Leaving classes is hard to do; Hunter Valley musings (aka I don’t like red wine)

I left you in angst about how the grammar tests would go and looking forward to my final night out with my students, so lets start at the top and head to the bottom.

It would seem I should not have been worried about the grammar tests, my class massively outdid what I thought they would do, one girl going for 85% on the test, it would seem I’m getting better as a teacher as the average marks was around 15% higher than in my first class, so I’m really happy with them.

After that was over my final day was quite the relaxed affair, after taking in Finding Nemo and playing some volleyball at the beach (I’m still rubbish, in an entertaining way with extra style points) I headed back to my flat for a shower and to grab some food with my Mum, we went to the always excellent Wagamama’s and I proceeded back to Manly.

I found all off my students and various other cool cats in the Steyne and proceeded to have a fantastic night, the highlight being myself and Radim tearing up the dancefloor, good times. It was however sad to being saying goodbye to everyone, something I hate doing, but I should see most of them in Melbourne or someplace down the road, and I even managed to resist the temptation to cry!

It’s been an awesome class, and this week I’m going to miss teaching them a lot, I’m really excited to be moving on and travelling but equally sad to lose my class, I guess its going to be a part of my job moving forwards but I don’t know that that knowledge makes saying goodbye any easier; I’ve been rubbish at it since forever!

After sleeping all the way home in a taxi I took my time in getting up on Saturday morning, no real hangover to speak of but I still wasn’t feeling 100% in fairness, lol! Saturday was a lazy day, a trip to the library and the beach. Headed home for a final home cooked meal in the flat, my Mum making up her kick-ass Spaghetti Bolognaise that I have loved for too long, probably since birth, if you could only eat spag bol then!

Sunday was the day for our trip to the Hunter Valley, I scraped myself out of the bed at 6am so we could make it down to Circular Quay in time for our 7:30 pick-up, taking a Sausage and Egg McMuffin on the day. I then proceeded to have a second McMuff at the services on the way to the Hunter, didn’t fancy taking on wines with a pretty empty stomach and I have a soft spot for Sausage and Egg McMuffs!

We reached the first vineyard and started to sample the wines, I liked some of the whites but apparently my young palate doesn’t extend to reds as of yet, as I couldn’t get a taste for any of them. The second vineyard was a bit too pretentious for my liking but they did have some wonderful olives.

The next stop was a gourmet lunch at the Bluetongue Brewery, which was absolutely top notch, a wonderful Caesar salad, a rare beef salad and a raw trout in sticky ginger were all superb. The olive and tomato pasta was about as interesting as a book on plants but you can’t have it all. Each dish had a wine to go with it, I again didn’t like the reds!

After lunch I tried a Bluetongue beer tasting paddle, 6 samples of different Bluetongue beers, the best part of the day for me as its my favourite beer out here, they were lovely aside from the ginger beer one, because, as Stephanie Ellis knows, ginger beer is simply wrong.

Post paddle it was time to head to another vineyard, again the whites went well and this time even the rose’s were okay but the reds still did nothing! I think you have to be old (or Birchy) to like reds, I’m having none of them!

On to the next place, to try some cheeses (mostly crap) and then get an ice cream (essentially delicious), I tried the Stracciatella (sp?) on recommendation from one of my Swiss students and it didn’t disappoint!

After a brief trip to a pretty damned ordinary chocolate shop it was time for the journey home, as I was sat in the front next to the driver I decided to spend the journey home mainly sleeping and rocking out to Jimmy Eat World alternatively, good times.

Have to say briefly that there were some cool cats on the bus although the Ian Holloway lookalike from Milton Keynes was a bit anti-social, the others were cool, especially the guy who was pretty much my Uncle John, legend!

As we arrived back into the city we were greeted with the news of a big accident on the harbour bridge, so getting through was a bit of a nightmare, but we did eventually and I headed over to Manly for my friends Reto and Christophe’s leaving drinks, which were a great laugh. Pam said that I should mention something about my parents not speaking since ’95 (which isn’t strictly true, they do chat from time to time though the scope of their conversation is pretty limited to me and my sister, one of very few things they have in common, the others however are mundane, like breathing and such :P) so here so you go Pam!

Today has been cool so far, left my flat this morning to stay in a hotel for the next few days before flying to Melbourne, was kind of ridiculous that as were leaving the landlord had the new tenants coming through the door before we had our bags but he does seem quite the cowboy so not altogether surprising!

After taking a taxi, with a taxi driver severely lacking in ability to drive we arrived at out hotel which seems pretty nice, the room isn’t big but its clean and there are no cockroaches so my Mum approves! Now we’ve just come into the city, I came up with a new DS game in exchange for the PS2 we had in our flat so thats a bonus for ten, it should see at lot more play while I’m backpacking around!

Now I find myself in global gossip and headed to the Sky Tower, finally getting my tourist on after being here for four months, ridiculous lol!

Love and (Not Red) Wines

J. Xx

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