Tim’s Birthday (Part 2)

by Elizabeth on August 31, 2009 · 3 comments

in Funny Stuff, Life, Videos

The Thursday night before Tim’s birthday I gave him an early present – a box with a shiny silver bow on top. Inside was a luggage tag, already printed with his name and address.

“You’re going to need this tomorrow”, I said.

The accompanying card held a photoshopped copy of our itinerary, the destination replaced with question marks. He spent the rest of the night trying to figure it out, naming various cities from Perth to Auckland, but didn’t even come close.

“You’re going to need your beanie,” said one member of my family helpfully. “And your snorkelling gear”, said another. We had way too much fun messing with his head, and eventually he gave up and went along for the ride.

It wasn’t easy getting up and going to work the next day, but I imagine it was even harder for Tim!



The next night my brother dropped us off at the airport, and it wasn’t until we checked in our luggage that Tim found out that we were headed for Adelaide. Once we boarded the plane Tim got out some comics to read, which made the next part of my plan even funnier. I waited for the plane to climb, and for the seatbelt sign to go off, before giving him his next present. I handed my iphone and played him this video:

(I think the 2.30 mark is my favourite point in the video…)

This masterpiece was created by DigiGifts, who make a bunch of other personalised movies too. Just between us, he nearly ended up in a Dora movie.

Anyway, Tim was forced to endure 27 minutes of his own sneering face on top of Spiderman’s body at forty thousand feet. It’s been a really long time since I have seen him laugh as hard as he did that night. We both had a good laugh at his expense, and by then it was time to start our descent.

Once we landed we picked up a hire car at the airport and drove the long way through Adelaide to our hotel. It was nearly midnight by the time we got to the Stamford Plaza, and after a long day at work we were both completely beat. We pretty much fell into bed, and I told Tim about the plan for the rest of the weekend. Adelaide was just the beginning.

After a luxurious sleep (and some yummy room service) we packed up the car as early as we could and headed towards Clare Valley – home to some of the best wine in the country. I’d done plenty of research about which wineries to hit, knowing that we had a very limited amount of time in which to see everything. Neither of us were able to take any time off work, so we really didn’t have much time to lose.

Clare was a couple of hours away at a leisurely pace. We managed to stop in at Annie’s Lane, Penna Lane and Kilikanoon before our 1pm reservation for lunch at Skillogalee.



Skillogalee came highly recommended by a number of my workmates who know the area well. We were seated by a fabulous lady in her sixties who wore a plastic iced vo-vo on her blouse, and then treated us to an unforgettable meal. Afterwards we sampled some of their wine at the cellar door, and that’s when I found a new religion in the form of their liqueur muscat. It’s sweet and syrupy, and warms you from head to toe with liquid sultanas. Bliss.

We visited several more cellar doors that afternoon; Tim Adams and Kirrihill among them. We finished our day at Sevenhill, where I stocked up on more lovely liqueurs and tawny port.


By then, the last cellar door in Clare had closed. It was time to find our Bed & Breakfast, get some dinner and sleep off our wine-tasting brain haze. Chaff Mill Cottage was just a few short minutes away.




It was overkill for just one night, but would have been perfect to settle in to for a week. In future, when I had more time to work with, I’d consider staying there while I traipsed around Clare, Barossa Valley and the Adelaide Hills. It was very luxurious to be able to spread out in our little apartment and watch the ducks in the river below, but we really didn’t have time to take full advantage of the place.

Ah, technology. Somewhere in South Australia, on the side of a country road, Tim takes a birthday phonecall from his mum in Connecticut.


The next morning we slept in a little longer than planned, and had only a few hours to get back to Adelaide airport. Before leaving Clare we made time for one more winery, Jim Barry, where we bought another dozen bottles to ship home. By the time we left the valley we had bought 3.5 dozen bottles to ship home to us in Melbourne, plus a few strays packed away in our luggage. It was lots of fun to dig through the packages that arrived during the next week!


The weekend didn’t end there. When we arrived at Melbourne airport we found a coffee shop and sat with my brother and Dad while my brother waited for his flight back to Brisbane. Then Dad, Tim and I drove home to finish off the birthday festivities…

(Sorry Louise: To be continued…)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Louise September 1, 2009 at 6:02 pm

You utter meany! only joking, what a totally fabulous trip! I can only think of one birthday present planning escapade that surpass this (http://www.foreveramber.co.uk/tag/surprises) I think I am going to have to steal your concept as well, Neil (my other half) is sorted for birthday ideas for ages now, Thanks!!
The photo of the fields above is stunning. I’m not sure what the food is that you were eating, but your shot is right out of a magazine. You guys can’t have had anything other than a fantastic time and I look forward to the next instalment 🙂


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