Saturday, November 15, 2014

15 Nov 14 – Day 9 (Mornington Peninsular)

I was able to sleep in a bit later today because CT and SY didn’t need to work and because today was the day trip to Mornington Peninsular. It was planned last evening that we would leave the house about 8:30am so we agreed that we should have breakfast about 7am. I woke up about 6:30am and went out to the kitchen at 7am. The kitchen was empty so I hung around the dining table for a while contemplating if I should return to my room or I should try to prepare breakfast. While I was still considering my options, CT came out to prepare breakfast and was surprised to see me all dressed up. Anyway, she heated up the pita bread and brought out a lot of jams from the fridge while her husband helped to make coffee for everyone. She said since the weather was good, we should have breakfast outdoor. To make myself useful, I helped to carry the jams and coffee to the table outside. Sat down and waited for CT and SY to start breakfast. Chatted over breakfast, pin-pointed on the places to visit for the day and after we were done eating, we cleared the table and the couple retired into their room to dress up. I wore a flannel shirt over a short sleeve shirt and CT asked if those are warm enough for me. Told her that I wore a similar get-up the day before to St Kilda. She then asked if I needed a hat and I said no. Despite that, she still brought an extra hat and an extra scarf along, just in case.

We left the house around 8:30am and one hour later, we reached the first stop, The Diggers Club. It was a huge place with big garden that requires an entrance fee of A$10. The place also sells a lot of potted plants, seeds as well as gardening related items. After a brief discussion, we decided to just browse the retail section. I had a great time looking at the various potted plants and taking photos. We then move on to look at other parts of the place and stroll in the garden and had a lovely time there. It took us a while to cover most of the sections and then it dawned on us that we may have ventured into the garden that requires entrance fee. As we walk around, CT commented that whenever they visit the place, SY would always look at the various structures that the people at The Diggers Club setup around the garden and then would do a similar one back home for CT. I was thinking how loving they are after so many years of marriage so told CT she should treasure the thoughtfulness of her husband. We returned back to the retail section to browse the seeds. I didn’t want to leave empty-handed, hence bought a pack peppermint seeds. As for CT, she bought a couple of packets of vegetable seeds, a basket for one of her aunties and a potted plant.

We left the place close to 11am to hunt for lunch. We came close to a beach and CT suggested that we get down to a look around. We saw a few colourful windowless house-like structures along the beach and I took photos of them. CT also did the same and she commented that she doesn’t usually take photos during outings but seeing me taking photos, made her want to do the same. Took a short stroll on the sandy beach and she swiftly picked up a seashell for me. After that, we got back to the car and drove further on to look for a place to have lunch. After some discussion between CT and SY, it was decided that we would eat at the restaurant called “Two Buoys” over at Dromana where they had visited the last time.

Since it was a day with nice weather, we chose to sit outside of the restaurant. Asked for the menu and were given the breakfast menu. CT asked the waitress when lunch would start and was told it would only start around 12 noon. We couldn’t decide if we should go ahead to order from the breakfast menu or wait for the lunch hour to start, so we ended up ordering drinks first. Scanned through the menu again and CT suggested that we order a portion of churros to share while waiting for the lunch hour to start. When the waitress came to take order, CT asked if we would be able to order from the lunch menu slightly earlier and the waitress said shouldn’t be a problem. So while eating churros, CT and SY browsed through the menu again since I told them I am easy with food. CT was very thoughtful, she remembered that I wrote fresh oysters as one of the must-eat food item in my travel booklet and therefore suggested ordering half a dozen of fresh oysters as well as a portion of salt chilli squid, tequila, lime and coriander mayonnaise. It was a very good meal and again was paid by the couple. 

Our next stop was a quick visit to Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove where I bought a bottle of Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil. CT also bought a bottle of the same olive oil and a bottle of wine. After she made the payment, she stayed on for a while to try another red before going off. SY didn’t taste any wine because he can’t drink according to CT. The next stop was to Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm but while on the way there, SY spotted the Ripe 'N' Ready Cherry Farm and we all agreed to go check it out. There were a few people in the farm house and we approached the owner to check the pricing. Entry fee to the farm cost A$10 per adult and the adult can eat as many cherries as he/she likes within the farm. And if he/she wants to pick and pack the cherries into boxes to take away, he/she would be charged accordingly by the weight of the cherries. CT and SY asked if I would like to pick cherries and this time I was the decisive one who said ok and that we would just eat as much as we like in the farm. It was a really wonderful decision to spend time in the farm. We spent about one hour in there and had a really great time just walking around, picking and eating cherries. The lovely weather was a plus point because we didn’t perspire much after all the activities. After we were all happy and full from eating the cherries, we moved on to the next destination, the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm.

It was about 1:50pm when we reached Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm. CT and SY asked if I would like to pick strawberries and this time I said no. Firstly, there didn’t seem to be a lot of strawberries on the plants and secondly, it seemed to be drizzling slightly. So we just browsed the retail shop and CT recommended the Strawbellini Strawberry Moscato Sparkling, saying that it was an easy drink with very low alcohol content and that it received many awards in the past. She suggested that I have a taste of the drink which I did. Browsed the rest of the retail shop, grabbed a pack of Dark Chocolate Coated Freeze Dried Strawberries, a bottle of Strawberry Syrup and a bottle of Strawbellini Strawberry Moscato Sparkling. There was another section selling food made using strawberries. Saw many people sitting down on the benches eating nice looking pastries, snacks and ice cream made from strawberries, CT suggested that we have tea break there. We stood near the counter and browsed the menu, trying to decide which ice cream to choose. I saw people eating the Strawberry Temptation and told her that I would be getting that. After a while, CT said she will have the same to share with her husband. So I told her to look for seats while I placed the order. Made the payment and went to look for CT and SY with the number plate given. Chatted about how nice the weather was and what a great time we had, especially at the cherry farm. Then the ice cream came and we took our time to enjoy the food.

After we were done, it was close to 4pm and we quickly made our way to the last destination of the day, Main Ridge Dairy. It was a goat farm with a café and retail section selling cheese. We saw a few young goats resting under a tree, SY tried to use grass to lure them over but he didn’t succeed. Nevertheless, I managed to take photo of one young goat that was grazing near the fence. Then we went to the retail shop where CT bought a block of cheese. Then we made our way back for the day and along the way, we were thinking where to go for dinner.

I left CT and SY to decide. All of the sudden, SY stopped the car and said, there was a big cow just beside the car beyond the fence and asked if I would like to take a photo. Was amused but still took a couple of photos of the cow.  SY drove through east Melbourne and then randomly chose a restaurant called Short Black for dinner. Look through the menu and I ordered Ravioli alla Pancetta while CT had the salmon special and SY had the steak special. All the portions were very big yet the couple was able to finish their food and I had to struggle with mine and still could not finish.

Finally we got back to the couple’s place about 9pm, CT went to make tea, cut mangoes and sat down to chat and discuss about the plans for the next day. After some discussion, we finally returned to our rooms to rest for the day. As the next day was the day I fly back home, I did some major packing and I was glad that I brought along bubble wraps because I had a lot of glass jars and glass bottles of food to bring back home.

Thought: Enjoyed myself today because CT and SY can be really fun to be with. Although I didn’t get to see much of Mornington Peninsula but at least I get to visit some of the more famous shops in the area. Cherry picking was really fun and the cherries were really sweet. Overall, I was really glad that the weather was nice to have a good day out. If I get to visit Melbourne again, I hope to see more of Mornington Peninsula.

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