My family heritage is Italian. I love family, they’re awesome! Some of my most treasured memories is of nonna cooking her world-famous lasagna! Seriously, I pity many people out there because there’s not alot of you who have had the pleasure of tasting it. She’s from a town outside of Naples, therefore we are considered Napolitani and she’s cooks with Napolitano sauce. It’s the best! Many family gatherings have taken place at her house and her cooking is always flawless! I was lucky enough to go to the region last year and experience the food first hand in Italy, but that’s for a future post.

I spent alot of my childhood travelling around my state of Victoria. I love my home and the country towns that surround it are simply amazing. A wise Canadian friend of mine recently said I am lucky to live in such a beautiful country and you know what? I am! Australia to me is the land of opportunity, plenty, whatever you want to call it, we are very fortunate here.
When I turned 10 my mum surprised me with a trip to Queensland! I had just gotten home from my access weekend with my father (I’m the only child of divorced parents, and you would think that would have had a negative effect on me? Nah, I loved getting two presents for Christmas and my birthday!) and for whatever reason had to go into my mother’s bedroom where I found she had a packed suitcase. I questioned her need to leave and she told me that the following day, Monday, we were off on a plane bound for Surfers Paradise, Queensland. I may have fainted at this point as the early 90’s (showing my age here) were all about hoping on a plane to Queensland (if you lived in Australia) via a connecting flight from Sydney. Back then if you need to fly there was only two options; QANTAS or Ansett Australia, not like now. All my school friends were doing it and now I was too. I was a 10-year-old going to Queensland! OH-MY-GOD (wayyyyyyyy before OMG)! I don’t have any soft copies of the photos but I do remember having the most amazing time. We went to Movieworld, Seaworld and Wet n Wild theme parks. It was a dream come true! Plus we went to the beach plenty of times and strolling along the streets of Surfers, it was just awesome!

Now for the food. As mentioned previously, I may have been a fussy eater but if you’re a restaurant that serves a bowl of chips, you had my tick of approval. I didn’t really venture much in the food world (I was 10 at the time remember?) but I did eat plenty of bowls of chips, chocolate and ice cream. Mum spent alot of time trying to convince me how good fruits and vegetables are for you and I had to eat them under protest with the promise of something sweet after dinner. Poor mum ha!

We spent a total of seven days in Queensland. Five of them were in Surfers, we spent a short time in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, two hours from Surfers. My step-dad had an uncle who lived there (smart man!) and it was the first time I experienced the rugby Footy Show (yeah it’s really strange, we’re AFL fanatics so we were expecting the same thing, severely disappointed) and Chinese Food. I’d had plain rice before but this was astronomical! I had ordered a simple mildly spiced chicken and rice dish but it was the coolest! From there on in my mum would add a little spice here and a little spice there and it just made a world of difference to everything I ate. I left Queensland after seven days with a positive mark on my soul. Since to date I have been there a total of five times and each time it has never let me down.

Anyways, I would just like to say, Queensland you are simply amazing! Don’t you ever change my home away from home 🙂

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