Whisked away for the Weekend...

It wasn't on my list to go away for a weekend so near to our departure from Melbourne, but apparently my hubby had other ideas....so with very little warning and before I thought up all the reasons why we shouldn't go...we hit the road!
We headed towards Alexandra...which is located near the Goulburn River between Yea and Eildon and surrounded by rich pastoral land, mountains and forests.
The trees en-route were spectacular and reminded me of a cathedral which is fitting as we were heading towards the Cathedral Ranges.

We arrived at Stonelea Country Estate...see here for details.

We certainly felt the difference in the temperature and woke on our first morning to frost!
It's been many years since I've seen frost twinkling in sunlight on the plants, so I had to stop off on our way to breakfast to capture this shot. 

I began to think that this weekend was a gently nudge towards our imminent arrival in the UK and although I know it's not that cold thankfully there at the moment, it just gave us a gentle reminder as to what we might expect. Hopefully once we've experienced the summer first!

Maybe with the Aussie winter temperatures that's why we discovered a new friend...
Mr Wood Burner and we became rather attached to him! 

Gorgeous red gum wood roasting away to keep any chills at bay...a glass of red and cosy toes are just a great way to have the day come to a close. In fact it was just perfect to load up the stove and then let it carry on burning as we drifted off to snoozeyland. Its glow lighting the room with dancing shadows all around. A fantastic way to finish off after a brilliant day out exploring, in the crisp, fresh, winter sun filled countryside!  

Talking of which...look what we found....

Can you guess what made these footprints?
Here's the culprit below....or maybe one of its mob.
I think the one that left this mark must have been a big dude because I measured 17 of my footsteps (toe to heel) from one print to the next. You try that and see what distances these critters can hop in one go. 
I never realised....it's quite a shock!

Yes...they spotted me from quite away off...but still let me approach to take their photo.
But unfortunately I wasn't always quick enough with my camera. 
We did see some brilliant things and on one of our cycle rides we came across this hideaway!

Let's go in a little nearer shall we?
Hellooooooooo is there anybody there?

Looking at all the evidence around we came to the conclusion that it wasn't where Alice in Wonderland had her adventure...but probably a wombats abode. Now if you're like me you wouldn't have appreciated that wombat's can reach quite a size. This hole could well have hidden a small child. I suppose I should have stood nearby so that you could appreciate just how big it was...there is also a lot of evidence that this creature doesn't like to stray far from the nest in this weather even for the call of nature!
We had to watch our step very carefully! 

This photo was thalen of the lake that was virtually 20 steps from our country cottage....as the sun began to say farewell for the day. There are masses of birds here and I have even seen tiny finches which really were a treat along with huge flocks of cockatoos, kookaburras, galah parrots, sparrowhawks, water fowl, wrens, blackbirds....you name it ...the list goes on and on....

It's such a peaceful place here...it's a real break from all the madness.
The only trouble is that I don't want to leave because I know that this last week is going to be really tough!

But there's nothing for it...it's got to be done...
I'll just have to keep that kettle boiling...a good cuppa always helps don't you think?

When we are off exploring we like nothing better than a pit stop for a cuppa and sugar boost...

Now where was I....oh yes walking around the lake...
This is the view right outside of our cottage and there are lots of birds even in this photo, but they are well disguised...and very camera shy. 

I thought the tree below was fascinating...it looks like it has tattoo's don't you think?
Or could it be a zentangle? 
It certainly caught my attention but then you know how much I love trees!

We had a fabulous meal in a place called  Tea Rooms of Yarck. 
I'm not sure of the origin of the name, but really this is a very good restaurant and not just a tea room as the name suggests! It's more an Italian restaurant. Their cuisine is based on provincial Italian food with a focus on seasonal local and home-grown produce.

I had the most divine beef cheeks (apologies to any vegetarians reading this...but what can I say...I'm a meatetarian!) and my hubby had the trout. 
Of course we also had entrees, starters, and desserts plus tea and coffee. 
(Oops and a glass of wine) 
Oh there goes my waistband again!  :(
We couldn't fault the meal so if you're ever in the area give them a call and try it for yourself. 
Here's the details...click here

They also sell products and apparently their homemade bread is something rather special. 
Unfortunately for us the bread basket was empty!

That's just a snippet of the weekend's activities but I thought I'd just have a quick natter as once I arrive back home I've no idea what this next week will bring...

But before I sign off I thought I'd let you see what the car was reading on the drive back from the restaurant. 
If you look right at the centre of the dials...it shows the reading of 0celcius!
I didn't even know that this car could register that low...as it's never been out of Australia! 

So it's toodleloo from me...until next time.
I hope you had a fabulous weekend too and are ready for a fun pack week ahead. 
Bye for now and thanks for stopping by...I'm always thrilled to see you.
p.s. I know I haven't visited anyone since I said I would, but then I wasn't aware I was going away for the weekend. 
Will you forgive me?
I don't have a Doctor's note, but it was our wedding anniversary after all!