Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cuban Jazz Festival

Last Sunday my sisters and I, and Heath and Greg, had a gorgeous day in the Yarra Valley for the annual Cuban Jazz Festival. A great, and easy day out, with great wine, fresh air and sun, and music!

We'd booked our tickets through Wine Quest, with a bus arrangement from The Saint in St Kilda. Having stayed at Jessie's the night before after my gig, I drove us and Katie and Heath over to Melissa's new place in Elwood, where we had breakfast, before getting a taxi to the pub. Here we grabbed our tickets and wrist bands, and then boarded the bus out to the Valley.

Arriving at the glorious setting of the Rochford Winery, with rolling green hills and paddocks of vines all around us, we set up our picnic blanket behind the dancing space in front of the stage, and settled in for the day.

Whilst Zumba classes were offered from the stage early on, we sampled the white and rose wines, before having our lunch. Included within our ticket, the lunch was amazing - succulent salmon fillet with potato salad and garden salad, it was delicious!

The Cuban dance lessons started from the stage, with many people dotted all over the Rochford hill up and dancing.

As helicopter rides were set up quite close to our picnic set up, and hearing that I had never been in a 'chopper, the girls gave me a ride over the Yarra Valley as my birthday present. Greg come along with me, and as he and the other male passenger on board were keen on steep turns, that's what we got!

Flying over the Valley, it's mountain ranges all around, and wineries all around, the lush green scenery was amazing from the air. We could see the Jazz festivities below, and could then also spot the city off in the distance. Was a great experience, thanks girls!

Back to ground level, the dancing started to kick off, and we spent most of the last hour up within the dance floor of the stage. This included Cuban music by Carlitos' Way. We also shared around a few of our collective remaining Cuban cigars, from our trip, just to top up the theme!

Once the music finished, we made our way back to the bus, and back into St Kilda, for a BBQ dinner put on by The Saint, again part of our ticket. Further drinks here, and a look at the Rugby World Cup final, we soon called it a day. A big Sunday, but such a fun day!

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