Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A visit to Campbelltown

Well, last Sunday it was off to Campbelltown, just on the very outskirts of that sprawling metropolis of Sydney, to visit our daughter Kat, her partner Anthony and our two grandsons Aidan and James (Jimmy). The trip started off in overcast and rain drizzle with wet roads as we left home and headed cross country to the Hume Highway. We were rugged up and had the heater/demister working, Rhonda's Mazda 6 needed a really good run as since she had ceased working in Canberra it was only doing short local runs.

Driving down the Valley Way

We reach the Highway

Climb up to 700 metres over the hill

And, Off to Sydney - Yep, that's a lone semi-trailer in the distance
A few of the many wind turbines between Gunning and Goulburn

One and a half hours into the trip and past the Goulburn off-ramp

Approaching Marulan and the skies are clearing

Roadworks at Marulan. The "Thank You" sign had just read our
road speed at below the roadworks speed limit.

Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra wattle), blooming along
the roadside in the native vegetation plantations separating
the two carriageways. Wattle is Australia's national emblem and
It is a tree which flowers in late winter and spring, producing a mass
of fragrant, fluffy, golden flowers.

Traffic increases as we approach Sydney

Our off ramp, two and a half hours into the trip

Getting closer as we reach a critical turning point

Sydney traffic as we near our destination.

Finally, we arrive and everyone is pleased to see us. Aidan and Jimmy run to their bedrooms, we were too early as they were working on a 'surprise present' for us.

Jimmy                                                                             Aidan

Big welcome from  Anthony (He's what we refer to in Australia as a "Big Unit") and Kat.

Rhonda and Anthony

Kat and her mother

Jimmy and Aidan get ready to make their presentation

Our present, some home made 'spiderman creatures'

And then it was the boys lunchtime fresh bed rolls with ham and tomato
and chicken and cheese fillings

We stayed longer then we intended but finally we had to take our leave. We wanted to stop off in Mittagong, a highway 'by-pass town' and check out a restaurant we had been  told about - . Esco Pazzo

Dining room

Reception room

Esco Pazzo is situated in the historic 1890 granite Georgian building, located in picturesque Mittagong on the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Esco Pazzo offers an extensive menu featuring a delectable selection of handmade pastas, stone fired pizzas and authentic Roman Italian entrees and mains. One of the dishes that Esco Pazzo is renowned for include the Pappardelle Duck. Unfortunately we arrived there at 2.30 PM and they close their lunch service at 3.00 PM on a Sunday. We could have stayed but we would have been the only customers and I sensed the staff were wanting to close up (150% penalty rates for restaurant staff on a Sunday!).

We walked down the street to Gilbert's Cafe. It had been written up as:
"Gilbert's Mittagong Main St, Mittagong. Gilbert's in Mittagong offers exquisite cuisine at affordable prices." 
Someone was being optimistic, I reckon. As a member of "Trip Advisor" a web site for reporting one's travel experiences, this was my posted review of Gilbert's Cafe:
"Sunday afternoon, grubby premises - needed a good vacuuming - and lots of tables with the remains of previous diners meals not 'bused' away and we had to clean off space at a table to sit down by piling it onto the mess left on an adjacent table. We ordered afternoon tea of scones jam and cream with a pot of tea and a long black coffee. A pimply faced youth deposited one scone with heaps of jam and cream on the side - I said "We did order "Scones" (plural)" and he said he would go back and get us another one. I told him not to bother - we shared the one large scone with one of us using the plate and the other the paper napkin.
I also have a great dislike, when ordering a pot of tea, to be served that with a small coffee cup! For goodness sake, if you do not have teacups in Tea house, give your customers a coffee mug - not a piddling little coffee cup.
Needs the 'female touch' instead of all male staff!"
Well, after that experience we decided to find our way home. We had one slight problem leaving Mittagong as "Ellie" our Sat-Nav unit kept wanting to direct us back to Sydney. I eventually remembered that we had lent that particular unit to Kat and Anthony when they moved their belongings from Hobart, Tasmania to Camplelltown and it had "Home" programmed as their home address. Quickly sorted, we found our way back to the Hume Highway and home.

Denny was very pleased to see us but he gave me a good 'sniffing' over my trouser legs as I obviously had the smells of Caddy (his best mate) and Candy. Kat's two dogs on me.

Tired from all the car travel and our days experience it was off to the local Vietnamese restaurant for dinner that night and then home to rest and relax with our feet up in front of the television.


The Elephant's Child said...

Busy, busy, busy. We have never been to Sydney without encountering rain. Usually on both the trip up and back.

North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard said...

Those day trips are exhausting, or so I find them to be ... I enjoyed the trip just fine as I sat here. Thanks!

JohnD said...

It was a different trip for us and now that Kat and nthony have moved back to the mainland it was a chance to break the 'embargo' and get to see our grandsons more often. We've arranged for all of them to come and visit us in summer when its Kat's weekend to have the boys, especially during daylight saving period.