Friday, November 2, 2012

Jazz in the Vines

Knowing that our family enjoyed music, our friends Emi and Gavin invited us to join them for Jazz in the Vines last weekend.  On Friday we drove to the Hunter Valley and stayed in a family cabin in Pokolbin, picking up Thai food on the way in and enjoying our combined four children chasing a herd of kangaroos (what do you call a group of kangaroos?).  We put the kiddos to bed and sat around chatting and enjoying a peaceful desert before we were off the next morning.

Jazz in the Vines is an annual event held at Tyrell Winery in the Hunter Valley.  It is a day long concert, with musical acts varying from a Dixieland group from England - which amused me to no end, although Woody Allen enjoys them - to a swing band, the man from Snowy River, and the runner-up on Australia's The Voice.  There are several local wineries and restaurants represented, although you are encouraged to bring your own picnic lunch, which we did.  Now, my idea of a picnic meal is a cheese plate, sandwiches, chips, and a fair amount of fruit.  I have to say, Emi put me to shame with her Egg & Bacon pie and Barbecue Chicken.  At least our kids can be bought with ice cream!

We weren't entirely sure how the kidlets would do, but having four children the same age makes a parent's life easier.  We made sure to bring books, a footy, and - most importantly - we had phones and iPads on which to play games!  What did we do before technology?

We were able to stay the entire length of the day - 7 hours in total - with no real issues from the kids.  Even better, the adults were able to relax and spend "adult" time just being together.  I had no idea we'd be in for such a relaxing time!  We even went down to the stage with the kids and danced together, and Nathan didn't even cover up his ears!  He does have one particular spin he likes, so I can usually bribe him with that.

Peeping around the umbrella

Keira is much cuter under her parasol!

Emi and Keira
Nath doing what he does best
Will making a mess with his Wizz Fizz
Anique and Nath reading
What can I say - my boys like Aussie girls!

We headed back to the cabin and collapsed.  It's amazing what a day out in the hot sun doing nothing but listening to music and hanging out with friends can take out of you!  We bathed the kids, barbecued, and put the kids to bed.  Sadly, we weren't that far behind them!

Possible even better then the concert was the next morning - the kids actually slept in for a bit!  We had a late breakfast that Brian made, consisting of bacon and French Toast with fruit.  Yum!

Nobody had anything pressing, so we wandered around the Hunter Valley.  Here is what happens when the kids (and boys) get tired of waiting for the coffee to arrive:

Don't worry, Gavin doesn't hit my son with his daughter!

Possibly my favourite picture of Will ever!

Luckily for everyone involved, a helicopter landed in the open field where they were playing.  This pulled the kids through until the coffees and hot chocolates arrived.

I really love this picture of the dads with their kids.  Two pretty good fathers, I believe!

And here's what happens when Gavin catches you trying to take pictures of the group stealthily:

I love that Nath is completely oblivious

We also were able to have a lovely long, late lunch.  We ate outside, basically in a courtyard, so the kids once again had green space.  They also had their parent's iPads...

Thank you, Mr. Jobs

And just so there are no complaints that I'm not in any pictures -

Hi there!
The food was good - nothing fancy, but nicer then just boring food.  For example, Emi and Gav had a Pork Belly pizza that was heavenly!  Nathan also enjoyed his salad, but only because it had Vinaigrette dressing!

He had no idea why we were all laughing

And not to be outdone...

It's a good thing he's cute

When we went into the weekend, we weren't entirely sure how it was going to be.  I mean, we enjoy music and love the DeVries, but honestly, with kids anything can - and usually does - happen.  We were all pleasantly surprised with how amazing the all of the kids were the entire weekend and came home completely relaxed.  We look forward to making this an annual event.  Will even cried on the way home because he wanted to spend more time with Anique and Keira, which is silly since we see them several times a week, but at the same time very sweet.  Thanks for inviting us, Emi and Gav!

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