Gorgeous day on Coolum Beach
upstaged by dining at Augello's
SUNSHINE COAST, Queensland, Tuesday, Dec. 19 — The agenda included three main activities, and all turned out brilliant.
First, we piled four people and a surf board into Sarah and Duane's cool little Holden Astra hatchback, a relatively easy process as it turned out, and took the short drive up the coast to Coolum Beach.
The morning was glorious. Deb got situated on the sand and said, "I could do this all day."
Alas, we forgot the camera — again!
Sarah and Duane took the board out into the rolling surf. To the untrained eye, the waves seemed to be consistently 2-3 feet high, with the occasional swell to 4-5 feet. It looked perfect for beginning surfers.
Despite living near the beach most of their lives, the kids had never learned to surf, and both had the goal of "getting up" for the first time this day. Sarah came the closest, riding several waves on her knees and nearly standing a couple times. Duane had more success paddling out farther, but failed to catch a big wave.
As for me, think floundering whale. I just wanted to ride one wave while prone, but even that was a challenge. The biggest problem was my swimsuit kept falling off as I tried to hop up onto the board! I did manage to ride one, and immediately called it quits.
Next on the docket — massages. While Sarah and Duane went for a bike workout with their trainer, Deb and I visited Dynamic Massage in Mooloolaba — which is pronounced Moo-loola-ba, said as fast possible. I drew laughs pronouncing each syllable, Moo-Loo-LA-ba.
After climbing Mount Coolum the previous day, we needed to be worked over, and Jackie at Dynamic gave us great one-hour massages. We plan to go back before we leave to get loosened up for the flights home.
The great day ended on a high note. The four of us drove back to Mooloolaba to meet the parents for dinner. It was Sharon and John Kenyon's 25th wedding anniversary, and Roz and Steve Smith joined us at Augello's Ristorante and Pizzeria overlooking the beach.
Yep ... forgot the camera again!
I'll try not to exaggerate too much … so I'll simply say it may have been the best restaurant meal I've ever had!
Augello's has won a number of Australian National Pizza Championships, and if they held a world competition, they'd be a contender. Spectacular pies!
I had an "Amanti de Carni" (meat lovers) pizza, which had "bbq sauce, cheese, marinated lamb, italian sausages, bacon, salami and ham." Incredible!
Debbie had a chef's special — crab meat lasagne. It was good beyond comprehension! And Roz's chicken cacciatore risotto might have been the best dish on the table.
We're going back, for sure.
• Shocker: Surfing is a lot harder than it looks. Sarah and Duane are both good athletes and very fit, but it's a challenge for them to maneuver the board around in the waves and attempt to ride. A lummox like me has no chance.
• Aussie oddities: It turns out a summer day without cricket is like a day without baseball. I found myself missing the game on "telly," and I look forward to the resumption of the Ashes series on Boxing Day, Dec. 26.