Monday, 21 February 2011

So I thought I had better....

...get my act together and update. I know, I usually do this on the weekend. But this weekend was a total write off.

See, last week was fantastic. I only had to work 2 days. As did Fluffy. And Dobby only had 2 days of school.

As it was school camp last week Fluffy and I decided we needed some time out. So I organised for us to go up to the Barossa Valley for a couple of days. Last year I purchased a voucher (well, paid some of it, with the rest to be paid when we used it), to The Vineyards Motel, with a complementary bottle of wine on arrival. What better time to use it!

We had the van on sale, and on Monday evening some people came to have a look at it. Tuesday they came back with an offer, and we accepted it. So we could afford to relax for a couple of days.

Wednesday we got Dobby off to the school bus, waved goodbye, then back home for a quick clean up, pack up the car, and we were off. The weather was lovely - mid twenties, patchy cloud but nothing serious.

We took the Ford up for a drive. Fluffy decided that as a highway vehicle it will do quite nicely.

When we got up to the motel, our hearts sank.

This is it here....

The Vineyards

Looks lovely, doesn't it? Let me tell you something. It wasn't. I didn't even think to take photos. I don't know where the photo of the bedroom was taken, but it wasn't our room. The pool area was overgrown with weeds and the furniture was old and beaten up.

Our room was toward the end of the right hand row, and the little garden beds outside the room had dead plants in them, or none at all. The room was dark and gloomy, with an old paisly burgundy carpet straight out of the 70s. The bed head was a padded brown number, and the bedspread was an old thing too. But the furniture was odd. Beside our bed, under the window, was an aluminium and glass outdoor setting, quite nice. The desk to the front of the room was old, chipped and marked and painted cream. There was a fridge, a cupboard with an ironing board and iron, extra pillows. There was a plastic cake tray which housed 3 tiny tea cups, 3 saucers, 3 little glasses, and 2 teaspoons. Tiny little canisters housed about 4 sachets of sugar, 3 of coffee and 3 teabags. The kettle and microwave looked new, but what would you use the microwave for? There was no crockery or cutlery... Oh, and toaster looked fairly new too.

Beside all this was an old ceramic sink set into the bench, above which was an old brown non-working airconditioner. A new reverse cycle number was under the sink. Well, it was new about ten years ago. It rattled and clunked away through the night...

The bathroom had an old standard door like we have here at home. It housed a toilet and shower, with only the tiniest little shelf under the mirror. No basin...

The first day we were there, we couldn't find a teatowel, dishcloth, or handtowel. The second day a teatowel and wash cloth appeared...

To make it 4 star, they had put half a dozen cans of softdrink into the fridge, and a hairdryer in the cupboard. Now, if only they could paint the cupboard, change the floor covering, update the bed clothes...

But, well, we were there. Breakfast was provided each day so we had cereal, toast and coffee/tea.

On Wednesday afternoon we wandered around Angaston for a bit. Not much to see but we had a bit of a look anyway.

Back to the motel to settle in and watch Channel Max, who were playing an 80s music countdown. The only good thing on TV and a lot of fun reminiscing.

When we did arrive back, though. our neighbours had just arrived. German couple. They said hello, all that. While we were inside watching TV, they took our table.

When I cam outside, Fluffy, who was sitting on a single chair says "you can't sit out here. They've taken our table and chairs". He was disgusted. What? Our table and chairs?

A little while later they went out. We took them back.

Dinner was at The Barossa Bistro. Our waitress, indeed the only waitress, was a lady almost 60, but very pleasant. There were only a handful of patrons in that night. I ordered Carbonara, and Fluffy had, if memory serves me, the seafood catch - or platter, depending on where you buy it.

My carbonara arrived and it was full of vegetables! Weird. I ate it. No bacon... quite interesting. I couldn't finish it, and when she boxed it up for me, (in a stupid styrofoam box I was never going to be able to reheat it in) I asked was this the vegetarian dish instead of the one I ordered? She went away to check. Indeed, it was the vego alternative. Luckily it cost the same. And was palatable. Not one I would get again. Olives, peas, capsicum and corn in the carbonara just doesn't quite do it...

But it was a cheap meal, made even better by the 20% discount we got as part of the package.

Back at the motel, we hadn't been home long when the neighbours returned. They immediately took the table back again. Fluffy went out to confront them. "Why do you keep taking our table and chairs?" he asked. "We were here first, these are ours!" he shouts back.

I heard this, stuck my head out the door and said "No, we got here before lunch". Okay, he concedes, you were. But why didn't we just go over and explain? "I knew as soon as you arrive, you trouble people" he yells. He was getting very hot under the collar and Fluffy honestly thought he was going to get violent. He was yelling at me and pointing to Fluffy and pointing at my all the time accusing us of being "trouble people!" I can laugh now but I just closed the door in his face and came in for a shower. Rude. Fluffy nicknamed them Sour Krauts...

Then, after the wife had gotten another table and gave it to Fluffy to use (it had a horrible lean on it and I was nervous every time I put his coffee on it...), they started to say rude things about his smoke. Fluffy came inside killing himself laughing. The husband was walking around with his nose buried in his elbow complaining, calling Fluffy Mr Stinky. They took a different table and chairs, and sat at the end of the driveway away from Fluffy's cigarettes. Mind you, Fluffy even moved under our window so as to not let smoke drift into their open windows. They didn't stay open for long!

People trying to get around the end of the long drive were forced to do a several-point turn because of where the Krauts had put their table, but they refused to move. The people would look at Fluffy, laugh, and call them idiots. And still, we're terrible people??

After that, every time Fluffy went outside they would tease him with "here comes Mr Stinky" and put on a performance. Hmpf. Children.

Thursday we decided on a road trip. We would drive the circuit, from Angastaon, down through Singleton, Eden Valley, across to some of the other little places, Tanunda, and back to Nuriootpa. No worries.

We headed off about 9.00. It's a little misty outside... indeed light misty rain was falling for a bit.

We made it to Singleton in about 5 minutes... and there was nothing there. Just a pub. Closed. A general store. Looked to be closed. But I did get some lovely photos of this heritage tree. Apparently a family (ancestors of the legendary Simon Goodwin) used to live in it. Fantastic old thing it is.

Also, a dug out canoe and old pump.

We took our time looking at these lovely things. Next stop was Lyndoch. We had been here on two occasions with the club, but not to stay. Just while staying at Tanunda. It's a pretty little spot. Snack at the german Bakery was nice. The knick knack store next door beckoned, and we spent too much money on some little bits and pieces.

Just outside Tanunda was The Whispering Wall. Last time we were here we brought mum and dad up, so that was about 7 years ago. It's a concave dam wall, that has wonderful accoustics. You can hear the person across the other side like they were standing right there with you. Amazing. I took the camera to try some stuff out but didn't get anything earth shattering.

Both these shots were around the wall. As I said, nothing spectacular but nice spot. We almost missed the turn off, did a screaming hold and whipped around into the driveway. We had a laugh because the couple behind us did the exact same thing! When we saw them later we shared a joke. Nice people.

Up around to Tanunda then. We walked through the town, Fluffy not really wanting to look in the shops, so I didn't. Stopped for a rest in a beautiful little park.

Back up to Nuriootpa then. It was getting late so we stopped for a bite to eat. By late I mean about 1.40pm or so. Quick bite to eat back at Anguston and back to the room for a rest. The Krauts were not home so we had some peace and quiet.

Dinner back out at the Brauhaus pub. Lovely meal there, and the Krauts had dinner there too... they walked past us but didn't see us I don't think.

We sat then watching a Marcia Hines concert, and interviews with U2 and another semi-famous band, then crashed about ten.

On Friday morning it was raining. I mean raining. Not misty, just raining. It has set in. We paid the bill, packed up, and left before 9.30, leaving our neighbours to complain in our absence. I asked Fluffy if we should mention anything to reception. He said no, we will never see these people again so don't bother. I tended to agree.

Home slowly in the rain. It takes longer to get through Adelaide than it does to drive from the Barossa. A quick stop at the spare parts place to get a new lock for the caravan door, and home to unpack. We didn't hurry.

Back to the school to pick up Dobby. She enjoyed her camp, but wasn't happy it was raining. Unpack, start some washing, and vege. Aaaaahhhh.

Saturday Fluffy went back to work. Dobby and I tackled the van. Well, I tackled it. Dobby did help somewhat, going down the back to get her father's trolley to put a heavy box of food on, wheeled it inside herself, and put the trolley back. Very helpful. I brought everything inside and dumped it in the office, in the kitchen, on our bedroom floor... who would have thought we could fit so much crap in the van!

Oh, on Thursday we got a call from the buyer saying they had deposited the money for the van. It's all go.

Sunday Dobby was supposed to do her room but didn't. Lazy little twerp. It's still not done. I slipped up to Cunningham's for some plastic storage boxes, and set to work sorting through the rubbish. I filled 4 boxes with stuff to keep, and threw the rest out. When I say threw it out, I mean it's stacked against my wardrobe waiting for me to take it to the second hand store.

Remember that beautiful blue velvet comforter I love so dearly? I simply have nowhere to put it now so it has to go. Heartbroken I am over that! That was a mother's day present several years ago. Sniff... But it was that or the frog blanket, so you know what I chose...

Anyway, when my back got too sore I gave up. Fluffy had just a few things to sort through, a couple of minor things to fix, and it's all done.

Actually, the door lock almost beat him. It didn't work. First, he bought the wrong one. He had to take it back and swap it.

Then, he tried the new one, and it jammed and wouldn't unlock. He had to literally rip it off, breaking it apart. Luckily the old one was mostly working, and he was able to combine the two to make the lock work.

But, today is Monday, and that money still hasn't cleared. Here's hoping tomorrow sees it in my bank. Fluffy has offered to deliver the van, as it's too difficult to get it out our yard for someone who doesn't know the place to do. Lovely chappy.

Today is also our 3rd Wedding anniversary. I wondered which one we should celebrate - wedding in Feb, or getting together in April. Common concensus seems to be - BOTH! So, we will. We don't officially acknowledge it, just wish each other a happy anniversary, give a kiss and acknowledge that we are glad we are together. Love you, Sweet Cheeks! x

You know, upon re-reading this, it all sounds very negative, like I'm whinging. I want you to know, I'm not. All these things that happen are just little interesting things that I write about. They are not meant to be "poor us" type things. But without them, my blog would be sadly boring, would it not? So, don't think I'm pessimistic, cause I sure ain't. Just looking at everything as "character builders" and trying to find stuff to write about.

I hope it keeps you amused for a little while. :-)


Anonymous said...

Mr Rat and I have come across many motels like that in our travels! And as for germans, we've got some across the road from us. Cranky bastard he is. Happy anniversary for both days! Love Rat.

SOL's view said...

Happy Anniversary. And frogs rule apparently so of course which blankie was a bit of a no brainer.

You do seem to luck out a bit with the hotel stuff, don't you. That travel mob sold you a dud I say...


Anonymous said...

love wally

JoeinVegas said...

Are you practising things from the photography course? I like it when you add pictures, makes it more real.