Wow, two posts in one day. But I am only trying to save face and playing catch-up really.
We did factor in some quiet time for Auntie to recover from jet-lag, but it really wasn't needed as she had no problems adjusting to our time zone, but we did ease her into a couple of local trips.
Toowoomba is renowned for it's gardens, and the annual Carnival of Flowers is held in September, so the first trip to introduce Auntie to our beautiful region was off to the Japanese Gardens, and Laurel Bank Gardens (my favourite as this is where we were married 31 years ago). The gardens didn't disappoint, although not fully in bloom until the second week of September they still put on a good early show of beauty.
As many of you may know, Mr R. and I are 'bushies' at heart and we love the bush and its peace and tranquillity, so it was only natural that during the first four weeks of Auntie's visit that we would head for the local national parks for short day trips. Our first was to Crows Nest Falls, just 35 minutes from Toowoomba. A lovely quiet park mid-week - not a soul to be seen. The only set back here is the track gets a bit rough and steep in parts before reaching the Falls lookout (exceptionally rough in some parts after last year's horrendous floods). Unfortunately, Auntie was a bit lame the day we decided to do this walk and struggled a little with a painful hip. She was very brave though and completed the walk, but did need to rest for the next few days.
Our second NP visit was a little more successful - Ravensbourne. A lovely short walk of 1km taking in some beautiful rainforest and natural lookouts over the range.
As the Carnival period approached our garden blossomed even more, Mr R. and I also had a few commitments with the info centre and quilt group. Undeterred at being left on her own for a few hours Auntie seemed to enjoy sitting in one of my rockers whilst she read books from my collection of Catherine Cookson, or spent time knitting dolls clothes with the umpteen balls of wool stored in my craft cupboard. We didn't however, neglect her, and she and I had a lovely "girlie" day out to Highfields, just 15 minutes from home, wandering through antique, jewellery, and crafty shops, with a lovely lunch to finish.
Out next "event" was a trip to Lake Broadwater, about an hour's drive from home, SW of Dalby. Here Auntie experienced our wild life 'up close and personal'. With an abundance of wallabies and kangaroos around the lake we enjoyed watching young joeys trying to get back in the pouch and had some wonderful photo opportunities. LB has a wonderful variety of birdlife and we were delighted to see a very large flock of spoonbills wading in the lake as well as two black swans with their young. Our journey home from LB gave us the opportunity to show Auntie some of the rich cotton fields and locally grown crops.