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My original Australia travel plans were fairly simple — fly over to Australia to visit V and K, hang out at their place in Wollongong while they work during the day, hope they come home to have dinner with me in the evenings and maybe do a weekend getaway to Sydney.

Earlier in the year (2012) while I was planning my trip, V was still working long hours at the office.  Lucky for me, she reverted back to being a Housewife just weeks before I arrived.  Yay!!  With no job to tie V down, I was very fortunate that she wanted to do little getaway trips with me. We travelled to Melbourne for three food-filled days and visited Sydney a couple of times for Sculpture by the Sea.  We even fit in an overnight road trip to Canberra, the Capital of Australia.

After a light breakfast, V and I loaded our overnight bags into the trunk, hopped into her car and waved goodbye to Wollongong (for now).  We were off to our next adventure.

view of the Nan Tien Temple as we set out in  the morning ..

view of the Nan Tien Temple as we set out in the morning

driving through ...

driving through …

After driving for about an hour, we arrived in a town called Bowral.  Driving through the main street of the town, we could see boutiques and antique shops.  V mentioned that there was a cafe she wanted to visit so we stopped by for a mid-morning snack.

As we walked towards The Red Tree Cafe, we greeted by a quaint blue cottage-like building.  But yet, if you looked behind the cottage, there is a more modern looking building connected (?) at the back! Interesting….

The Red Tree Cafe

The Red Tree Cafe

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V and I entered through the front but opted to sit in the back area.  I should point out that the kitchen and food are located back there.  I’m glad we did venture into the back area because I would have been shy about getting up, trekking back there and taking random pictures of the decor.  It’s a lot easier when I’m already seated there and waiting for my food and drink to arrive.  :)

so many options...

so many options…

selection of treats to choose from

selection of treats to choose from

V's picks

V’s picks

my picks ... notice I went for a tea this time...

my picks … notice I went for a tea this time…?

yummy... tart and ice cream...

yummy… tart and ice cream…

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Mirror, mirror on the wall…
..wait a minute!  There are so many mirrors, which one should we ask...?

..wait a minute! There are so many mirrors, which one should we ask…?

behind the counter...

behind the counter

quaint view of the cottage... I like our table!

quaint view of the cottage… I like our table!

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The treats were perfect for a simple mid-morning break and gave us an opportunity to stretch our legs a bit.  The interior atmosphere was cool and the view of the blue cottage exterior (at least from our window table) was quaint.

jRed Tree Cafe on Urbanspoon

Eventually we decided it was time to get back on the road.  Canberra was estimated to be about 2 hours away.  As we were driving along the highway, V mentioned that pass by a city called Goulburn.  She also mentioned there is a big sheep there.  Big sheep?  Along the way…?  Of course we needed to take a picture!

The big sheep that V mentioned is a 3-storey high ram monument made of concrete and steel at The Big Merino.  According to The Big Merino website, the structure is the biggest merino in the world at 15.2 metres in height and 97 tonnes in weight.

The Big Merino in Goulburn

The Big Merino in Goulburn