Where did I leave you? Oh yes, I was going back to work for a few days and letting Ma & Pa explore the city after a lovely Jervis weekend.

So what happened next? I hear you cry… Well… Just that. The olds had some better luck with the weather and Sarah and I met up with the increasingly bronzed pair for a couple of lovely evenings. We had Claus over for a night of wine, food and perving at the neighbour through her bathroom window. Nods there to the two dirtiest old buggers I know – Claus and my Pa.

We kept it more civilised for an evening at The Owl House on Crown St. Fantastic food and cracking service. That’s one of our favourite Sydney finds by far.

After four days back at work, I’d had more than enough and the Friday was our leave date for the Hunter Valley. Sarah’d booked us into a great lodge in the woods and sorted a wine-tasting day on the Saturday. The drive up was pretty eventful on its own with the excitement of meeting some ‘real’ Aussies in and around Cessnock (a.k.a. Incest-nock) and roadsigns for places with names like ‘Jigadee Creek’ and handpainted signs advertising ‘Poo’. Not dung, manure or muck but ‘Poo’. One beauty actually read:

Cow $3
Horse $4
Poo

Awesome. Because some people might not have fully understood the first two lines.

Our lodge was a corker. Three beds, a spa, a gas bbq and some local roos and lizards to keep us company. We barbied a load of meat (sorry about not letting you do the steak Pa, but… well… yeah, I’d been excited about cooking those all day).

The morning we were picked up bright and early by our wine tour minibus and were quaffing by 11. Bit of a mix of wineries through the day – generally, the smaller and more intimate, the better and our man Hamish at Ernest Hill Wines definitely won the day – we bought a mix of three unusual dessert wines from him. By our final winery of the day, we were definitely a little over-tired and couldn’t stop giggling when our hostess was trying to describe the Semillions. With her accent, all we heard was semi-ons and her comparison of young semi-ons to old semi-ons was simply too much.

Not quite done with a day of wines, cheeses and chocolate – oh and a big bowl of pasta for lunch – we went and had a grand dinner at Leaves & Fishes in the evening, where we thumbed through the wine list like pros and ordered an ever-so-slightly aged Riesling which we knew would perfectly compliment our mix of dishes. Slick.

We continued on this eating and drinking merry-go-round when we got back to the city. I’d been clever in taking the Monday and Tuesday off and we went to the world-famous Doyle’s in Watson’s Bay for Monday lunch. Complete with harbour views, gorgeous weather and a giant caterpillar in the salad. Free starter for the Williams’: Tick. Then we topped it all off with a Tuesday to rival any. Brunch and drinks in Surry Hills, followed by a dinner at Catalina in Rose Bay.

Sarah and I’d agreed that we’d go to Catalina when she got a job sorted but with that not hurrying along, we figured we’d book it as the perfect last night with the olds. And what do you know, Tuesday morning rolls around, dinner’s booked for that evening, and her recruitment dude phones up to tell her that she’s got a job offer. We should have booked it months ago.

A perfect last day.

We couldn’t quite bring ourselves to say goodbye straight after dins so got Ma & Pa back to ours for some of that lovely Hunter dessert wine and a cup of coffee to end the night before we really had to call time on the trip.

What a cracking two weeks. And brilliantly rounded off the following day with Ma’s text to say that they’d been upgraded to 1st for the long leg of their trip home.

I’ve always said you make your own luck.