If there’s anything I’ve missed, it’s sharing lifestyle content with you all. Specifically, travel diaries. Due to the current situation around the world, a holiday of any sort seemed out of the question. Going overseas as I did to Bali last year would’ve been amazing, but I didn’t want to hold unrealistic expectations for what would be possible. Time really does fly- the last travel diary I shared was from last August, a year ago next month, but it still feels like yesterday. I have such vivid memories of being poolside, of grinning at cheeky monkeys swinging from tree to tree, to trying the native balinese food. Very special times indeed.
Nonetheless, I was able to travel more locally, about an hour away, to a cosy winter abode fitting for the cold weather we’re experiencing here in sydney. I went to the Central Coast and neighbouring towns Wyoming, Gosford and the Entrance. What I enjoyed most about these small towns was how much they differed from each other… and in many ways, from anything I’ve seen before. Our holiday home in Wyoming, a sweet little AirBnB we shared with the polish owners, was a junglescape. Flowers of all kinds and every colour of the rainbow, monstera leaves amidst the tall trees that reached sky high, dense forestation covering every square metre of space. The couple, Jack and Anna, had an amazing set up in their backyard. Plenty of seating space, for a start -a hammock, the egg chair I always dreamed of having as a little girl and more. All this overlooked the amazing jungle scenery. I remember sitting in the backyard on our last day before we headed back home- there was a deck chair that overlooked the couple’s pool. I imagined the water to be a beautiful crystal blue, but I can’t say so for sure as it was covered. I doubt many people would be up for a swim in winter after all! I curled up with the two resident cats and was surprised by the chittering of a hummingbird. I looked up and saw the beautiful creature perched on one of the buddha statues surrounding the pool.
I hold that little AirBnB in fond memory already as it proved to be a place of many firsts for me- never before have I woken up to dense jungle outside the many windows in my room. Never before have I had access to the world’s most impressive DVD collection- in two bookcases from floor to ceiling. Never before have I successfully used an espresso machine, let alone more than once. But, most importantly, never before have I sat bathed in the light and warmth of a roaring fireplace. A dream fulfilled. It was mesmerising to me as even my Grandmother’s place in the Blue Mountains doesn’t have a fireplace. I learnt how to load wood into the fireplace and kindle it using paper.
Gosford, the town about five minutes away, is what I dubbed little America. They had diner style pizza parlours that looked like something out of an aged film. Then there were all the stores I’d never seen before in Australia. Building walls were covered in graffiti art, the faces of rappers forever staring back at you. It was an interesting little place. My dad, brother and I ended up coming across a little cafe called The Good Bits co. My choice, of course. I insisted we make it our brunch spot as the decor and food looked amazing. Plants galore, tasty baked treats and second hand books filling shelves everywhere. There was a cute neon sign also. Vintage galore with the pared back styling and mismatched chairs! My brother ordered a hot chocolate and french toast with vanilla ice cream, berries and maple syrup. I decided to stray from my usual avocado toast order and instead went for sourdough with labneh, a thick lebanese yoghurt, balsamic, pistachios, fried egg and halloumi. It was the perfect mix of flavours and so tangy!
After brunch we went for a little drive and headed to Avoca Beach, a village suburb best known for and named after its’ beach. Apart from a line of shops selling groceries, antiques, surfing gear and groceries, there were no other attractions. There was one restaurant in the area- a Thai place. (I’ve lost count of how many Thai restaurants I passed while on holiday. That’s all people seemed to eat!) Avoca Beach was nice just for how peaceful it was. You could tell the place was largely undiscovered. The beach was quite a sight- there were a few houses that looked out onto one side of it and an area to keep boats. What was out of the ordinary was the lack of shoreline, which I saw a lot of in the Central Coast. The thin stretch of sand that counted as shore was constantly being swallowed by the waves. On the other side of the ocean was what appeared to be a giant lake. Pelicans crossed over and played in the water. It was incredible and I truly don’t know how better to describe it.
Another beach we visited was The Entrance Picnic Point Reserve in Long Jetty. I’ve been before early last year so was surprised at how much had changed over that short period of time. My dad, brother and I had originally headed to The Entrance and found a local fish and chips place to eat at. I had battered barramundi, chips and a greek salad. It was nice to have a simpler meal! We then walked around the square, visited the international candy store and decided to head to the beach and watch the sunset. We arrived about four in the afternoon and spent an hour on the shore and grassy dunes overlooking the beach. We weren’t able to go down to the shore as it had mostly eroded and getting back to our car would’ve proved difficult! There were however a few people who braved this and decided to try fishing. It was curious for sure! When the sun began to set, It was absolutely picturesque seeing the sky in all pastel shades of pink, orange, yellow, purple and blue. The crashing of the waves was a sweet calming melody. At one point I sat on the grassy dunes looking out into the ocean and popped my earphones in. I listened to Loved the Ocean by Amelia Ali. It was a very happy time. There was a lighthouse in the distance and occasionally I’d look over to see its warm rays. Pine trees and native flora dotted the nearby landscape. For dinner we headed to Bang Rak Thai and ordered the chilli basil fried rice, satay chicken skewers and red curry. While the food was fairly average the atmosphere was nice. The warmth and light of the restaurant inside was certainly a welcome escape from the dark, cold and rain of outside.