17 Oct Wall to Wall Birthday Celebrations
I am pleased to have reached “the ripe old age” of 70, given that after my father passed away, aged 44, I’ve often wondered if I would achieve this milestone.
Early in 2019, with my 70th approaching, my darling wife Maggie asked me, “How would you like to celebrate your 70th Birthday.
I responded, “Let’s have a large party for family and friends”.
We discussed the options and Maggie recommended two smaller, more manageable parties; one for close friends and another for immediate family. She then organised every aspect of these two parties.
The Birthday Party with Friends was held late September at the Mona Vale Golf Club. Ten Couples attended. Here are the “snaps” from that party.
Two weeks later the Birthday Party with Family took place at Pittwater RSL. Five adult offspring, their partners and six grand children attended. Here are the family “snaps”.
On the weekend between these two parties I was given a complete surprise. Maggie went above and beyond, booking a stay at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, as her birthday present to me.
We had previously talked about visiting the refurbished “Hydro”, an icon of early 20th Century Australian “chic”. However I’d never seriously thought we would do it.
The day we arrived, the hotel and gardens were adorned with mist.
The mist remained into the evening.Reflection of The Hydro Lounge, courtesy of night time mist – Facing Megalong Valley
The Hydro Majestic was built in the early 1900s at Medlow Bath NSW, initially as a health retreat, and then not long after was “reborn” as a Luxury Hotel.
It was closed for the latest reincarnation in 2008 and I believe it was reopened in 2014.
The Winter Garden Restaurant – High Tea is served here each day
Salon Du Thé – provides casual dinning and your favourite beverage
Passageway between Winter Garden and Salon Du Thé
Lead Light window & door in passageway
The next day was overcast, but the mist had lifted.
The Belgravia accommodation wing
View of Megalong Valley from near the Belgravia Wing
The Hargravia accommodation wing
The Casino (meaning a public room, not gambling facility)
Cadillac “Taxi” in front of the Boiler House Cafe
Sunset View from our “Hydro Hotel” room
Scenic World, Katoomba is a short drive from the Hydro. We spent half a day there with Julia, Luke and Oscar.
Part of the machinery for the Scenic Railway or Cableway
The Three Sisters (left) overlooking the Jamieson Valley
Scenic Railway Carriages
This is the steepest passenger train in the world at an incline of 52º and perhaps offers the shortest journey.
Rail carriages quickly disappearing backwards up the steep slope
Having descended on the railway, and walked into the valley on the raised boardwalks, we returned to the cliff top via the Scenic Cableway.
Waiting to board the Scenic Cableway
Oscar: “There’s Owl”. Perhaps he said Al, but he used to call me Owl.
After hotel checkout we visited the Rhododendron Gardens, Blackheath, ten minutes north of the “Hydro”. Being a large bush garden, it presents an extensive variety of plants.
What a wonderful party (or three)! Two weeks of celebration, thanks to my wife Maggie, our friends and family.
For me it was a celebration of friendships and family relationships. A big thank you to everyone who made it so enjoyable.
Next year ……. it will be a quiet one, I promise.