Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere

Christmas in the summer... yes please!  I am not missing the snow and cold even a bit.  We've been able to do some of the same activities, just a whole lot warmer.

For example, we often go to visit the lights at the Cincy Zoo or the Kentucky Horse Park.  This year we went to the Hunter Valley Gardens, where the roses are in bloom.  Even though it's been a bit cool, we were still able to wander around in light jackets or sweaters.  Here are a few of the pictures we took:

Waiting to see the lights
It was raining when we got there, but quickly let up.  While we were waiting to enter the section of the park with the lights, we talked to Santa and tried Lamingtons.  They are small squares of sponge cake dusted with chocolate powder and rolled in coconut flakes.  They are often left out for Santa on Christmas Eve.  We decided to stick with cookies and milk.

Rain on the roses

The 12 Days of Christmas

Nativity Scene
Brian's better with the no flash than I am
The previous three pictures were set to music.  The 12 Days of Christmas just about gave us whiplash because they were not in numerical order.  The Christmas Story was read from Luke and different characters would light up when they were in that section of the story.  The Christmas trees lit up to the TransSiberian Orchestra's "Ring Christmas Bells" - and I know that's not the actual name.  HVG brought in somebody from the US to set the lights to music.

Sydney at Christmas

In the storybook section of the Garden

We spent the night in Hunter Valley so I could do a bit of shopping the next day.  There were a lot of cute boutique stores around and I had to curb what I wanted to buy.  It's been 4 months since I've done real shopping!  I was able to pick up a few Christmas presents for family, including some adorable ornaments for our tree.

Nath's Kangaroo

My Platypus
I couldn't find Will's Koala on the tree until too late.

I'm looking forward to going back to HVG next year - it looks beautiful.

The Hunter Valley was beautiful.  Since it's summer, all of the grape vines at the wineries were lush.  It felt like when we drove through the Loire Valley in France - all roads lead through wineries.  The Valley is where a lot of the "good" wine in Australia is made - especially Semillion and Shiraz.  They even hold large concerts at the different wineries.  Rod Stewart and Faith Hill & Tim McGraw are coming in February.  It would be a lovely setting. 

See what I mean?

I'll be posting about the end of Nath's school year tomorrow.  Until then, I leave you with one of the pictures from our Christmas card...

I'm OK with Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere!