Did I hear laughing in the background? Ever since arriving in Australia I’ve heard that Canberra was a dusty place that only the pollies went to and the only people who lived there were the diplomats and bureaucrats.
Years ago when I decided to become a dual citizen I spent several weekends in Canberra soaking up all I could learn about my newish home. Every Australian should sit in on one session of Parliament. It’s quite a show compared to my American roots.
When I saw the Australian Capital Tourism ad on Facebook weeks ago who were looking for 500 ordinary Australians from around the country to visit Canberra as a part of their Human Brochure I put my hand up. I already loved the city. What’s not to like? It’s clean, got lots of great places to eat, wonderful museums, beautiful buildings, friendly people, it’s the home of the Parliament and the High Court and it’s near Tidbinbilla the home of the Deep Space Network.
I was shocked and humbled to be in the first ever group of 500 humans (out of 31,400 applicants) who will act as social media/blogging brochures. It’s a remarkable and some would say risky endeavour – something no ad agency or government tourism department has ever tried before. I LOVE people willing to take a risk and I pray this does all they hope for and more. Why? From a personal perspective, this will confirm to the world that bloggers and social media enthusiasts aren’t writing, “graffiti with punctuation,” that you hear from the mainstream media who get paid for their opinions.
I was born an American and I cherish my roots and my family and friends there but I’ve lived in Australia for many years and when I think of the country and what Canberra respresents to me, I get all proud and patriotic. Canberra was designed by American architect Walter Burley Griffin and he fell in love with Australia too.
Lake Burley Griffin
On Saturday the food and wine group boarded a bus and went to Grazing, the epicurean restaurant owned by Capital Wines in Gundaroo, just outside the Australian Capital Territory but in Australian terms, it’s just a poofteenth outside.
Gundaroo is what we affectionately call “a country town,” filled with tin roofed buildings and friendly people. Our lunch started with cream of tomato soup and before each course, the local winemaker who provided the wine gave a talk about his or her winery and why that wine paired beautifully with the food. Not one was wrong.
If you click the first photo, you can go through the gallery of our time at Grazing Restaurant in Gundaroo. I love saying Gundaroo. It’s on par with Burrumbuttock, Yackandandah, Puckapunyal, Tidbinbilla, Kapooka and many more favourites.