We were so well organised that we had everything packed and ready to go well before our check out time at 10:00am. The only problem was cleaning a frying pan used the previous day by visitors. A scourer and undiluted sugar soap eventually got it back to original condition but not until three people had had a turn at removing the burnt on grease.
To give us more of the city sights, I headed north over the Sydney Harbour Bridge rather than the preferred way through the Harbour Tunnel. It was a bright morning with lots of blue sky as a backdrop upon which Sydney painted its City in combinations of tall glass panes and heritage sandstone. Being a Sunday, the traffic was light and the drive out of the City was a relaxed one.
We stopped first at The Twins - the nickname I first heard for the Twin Caltex Service Centres south of the Warnervale Interchange and beside the F3. For the first time we chose to ignore a certain Scottish family restaurant and ate at the healthy, organic equivalent. The food was every bit as expensive but perhaps the choices were healthier.
As usual these days since Sarah left Newcastle, we left the F3 at what was once the Doyalson bypass and wended out way at slightly lower speeds north west to Cessnock where we stopped at the Potters Brewery for what turned out to be a beer and some rather pleasant music from a chap called Chris. His guitar and voice combined rather nicely for us across the space of 45 minutes. I bought him a beer and we had a chat about music.
It didn't take us long through the wine country to reach Branxton and the New England Highway and then Muswellbrook for more coffee and another break for Sue. Once on the road, we only made one more stop, this time at Willow Tree where Sue did stretched on her back and I had a chat with the lady who runs the new information centre there, which has only been open for four months. The final push had us home about 5:30pm. After dropping Chris off, we stopped in to have a cuppa with Sam and Amy (and a pat of Hamish) before finally making home at about seven.
As always, its nice to come home. I was straight out to the garden where Sam had done a good job watering vegetables and everything was looking bright and happy. Dorothy was right, there is, actually, no place like home.