Ok so I have to provide a little explanation before I dive into this blog. This story begins on the 25th November 2017 and yes we are skipping ahead quite a few weeks in regards to our blog posting timeline, but well we want to share this story asap more than anything and plus my mum requested it! But also because we want to share it and we know you really want to read it too!
And so it is Saturday morning, Alex and I, along with my parents, sister and her boyfriend all wake up in Bunker Bay ready for a day of wine tasting, wine themed treasure hunting and above all celebrating my mum’s 50th birthday just two days prior. You see Alex and I, once we had completed our journey around the South island of New Zealand, flew all the way to Perth for a weekend to celebrate her big day. It was a big family weekend down in Margaret River, which of course would involve wine!
Saturday in particular was Alex’s day. It was his day because he was and had planned a little wine themed treasure hunt for my mum and all of us, taking everyone to some of her favourite spots around Margaret River.
So back to the morning. We wake up, indulge in a massive buffet breakfast at the Pullman Resort we are staying at, and then sneakily all pile into one car. That’s 6 people in a 5 seater car for anyone guessing, and yes we know it was wrong but just shhhhhhh!
In the car mum is given her first clue of the day:
* Open 365 days per year
* 76 years old
* Don’t allow yourself to get “hangry” today
Now for anyone who is not familiar with the South West, then this clue was in reference to the famous Dunsborough Bakery in Dunsborough of course. With these clues it did take mum a minute or two to pick the place, but that was due to her excitement and not reading the paper fully before yelling out an answer. But she guessed it not long after and we headed there, with Alex making sure she wrote a particular letter from the answer on the page behind (this became important later). When we arrived Alex went to get some cash out with my dad, with Janos then deciding to join them a few minutes later, whilst us ladies headed over to a clothing store to check out some jewellery. We went there because my brothers girlfriend had gotten a few rings there and we wanted to sus them out. When the boys eventually found us my sister had brought a ring and then we all decided in fact we were too full to even think about buying anything from the bakery, so clue number two was produced:
2nd Stop (Alex did not know we would all eat WAY TOO MUCH at breakfast, lining our stomachs and all so this was overlooked in the clue)
* I am sure you all enjoyed the pies and vanilla slices, but we can’t drive around with dirty hands for that long. Let’s go to a place where we can wash our hands, where the ladies can stock up and the men eat the place empty. And especially try some honey!
So anyone who knows my mum and I will understand that this clue refers to the most amazing skin care factory that also doubles as a gourmet delicatessen, called Vasse Virgin. So mum wrote the answer of this clue on the page provided and circled yet another specific letter.
If you are ever in Margaret River please do yourself a favour and head to this shop, it is just amazing. We definitely stocked up and everyone ate their samples dry! Onto clue number 3;
Let’s be honest, we are down here for one reason. Healthy grape juice!
* Irish background
* Cab Sav was served at a royal wedding.
So my dad was first to guess this next destination and provided an extra clue for the rest of us; boobs.
Now that might sound weird, in fact to anyone outside our family well yes that may be the case, but you see the place Alex was referring to, a winery of course, was Fermoy Estate. And more specifically it has two big paintings on the walls of women with their breasts exposed, it really was a key clue for most of us.
When we arrived, mum was wearing her birthday badge and we all got to enjoy some champagne to celebrate which was lovely. And I did point out earlier that it was not her birthday that day but two days prior, however we were celebrating her and well badges get you things!
So after champagne we tried whites and then reds, yumminess after yumminess! Mum wrote down the next letter in Alex’s clues and was then given clue number 4;
Why not nibble away a bit more?
* Walking distance
* Established 1999
This was referring to Pukara Estate, a predominately olive oil shop right across a paved pathway from Fermoy where we had just tasted wines. We all love their oils, more specifically their truffle oil, which we definitely tasted a lot! The lady behind the counter found our tasting and mums love for the truffle oil quite funny that she gave mum a small bottle for her birthday, yay badge success!
Alex gave mum her 5th clue, whilst also getting her to circle the next key letter from the place we had just been, but also taking the paper away from her as she had started to try guess it.
Ok enough. Let’s get serious. We have to stay hydrated.
* Favourite place
* Alyce and I didn’t go to this island
* A horse does this
So the guessing of this answer was by far the best and most entertaining of the whole day. Mum could not for the life of her remember the name of the place the clue referred to, she knew it but just forgot the name. She got the help of the lady behind the counter who eventually got it, but mum was still trying to guess. Mum then recruited another lady who was showing a tour group around, who helped her get the key point; galloping. The next destination was to Fraser Gallop Winery.
By far our favourite place and a favourite within the family, we arrived and got to try all their delicious wines and be looked after their wonderful host Peter. We see him every time we come to Margaret River, because we visit Fraser Gallop every time we visit Margaret River. We are sure he thinks we are crazy, which we are, but he is always so wonderful and knows what we like to drink. With a bit more wine in our systems and bit more wine in the car, mum received clue number 6;
Happy now? But we don’t want to be pissed already. Let’s get some substance in us
* No grape juice here
* This farm doesn’t have animals
So definitely a strange clue for again anyone with out knowledge of the Margaret River Region, but this was referring to an amazing venue; The Beer Farm! An old dairy farm converted into a beer barn, with a massive bar, open plan seating and a food truck out the back. When we arrived we ordered a few things to share and got some beverages that were not grape juice but definitely alcoholic.
And then mum received clue number 7;
Did I hear sweets?
* Movie (2013)
* Staring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis and Emma Roberts
* Small time pot dealer convinces neighbours to help him by pretending to be his family, in order to smuggle drugs from Mexico to USA.
Where you able to guess what the next clue was? Well we struggled a little at first too, but Alex was referring to Millers Ice Creamery in Cowarramup. Mum wrote down the requested letter and off we went. The ice cream was delicious, as was our next intended stop;
Lets continue what we are here for. This place has more wines for taste than most of us can handle.
* Try 12+ Chardonnays
* Hosted Tropfest
Now the Pinot clue is a very inside family joke, but the rest give a pretty clear to the venue we would visit, which was Howard Park Winery. We were all pretty happy when we arrived at the winery because again we were allowed to try their awarded vintage champagne in celebration of mum’s birthday! We worked our way through their wines, not being able to try all of them on this occasion but getting very close. And then mum was given the next clue;
Enough driving around. Time to relax, go for a swim and enjoy some more.
* ”What the F are you lot doing here?”
* Crystal clear water
* White beaches
Now your thinking what the? Well again the first point there is another inside family joke, but Alex was referring to an amazing beach that is both special to my family and Alex’s; Smith’s Beach. It was in the mid afternoon at this point, we were definitely on a happy wine cloud and looking forward to enjoying the beach.
I have to share that when we arrived my sister who was maybe on a higher wine cloud than the rest of us, enjoyed running around trying to touch as much “untouched sand” as she could because she thought it was fun. Definitely a lot funnier in person!
Alex had brought down his clue bag and a bottle of champagne, so once everyone was down on the sand we all waited for instructions on the next clue. And if I hadn’t made it clear thus far, I didn’t know any of the clues or stops until we figures them out, so I was just as excited to continue to treasure hunt and find out where we would go next, especially since I thought Smiths beach was our last stop.
So Alex gave each my dad, sister, mum and sisters boyfriend two pieces of the paper mum had been writing each answer on, as well as a pen and asked them to write the letter that had been circled. He told them not to look at each others and then on the count of three turn them around.
He’s asked me to take photos but I decided to record it and once everyone flipped the paper around I went to my dad first and started to read out each letter.
Now as I am reading these letters out it has not quite reached my brain that this is a question for me, in the beginning I am thinking ok what does ‘Marry’ refer to in regards to wineries?
So when I get to E and say “wait what?” and then turn around to see Alex holding a purple box and going down on one knee, I am a little overwhelmed with excitement! Like just a little seriously excited and emotional and jumping around unable to contain my surprise and happiness!!!
At this point mum is laughing/sobbing in the background and has taken the phone from my hand, continuing to record everything.
Alex is down on his knee, he says beautiful things which I will keep for us, and asks me to marry him. Of course I said yes yes yes YESSSSSSSS! And in this moment I was also taking off one of my cheapy rings which was in fact on my wedding finger, throwing it in my pocket and saying “screw this ring”.
And then well there is some extremely wonderful excitement and crying from everyone, some jumping around, popping of champagne and lots of smiles.
What started out as a wonderful and fun filled day celebrating our family being together for my mum’s 50th, was then made even better by my best friend and love of my life asking me to marry him, with my family there and making the whole weekend just that more spectacular!
The 25th of November is now an extremely important day and we could not be happier.
So forgive me for posting this early and confusing our post timeline, but we hope you share in our happiness and enjoy reading this story as much as we love it! And I would like to just acknowledge how amazing my now Fiancé (coz I can now say that) is! How wonderful he was putting this spectacular race around Margaret River together for my mum, and keeping this extra spectacular surprise ending to himself for so long. You made my day and I think my mums as well as everyone else’s!