Here are some photos of the beautiful house we had to ourselves for 2 nights on Smith's Lake, a vacation community in the Great Lakes region south of Forster. We only wish the weather had been nicer, so we could've sat out on the gorgeous multi-level deck in the evenings…
We arrived at the house in the late afternoon Wednesday, after having to ask some neighbor ladies where the street was (our nav system seemd to have gotten lost when we arrived in the community), and after almost trying to get into the wrong house (the one next door – the signage vs driveways was a little unclear). We settled in for a few minutes, and then Al and I went back out to go grocery shopping for dinner, since we had a kitchen, and there didn't seem to be any restaurants anywhere within miles.
It had gotten very chilly and windy and drizzly again, and there were two kookaburras perched on the deck railings as we went out to the car, having their fluffy feathers ruffled by the wind. One of them was right where we had to walk within a foot of it, and it was very large with quite a large beak, so we were a little nervous about passing, but it just stared at us as we passed. Apparently, from what we read later in the guest book, the kookaburras often enjoy food scraps (and one guest said the birds swiped a whole steak from the grill), so I guess they were seeing what the new guests would provide (which was nothing since we never were able to eat outside).
We had a little excitement trying to back the car out of the steep, damp, mossy, brick driveway – Al had to try about 5 times, going faster and faster and getting closer to the steep drop at the bottom end, before we made it. So when we got back from the little local grocery store, we parked the car along the road (which was dead end anyway, and the next house appeared to be still under construction). For dinner, I bought spaghetti, and tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, to make a fresh sauce. Plus we had our bottle of wine we'd bought in Brisbane at the Sunday market (remember?). Not a bad dinner, though I'd forgotten to buy some things that would've been nice, but it was good to not have to go out for a change.
Then we found espresso in the fridge and a coffee maker, and had Italian coffee and Timtams – Alex had explained that the preferred method is to nibble off the opposing corners of the Timtam, and then suck your coffee through, melting the inner chocolate layer. Apparently that's a Tim Tam Slam.
After looking through the selection of videos, Alex chose "12 Angry Men", which was pretty good, though made for TV.
The one drawback to this house was that there was no laundry facility, which I had sort of assumed there would be (well, there was a laundry room, but it was downstairs in the owners' private area), and also there was no internet available (though there was a nice cafe about 1/2 mile up the road that had it for $5).