Gelati I Have Known…

IMG_9393Hello all! Happy New Year! I hope your 2015 is jam-packed with excitement and joy.

I’m back from a series of beach holidays–first to our usual stomping ground, a place called Coolum to the north of my home town of Brisbane, Australia. Gorgeous beaches, not too crowded, laid-back easy lifestyle. I could easily live up there if the sea air didn’t make my hair feel like it belonged on a Barbie doll.

The best gelato, too–Ferrero Rocher–Yum!

1242971316-oracle-33303Then we went to the Gold Coast south of Brisbane. The Gold Coast has a totally different vibe from Coolum. Lots of high-rises, lots of glitz, lots of tourists who have no idea about proper sun protection, or that you really are risking your life if you don’t swim between the flags on a patrolled beach!

We played tennis, swam in the pool, went to the beach as well as to my favourite art gallery for a window shop.

Also, there was gelato. Mango, another favourite! Mmmm. (Sensing a theme here?)

IMG_1241Lastly, we went camping on Stradbroke Island, which is the second largest sand island in the world. We had a ball, camping with four families. The kids went feral, the whole tribe of them running wild from dawn till dusk, attacking the waves and each other, climbing rocks, playing hide-and-seek and card games. Not an electronic device in sight. At night, the men would take them crab spotting on the beach and the female contingent would savour our G&Ts and gossip.

149On a visit to Noreen’s Seaside Shop we ladies all bought flowery mu-mus and wore them proudly. One well-prepared friend brought her espresso machine and milk frother and made us coffee every morning. We did the gorge walk and saw kangaroos, dolphins, manta rays, turtles. It’s a breath-taking place.

Not to mention that every day we went to an INCREDIBLE gelato shop. 🙂 The queue was 30 deep whenever we went but it was worth it. They change their flavours every few hours. There was Tiramisu, Nectarine, Strawberry pavlova, Hazelnut, Pina Colada, Boysenberry, Plum, everything you could imagine. The trick was eating them fast enough before they melted in the hot summer sun!

How was your holiday season? What’s your idea of paradise? Is there any particular food you associate with being on holiday?

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  • Helen says:

    Is he coming back to my place ?

    Have Fun

  • Jane says:

    Hello Christina,
    I wish I were on a beach right now. It’s freezing here. We had a low key holiday season. I’ve been to Hawaii a couple of times and it’s somewhere I consider paradise. We would have fresh pineapple and papaya for breakfast and drink passion fruit cocktails.

    • Jane, I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii. It seemed like an excellent idea to stop over there on the way to an RWA conference, but somehow I never got around to it. Sounds beautiful! Hope you’re keeping warm over there!

  • Helen says:


    Sounds like lots of fun we are going away tomorrow up the coast for a few days with the kids and we are stopping at The Australian Reptile Park first should be fun although I do hope it sops raining for us.
    Then the beach Tuesday and the carnival atmosphere that is The Entrance this will bring back lots of memories from my childhood for me.
    Food wise lots of ice cream for me any flavour 🙂

    Have Fun

  • Wow, Christina, what a fabulous series of beach holidays. I’m green with envy! I think you relax during a seaside holiday the way you relax nowhere else. Got a surge of nostalgia when you talked about Straddie. I grew up looking straight at it – our farm was on a hill looking across the bay to the hills of Stradbroke Island and we had a lot of childhood holidays there when it was pretty much completely undiscovered. There was a rather rough pub there and a caravan park and that was it for Point Lookout. I well remember the gorge walk – saw green turtles laying eggs there one year. A very special occasion.

  • Foanna, I thought of you as we drove past the turn-off to Redland Bay. What a view that must have been! Nowadays, the pub looks like a million dollars. We had a very rowdy dinner there one night. And of course there are gorgeous, expensive homes all over.

  • flchen1 says:

    That sounds absolutely fabulous, Christina! We didn’t travel this year for the holidays, but when we do travel, many of our memories involve food 😉

  • Franca Poli says:

    My idea of paradise at this time is to be lying on a beautiful tropical beach, also because here is very cold.
    The ice cream, especially fruit, is what I associate being on vacation, but also a nice fruit cocktail. 🙂

  • Shannon says:

    Nummm… gelato. I love the idea of flavors changing every few hours and a daily visit. Since it’s cold here and there are the resolution to be more healthy, I’ve been buying frozen fruits, Not nearly as much fun afrruit flavored heaven.

    I loved the image of allowing the children to go feral!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Your vacation sounds like my dream vacation. Just give me sun, sand, and sunshine and I’m happy.

  • catslady says:

    Maybe not a particular food but not having to cook 🙂 Visiting different restaurants is top on my list, then good weather and still having time to read (like on a beach).

    • You know, Catslady, not having to cook would be up there with the best things about a real holiday! Unfortunately, I still have to cook when we have a family holiday–sometimes three different meals, so it’s not until I get to go away on my own or with Husband that i really get a break! Absolutely, time to read is a must 🙂

  • Sounds like a fabulous vacation, Christina! I’m envious!

    It is chilly and damp here in LA (Lower Alabama.) Really miserable weather, great for hunkering down at home with a stack of romance novels and some period drama DVD’s.

    In my younger days my favorite vacation was visiting zoological parks. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some lovely ones. And they usually always have some great ice cream to nosh as you walk around and visit the animals.

    When I lived in Europe I made a habit of visiting little bakeries in the towns where we performed or went for vacations. I always looked for the one with best window displays and with the longest lines. YUM!

  • Cassondra says:

    Christina, that island sounds like a dream vacation…and when you said “camping” I thought tents and outdoor fires, but since tehre was an espresso machine present, I’m guessing cabins, and THAT is my kind of camping!

    Gelato is like ice cream, right? It looks lovely. We honestly don’t travel for vacation/holiday, so I tend to think of just staying home (but pretending we’re gone). BUT…when I think of travel, I generally think of the southern US coast, which is the direction I go most often, and that means I think of fresh seafood. We’re too landlocked to get anything fresh where I live, and I adore seafood. So if I’m traveling near a coast, that’s what I ALWAYS order.

    I’m curious though–about the flags and the beaches. I know Australia has some of the most dangerous wildlife–and marine life–is it the waves and undertow? Or is it the marine life that make the beach potentially dangerous? (I’m kind of a beach greenhorn–I don’t know much about American beaches either.)

    • Actually, Cassondra, we were in tents at a designated camp ground and had no power, except in the laundry, which is where the coffee making took place every day! It was so funny to see the looks on other people’s faces who came up to get their washing done.

      As for swimming between the flags, yes, it’s the rips and undertow that can easily sweep people away. Sharks are less common, although certainly shark attacks do occur. The surf lifesavers (lifeguards) make sure they set up the flags in a safe zone and they keep a keen watch on everyone to make sure no one needs help. They also patrol on jet-skis, and in helicopters. It’s a serious business and if we have kids with us we make sure we have eyes on them the whole time. It’s definitely not like swimming in your local pool!

      Ahh, you HAVE to come to Australia if only for the seafood, deHo. You would LOVE it!

  • Christina –
    The photos look lovely, especially as there’s a winter storm warning that interupts the tv every so often.

    We don’t travel for the holidays though this year we’ve spent consider time at a friends house to watch football playoffs with a crowd. When I think about spending time at a beach, I think of boardwalk fries (French fries with Old Bay seasoning), ice cream/ gelato, and salt water taffy- my son’s favorite – and hot dogs!

    Sounds like a wonderful vacation!

  • J St George says:

    Sounds fantastic, Christina. I know exactly the gelato shop you are talking about. We go to North Straddie every few years. This year we went to South Straddie for the first time which was lots of fun and full of very similar activities.

  • pjpuppymom says:

    What lovely holidays, Christina! I’m sitting here under my blanket dreaming of warm, sunny beaches. Been a wee bit chilly here lately.

    Lounging on the beach with an unlimited supply of books to read and frozen margaritas to sip is my idea of paradise.

    I adore gelato but I was spoiled at a young age by being introduced to it in Italy. I have yet to find any in the U.S. that can compare though Talenti probably comes closest.

    As for food, I love the fresh seafood we get when we’re at the beach, especially the grouper. Yum.

    • I love the sound of beach, margaritas and books, PJ! And I’m with you on the seafood, too.

      I imagine once you’ve had authentic gelato it is hard to compromise!

      Hope the weather doesn’t get too cold for you up there!