This years Christmas-in-July was held in the expansive Vista Del Lago, an Italianate mansion overlooking a lake north of Erina, just down the road from Terrigal. The owner already had the wood fires lit by the time we arrived, we quickly got the Christmas tree set up to add to the festive feel, and when Tash arrived she got some of the legendary mulled wine on the go: all the ingredients for a great Christmas in July were in place.
Saturday started early, and with a round of bacon 'n egg baps knocked up by Rob n Jill, for those diving the Adelaide with Terrigal Dive Centre. While the sunny weather took the chill off the temperatures, the hefty swell made it too dangerous to dive relatively shallow Adelaide so the dive was cancelled. Unfortunately, due to the lack of phone reception at the house we didnt find this out until we got to the dive shop. Not to be diddled out of a dive, four when in for a shore dive, which let Al complete his dive marshalling training and the drysuit virgin Gary could get his shiny new OThree drysuit christened.
Back at the ranch, a few snags were thrown on the barbie for lunch and most people chilled out around the pool, but Jill took it one step further and got an introductory SCUBA dive in! This did result in the near drowning of Dorota, who found Rob's 'exemplary' buoyancy skills so funny she nearly chocked on her snorkel.
Before long it was time to start prepping the sprouts and peeling the potatoes which when on and on and on.... Luckily a round of tea and mince pies kept every one going. The turkey fryer was fired up and tested out with some on the amazing Owens Deep Fried Pork Belly yummy as ever. Once everyone had scrubbed up (it was a black tie dinner), the gin n tonics/sparkling was served with antipasto. Garys pumpkin soup was lapped up and by the time it came to the fried turkey and all the trimmings the belts were being loosened and people were beginning to struggle! Luckily Banana Man rushed to the seen causing so much laughter that people were able to battle through to Tash's awesome Christmas pudding was served with brandy butter. However, no one could manage the final cheese hurdle, so people retired to the lounge for a port and many rounds to Taboo (or was it the other way round?).
Once people emerged on Sunday morning a full English breakfast was rustled up, followed by packing and tidying the house. Unfortunately during this process the front door was left open, leading to cries of 'Who let the dog out!' shortly followed by a manic chase as Dumpling thought it would be fun to heading back to Sydney by foot!