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Old 01-03-2012, 08:34 AM   #196
dgbg100106

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PIO - your pictures are beautiful and you captured the fireworks very well...
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:58 PM   #197
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PIO - your pictures are beautiful and you captured the fireworks very well...
Thanks Brandi.
I think that after the practise I put in last year, I hope to get some shots with a castle in the background that I'd be happy to share on the Dis photography sub-forum.

Midnight set coming up next.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:03 PM   #198
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OT – A Brand New Year!


After the Children’s Fireworks, we made our way towards the city center and tried to find a spot to watch the fireworks from. The organizers had promised that there would be Golden Fireworks for this year; set off from some of the buildings in the city. Vantage points would be plentiful…

Despite that, Melbournians still flocked to the Yarra River; me included. With no fireworks planned to be let off from the Yarra, I took aim at the buildings.





And as the clock counted down, we would have the occasional burst of sparks to the theme of Goldfinger.





With the chime of midnight, 1 Jan 2012 rolled round. And with that, the fireworks burst out again over Melbourne.





They promised gold….and gold it was.





Yup.













The fireworks were spread out all over the city.





And we finished with….yet more gold.











Nice as the fireworks were, the star of the night was undoubtedly this spire. I took this shot earlier in the evening. The spire on the Arts Center is normally lit up at night in blues and greens. For this evening, the colour had been change to the golden theme.





I sat with my back to the spire and I was aware that they were firing off sparkles all the way up and down the spire.

So, after the show was over and I had packed up, we turned to head home when we, along with the rest of the revelers, noticed that the spire was on fire. One of the fireworks had set the plastic container the fireworks had been stored in on fire and that top section of the spire was alight. And at one point, I saw 3 separate spots alight on the spire and fire falling down the 156 ft tall spire.

With over 600,000 crammed into the area it was impossible for anyone, let alone emergency services to head into the area. Luckily, the fire burnt itself out and according to the experts, no structural damage to the spire.

Sadly, I'd put away my camera and there was no way I was going to be able to take it out in the throng around me. So, I missed the real fireworks of the night!



Oh….and for the record, I’m happy with my fireworks shooting on this night. DH has categorically told me that he does NOT intend to see another fireworks show in Melbourne for a long, long, long time. I think he’s over the Fireworks Gods too.
Me? I can’t WAIT to take my tripod to HKDL and get some shots with a castle in the background!


The bonus of the night?
For me, I had a spur of the moment impulse to take a shot of the crowd. I only took one picture. For some reason, I actually love this shot more than the midnight fireworks pictures I took on this night. I think it just depicts the “Waiting for Sparkles on New Year’s Eve” accurately.





Happy New Year everyone. May 2012 bring you health and happiness and lots of magic; Disney or otherwise.



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Old 01-03-2012, 05:24 PM   #199
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PIO. Everything is beautiful and the waiting shot is very descriptive
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:07 PM   #200
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Those are awesome shots! Gold indeed. So glad that the fire didnt spread anywhere.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:19 PM   #201
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Very nice pictures! That's pretty funny and scary about the spire catching on fire. I'm glad you are pleased with them.

But I missed a thing or two a page or so back, what's with the towel and the $42?
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:38 PM   #202
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Very nice pictures! That's pretty funny and scary about the spire catching on fire. I'm glad you are pleased with them.

But I missed a thing or two a page or so back, what's with the towel and the $42?
My quote for the proper PTR update of "Don't Panic" comes from Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Marvin the Paranoid Android and Ford Prefect are characters in the book. In the book, 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.

I had to google this quote as I really couldn't quote it all in correct detail...

The original Towel Quotation from the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy


"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is."



Pick the HGttU geeks in this crowd!
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:23 PM   #203
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Ohhhh - Disney Yum Cha - WOW!
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:38 AM   #204
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Ohhhh - Disney Yum Cha - WOW!
I know, right??

Can't wait to shoot......I mean.....eat..... the Disney Yum Cha.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:41 AM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
PIO. Everything is beautiful and the waiting shot is very descriptive

Thank you. Even for this over-(pain-in-the-butt)-A$$chiever, I was very happy with the outcomes on NYE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usnuzuloose View Post
Those are awesome shots! Gold indeed. So glad that the fire didnt spread anywhere.
All of Melbourne were glad that the fire didn't spread anywhere else and that damage was pretty minimal (aside from the scorching).



Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Very nice pictures! That's pretty funny and scary about the spire catching on fire. I'm glad you are pleased with them.

But I missed a thing or two a page or so back, what's with the towel and the $42?

Thanks Alison. I am really pleased with the shots from this night. I preferred the ones from the 9.30 pm fireworks....I can well imagine a castle in the background.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:25 AM   #206
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You venture out and keep those wonderful pictures coming! What is up with a $42.00 dollar towel? Did I miss something?
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:29 AM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usnuzuloose View Post
You venture out and keep those wonderful pictures coming! What is up with a $42.00 dollar towel? Did I miss something?

It's the towel that is the answer to life, the universe and everything. (References from the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams).
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:36 AM   #208
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Anyone Up for a Mini-TR??

OT - A Mini Victorian Getaway


From January 1 – 3, we went away to the Yarra Valley in Victoria for a mini-vacay. The Yarra Valley is about an hour’s drive away from my home and is one of the areas where grapevines grow and wine is fermented. The valley…and my pictures…might have looked like this from one of the vineyards…..





…..sadly, this trip was not about the wine as much as it was about minimizing the whine. Three families were involved in this mini-vacay (not that you’ll see much of them in this set of posts)….and there were 4 whines to minimize and keep occupied.


Needless to say, pictures were involved….lots of them! So for anyone not interested, come back in about a week or so.

For the rest….here we go.




It’s A Not so Early Start

It is my lot in life to be considered the pace-setter where holidays are concerned. Thus is the case with these two groups that I tend to be the tour guide when we go on our yearly time away from the rest of our families.

So, when I was asked to nominate a meeting place and a meeting time, I had already had my game plan all worked out. We would meet at 11 am at Hedgend in the Yarra Valley.

To those of you that have been following my other TRs, you will realize that the starting time is practically late afternoon by my normal standards.
Yes…I knew we would be up late on New Year’s Eve and had deliberately picked a start time that would allow me the opportunity to down 3 cups of strong coffee beforehand.


To say that DH and I were slow on this day would be an understatement. I think we got home at around 1.30 am and by the time I’d gotten into bed, it was closer to 2.30 am than anything else. DS…he’s just an Eveready battery.

Let me just say now that these 3 days have turned out to be the HOTTEST days in the year so far. Okay…literally that’s true given that we’re only day 3 into the new year…but we are talking about temperatures in the very high 90’s to 110 Farenheit here. All 3 days!

By the time we got to Hedgend, it was already high 80’s. Lots of water was going to be the order of the day in order to prevent ourselves from going the way of the visitors before us….




What is Hedgend?
As the name suggests, it is a hedge….a maze. Fun.for.kids! Little and Big. After paying the entry fee, we headed for the maze entrance.





And into a world of green!





The people at the desk gave us a scavenger hunt list, complete with questions and told the kids that they had to find every item on the list. The items were to be found in dead-ends and along the way….so they were encouraged to go down every single windy path.


Some of the items that caught my eye…

















We eventually followed the kids, who made their way to this garden….




….which was the way out of the maze. And at the end of this universe, there was a pavilion strategically placed so that people could take pictures of the maze.




The pavilion also provided additional entertainment for the kids. Check out the artwork underneath…








Very cleverly hidden in the painting, were about 20 items. The list was also included and the kids then spent a great deal of time looking for those items.


Hedgend Maze also includes a mini golf paddock that no one felt energetic enough to try out.





By this stage, it was past 1 pm and temperatures were in the mid 90’s. The kids decided it was time for lunch.



We’ll eat ANYTHING…..as long as it’s airconditioned

There are a number of little townships in the Yarra Valley, some bigger than others. Given where we were staying, the one that we decided to adopt was Yarra Glen. Yarra Glen has one pub, one Chinese restaurant that doubled as a sushi shop, one supermarket, one service station, one bank, one bakery and about 4 cafes. All of which, except for the pub, Chinese restaurant and one café were shut on New Year’s Day.

The pub was deemed too expensive for lunch, the Chinese restaurant was ruled out because it wasn’t air conditioned….so the café it was.

Fortunately for us, the meals there were reasonably priced and decent. Around my side of the table, the consensus order was the burger…..with the lot.





The pesky vegetarian I travel with chose the uber delicious eggplant tart with Persian fetta.






The other side of the table ordered toasted sandwiches and lasagna; but it was too hot and too far for me to get up and grab pictures of the food.

Needless to say, it was water all round…..with ice…..and air conditioning.


(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:38 AM   #209
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Our Home away from Home

When deciding on where we were heading to this year, I had suggested to the other families that we head to the Yarra Valley not because of the location; but because of the accommodation.

Our home away from Home was the Sebel Heritage Resort. It was a 4-star rated resort, had 2 x 18 hole golf courses, a restaurant, swimming pool, sauna, gym, tennis court, walks along the Yarra River….and did I mention the Mii Spa complex?

And price-wise, it was considered reasonable for Aussie standards.

Check in was after 2 pm….and it was already past this time by the time we finished with lunch. That swimming pool beckoned! It was really hot.

Our room…




…facilities…






….and freebies!








We headed for a swim…and I didn’t take my camera with me. In fact, I don’t think I took my camera with me to that part of the resort for the entire 3 days!


I’ll put these pictures in here now as it is more logical to post them in the one location rather than post them in the correct time order.

These pictures are taken from the room balcony later that evening.

Our view to the left…




…and the view to the right.






Looking straight ahead, we have a view of trees. And at the time I took these, there were quite a few of the galahs there…making a loud noise. I was to find out that they did this twice a day at sunset…. and sunrise. Sunrise is around 5 am right now.

Shooting the galahs? I had the wrong equipment with me!





That low-ish building to the right is where the restaurant is located.





The courtyard looks a pleasant spot to sit; except it was way to hot.





The main drive-way entry…




…and the entry.




There is underground parking and an elevator in the parking. All in all, we were very comfortable in the room and resort.



(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:40 AM   #210
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(Continued from Previous Post)

Too hot to eat!

After the swim, everyone was still cranky, hot and tired. The kids were hungry; but none of the adults were particularly hungry after that burger platter.

We headed back to Yarra Glen and into the pub. We had to sit OUTSIDE….everyone else had come early and there were no tables available for us inside in the airconditioning.




There was a surprising range of food on the menu.





Pity we weren’t hungry. The kids ate off the kid’s menu….food, soft drink and dessert.

The adults settled on the antipasto platter, which was meant to be large enough to be shared between 2 – 4 adults. We also decided to supplement the platter with a plate of dips.

The platter…..







And the dips were delicious.





Hard to believe…but for tonight, this was more than ample for the 5 non-hungry adults! Particularly when we all eyed off the jelly cups that came with the kid’s menu. So, we asked and got one for all of us.






With dinner done, the cranky, tired and hot adults called it a day!



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