Long weekends are the best! Last weekend we joined our friends Gav & Monique for a little road trip up the coast to the town of Tamworth.
Some things you should know about Tamworth:
= It is the country music capital of Australia
= Weighs in at a population of about 36,000
= History fact: it was the first city in Australia to use electric street lights
= Gets super hot during the day and super cold at night.
= Known as the National Equine Capital of Australia (yes we saw lots of ponies)
= Home of the Big Golden Guitar
= Also home of the best South African restaurant ever (more to come on this)
Tamworth is the country music capital of Australia and holds the world's second largest country music festival. Yes, eat your heart out Country Stampede. Sadly, this festival is in January so we missed it by a few months, but that didn't stop us from taking in the site of the big golden guitar!
While in the area we decided to take a little bonus road trip to the down of Gunnedah, also known as koala capital of the world. We have yet to see a koala in the wild, and Gavin, living in Australia his whole life, hadn't either. This was going to change. After searching literally, high and low, we found one (thanks to the help of some fellow hikers). There is something so incredible about seeing animals in their natural habitat, no fences or cages separating you. It just makes you feel more alive. For a long time we just enjoyed watching the little guy take a nap, but right before we left, he popped up and started stretching.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was enjoying the South African restaurant The Safari Club. My beautiful friend Monique is South African and so she knows what to order! I really can't say enough how much I love meeting people from all over the world and enjoying their country's food with them! So Monique and Gav have frequented this spot before, and know the owner/chef Elliot. They also know the secret to ordering! Just call the plate you see above the Shane special. I am telling you, this was the best BBQ I have ever eaten. Yes, that is saying something. Any of you who went to Thelma's BBQ with me in Houston, TX, well this tops it. I am not kidding. It was such a privilege to meet Elliot and tell him thank you for cooking us up such a lovely feast. He even let us sign his wall!
Other things that made our weekend great:
= Late night trivia competitions: boys vs girls of course!
= Checking out the Aussie farmland (pictured above for all you curious Kansas farm boys)
= American candy store with Big League Chew & Candy Corn
= Cable TV in the hotels rooms, yes we watched American Football
= The alphabet license plate game...the letter E!!!!!
= Girls Night Dinner: super fancy complete with wine, seafood marinara, roasted chicken, and sticky date pudding
= Guys Night Dinner: pizza, coke & the Grand Final Rugby Game
Tamworth, we had such a great time. Gav & Monique, thanks for the awesome memories and all the amazing treats! We love you! ♥