Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WC2011 Tasmania

We arrived in Hobart, Tasmania on another beautiful day. We were in Australia, and had survived the two day crossing of "the Ditch". And the Ditch lived up to its reputation of being one of the roughest patches of water in the world. It was never really stormy, but very, very grey. We had 16 foot swells, which made attending the Crystal Society party on Deck 13 more than interesting. Many of the guests (and crew) were green around the gills.

But, as I said, we survived, and were ready to explore Tasmania. As our excursion wasn't until the afternoon, Jane and I took the shuttle bus early and did a bit of walking.

I love architectural details.

We found a LOVELY park, St. David's, cool and green in the morning sun.

Wandering back toward the harbor, we explored the many lovely and unique shops along the waterfront. Hobart is known for it's artisan galleries and we weren't disappointed.

In the afternoon, we headed out on a heritage and wildlife tour. As we rode along, I caught sight of this advertisement. I couldn't see what it was FOR, though...and I really wish I knew!

First stop - Bonorong Wildlife Center.

We got up close and personal with kangaroos.

They are AMAZINGLY soft.

They need a good manicurist.

The echidna would be cuddly, if it weren't for those spines!

Cousin Bill fed the 'roos, too!

At Bonorong, the kangaroos are gentle...

and sometimes CURIOUS!

I learned that koalas never need to drink water. Everything they eat has enough water to keep them healthy.

And when they aren't eating.....

they sleep.

We even had peacocks underfoot.

They were curious, too.

Tasmanian devils are cute in appearance, but in personality....well, they live up to their devilish name.

Having heard them, I now understand what a GREAT characterization Warner Brothers made in their cartoon Tasmanian Devil.

Wombats! Oh, I absolutely fell in LOVE with the wombat!

There was an orphan baby wombat that snuggled in a blanket...just like a human baby.

We then travelled to Richmond, which beautifully retains its old-world charm.

I saw lots of pretty things.

Mama had been here years ago, and she remembered it as if she had been there yesterday. She managed to find the same artisan shop where she had purchased a perfume bottle...and got another for the collection.

Back at the we left port as the afternoon regatta got underway.


I think someone decided the ship was more interesting than the regatta.

Rounding a marker.

And a sunset cruise aboard a sailing ship made me smile!

That evening, we had a WONDERFUL Vintage Room dinner with the cousins.

My friend, head sommelier Bart Dufour, arranged a splendid experience, including three delightful couples to join us, making a happy table of 12. Two ladies- sisters, actually- were from Texas, another couple from Bart's home country of Belgium, and another couple on their honeymoon joined us as we learned a bit about wine and pairing wine with food.

Bart is an AMAZING teacher- his enthusiasm for wine infused EVERYTHING about the meal, but not in an overbearing way. He was able to teach us all a thing or two (or 15). He's a natural teacher-passionate about his field and eager to share his knowledge, encouraging us to overcome our natural shyness about "what is proper" about wine, and validating our observations. I wish he would teach a seminar--I'd be the first to sign up!!!

Just another amazing day aboard Crystal Serenity!

(oh, and if anyone knows how I can get a Porsche in Maison Cou Rouge Blue, please let me know......)

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