Our bus driver/tour guide took us to a cute little town called Leura for lunch. Isn't that a pretty name for a town? Along the way, he told us about Christmas in July. Around the Blue Mountains (where we were headed), there is a big Yulefest in July. He said that people decorate their houses, and make hams and turkeys in July because it's too hot for "traditional Christmas" in December. At actual Christmas, they barbecue and eat prawns (that's Australian for shrimp!) and Santa Claus wears shorts when he delivers presents to all the good girls and boys.
He told us about some of the things we'd see after lunch in Leura. And about some of the things we *could* do in Leura if we were speed-eaters. I would've been happy with less time at the Wildlife Park (as long as I had time to touch the koalas!) and more time in Leura. There were a few cute little shops and restaurants, like the Post Office Restaurant which is in the post office. But we had pre-paid our lunch and ate at this little cafe, I believe it was called "The Leura Cafe" (very creative with names in Leura, no?). We turned in our menus to Chad when we got off the bus at the Wildlife Park and apparently, he had called in our order. That led me to believe that the service would be fast... but I think Australians and Americans have different opinions on what constitutes "fast" service. My lunch was worth the wait, though! I had tea that came in its own little tea pot and it was loose tea so you had to strain it yourself...so fun! Then they brought me some delicious soup (it was called "thick, tasty soup") with some delicious homemade bread! It was so good! And the soup was so warm, and I needed that because it was FREEZING in Leura. It was cold at the Wildlife Park, but it was FREEZING in Leura. David had the warm chicken salad and ice cream for dessert. I had the Pavlova for dessert. I had no idea what it was, but I liked the name. It was SO good! All light and fluffy and sweet with lots of fruit--kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, melon. It was really delicious.
After we ate, we had practically no time before we were supposed to be on the bus. We had just a few minutes, but we figured we could get to the bus quickly, so we stopped to buy some hats and gloves at "The Leura Mall". For $80. Leura knew we were freezing. I knew I would need a hat, and that's why I ordered special yarn before we left to make a hat... the yarn is called "Australian Expressionism" and it did not cost $80. But alas, it didn't arrive on time.
Anyway, the lady at the Leura Mall is maybe not used to stupid freezing Americans who come to the mountains in winter and are so cold that they will pay $80 for 2 hats and 2 pairs of gloves. The credit card machine was all messed up, she had to load new paper and then she ended up charging us twice. That brings our grand total to $160 for 2 hats and 4 gloves. While she fussed around with the credit card machine, I ran up the street to the "Christmas Cottage" to buy an ornament for our tree. David met me there and then we walked quickly back to the bus. Since we weren't the last people there, I made David go take a picture of the Teapot Museum, where I really wanted to go so I could tell my mom all about it, but didn't have time! At least we took a picture of the outside of it.
Then it was back on the bus, headed for the Blue Mountains!