'Sit down and relax while I make our breakfast, Mum,' my daughter said as she flung open the plantation shutters on the portico overlooking the pool. Moments later the room was bathed in the warmth of the morning sunshine, with shimmering ripples of spectral colour and light from the tropical oasis outside reflecting onto the interior walls.
We booked accommodation at The Lakes Cairns Resort and Spa, the drawcard being its central location, lagoon-style swimming pools, a well equipped gym (for my daughter), and its close proximity to the Botanical Gardens. Our first day was dedicated to a famil of the city, including strolling along the palm-lined esplanade, watching pelicans on the sand and investigating one or two of the better known eateries, such as Splash. Our daily agenda comprised long sleep-ins for me (while my daughter hit the gym), followed by a healthy mid morning breakfast, a gentle game of badminton (with much laughter, which we all know is 'the best medicine'), time to relax by the pool with a book, then a light and luscious lunch, followed by an afternoon nap and some sightseeing. We took turns cooking nutritious evening meals, which were eaten al fresco. I feel the urge to throw a recipe in. The grilled calamari salad pictured above was a favourite and is quick and simple to prepare. Simply allow one large calamari tube for two. Run a knife down the inside of one side to open it out and clean away any loose insides. Score the flesh in a cross-hatch pattern, but take care not to cut right through. Then cut it into bit-sized morsels. Cook quickly on a hot, lightly-oiled grill for just a couple of minutes until it curls and changes colour. Meanwhile, assemble handfuls of washed and dried mesclun and thin strips of cucumber onto serving plates. Scatter some finely sliced chilli over the top and dress with juice from a couple of fresh passionfruit. Top with the cooked calamari and serve immediately.
Postcards and morsels from our 'Nanna Tour' are shared below for your enjoyment.