmania is, you can put that little island on the cake that you forgot to get back to doing earlier, because your kids were hungry. My sister, Lauren, was sent to the office to print out a list of towns, which we stuck to toothpicks, noting many (actually not all that many, I keep thinking of that song...I've been every where, man) of the places Dad has travelled over the years with Mum on his annual grey nomad trips. He's hardly grey though.  What we came up with was great!


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