Australia; Easter Weekend

Easter weekend is usually a traditional weekend for our family, with a general requirement to attend church on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Easter weekend in Australia was anything but traditional. We spent the weekend sharing in song with kinfolk at two clubs and a winery.  When reflecting on our journey and many blessings in life, we couldn’t have thought of a better way to celebrate our understanding of grace and community.

Good Friday offered a reflectively beautiful night of music at the sultry Wesley Anne, a club set in the hip Northcote suburb.  We invited kinfolk, Patty Larkins and Carl Pannuzzo to kick off the night and they brought it! Their vulnerability and healing folk tunes truly lifted us up and entertained all. Next up we asked Nicolette Forte and her band to play. We meet Nico, Duncan, Chris and Kevin at The Chandelier Room a few weeks prior and fell in love with their spirit of youth and their good times beach vibe. By the time we took the stage we were inspired and ready to finish off the night of merrymaking including an impromptu drum jam at the end of our show.

Saturday was a day of rest and relaxation with a trip down to Brunswick street for some shopping and dinner with family before our performance at the Brunswick Hotel. Craig’s mate, Justin organized the show for us and a few other old school mates and family came down to cheer us on.

On Easter Sunday we celebrated the Rising of the son, at Hickenbotham Winery in Dromana, a beach town on the Mornington Peninsula. The Hickinbotham Family have been involved in the art of wine making since 1936 and have been at the forefront of Australian wine production for three generations. The sun was bright and a light breeze flowed through the grounds as the owner’s, Andrew & Terryn, welcomed us to their home. We settled in and shared three sets throughout the afternoon. With a jumping castle and games for the kids, Banjo, our son, found his groove running about the grounds and having fun. After two night of fantastic drumming performance, we gave him the day off to enjoy all of the activities. Adding to the joy of the day was the unexpected and impromptu jam session with folkies Peter Hisco and Wendy Jackson. Their addition of violin, bass and harmonies turned us into a primer Bluegrass band and gave us an opportunity to play some of our favorite old timey tunes. The gracious support of family and friends topped the weekend to make it one of our favorite moments down under.

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Australia; Beach Days

The Mornington Peninsula is southeast of Melbourne, VIC. AU and is surrounded by the Phillip Bay and the Bass Strait. It reminds us of our old stomping grounds in Door County, WI. USA. There are quant historical towns, beautiful shops, restaurants and lovely vineyards. One of our favorite vineyards, Hickinbotham winery sits on the Mornington Peninsula in Dromona. They have one of the best Pinot’s we’ve every tried. The shopping is fun, with cute little mom and pop stores, offering local art and crafts. And, this visit we noticed a number of Op Shops had opened along the peninsula. Op Shops are thrift stores. This was good news for us as we love thrifting and are self-proclaimed “Treasure hunters.”

The real reason to go to the peninsula however is not the shopping, wine or old towns, for us it’s the beaches. Having the opportunity to stay in the peninsula has become a beautiful respite for us. The beaches are wonderful. They aren’t over crowded, offer much scenery with coves and trees in the back line. It is here that we find solace. Our favorite spots are the local beach in Mornington at Mills Beach and we always hit at least one surf day at Gunnamatta. There is something healing and refreshing about the sand and the surf.  Special thanks to Auntie Val and Uncle Michael for their hospitality and generosity. We can’t wait to come back for a visit!