surprise wrap-up

Finally, all the surprises are over, and at last, I can talk about the last couple of weeks. Kel doesn’t generally like surprises, and so I was glad that she seemed to react well to most of the following, with the possible exception of the last surprise.

For Kel’s birthday, I took her out to dinner on the night, which was a lot of fun. I took her back to the place where we had dinner for her 21st, which predates this blog – imagine!

orchidOn Saturday, the first of the surprises. Kel thought we were spending the day at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, and perhaps going out somewhere in the Rocks for lunch. Indeed, we went to the gardens, and had fun looking around the place at the various plants in the Tropical Centre (the big glass pyramid, and the new glass construction next to it). Thanks to Dave for the tips on where to go to make the most of a short visit to the gardens.

seafoodFrom there, though, we cut the visit short – I feigned sunstroke (though we spent a bit of time out in the sun), and headed across to the Rocks, as far as Kel knew, to have lunch. Indeed we were headed for lunch, but this was the first surprise. Some friends from Queensland (Michelle and Trev) had decided to surprise her, and so – the surprise of seeing them right on time out of the way – we were ferried off to Watsons Bay to enjoy a seafood lunch at Doyles, overlooking the harbour.

curry night - the resultsThe surprises were even more complicated, though. When Michelle told me of her plan to surprise Kel, I already knew that Kel was planning to surprise Michelle the following weekend: there was an impromptu hen’s night afoot, with mutual friend Kirsti coming up from Canberra to visit. Kirsti brought Steve and their (very young) son Josh, and we had a boys night, making curries and exploring the world of slot car racing.

the closest thing to real racingJosh was too young for the slot cars, unfortunately (you need to be at least 8 to play), but we’re looking forward to the day when he can join in. I’d never seen a slot car set before: it’s amazing how the literal sparks fly off the cars!

new hot water heaterThe last surprise was on Sunday night. Kel called to say “there’s no hot water in the house” – sure enough, the hot water heater had packed it in, and so today, we had a new one installed. On the plus side, it lasted long enough that there was hot water for the rest of the surprises.

Nostimo mediterranean grill, padstow

Vittoria coffee. A newcomer to the tiny café scene in padstow, it’s a space with a modern, elegant design. The breakfast and lunch prices are very reasonable; an omelette is up for grabs for as little as $7, though the coffees range from $2.50 for an espresso to $3.40 for a mocha – an odd variance from their normal $3.25 for most coffee choices.

The coffees are served promptly, and come with a free mini biscuit. Though the decaf is pre-ground, and fetched from under the counter, it manages to be a bright cup with a reasonable flavour. A surprisingly good find overall.


Oh, and they have a website – www.nostimo.com.au