Celebrating Tom’s birthday last night…It’s Christmas Eve on this side of the International Dateline!! Traditions for world travelers?

Mersey Beach bluff where we went to dinner last night.

Last night we made the 30 minute drive to the town of Devonport for a reservation we’d made at Mrs. Jones, a popular upscale restaurant located on the ocean near the mouth of the Mersey River.

Veterans Memorial in Devonport, Tasmania.

I made a reservation at 6:30 last week for a table by the window. After the pleasant drive through the ocean/riverfront town, taking multiple photos along the way, we arrived at the restaurant well before our reservation, planning on a drink at the bar and then seated at our table.

A historic house under renovation in Devonport.

As it turned out, all of the window tables were marked with signs stating “reserved.” None of those tables were assigned to our reservation, much to our surprise and disappointment.

Another historic house on Devonport.

When shown the other seating options for two located against a bare wall, none provided the romantic ambiance we’d hoped for. As far as I was concerned, I’d have been happy to sit anywhere had it been OK with Tom.

But, as we’ve learned so well in our lifestyle over these past years, we can decide what works for us.  I wasn’t upset at all when he said, ‘Let’s do something else!” 

A small lighthouse on the Mersey River.

There’s no doubt the food would have been good and we’d have written a great review for the establishment. We place no blame on the owners or staff for being unable to fulfill our expectations. That was our choice to say no.

Instead, we enjoyed our drinks at the bar, were as gracious as possible that we’d changed our minds based on choice of table and within an hour were on our way out the door.

Live entertainment at Drift Café on the beach.

A casual dining spot, Drift Café, is located downstairs from Mrs. Jones Restaurant where diners were enjoying live music, casual dining, seated at tables and on the grass, creating a lively and festive scenario. We decided to dine there and join in the festivities overlooking the Mersey Beach Bluff. Today, we’re sharing some photos of each establishment.

Entrance to Mrs. Jones and Drift Restaurants.

Tom ordered a juicy bacon cheeseburger with chips (fries) and I had a chicken and avocado salad.  The food was great, the setting was ideal and we had a great time.

Today, Christmas Eve, we’re making our usual tradition of steak and lobster, well, not quite lobster. We’d purchased the Filet Mignon from the meat market in Ulverstone after visiting Pedro’s Restaurant and Fish Market to see about purchasing the lobster. 

The restaurants adjoin a beautiful park and recreation area.

In Australia, lobster is called “crayfish” and is outrageously expensive. Since both of us prefer the tail only as compared the remainder of the body, it made no sense to pay AU $51, US $36.60 for a .11kg (4 ounce tail). 

Pedros Restaurant and fish market seemed to be a great spot for seafood most of which is battered, fried and wouldn’t work for my way of eating. The smell was intoxicating. We’d hoped to buy crayfish (Australia’s version of a lobster) here, but the cost was prohibitive for the small tails. 

Instead, we purchased jumbo prawns which will go well with the tenderloin. The menu: garlic butter sautéed prawns, Filet Mignon with sautéed portobello mushrooms, fresh green beans and side salads will make for a fine Christmas Eve dinner along with the bottle of wine we purchased for the occasion. For dessert? Homemade low carb, sugar-free fudge. 

Lounge/bar area in Mrs. Jones Restaurant.

Today, the warmest day since we arrived in Tasmania three weeks ago, we’ll spend time outdoors on the front veranda overlooking the sea while waving and saying Merry Christmas to passersby who walk and jog along the sidewalk in front of our vacation home.

Life is good. We pray it is for all of you as well. Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate and happy day to those of you who do not.

Photo from one year ago today, December 24, 2015:

A year ago at Tom’s birthday dinner in Fiji my rumpled lobster juice soiled clothes were a sight to see after dinner. Click here for details.