[ Good food. Great company. Luxury car... Some days really come together! ]
We woke this morning to a rather impressive bout of thunder, heralding a couple of
hours of heavy rain and a generally cool-grey day ahead. In (fortunate) contrast to this, last weekend we couldn’t have asked for better weather. Clear skies, warm sunshine and a hint of breeze. Perfect weather for a drive in the country side – and wouldn’t you know it, we did just that.
A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated Anna’s birthday. A very nice day was had by all, but today’s update is about one particular gift. My mother has a fun little tradition going, in which she likes to gift us with an ‘experience’ rather than a ‘thing’. Knowing of Anna’s passive interest in olde-timey cars, Mum decided to organise a day out in a vintage (1928) Graham Paige limousine – complete with a Chauffeur and to be shared with eight friends.
[ As an aside: On hearing of the gift, and seeing a photo of the car, our Nanna's response was "I remember when they took away the running boards from cars. Silliest thing they ever did." ]
Thankfully, I made it through to the final list of eight. Enjoy some photos of everyone dolled up.
Somehow, I missed getting a picture of Trevor into the slideshow above. Trevor is the car’s owner and kindly acted as our driver for the day [Link below]. He was a lovely guy and more than happy to tell us all about the areas we drove through and, of course, the car itself. Before meeting our driver, I had toyed with the idea of asking him to speak like Morgan Freeman for the day, but Trevor was classy enough already.
One of the main benefits of knowing about the trip several weeks in advance, was that it allowed the girls plenty of time to go shopping for new outfits. Needless to say, the guys already had suitably stylish clothes just laying around.
We kicked off the day at a bit of an Australian icon, the Ettamogah Pub (a mini-post for another day). Our friends’ young son, d’Artagnan, spent the day at the attached theme park, Aussie World, with his auntie Midge.
Soon, plied with champagne and chocolates (breakfast of fancy-folk everywhere) we making our way up into the Sunshine Coast hinterlands. It’s a beautiful area and home to many popular wedding venues, so it quickly became a running joke that we’d marry Ben and Marta – the only unmarried couple in the party – before the day was out. To his credit, Ben seemed pretty cool about the whole deal. We even had a naval officer onboard, willing to officiate, but in the end it wasn’t to be.
First stop: Montville. A charming little town to wander around at leisure, but in this case our group of discerning travellers made a bee-line for local chocolatier, Chocolate Country. It would seem that someone among us had been there before. Before moving on, we posed for a group photo by a water-driven millwheel. I’d like to thank the kind lady who offered to take the picture for us. I think it’s a great shot, and you saved me from having to photoshop myself into it.
On returning to the car, we discovered that Trevor was having a lucky day too. A librarian friend had been doing a little research for him and had uncovered a photo of his car, taken on a nearby road in the late 1940s. Given that he’s spent over a decade hunting for parts and restoring the car to it’s prime, he was understandably excited about the find.
I just noticed this is getting a bit too wordy. Thought I’d put this here to give your eyes a resting point. As you were.
Stopping again: Maleny Cheese. I can’t think of an appropriate term for this place. Half cheese shop, half cheese factory(?) – I’m going to fall back on Cheese Emporium. I didn’t see any Wensleydale, but that’s hardly surprising is it? Much like a savoury version of the chocolate shop earlier, we were spoilt for choice. It did smell ‘a little too close to the goat’ at first, but a thorough sampling of the wares did manage to pique an appetite.
And so, stomachs a’rumble we stopped in at parkground known as the Mary Cairns Cross Scenic Reserve, to kick off our shoes and settle in for a picnic lunch. Strawberries with chocolate dip, cheeses and pate`, grapes, freshly baked cheesecake, homemade brownies (thanks Megan) and apple cider all around. All with a nice clear view of the Glasshouse Mountains. Su-poib.
Even more champagne, and we were heading back to the Ettamogah pub. Getting people to wave had become something of a game over the past few hours. In hindsight, toasting a group of bikers at the pub, with a champagne glass, from the back of a limo, could have gone either way. Thankfully, they must have been those kindly bikers you hear about (you know, with the fundraising and what-have-you). We even got a few raised beer glasses in return.
I’ll be honest: I’ve had worse days.
Related Links Suncoast Vintage Limousines