Long weekend

T his has been a holiday weekend in NSW, with today (Monday) being a public holiday. With the weather trying to turn towards summer this is traditionally a big “going out” weekend, and despite no previous plans it turned out that way for me too.

I met up with new friend Kristen on Saturday evening, and what was intended to be an ordinary catch-up stretched to a fun and totally impromptu late-night adventure. After spending most of Sunday day suffering the effects of the night before we met up again for dinner at Stonefish, a tapas bar on the Cronulla Mall which I’d long wanted to visit.

The food is very good there, and great value too. We tried the “all you can eat tapas buffet” which is in effect six shared dishes between two people, all for the very attractive price of $30 a head. After dips and turkish bread, a very meaty and delicious salt and pepper calamari, rice and mushroom arancini balls, lamb skewers with tzatziki, lamb rogan josh with rice and grilled salmon on crushed potatoes with basil sauce we were truly stuffed, but both praising the quality of the food. Washed down with a Mudhouse pinot gris from Marlborough ($37) it was a fine meal overall. They offer even more inventive dishes by the plate, and next time I am very keen to try some of them…

What followed was a fairly typical “Cronulla Crawl” around the various venues that are open on the bigger nights: Club Cronulla, Northies, Sting Bar and (inevitably) Fusion. Then home for more wine, during which Joel and James came home for more beer and wine. Definitely a good night for all, but we were ALL glad not to have to work on the Monday.

Monday, the holiday day itself, was dominated by going to the soccer to watch Sydney FC beat my adoptive home team the Central Coast Mariners. Joel had been given some free tickets by her boss, so we invited my cousin Mark along as well. After the game (the Mariners lost, BTW) we travelled to Mark’s home area of Allawah (near Hurstville) to hang out with him and his Dad, my uncle. Another fine day :-)

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Born in New Zealand, now living in Australia. When I'm not travelling, that is... Though I have travelled quite a bit before, 2012 is the first time that I've taken a year off to roam the world. Spending this time with Kristen exploring some of this planet's finest sights has been the best decision I've ever made. Who knows what 2013 will bring?

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