NSW Holiday 2007-2008 – Day 1

Let me preface this post with a little story about:

TFP and air-sickness

The first time I flew in a plane with Jac was years ago when we went to Queensland for her cousin’s wedding. On that flight, I ate the meal (a kind of spring roll with Thai green curry chicken filling, followed by an ice cream drumstick). After eating, the slight giddiness I’d felt since take-off grew more intense, and I began to feel progressively more nauseuous. Although I fought back the urge to throw up, I lost the battle just before landing. You know the horrible moment when you know you have to be sick (I distinctly remember thinking “Oh no, why did I have the Thai green curry?!”)? Poor Jac missed the ending of the movie (Bridget Jones’ Diary – she’s since watched it on DVD) because she had to look after me – multiple sick bags were needed. I used mine and hers and then she had to ask the air steward for another. Jac was amazed, as she’d flown overseas many times and had never needed to use nor ever seen anyone use those sick bags. Actually, the staff looked as if they couldn’t believe it either – their expressions were a mixture of incredulousness, disgust and pity. It was one of the worst experiences of my life – not only because of how sick I felt, but because I was just really embarrassed – I was very quiet and tidy throughout, but there’s no denying it when someone’s being sick near you in an enclosed space, and I felt awful knowing that other passengers knew I was being sick. I felt so pathetic.

On the flight back to Perth from Brisbane, I ate a sandwich for lunch but didn’t have anything to eat for a few hours before the plane ride. I took some Kwells (travel sickness pills). Unfortunately, I still felt crook throughout the flight (giddy, nauseous, closed-up ears) and before we landed, surprise surprise, I needed the sick bags again. Yeah, bags.

The next time I needed to fly again came a couple of years ago – I had to go to Brisbane again, this time for a conference. I would be flying on my own. This time, I went to the doctor before the trip and explained my little problem with flying and asked if there was anything he could give me to make the journey more tolerable. He prescribed me anti-nausea pills and gave me a mild tranquiliser to relax me.

As I was still a little paranoid as to what might happen if I ate on the plane, I didn’t take any chances, even though I took the medication. I didn’t eat anything on the plane apart from a little crystallised ginger (ginger is supposed to help settle the stomach). I drank water and made myself sleep for most of the flight. This time, there was no throwing up (phew!) but I was absolutely ravenous when I got off the plane and needed to visit my old friend McDonalds for a Big Breakfast. For the flight back to Perth, once again I did my medication, ginger, water and sleep routine, and made it home sick bag-free.

And so how did the latest flight go? :)

Airline food, Perth to Sydney

Having taken my travel pills I felt remarkably good despite being on a plane, and as the food cart approached, the smell of the meals being handed out was making me feel really hungry. I’d made a deal with Jac that no matter what, we would get one of each meal choice so I could photograph them for the blog, and when it was our turn, she asked for the meat choice and I asked for the vegetarian choice. I was still a little worried about eating on the plane, so I just had a few mouthfuls of each meal, and a little bread and butter. Jac was only to pleased to eat both lots of crackers and cheese. She ate her Twix bar and kept mine for a snack later.

The vegetarian choice was “potato gnocchi with broad beans”.

Airline meal - potato gnocchi with broad beans

The gnocchi had a nice texture, but the sauce and beans were pretty bland.

Potato gnocchi with broad beans

The meat choice was “braised lamb chermoula with cous cous”. This was pretty good – I wouldn’t go as far as to say “tasty”, but it had far more flavour than the gnocchi. The lamb casserole (yeah well, that’s what it was!) made me think of tinned food, but Kraft Braised Steak and Onions is much more delicious!

Airline meal - braised lamb chermoula with cous cous

Braised lamb chermoula with cous cous

I was absolutely chuffed with how the flight went – it was the best yet. The landing was impressively smooth – there was no bump of the wheels as we hit the tarmac. The flight took only 3 hours and 20 minutes, and with the meal and in-flight entertainment (I didn’t watch any of the movies on offer, but switched music stations constantly) I didn’t get any sleep. I chewed furiously on my gum at take-off and landing and managed to avoid uncomfortable ear issues – tired jaws are preferable to blocked ears/head any time! I never once felt nauseous or dizzy during the flight. I felt pretty exhausted when we arrived, but really good otherwise, and I was thrilled that I’d been able to eat on the plane!

As we were on our way out of the airport I saw my first Krispy Kreme stall! I must admit I was a little peckish when I got off the plane, but exhaustion won. We just wanted to get a cab and be on our way to Jon’s as soon as possible, so my first experience of Krispy Kreme had to be a merely photographic one.

Krispy Kreme stand

Shortly after we arrived at Jon’s, we crashed out on the sofa bed. A couple of hours later, we were ready to hit the road to visit Auntie S and Uncle F for a late lunch.

On the way to Auntie S and Uncle F’s place, we stopped by a surfing spot. Jon was really tempted to do some surfing – his board was in the car, in the front seat – but we didn’t want to be too late for our late lunch, so we just stopped long enough for a loo break, to stretch our legs and for Jon to look longingly at the waves. I should’ve made note of the name of this place.


All around were trees…

Broccoli forest

…that looked like forests of broccoli.

Broccoli forest

Lunch with Auntie S and Uncle F

Uncle F is of Spanish descent, and he’d promised to make us his paella. I’d never eaten paella before, and was really looking forward to it. The pan of paella came to the table straight from the stove – it smelled great! There were six of us for lunch – Auntie A, Uncle F, their daughter C, Jon, Jac and I.


Regular readers and friends will know very well that I’m not a fan of mussels or similar shellfish, but I wanted to eat experience the paella in all its glory. I could tell Jac was surprised when Auntie S served up and asked me if I wanted a bit of everything and I said yes – I think Jac was expecting me to pass her my mussels and pipis after I took the photos of my plate – she was pretty surprised to see me eating them. :) I must say I haven’t been converted to mussels, but the pipis were pretty good, and I really enjoyed the paella and all the seafood in it – even I was surprised at that! The crab was messy work and I was reminded why I prefer my crab already shelled. I used to be really grossed out by the segmenty legs and bodies of crabs and prawns as a kid – these photos remind me of that too.

My plate

I asked Uncle F how he makes his paella. He explained: first, he browns the chicken and cooks the vegetables in the pan. When they are partially cooked, he adds the rice and water (1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water, PLUS 1 extra cup of water). He adds a little saffron, but to get the really yellow colour, he uses yellow food colouring. After cooking the rice, chicken and vegies for a little while, he adds the seafood – the prawns, pipis, mussels, crabs, squid etc. He did say that his family likes the paella to be a wetter-style dish, and they like to eat it with bread – other people would probably make a much drier paella.

I did enjoy mopping up all the paella juice with the bread.


We had more prawns – actually, for me this holiday was mostly about prawns. For Jac, it was all about oysters – you’ll see prawns and oysters in the posts to come.


We also had salad, which Auntie S whipped up as we caught up on family news while the paella was bubbling on the stove.


For sweets, we had Christmas pudding with vanilla ice cream. This pudding had been made by Jac and Jon’s Auntie K, and was rich and fruity.

Christmas pudding with ice cream

This is Sam the cat. She was very talkative and sought our attention most of the time.

Sam the cat

After lots of meowing and rubs, she settled down for a nap.

Sleeping Sam

You have to drive through the Royal National Park to get to Auntie S and Uncle F’s house. After lunch, we all (except c, she took a nap instead) went for a nic elong walk that lasted couple of hours, which was good, as I’d eaten A LOT of food.

Royal National Park  


China Moon Chinese Restaurant
188 Bondi Road, Bondi NSW.

Back at Jon’s, for dinner that evening we grabbed some Chinese takeaway. We didn’t need a big dinner after our late lunch. Jac and Jon felt like dumplings and soup, while I felt like some noodles. We got some steamed gow gee (AU$3.20, 4 pcs) and fried dim sims (AU$3.20, 4 pcs).

Steamed gow gee

I didn’t try the steamed dumplings, but couldn’t resist having a dim sim. Yeah, they were a little greasy and I know deep-fried is baaaaad, but they were wonderfully porky and so good!

Fried dim sims

Jon had chicken and corn soup (AU$3.20).

Chicken and corn soup

Jac had crab meat soup (AU$3.20).

Crab meat soup

I chose the combination chow mein (AU$9.00). This dish was great – really saucy, with thin soft egg noodles, beef, chicken, choy sum, bean sprouts and three big prawns. Once I started eating I realised I was actually quite hungry – and I wished that China Moon used deep rather than shallow takeaway containers. I sucked up my saucy noodles while watching “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” on telly. I have to admit I’ve been watching that show a lot.

Combination chow mein

Some real touristy stuff coming up in the next post!

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