03
Jan
10

Birthday fun

Yesterday was my birthday. As the Christmas holiday is coming to a close we decided to get out of the city and have a little day trip.

We rented a Holden Astra convertible. As it was my birthday the car rental guy gave me a choice of colours: I chose bright red. Go big or go home, right?

The forecast was calling for rain to the north, so we headed south on the Grand Pacific Drive, top down. After a couple of minor panoramic lookout stops our first real port of call was Wollongong. We stopped at the Five Islands Brewing Company for lunch; I necked a burger and tried their Jessiweizen Hefeweizen and Bulli Black beers, both very nice.

Next we drove into Kiama to try to see some action from the tidal blowhole, but the sea was too still and a thunderstorm rolled through, so we didn’t stay long.

We soon reached Coolangatta Estate where we made good use of the cellar door, and I picked up two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc Verdelho 2009. It’s on some very picturesque grounds.

Further down the coast we stopped in Huskisson on scenic Jervis Bay for some much-needed ice cream.

We took the freeway most of the way back. We stopped in Wollongong again on the return to try to see the Nan Tien Temple (the southern hemisphere’s largest Buddhist temple) but it had already closed. It still looked impressive from the road. It’s oddly situated, though, amongst the steelworks and industrial parks of the area.

The drive was great, both the coastal way down and the inland roads back. Although there were some showers we had plenty of opportunity to make good use of the convertible, and we got plenty of wind and sun. This part of New South Wales will definitely be getting return trips from us.

And because it was my birthday I got to pick the radio station, which was triple j for most of the trip. Commercial-free radio that plays Faith No More, Them Crooked Vultures, Muscles, dan le sac vs. Scroobius Pip, Flight of the Conchords, Mi-Sex, AC/DC, and Sigur Ros? Yes, please.

On arriving back in Sydney we picked up some pizzas and sat down to watch one of my all-time favourite films on TV: Jaws.

It was a birthday I really enjoyed, and a good closing to the holiday.

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