Somewhere to do something...

Teenage birthday parties...they seem to get bigger and more complicated each year. Bel was invited to one yesterday. A logistical nightmare from a parents point of hours drive into the foothills, a 6 hour party and involving money from the party goer. Not your average party. Ever been paintballing? It involves pain and bruises and apparently can be a lot of fun! I wasn't so keen to say yes to this party. It's not that I want to turn my girls into princesses, I like them experiencing a bit of toughen up and dirt every now and then, but it's more that I think this generation is overindulged and gets too much too soon. Paintballing is something Dude only tried last year with a corporate day out and I have never tried it (that's not saying much - I DO have Princess tendencies! I like paint, as you know, but not when its fired at me from a gun and its encased in a rock hard coating!) Anyway, that's a whole other blog post..Especially since I know we have totally overindulged the girls at times. Bel's own 15th birthday was not your average party either. But...still...Oh nevermind! We said yes, got up at the crack of dawn, or nearly, for a saturday; collected one other excited teenager and headed for the hills. After settling Bel in with another 10 combat girls, leaving her at the pink cake table amongst about 100 men and boys, with Dude reassuring me she would make it out alive, we headed out to do something...somewhere! There was no point heading home. It felt so good to be in the country again. Not that we were that far from the city, but the fact that we were surrounded by magnificent gum trees and got to drive on some red dirt is all that I needed to blow away the city dust and cobwebs. As it was, the paintballing centre was just near my cousins farm in North Dandalup. It's being sold, which has been a very sad but necessary decision for my cousin's family so we couldn't resist going and having one last look at its amazing view and reminiscing about some fun times there with the kids. Perched on the escarpment with incredible coastal views, it's a wonderful piece of land and it will be sadly missed.This is the view to the coast. Though from the homestead, it is a clear uninterrupted 180 degree view. Great for storm watching and sunsets.It was good to see our friends are still on the farm...We love these babes. But our day needed to carry on without the sadness of memories past and Dude having promised a yummy lunch somewhere to Bon and I , we decided to meander the long way round ( on 4wd tracks) to Jarrahdale, where we had been told there was a nice winery...sounded like a plan to me! Oh my heart starts to sing when I'm in the bush. I needed this day out to refresh my spirit.Serpentine Dam...desperately needing some rainfall.We found the winery - Millbrook Winery. It was a little oasis in the bush.and had a helicopter parked in the grounds....Aaah? What!We decided just to have a tasting plate and a glass of wine as there was nothing on the menu that suited having a child at our table...The tasting plate was raw Rottnest scallops with radish and ginger, broad bean soup, potato with octopus and anchovy - delicious...but you get the picture! So we enjoyed the view, the tasting plate and the wine, sussed out the story of the helicopter - 3 woman on a package deal joy ride from Perth to the winery for lunch and the most gorgeous Eye Candy pilot ever! I got talking to him when we were leaving and nearly swooned...we are talking a 28-year-old (ish) , blue-eyed 'Top Gun' uniformed heart-throb. His clients must have thought so too, because instead of leaving him outside to have his packed lunch and thermos tea, they invited him to join them for lunch!! Good plan ladies! Pity you were all cashed up Cougars and over 40 or you might have stood a chance!Dude couldn't help himself...he just had to have a look. Careful with that wine Darling!Millbrook Winery - Check it out if you are ever in Jarrahdale...lovely but don't take the smaller kids. We zipped up to the Jarrahdale Historic General Store to get Bon some was GORGEOUS! Dude and I had a bowl each of thick, tasty homemade soup and Bon ordered toasted sandwiches - We sat in the sun, in a pretty garden, laughing that this suited us a little more than the winery...but you get that sometimes.For my overseas readers...yes, these signs are for real and no we didn't see any, but they are a big part of country living. A serious hazard on the roads at dusk when they come out to feed.A few more red roads through the Serpentine National Park to make sure my heart was full of country air and dirt and ready to face the city and suburbs once more.There must have been a recent bushfire in the area, you could still smell the ash and smoke. It has been a dry and dangerous summer for our country folk. We found as many puddles as possible to splash least then we would have evidence on the car that we had a day in the bush!! It was a pitiful display and has already washed off!And this is how we found Bel...battered and bruised and tired from a fun day out. Yes, I know what the one on her neck looks like! Not happy about that bruise and neither was she...It hurt!! Arnica bought on the way home to get rid of that bruise before school is back on thursday, an icepack for a throbbing thumb and early to bed for 4 weary but happy souls. x Mia
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